Host Michael Strahan notes that Segal reveals personal details in the book, being frank about her past addictions and life in recovery. Sagal says she began the book as a way to share her life and past history with her children and saw the project as a love letter to her family.
She also talks about her time as a singer and song writer. Expressing surprised at this bit of her history, Strahan marvels that she “opened for Etta James, sang background for Bette Midler, and got fired by Bob Dylan.” She still has a band and says music is a big part of her life.
Sagal as been on a media blitz for the book, already appearing on Nightline and featured in the March 27 issue of People. She will be on The View tomorrow. The book made USA Today‘s list of “New and noteworthy” books. Page Six and the NY Daily News covered some of the book’s revelations. The book has moved up Amazon’s sales rankings as a result and is currently at #518.
As we posted earlier, the sequel to Gore’s Academy Award winning film, An Inconvenient Truth, debuted at the Sundance Film Festival where it received a standing ovation. It is now gearing up for its wide release, beginning with the politically pointed trailer.
Variety says the film depicts the “dire consequences of a warming earth — from flooding in Miami and the Philippines, to the worst drought on record in Syria, bringing human suffering there that predated the ongoing civil war, to air pollution so bad in some parts of China that life expectancy has declined by six years.”
A companion book will be published in May, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, Al Gore (Macmillan/Rodale Books).
The documentary will open in theaters on July 28, 2017.
A surprisingly hopeful version of what lies ahead, Robinson’s books shows survivors coping with the aftermath of an epic flood that has hit NYC. They move into high rise buildings, get used to tides washing up the streets, and to living with canals rather than roads. Robinson says “at some point, science fiction has to imagine the people who come after, when the situation will be natural, whatever it is.”
Daily NYT critic Michiko Kakutani devotes her attention to a novel that, like Robinson’s, imagines the impact of global warming on the U.S., Omar El Akkad’s American War (PRH/Knopf; RH Audio; OverDrive Sample). In this darker version, the U.S., reduced to a much smaller country, is engaged in second Civil War.
Kakutani says “El Akkad has fashioned a surprisingly powerful novel — one that creates as haunting a postapocalyptic universe as Cormac McCarthy did in The Road (2006), and as devastating a look at the fallout that national events have on an American family as Philip Roth did in The Plot Against America (2004).”
Released today, the book is currently at #71 on Amazon’s sales rankings, moving up rapidly from a lowly #29,600.
“Once upon a time, a man from Delhi and man from Yukon fell in love, and so did a woman from Jamaica and a Mohawk woman. The two couples became best friends and had a baby together. When they won the lottery, they gave up their jobs and found a big old house where their family could learn and grow … and grow some more.”
Joining the overflowing household is one of the grandfathers, suffering from dementia. NPR notes that even though Donoghue’s adult books explore difficult subjects, this new novel is “all light.”
Donoghue, whose mother suffers from the disease, tells NPR “everything I read about dementia for children had a dreary tone to it, a sort of ‘let’s stop the action and all give you sad facts,’ you know? So I don’t believe there’s any subject that can’t be handled with a little bit of spark, so I try and make it very accurate, but also accept the humor that can be in misunderstandings … and above all, I avoided being too sad.”
For-profit colleges are examined on NPR’s Fresh Air via an interview with Tressie McMillan Cottom author ofLower Ed: The Troubling Rise of For-Profit Colleges in the New Economy (Perseus/PGW/Legato/The New Press).
Designed to make money for shareholders and company owners, rather than to transform students’ lives, she says, for-profit end up compound students’ “poverty and risk factors.”
Levy, a staff writer at the New Yorker, is getting attention from a wide range of media. The NYT highlights the author in a lengthy feature story detailing Levy’s take on what the paper calls her “karmic smackdown” of how she went from pregnant and married to a woman grieving the loss of her baby and watching her marriage dissolve:
“Ms. Levy wanted to interrogate her own responsibility for such a sequence of grim events … That is the intellectual backbone [of the memoir, one that examines the] hoary conceit, the one about women and ‘having it all’ … A thoroughly modern memoir, the elements … seem plucked not from the script of Girls, which has also been exploring reproductive issues of late, but Transparent — even Portlandia.”
The Atlantic says it is a “one-of-a-kind memoir” and that “Levy has the rare gift of seeing herself with fierce, unforgiving clarity. And she deploys prose to match, raw and agile. She plumbs the commotion deep within and takes the measure of her have-it-all generation.”
It is also stirring controversy. The New Republic calls it “Infuriating … a monument to obliviousness” and says it “buys into the myth that feminism promises each woman that she can have whatever she wants … It’s unlikely many Black women or Arab women or undocumented women would presume a similar degree of permission and mobility, regardless of their exposure to Gloria Steinem and Betty Friedan.”
It is climbing the Amazon rankings, currently at #136, and a few systems we checked are showing holds above 6:1.
Based on Jay Asher’s 2007 YA novel TH1RTEEN R3ASONS WHY, it is about a high school student who commits suicide and leaves behind several tapes, telling classmates how each contributed to her decision. The novel is a YALSA Best Books of 2008, and was a NYT best seller in hardcover for over two years.
Thus far critics seem very happy with the show. Entertainment Weekly gives it a B+ and writes “A frank, authentically affecting portrait of what it feels like to be young, lost, and too fragile for the world.”
Ghost in the Shell, the live-action adaptation of Shirow Masamune’s SF manga series, which Movie Pilot calls “a pioneer of cyberpunk,” opens March 31. It stars Scarlett Johansson, Pilou Asbæk, Takeshi Kitano, Juliette Binoche, and Michael Pitt.
The Zookeeper’s Wife opens on March 31. It is is already selling books, taking Diane Ackerman’s nonfiction account of the heroic story of a zookeeper and his wife who harbored 300 Jews from the Nazis back to the best seller lists and rising on Amazon’s rankings.
The film stars Jessica Chastain, Johan Heldenbergh, Michael McElhatton, and Daniel Brühl.
In more limited release are two films. While they will not air to a wide audience at first, they will eventually be released on DVD, making them accessible for libraries creating book-to-film collections (and displays).
Carrie Pilby opens in limited release on March 31 and will be followed by VOD on April 4. It is based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Caren Lissner, Carrie Pilby: A hilarious and charming story (HC/Harlequin Teen; Harlequin Audio; OverDrive Sample).
The film stars Bel Powley, Nathan Lane, Gabriel Byrne, Jason Ritter, William Moseley, Vanessa Bayer, and Colin O’Donoghue.
The Devotion of Suspect X, a Chinese-language film, opens in very limited release on March 31, just 45 theaters. It stars stars Wang Kai, Zhang Luyi, and Ruby Lin. There are no reviews as of yet.
The novel on which it was based, The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino (Macmillan/Minotaur; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample), received attention when it was published. It was selected by the ALA/RUSA Reading List in 2012 for best Mystery and was nominated for an Edgar. It earned three star reviews, from LJ, PW, and Kirkus.
The Wall St. Journal says, “Whether it amounts to math, philosophy, psychology or cosmology, The Devotion of Suspect X is an elegant literary experiment. It suggests, among much else, that a lot of bad behavior is forgiven in the name of genius—and then even a genius can push the envelope just so far before it breaks.”
Set to be her breakout Jessica Shattuck’s third book, The Women in the Castle (HarperCollins/Morrow) arrives this week. The novel looks at how ordinary German citizens dealt with the compromises they made to survive in WWII Germany. The story has personal resonance, as Shattuck reveals in a NYT Op/Ed piece titled, “I Loved My Grandmother. But She Was a Nazi.” The book is also a LibraryReads title (see below, under Peer Picks).
The host of Fox News The O’Reilly Factor, will undoubtedly use the show to flog his new book, which, according to the publisher, describes a “looming confrontation” between “Old Schoolers” and “Snowflakes,” who “[whine] about social injustice and income inequality and [cheer] Bernie Sanders as he [suggests] the government pay for almost everything,” adding that it is explained “so even the ladies on The View can understand it.”
At 28, Singh can claim to know what she’s talking about in the “conquering life department.” She’s listed at #8 Forbes list of “The World’s Top-Earning YouTube Stars 2015.” She is set to appear on the Today Show on Tuesday, 3/28 and later that day on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.
Only two peer picks arrive this week, but both are #1 selections.
“Meet Samuel Hawley, a man in a constant struggle with his violent past, doing the best he can to raise his daughter. Meet Loo, his daughter, a girl with an obscure past and an uncertain future, on the cusp of adulthood. And meet Lily, the dead woman who connects them both. In this finely woven novel, the past and the present gradually illuminate the story of a man’s life through the bullet wounds he carries with him and makes readers consider what it is to be both good and evil.” — Dawn Terrizzi, Denton Public Library, Denton, TX
“Three war widows and their children help each other survive at the end of World War II in this engaging novel filled with rich period details. Their husbands died as members of the resistance, but aside from that common thread, Marianne, Benita, and Ania bring very different backgrounds to their makeshift home in the castle’s kitchen. They also face repercussions from past choices and current secrets. Jessica Shattuck brings us into their world and shows us that the rules for love and loyalty are different in wartime.” —Dawn Rennert, The Concord Bookshop, Concord, MA
Additional Buzz: As we note above, this is likely to be the author’s breakout. In addition to the Indie Next #1 pick, it is a Library Reads pick for March. In an unusual pre-pub push, the owners of Parnassus Books in Nashville, Ann Patchett and Karen Hayes, suggest it to their readers writing it is a “book is for readers who love World War II novels and especially for anyone who thinks they don’t need to read another World War II novel.” In another bookstore connection, the top book buyer for Tattered Cover chooses three titles she recommends as she retires. One of them is The Women in the Castle.
The Starz’s adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods premieres on Sunday, April 30, 2017.
One of the early reviews is particularly promising. Slash film calls the pilot “a Weird and Wonderful Start to a Promising Series … American Gods appears to do justice to Gaiman’s work, expanding on his world while being faithful to what makes it work in the first place. Green and Fuller seem to have crafted something very special, perhaps even a series that can replace the dark fantasy hole in our hearts when Game of Thrones comes to an end.”
The first trailer for DreamWorks Animation’sCaptain Underpants, based on the best selling Dav Pilkey series (Scholastic), was released yesterday, arriving in time to be featured before the kids movies set to dominate theaters for the next two weekends, Power Rangers andThe Boss Baby.
Dropping a hint that this may be the first of series, Dreamworks adds the words The First Epic Movie to the title. It opens in theaters on June 2.
A tie-in is being released, Official Handbook (Captain Underpants Movie) by Kate Howard on April 25, 2017 (Scholastic), but libraries may prefer to spend their money on additional copies of the original twelve-volume series.
Rising on Amazon, currently at #72, and building holds is Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries, Kory Stamper (PRH/ Pantheon; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).
The NYT ran an illustrated feature in today’s paper and online yesterday, saying that Stamper is a word-nerd cult figure, with a joyful and invested following on social media. Of they book the paper writes it:
“mixes memoiristic meditations on the lexicographic life along with a detailed description of the brain-twisting work of writing dictionaries [it] describes [Stamper’s] own initiation into the art of lexicography, which involves wrestling with the continuous evolution of language. She walks the reader, chapter by chapter, through different aspects of a definition, including grammar, pronunciation, etymology and more.”
One of the many lists soon to come, New York magazine has published their “Spring Book Preview,” a list of ten choices ranging across nonfiction and fiction, big names and new authors.
Among the big names is Joshua Ferris for The Dinner Party and Other Stories (Hachette/Little Brown; Blackstone Audio). New York magazine comments, “Ferris’s three novels have earned him a reputation as a high-concept high-wire artist … His stories, by comparison, are compact gems of timing and everyday absurdity.”
One of the debuts comes from award-winning reporter Omar El Akkad who was born in Egypt and now lives in Portland, OR. A dystopian novel set in 2074, American War (PRH/Knopf; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample), portrays a much smaller U.S., cue to global warming that “enters its second Civil War … Told through the lens of a young Southern refugee who comes of age in a time of horror … terrifying in its prescient vision of the future.”
Letterman: The Last Giant of Late Night by Jason Zinoman (Harper; HarperAudio) gets one of the nonfiction nods. The magazine says “Zinoman presents a well-rounded portrait of the late-night legend … a must-read for any comedy fan.”