Archive for the ‘Memoirs’ Category

Media Attention: STRUCK BY GENIUS

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

The lead book review in People magazine this week (the world’s  50 Most Beatutiful People issue, featuring 12 Years A Slave star Lupita Nyong’o on the cover) is for an unusual memoir. Jason Padgett a “muscled, Mullet-wearing party boy whose most profound thought involved his favorite teams and new dates.” (the New York Post puts it succinctly in their headline, “From Mullet To Math Genius“).

Today, he works with MIT scientists on fractal applications. What caused this huge change? A traumatic  brain injury that seems to have unlocked mathematical talents. People gives 3.5 of 4 stars to his memoir,  Struck by Genius, (HMH; Brilliance Audio), noting that it readers “contemplate the bizarre gifts that might lie within all of us.”

The author appeared on today’s CBS This Morning.


Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

9780767902526Production has begun on the long-gestating Nick Nolte/Robert Redford adaptation of Bill Bryson’s memoir, A Walk in the Woods, (RH/Broadway; RH Audio, 1998) near Georgia’s Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, according to the local press.

Bryson’s memoir recounts his misadventures as he attempts to hike the Appalachian Trail, despite “years of waddlesome sloth” with his old pal Katz, a man even more ill-prepared for the effort than he is. Redford will play Bryson and Nolte, Katz (in a role originally planned for Redford’s late friend Paul Newman).

Boston Marathon Bombing; First Anniversary

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

StrongerAs the anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing approaches, the Boston Public Library unveils an exhibit, “Dear Boston: Messages from the Marathon Memorial,” which includes items from the a spontaneous memorial that developed in Copley Square

One of the people who was injured in that tragedy, Jeff Bauman, appeared on the Today Show this morning, to talk about his remarkable recovery from losing both his legs and his book, released today, Stronger, (Hachette/Grand Central).

Bauman, will also be featured in a special report on Friday’s NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, “108 Hours: Inside the Hunt for the Boston Marathon Bomber.”

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Sunday, April 6th, 2014

A feature movie based on the classic WWI memoir, Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain, began filming last week at the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway in West Yorkshire, England, according to local news stories.

Just last year, 80 years after publication, the book was called “one of the most powerful and widely read war memoirs of all time,” by The Guardian. When it was published in 1933, it was “an instant hit,” and Virginia Woolf wrote in her diaries that she had to stay up all night to finish it. It’s pacifist message fell out of favor during WWII, but in 1978 the feminist Virago Press brought it back into print to great success. Today, notes The Guardian, “the book seems to strike a chord with contemporary readers who have themselves lived through an era of renewed conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

The title role is being played by Swedish actress Alicia Vikander (whose breakout was in the supporting role of Kitty in Anna Karenina; she also starred in the Oscar-nomated Danish movie, A Royal Affair), replacing Saoirse Ronan, who was originally cast for the role.

The book is currently available in the U.S. in trade paperback from Penguin Books:

Testament of YouthTestament of Youth
Vera Brittain
Penguin Classics, 2005
9780143039235, 0143039237
Trade paperback $20.00 USD

Up In Smoke

Monday, March 31st, 2014

The Last Pirate“If you smoked Colombian marijuana in the ’70s or ’80s, I owe you a thank-you card,” says Tony Dokoupil on CBS Sunday Morning.

Why?  “Because you brought my father’s product, and you bought my baseball gloves by extension, and you put me through private school. And you paid for the boat that we crisscrossed the oceans in and the Caribbean vacations. The good life.”

Dokoupil, currently a a senior writer for NBC News, also appears on NPR’s Fresh Air today, to talk about his book, which arrives tomorrow, The Last Pirate, (RH/Doubleday) about his search for his father, who left the family when his son was a child and the surprising things he discovered about him.


Monday, March 24th, 2014

How About Never?“If you love New Yorker cartoons, you’ll probably love the view from Bob Mankoff’s desk,” says Terry Gross, introducing her interview on NPR’s Fresh Air today with the magazine’s cartoon editor about his memoir, the title of which comes from his most famous cartoons, How About Never, Is Never Good for You? (Macmillan/Holt, publishing tomorrow).

That line is so famous, it’s been appropriated in many ways (Mankoff’s favorite; it’s been printed on panties). He says, however, it will NOT appear on his tombstone.


Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

Dancing Fish And Ammonites   Savage Harvest

Penelope Lively was interviewed yesterday on NPR’s Fresh Air (listen here) about her new book, Dancing Fish And Ammonites, (Penguin/Viking), which the 81-year-old author says is “not quite a memoir,” but rather “the view from old age.”

Today, the show features journalist Carl Hoffman on his new book Savage Harvest (HarperCollins/Morrow), with the long subtitle/annotation,  A Tale of Cannibals, Colonialism and Michael Rockefeller’s Tragic Quest for Primitive Art. The author was also interviewed this past weekend on another NPR show, Weekend Edition Saturday. An excerpt of the book appears in the March Smithsonian Magazine.

ORANGE Is Back June 6th

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

Orange is the New Black   Orange is the New Black tie-in

People magazine presents an exclusive sneak peek, in the form of four photos from the second season of the Netflix series, Orange is the New Black, which made Piper Kerman’s 2010 memoir, (RH/Spiegel & Grau, 2011; tie-in, 2013) a best seller. It premieres on Friday, June 6.

They do their best to try to turn into a story. It’s almost as fun as watching Glamour magazine try to glean news from the 17-second teaser trailer that was released last month.


Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

Blood Will OutSome of you may have taken our advice to seek out the galley for Walter Kirn’s Blood Will Out: The True Story of a Murder, a Mystery, and a Masquerade, (Norton/Liveright).

On NPR’s Fresh Air yesterday, Kirn talked to Terry Gross about his fascinating memoir, released last week, of how he was drawn in by a master manipulator who passed himself off for fifteen years as a member of the Rockefeller family. The book originated from a story Kirn published the New Yorker last year.

Another book about the story,  Mark Seal’s The Man in a Rockefeller Suit is in development as a movie by Walter Selles (The Motorcycle Diaries). It also inspired the well-received novel, Schroder by Amity Gaige.

Many libraries are showing heavy holds.

Shining Trailer

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

Glitter and GlueBack in 2008, when book trailers were in their infancy, the paperback of Kelly Corrigan’s first book, The Middle Place, soared as a simple video of her reading from it made its way around the Internet.

Corrigan’s third book Glitter and Glue, (RH/Ballantine, out today), comes with another equally affecting video of Corrigan doing a simple reading. Now that  book trailers are often indistinguishable from movie trailers,  with some even including well-known actors, it is particularly refreshing.

The book is now rising on Amazon. The audio version (RH Audio)  is, of course, read by the author.


Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

Blood Will OutWhen a book is hotly anticipated by a  wide range of sources, our ears prick up. Walter Kirn’s Blood Will Out: The True Story of a Murder, a Mystery, and a Masquerade, (Norton/Liveright; March 3) is highlighted by  Library Journal‘s Barbara Hoffert in her extensive Midwinter 2014 Galley and Signing Guide. It is also one of USA Today‘s “10 Books Should You Read This Winter” and The Hollywood Reporter‘s “2014 Book Preview” as well as the more literary-inclined The Millions’ “Great 2014 Book Preview.”

The story of the con man who passed himself off as a member of the Rockefeller family has fascinated many. Mark Seal’s book, The Man in a Rockefeller Suit is in development for a movie by Walter Selles (The Motorcycle Diaries), and was the inspiration for the well-received novel, Schroder by Amity Gaige. Countless articles have also been written about him, including one last year in the New Yorker by Kirn himself, who was friends with the man he knew as “Clark Rockefeller” for fifteen years.

If you’re going to Midwinter, check for it at the Norton booth (#748). If not, you can request eARC’s through Edelweiss or print copies from the library marketing folks at Norton.

Different Hikes, Different Movies

Saturday, January 18th, 2014

Two upcoming films are each based on best selling memoirs about hiking, but their settings and tone are miles apart.

9780767902526   Issue_03_Redford_Su#BB6E507

Robert Redford notes, in this week’s The Hollywood Reporter cover storythat shooting will begin in March on the long-gestating adaptation of Bill Bryson’s memoir, A Walk in the Woods, (RH/Broadway; RH Audio, 1998). About the author’s quixotic attempts to hike the Appalachian Trail with his old pal Katz, a man even more ill-prepared for the adventure than he is, it stars Redford as Bryson and Nick Nolte as Katz (in a role originally planned for Redford’s late friend Paul Newman). Larry Charles. who wrote for Seinfeld and directed Borat as well as episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm, is set to direct.

Different Coast, Different Tone

MV5BMTYwNzg2MjczMl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMzQ3NDc0MDE@._V1_SY317_CR118,0,214,317_   978-0-307-59273-6

Shooting has just wrapped on Wild, based on Cheryl Strayed’s memoir (RH/Knopf; RH Audio; Thorndike; 2012) about hiking the Pacific Crest Trail in an effort to resolve some deep personal issues, including drug use. Set to arrive in theaters later this year, Reese Witherspoon is both star and producer.The film is directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, whose Dallas Buyers Club received multiple Oscar nominations, including Best Picture.

Coming to COLBERT

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

Ishmael Beah’s memoir of being a child soldier in Sierra Leone, A Long Way Gone, was heavily covered by the media when it was published in 2007 and is often assigned reading in schools.

Radiance of TomorrowHis first novel, Radiance of Tomorrow (Macmillan/Sarah Chrichton; Macmillan Audio) is being published today. Reviewing it in the Washington Post, Ron Charles applauds Beah’s “lyrical style all his own. Even as a multitude of wearying failures mounts, his characters retain their hopefulness in a way that’s challenging and inspiring.”

Beah appears on the Colbert Report tomorrow night and will be a featured speaker at ALA Midwinter on Saturday, January 25, 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm.


Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

My Age of AnxietyScott Stossel tells Terry Gross about his many phobias on NPR’s Fresh Air yesterday. As a result, his book, My Age of Anxiety: Fear, Hope, Dread, And The Search For Peace Of Mind (RH/Knopf; RH Audio), rose to #14 on Amazon’s sales rankings.

StarlingThe book is receiving a mini media blitz, with coverage in the Wall Street Journal, the Boston Globe (which calls it a “first-rate study of anxiety and [the author's] candid personal history as an acute sufferer”), The New Republic, and The Atlantic (where Stossel is the editor).

Last month, he and his sister, Sage Stossel, were profiled by The New York Times. She recently released a book of her own, the graphic novel Starling, (Penguin/InkLit), featuring a female superhero who “exhibits some of Sage’s own nervous qualities and frequently scarfs Xanax.”

INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS, Rooted in Folk Music

Monday, December 9th, 2013

The  Coen brother’s latest movie, Inside Llewyn Davis, “marks the best limited start ever for Joel and Ethan Coen,” according to The Hollywood Reporter (translated, it opened in just 4 theaters, but pulled in more than $100,00 in each). It expands into more theaters on Dec. 20 and nationwide in January

9780306822162   Mayor of MacDougal Street

Inspired by real-life musician Dave Van Ronk’s memoir, The Mayor of MacDougal Street, (Perseus/Da Capo Press; trade pbk tie-in; cover above, left), it stars Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake, John Goodman and Garrett Hedlund.

In the NYT, book critic Janet Maslin predicts that the film is “poised to generate a tidal wave of nostalgia — and stir interest among moviegoers who were unfamiliar with this milieu” and suggests fhe documentary (Greenwich Village: Music that Defined a Generation, now on DVD, Kino Lorber, $29.95), the movie soundtrack and a book as ways to learn more about “the folkie world that the Coens recreate so wittily and well.” The book is, of course, Van Ronk’s “sharp, cantankerous memoir.”

Trailer for Greenwich Village: Music that Defined a Generation.