Archive for the ‘Seasons’ Category

To Fox Animation

Wednesday, October 26th, 2016

9781616205676_26fc3Published in July, the middle-grade novel, The Girl who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill (Workman/Algonquin Young Readers) received rapturous reviews, including stars from KirkusPublishers WeeklySchool Library Journal and Booklist plus the NYT Sunday Review, which wrote, “Kelly Barnhill’s wonderful fourth novel … educates about oppression, blind allegiance and challenging the status quo while immersing the reader in an exhilarating story full of magical creatures and derring-do.” It also has a large number of “Much Love” ratings from booksellers and librarians on Edelweiss.

Word has made it to Hollywood. Fox Animation has picked up the movie rights. Deadline reports, it  “is expected to be a hybrid live-action/animation.”

The script will be written by Marc Haimes, co-wrote the script for the well-received adaptation, Kubo and the Two Strings.

Stephen King, Picture Book Author

Tuesday, October 25th, 2016

9781534401235_e6697To mark the upcoming film premiere of The Dark Tower, Stephen King has written children’s book, Charlie the Choo-Choo: From the world of The Dark Tower, Beryl Evans, illustrated by Ned Dameron (S&S/Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; 11/22/16).

Like J.K. Rowling’s publications of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them or The Tales of Beedle the Bard, Charlie the Choo-Choo is a fictional book mentioned in The Waste Lands, book three of the Dark Tower series. Entertainment Weekly says the book helps lead the character Jake in the direction of the Gunslinger.

It is written by “Beryl Evans” a character in the Dark Tower series and King uses that pseudonym on the cover of the real publication, under  a blurb in his own name: “If I were ever to write a children’s book, it would be just like this!”

It is illustrated by the real life artist Ned Dameron who created some of the art in King’s The Waste Lands, including, says EW, the cover of Charlie the Choo-Choo.

The picture book, about a sentient train who is best friends with his engineer Bob, first attracted attention during Comic-Con when it was offered as a real-life Easter egg for devoted fans, who stood in line, reports EW, in hopes of getting one of 150 copies signed by an actress playing the role of Evans.

The site Dread Central offers a full synopsis and six page spreads.

Hitting Screens, Week of
October 24, 2016

Monday, October 24th, 2016

mv5bmtuznte2ntkzmv5bml5banbnxkftztgwmdazotuymdi-_v1_sy1000_cr006741000_al_Only one book related film comes out this week, but it is a big one, the adaptation of Dan Brown’s Inferno.

Ron Howard and Tom Hanks both return to the film series with Howard directing and Hanks starring once more as Robert Langdon. Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything, Rogue One), Irrfan Khan (Jurassic World, Life of Pi), Omar Sy (The Intouchables), and Ben Foster (Lone Survivor) also star.

Thus far reviews are not great. The Guardian calls it “horrifically dull” and “fantastically boring” and adds the “story and character … are as flat as old, cold pancakes.”

Variety agrees, writing “the film more or less goes through the popcorn motions, but with less technical finesse (and even less mischievous irony) than one might expect from the Howard imprint.”

The Wrap says “Absurdity outweighs the thrills in Ron Howard‘s lifeless three-quel, a movie that’s not at all good — but never so bad as to be entertaining.”

In a pan of both book and film, The Telegraph writes “Ron Howard and Tom Hanks do perfect justice to Dan Brown’s book – tragically.”

9781101974117_345a0There are multiple tie-ins:

Inferno (Movie Tie-in Edition), Dan Brown
Trade Paperback, (PRH/Anchor)
Mass Market, (PRH/Anchor)
Audio CD (PRH/Random House Audio)
Inferno (Movie Tie-in edition en Espanyol), (PRH/ Vintage Espanyol)

As we have previously posted, Brown’s next Robert Langdon book will be Origin (PRH/Doubleday; Sep 26, 2017; ISBN 9780385514231), the fifth in the series.

The movie premieres on October 28, 2016.

From the Tolkien Vault

Sunday, October 23rd, 2016

berenandluthienBeren and Lúthien, the star-crossed lovers of J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Silmarillion, will have their own book reports Entertainment Weekly, Beren and Lúthien, edited by Christopher Tolkien (HMH, May 4, 2017). [Note: The cover, left, is from the UK edition, published there by HarperCollins.]

As describes the story “Beren, a mortal man, falls in love with the elf Lúthien, thus inspiring legends and songs, as well as providing a model for the love of Aragorn and Arwen during the events of The Lord of the Rings.”

The Bookseller reports the story “has evolved since it was first written in 1917, and has been reworked in various forms, including poetry. To reflect this, the new book opens with Tolkien’s original text, before including passages from later texts that rework the tale.”

The book is edited by Tolkien’s son and will feature illustrations by Alan Lee, who won an Academy Award for his work on the third film of The Lord of the Rings cycle. He has also won the World Fantasy Award and the Kate Greenaway Medal.

The tale was personally important to Tolkien, reports Entertainment Weekly, so much so that the gravestone for the author and his wife refer to them as Beren and Lúthien. offers a introduction to Lúthien, calling her “Tolkien’s Badass Elf Princess.”

For those who recall the films, Aragorn sings the song of Lúthien in the first movie:


Sunday, October 23rd, 2016

9781501145247_4fd79There have been several books about the Notorious RBG, also known as Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The first book written by her, appropriately titled, My Own Words (Simon & Schuster; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample) debuts on this week’s hardcover NYT nonfiction best seller list.

She was the focus of the most recent edition of the NewsHour Bookshelf. Gwen Ifill interviews Ginsburg, opening with a question on how she became a cult icon.

Ginsburg says it has been “utterly amazing” and credits a second year law student at NYU who started the Notorious RBG Tumbler blog, posting Ginsburg’s dissent to the gutting of the Voting Rights Act (that post eventually led to a book, Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik, HarperCollins/Dey Street Books, an unexpected hit last year).

Ifill says her reputation as a “folk hero” also has something to do with the way she writes and takes on her colleagues.

Ginsburg also says that until Jimmy Carter’s presidency it was unrealistic that a woman could ever be appointed to the Supreme Court. When she graduated there was not a single woman on any Federal bench. Carter, although he never got to appoint a Supreme Court Justice, changed that by appointing women to the Federal bench, paving the way for Ginsburg.

As we noted earlier, Ginsburg wears a special collar when she is on the dissenting side. The end of the PBS piece reveals she wears a gold lace one when she is with the majority opinion.

Holds to copies are not huge, but some systems are showing spikes of 5:1 ratios.

Titles to Know and Recommend, Week of October 24, 2016

Friday, October 21st, 2016

9780385541190_51f85  9781250075970_c0f3d9781451687569_700e7

The latest John Grisham thriller, The Whistler (PRH/Doubleday; RH Audio/BOT), arrives this week. As a result, it’s a week avoided by most other big name authors. Even James Patterson has only one title arriving and it’s for kids, Middle School: Dog’s Best Friend (Hachette/jimmy patterson; Blackstone; OverDrive Sample), which hits shelves while the film adaptation of the first book is still in theaters. Grisham will appear on the upcoming CBS Sunday Morning and, on the day of publication, on CBS This Morning.

Grisham hasn’t scared off Iris Johansen, publishing the fourth in her Kendra Michaels series, Night Watch (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Press; OverDrive Sample), or the queen of Christian fiction, Karen Kingsbury, releasing another Christmas novel, A Baxter Family Christmas (S&S/Howard Books; S&S; OverDrive Sample).

1484722868_21e0eIn picture books, Nanette’s Baguette by the Caldecott-honor recipient Mo Willems (Hachette/Disney-Hyperion), is set in a French village, where a young frog is entrusted with buying bread for her mother for the first time. Expect a host of rhymes on the title, of course.

9781484741603_96a6fIn kids graphic novels, Eoin Colfer (Artemis Fowl) takes on an iconic superhero in Iron Man: The Gauntlet (Hachette/Marvel Press; OverDrive Sample), part of Marvel’s series that enlists well-known children’s authors to create books based on their characters. Kirkus says Colfer “successfully captures the vulnerability and infuriatingly seductive arrogance of Stark, who polices the world to atone for his father’s sins. Ideal for readers who are breathlessly awaiting the next film in the Marvel superhero franchise.”

These titles, and those highlighted below, along with other notable titles arriving next week, are listed with ordering information and alternate formats on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of Oct. 24.

Media Attention

9781501128516_77174  9781101907474_90b2e  9780385530866_6f54f

Wild And Precious Life, Deborah Ziegler (S&S/Atria/Emily Bestler Books; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample).

When Brittany Maynard, who was suffering from terminal brain cancer, wrote an op/ed piece in 2014 titled “My right to death with dignity at 29,” the story was heavily covered by the news media. It was just announced that her husband is working with a film company on a movie about her life. Her mother is publishing a book next week, and was interviewed by Katie Couric on Yahoo News. The author is also scheduled to appear on CBS Inside Edition on Oct. 31.

Not Dead Yet, Phil Collins (PRH/Crown/Archetype; RH Audio/BOTOverDrive Sample).

The musician will be profiled on the upcoming CBS Sunday Morning. He is also set for appearances next week on The ViewThe Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and The Daily Show w/ Trevor Noah as well as on NPR’s All Things Considered (date not yet set).

A Lowcountry Heart: Reflections on a Writing Life, Pat Conroy (PRH/ Nan A. Talese; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

A collection of pieces by the author who died earlier this year, it is a Parade Pick, with an online excerpt. 

Fall Cookbooks 

9780307464897_b7caa  9780062409959_232f5  9780547614847_b3bf7

It’s the big cookbook season and several titles featured in the “Best of the Rest” addendum to the NYT‘s The Best Cookbooks of Fall 2016 arrive. Ina Garten will receive media attention for Cooking for Jeffrey: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook (RH/Clarkson Potter; OverDrive Sample) including appearances on the Today Show and even Late Night with Seth Meyers.

Anthony Bourdain releases his first cookbook in over ten years, Appetites (HC/Ecco) and Dorie Greenspan turns her attention to a deceptively simple delicacy in Dorie’s Cookies (HMH/Rux Martin; OverDrive Sample).

9780553459586_dd444French Country Cooking: Meals and Moments from a Village in the Vineyards, Mimi Thorisson (PRH/Clarkson Potter; OverDrive Sample).

Popular food blogger Mimi Thorisson lived out many people’s fantasies by restoring a large house in the French countryside and creating a life that allows Thorisson and her husband to pursue their passions, hers for cooking, his for photography and their shared passion for restoring old houses. This book, which follows last year’s A Kitchen in France, is as much a travel book as a cookbook, will be featured in the NYT Travel section. She has already been profiled in the Wall Street Journal [subscription maybe required].

Peer Picks

After last week’s many titles, comes a quieter period with only four peer picks forthcoming, all of them Indie Next selections for November.

9780062349408_dea3aThe Terranauts, T.C. Boyle (HC/Ecco; Harper Audio).

“In the early 1990s, a grand experiment began in the Arizona desert to determine if human life could be sustained in an engineered, sealed ecological system. The mission failed spectacularly, but fiction gives it another chance in this riveting story of eight scientists who commit to live under glass for two years. They battle hunger, fatigue, and isolation, but the real drama is personal. The story is told through the voices of three distinct narrators — two heating things up on the inside and one nursing resentments outside the glass walls. Master storyteller Boyle entertains, but never slips into schlock. He writes with wit and perspicacity on both human relations and ecology, and this novel is among his best.” —Sharon Flesher, Brilliant Books, Traverse City, MI

Additional Buzz: It is a Fall Reading choice from the Amazon Editors, io9, New York Magazine, and WSJ. The Washington Post compares the novel to the actual Biosphere 2 experiment and BuzzFeed includes it among the “24 Brilliant Books You Must Read This Autumn.” Boyle stops by The New Yorker Radio Hour to “pick three” things he is interested in right now – a musician, a YouTube series, and the book Winter World by Bernd Heinrich.

9780735222113_942abYou Will Not Have My Hate, Antoine Leiris (PRH/Penguin; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

“This slender tome began as a social media viral sensation. Shortly after the terrorist attacks in Paris in November 2015, a husband and father wrote an open letter to the perpetrators of those attacks, stating time and again that they would not have his hate, despite the fact that he lost his wife and the mother of their infant son. This memoir closely follows the hours after the attack, chronicling Leiris’ thoughts and emotions for the next several days up through the funeral for his wife. Though brief, this is a powerful meditation on grief and resilience and the importance of building a legacy of forgiveness for his son.” —Emily Crowe, Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, MA

Additional Buzz: Elle picked it as a Fall Reading choice, calling it a “bracing, courageous, and utterly beautiful book.” The Guardian calls it a book of “exceptional grace.Vogue offers an excerpt.

9781496705518_e3f56The Education of Dixie Dupree, Donna Everhart (PRH/Kensington; Tantor; OverDrive Sample).

“This debut novel is a page-turner from the very beginning. In a story of a family filled with pain, deceit, lies, and dark secrets across generations, Everhart allows readers to feel everything her young narrator, Dixie, must endure. For me, the mark of a good book is that I find myself thinking about it after I have finished reading, and The Education of Dixie Dupree will be with me for a long while.” —Mary O’Malley, Anderson’s Bookshop, Naperville, IL

Additional Buzz: Bustle counts it as one of their “21 Novels By Women To Add To Your TBR Pile This Fall.”

9781936787258_8d2baAm I Alone Here?: Notes on Living to Read and Reading to Live, Peter Orner (Catapult).

“From beloved novelist and short-story writer Peter Orner comes a collection of essays on the reading life. Orner considers Chekhov in a hospital cafeteria, Welty on a remote island. He also throws Julian Barnes out the window of a moving car — after all, who would trust a man who only talked about what he loved? Behind and around and between these meditations flit the ghosts of the author’s life: his late father, his lost marriage, his self-deprecating take on his own career. The result is a book overflowing with charm — wry, delectable, and laugh-out-loud funny. Orner is a writer’s writer, but he is also a reader’s reader. Am I Alone Here? is an absolute treasure.” —Mairead Staid, Literati Bookstore, Ann Arbor, MI


9781501161803_4504fThe Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger, Stephen King (S&S/Pocket Books; OverDrive Sample), a tie-in edition for the upcoming film, hits shelves this week.

Nikolaj Arcel directs the adaptation of Stephen King’s epic dark fantasy series, which stars Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey.

The film opens on February 17, 2017. As of yet, there is no preview or official film poster. There is, however, a great deal of buzz. See our additional coverage here, here, and here.

9781250135735_e0cd7A Street Cat Named Bob: And How He Saved My Life, James Bowen (Macmillan/A Thomas Dunne Book for St. Martin’s Griffin; OverDrive Sample) is the tie-in edition for the film adaptation of the same name.

The story follows a homeless man who adopts a street cat. In turn, the cat helps him turn his life around. Directed by Roger Spottiswoode and starring Bob the cat along with Luke Treadaway, Ruta Gedmintas, Joanne Froggatt (Downton Abbey), and Anthony Head, it opens Nov. 11, 2016.

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

WOLVERINE, The Golden Years

Friday, October 21st, 2016

After several variations on the superhero genre, comes the latest, the grim and aging superhero.

The final in the Wolverine X-Men spinoff movies, Logan arrives on March 3rd. Entertainment Weekly unpacks 5 takeaways from the brief trailer.

9781302904630_9cee2Following the release of the trailer yesterday, a collection of the comics the film is based on by Mark Millar soared up Amazon’s sales rankings. Originally released in 2010, it is being reissued next year.

Wolverine: Old Man Logan, Mark Millar and Steve McNiven, (Hachette/Marvel; reissue of 2010, pub date, 2/14/17)

Vol. 2 Sneak Peek

Thursday, October 20th, 2016

Marvel’s quirky 2014 superhero film, Guardians of the Galaxy, was such a surprise hit that it required a sequel so fans can be hooked on even more feelings.

The first look sneak peek debuted today:

It lit up the Internet with commentary.

E News says the second in the series “picks up two months after 2014’s original Guardians chronicled their mission to stop an intergalactic force from destroying the universe.” CinemaBlend expands on that, saying the plot features “Peter Quill a.k.a. Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) reunited with his father … [the] script will hit on important subjects regarding family, where you come from, and how that affects who you are.”

Director James Gunn makes it clear that the 90 seconds dropped today is just the start, tweeting, “To make it clear: the sneak peek just released is NOT a teaser-for-the-trailer; it’s a totally separate piece from the eventual trailer(s).”

mv5bmtu5ntgxmzq1of5bml5banbnxkftztgwnja3mtczmdi-_v1_sy1000_cr006741000_al_The new movie poster also drew comments for its style, “it’s downright dripping in the kind of confident, throwback attitude audiences expect” says ScreenRant.

Expect vol. 2 to also be a moneymaker. Says Forbes, “anyone betting against Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 being one of the summer’s very biggest hits is playing a fool’s game.”

Marvel is publishing tie-ins, including the following (for a full list see our catalog of current and upcoming tie-ins).

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Prelude, Marvel Comics, Ages 9 And Up, Grades 4 to 17 (Hachette/Marvel; April 18, 2017).

MARVEL’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: Deluxe Junior Novel, Marvel , Ages 8 to 12, Grades 3 to 7, (Hachette/Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; April 4, 2017)

Marvel Guardians of the Galaxy: The Ultimate Guide to the Cosmic Outlaws, Nick Jones,  Ages 7 to 10, Grades 2 to 5 (PRH/DK; April 4, 2017)

9780785198345_38148The comics series has been through many iterations and different teams of Guardians over the last 40 years. The movies are based on the 2008 series by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning. Screenwriter Nicole Perlman, interviewed on Marvel’s Web site, recounted how, as part of  Marvel Studios writer’s program, she picked the obscure series to develop because it was “more like a space opera, and a very funny, sarcastic and tongue-in-cheek version of this kind of genre.” As a result, she became the first woman to receive screenwriting credit for a Marvel movie.

A new collection of Abnett/Lanning series will be published in May. In addition, DK is publishing a history of the comics from their introduction in 1969:

Marvel Guardians of the Galaxy: The Ultimate Guide to the Cosmic OutlawsNick Jones, Ages 7 to 10, Grades 2 to 5, (PRH/DK) — a history of the comics series.

Middle School Doom Takes Off

Thursday, October 20th, 2016

9780062398796_5449dRising on Amazon’s sales rankings is Frazzled: Everyday Disasters and Impending Doom, Booki Vivat (HarperCollins; HC Audio; OverDrive Sample), a debut novel about middle schooler Abbie Wu who is full of worries.

The book is soaring up the charts on the strength of an NPR feature on All Things Considered, moving from #6,572 to #76.

Vivat tells NPR that the highly illustrated novel was born from her own daily planners which she fills with images and doodles.

Through what she calls “a series of very fortunate events” her planners ended up in the hands of a HarperCollins editor who found an “illustration that I had done in a moment of extreme crisis and very dramatic emotion that read, I live my life in a constant state of impending doom. And she pointed to the girl in that picture and said, there’s a story here; that’s our girl.”

Abbie, that very anxious girl, starts sixth grade full of doubts about what her “thing” will be, “The thing that makes her who she is, the thing that everyone knows her for, her capital-T thing.”

She does not find it in the first book, but she does manage to start an “underground lunch revolution” and set things up for a cliffhanger ending that will be followed up by a Frazzled two.

The Nightmare Behind TRUEVINE

Wednesday, October 19th, 2016

9780316337540_bff94Journalist Beth Macy talked about her new book, Truevine: Two Brothers, a Kidnapping, and a Mother’s Quest: A True Story of the Jim Crow South (Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample) on NPR’s Fresh Air yesterday.

Already listed as a finalist for the Carnegie Medal and the Kirkus Prize and an October Indie Next selection, Variety reports that negotiations are underway to acquire screen rights as “a potential starring vehicle for Leonardo DiCaprio.” The NYT and USA Today offer recent reviews, with Janet Maslin of the NYT‘s calling it an “expert work of nonfiction” and USA Today writing “Macy’s conscientious reporting … and her vigorous storytelling make the saga … even more enthralling than fiction.” The Washingtonian has an illustrated excerpt.

Fresh Air host Terry Gross says the book, which follows the true story of two young black albino brothers, who were exhibited in a traveling freak show, helps explore “a larger story about race, class and entertainment in the first half of the 20th century.”

Macy’s previous book, Factory Man, was also admired by Maslin who said it is “in a class with other runaway debuts like Laura Hillenbrand’s Seabiscuit and Katherine Boo’s Behind the Beautiful Forevers … Ms. Macy writes so vigorously that she hooks you instantly. You won’t be putting this book down.” The book was not quite as popular as the comparisons. It debuted at #10 on the New York Times Hardcover Non-fiction Best Sellers list during its first week on sale, remained on the main list for 3 weeks, and continued on the extended list for 4 more weeks.

As we reported earlier, Tom Hanks’s production company, Playtone, had plans to adapt Factory Man for an HBO mini-series, but there has been no news on the project since.

Zadie Smith: The Interview

Tuesday, October 18th, 2016


One of the most heavily anticipated literary events of this fall is Zadie Smith’s new novel, Swing Time (PRH/Penguin; Penguin Audio/BOT), set for release on Nov. 15. Previewed on the majority of the fall reading lists, it a Carnegie Medal Longlist title, and a LibraryReads selection for November, with the following annotation:

“Spanning over twenty years and two continents, Smith’s new novel is a charming account of one woman’s coming-of-age. Smith’s unnamed narrator, a mixed-race child lives in one of London’s many low-end housing units.  She meets Tracey and the two are bonded over the shared experience of being poor and ‘brown’ in a class that is predominantly white. As the two stumble towards womanhood, the differences become more stark and divisive, and their friendship is fractured by Tracey’s final, unforgivable act. This book will appeal to lovers of character-driven fiction.” — Jennifer Wilson, Delphi Public Library, Delphi, IN

This week’s NYT‘s Style Magazine T, gets a jump on the more literary media, featuring an interview with the author by fellow novelist Jeffrey Eugenides. The two have clearly been friends for some time, resulting in an interview that comes across as an intimate, personal, somewhat confessional conversation.

Some highlights:

Smith says that therapy which has helped her write more confidently and in new ways, allowing her to use the first person voice in Swing Time, “I’ve always felt very cringe-y about myself … It did seem to me, when I was a kid and also now that I’m a grown-up writer, that a lot of male writers have a certainty that I have never been able to have. I kept on thinking I would grow into it, but I’m never sure I’m doing the right thing.”

About Swing Time Eugenides says “Like the black-and-white musicals that feature in its pages, the book is a play of light and dark — at once an assertion of physicality and an illusion … The novel cloaks existential dread beneath the brightest of intensities.”

Much of the profile is about her search for and expressions of identity. Of her own self, Smith says she aspires to be more like Darryl Pinckney, who “claims the freedom” of just being himself “in all his extreme particularity.” Eugenides responds that she “already seems that way” to him. After a pause she replies, “Oh” and the interview ends.

Accompanying the article is a video of Smith in the first person.

The Boss Baby Will See You Now

Tuesday, October 18th, 2016

Boss BabySomeone had amazing foresight when they decided to hire Alec Baldwin to voice the Baby in DreamWorks Animation’s adaptation of Marla Frazee’s Boss Baby (S&S/Beach Lane, 2010).

The trailer has just been released and, naturally, allusions are being made to the host of The Apprentice.

Directed by Tom McGrath (Madagascar), it also features the voices of Jimmy Kimmel and Lisa Kudrow as the Baby’s parents. It is set for release well after the election, on March 31.

The movie is described as “inspired” by Frazee’s picture book and adds several story lines. The tie-in, coming in February, is a novelization of the movie script:

The Boss Baby Junior Novelization
Tracey West
S&S/ Simon Spotlight
February 14, 2017
Hardcover and trade paperback

Hitting Screens, Week of October 17, 2016

Monday, October 17th, 2016

9780399593260_eb228Three films open this coming weekend, including Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, starring Tom Cruise, in the second adaptation of Lee Child’s Reacher series.

The first Reacher film, One Shot, was not well reviewed, and many considered Cruise mis-cast, but it did well enough at the box office to keep the series going.

Tie-in: Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (Movie Tie-in Edition), Lee Child (PRH/Bantam; RH Audio/BOT; also in Mass Market; OverDrive Sample).

9780525432838_3d31bActor Ewan McGregor makes his directorial debut with an adaptation of Philip Roth’s Pulitzer Prize-winning 1997 novel, American Pastoral. McGregor also stars along with Dakota Fanning, Jennifer Connelly, Rupert Evans and Valorie Curry. After a limited release this weekend, it will open in more theaters on Oct. 28,

IndieWire‘s critical roundup reports “Critics have described the film as yet another ill-advised Roth adaptation and more proof that the writer’s work doesn’t translate well to the screen, save for James Schamus’ Indignation released earlier this year.”

But Deadline Hollywood is more positive saying, the film is “unquestionably is awards bait –a remarkable directorial debut for Scottish-born McGregor, who brings a unique outsider’s view to an especially turbulent time in America. Fanning will surprise fans with a performance that is different than anything we have seen from her before. Having gotten an early look at the film I can attest it is sure to spark talk.”

Tie-in: American Pastoral (MTI): American Trilogy (1), Philip Roth (PRH/Vintage; OverDrive Sample).

mv5bmtg2nti5mtmwnl5bml5banbnxkftztgwodm5mdy1ote-_v1_sy1000_cr006741000_al_The Handmaiden an adaptation of the Sarah Waters novel Fingersmith, transports the British Victorian setting to 1930s Korea.

It stars Ha Jung-woo, Kim Min-hee, Jo Jin-woong and Kim Tae-ri and is directed by Park Chan-wook.

Variety says it is “clever, heady and sensually lavish to a fault … Boasting more tangled plots and bodies than an octopus has tentacles, South Korean auteur Park Chan-wook’s The Handmaiden is a bodice-ripper about a pickpocket who poses as a maid to swindle a sequestered heiress. His first Korean-language fiction feature since 2009’s Thirst, it’s sybaritic, cruel and luridly mesmerizing.”

A tie-in has not been released.

This is the second adaptation of the novel. The first was a 2005 BBC production. It has also been produced as a stage play.

9781501164675_a1626Two TV series begin this week as well, starting with Chance, a new Hulu series based on Kem Nunn’s novel of the same title.

It has some powerhouse names attached says Slashfilm: Hugh Laurie stars. Lenny Abrahamson (Room) is the executive producer and directed some episodes. Nunn and Alexandra Cunningham (Desperate Housewives) created the series.

Laurie plays Dr. Eldon Chance, a San Francisco-based forensic neuropsychiatrist, who, says Slashfilm “ventures outside of his area of expertise with a stolen identity plot, corrupt police, and a mysterious patient (Gretchen Mol).”

CNN says the show “owes a spiritual debt to Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo” and that it is “mildly watchable and tense, but well short of riveting.”

Ethan Suplee (The Wolf of Wall Street), Clarke Peters (Treme), Paul Adelstein (Intolerable Cruelty), and Greta Lee (Homeless Heidi from High Maintenance) co-star.

Hulu has ordered two seasons. USA Today reports the first season, running 10 episodes, is based on the novel. Nunn told the paper, “The book has a lot of good jumping-off places in it … It’s a voyage of discovery.”

A tie-in came out last week: Chance MTI, Kem Nunn (S&S/Scribner; Dreamscape Audio; OverDrive Sample).

The series premieres on Oct. 19.

mv5bmtu3mdkznzm5nf5bml5banbnxkftztgwmzeyntgymdi-_v1_Airing on Oct. 22nd is Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency. The BBC America series stars Elijah Wood and Samuel Barnett and follows the pair as they investigate supernatural cases.

It is an adaptation of Douglas Adams’s 1987 humorous detective novel of the same name.

The series creator and screenwriter Max Landis told Entertainment Weekly that “this show is about someone who doesn’t really know what he’s doing.” Showrunner Robert Cooper said “It’s a combination of Supernatural, Sherlock, and Doctor Who. We’re like, Super-Sher-Who.”

There are several connected titles available, but the nearest to a tie-in is: Dirk Gently’s Big Holistic Graphic Novel, Chris Ryall, Arvind Ethan David, Tony Akins, and Ilias Kyriazis (IDW).


Monday, October 17th, 2016

mv5bmjqxotkxoduyn15bml5banbnxkftztgwntu3ntm3ote-_v1_sy1000_cr006741000_al_Originally scheduled for release in mid-January, the film adaptation Hidden Figures will arrive in theaters earlier, opening in limited release on Christmas Day indicating the producers think it has a shot at the Oscars.

As we earlier noted, the film stars Taraji P. Henson (whose newly-released memoir, Around the Way Girl, S&S/Atria, is making Hollywood news), Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe as a group of African American women who worked at NASA in Langley, Virginia on the mission that sent John Glenn into space in 1962. Also in the cast are Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Parsons, Mahershala Ali, Aldis Hodge and Glen Powell.

9780062363596_b2357Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race, Margot Lee Shetterly (HarperCollins/Morrow; HarperLuxe; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample), hit the NYT Nonfiction list at #7 in September with the paper featuring the author in  “The Story Behind This Week’s Best Sellers,” quoting Shetterly on her experience growing up: “I knew so many African-Americans working in science, math and engineering that I thought that’s just what black folks did.”

The film was the subject of a clever bit of creative marketing during the recent Toronto International Film Festival, according to The Hollywood Reporter, where a special concert with “Pharrell Williams and other performing artists involved with the movie’s soundtrack” accompanied a screening of “exclusive footage” and a Q&A session with the high powered stars.

The book will be released in paperback in December. Two young readers editions, for ages 8 to 12,  are also scheduled, in hardcover and paperback.

She Writes The Songs

Monday, October 17th, 2016

9781501153266_2f05aCBS Sunday Morning featured lyricist Carole Bayer Sager on her memoir, They’re Playing Our Song (S&S; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample).

Sager wrote such famous song as Carly Simon’s “Nobody Does It Better,” Melissa Manchester’s “Don’t Cry Out Loud,” and Dionne Warwick’s “That’s What Friends Are For.”

She has been writing hits for more than 50 years and thinks a good lyric “is one that touches me, and therefore I feel it’ll touch you.” Most recently she co-wrote the song “Stronger Together” which closed the Democratic National Convention.

For all her success, which includes a hit Broadway musical, an Oscar, and a Grammy, Sager lived a rocky life, raised by “a domineering mother” and married multiple times, including to the distant Burt Bacharach.

She tells CBS’s Rita Braver that she has finally settled in to a loving marriage and has an appreciative outlook, saying “I do feel so extraordinarily grateful that I got to do what I love to do in this life, and I was rewarded for it … I would have done it for nothing.”

CBS Sunday Morning posts some web exclusives to accompany the profile, including an excerpt from the memoir describing creating the hit theme from the movie Arthur, more on her marriage to Bacharach, and her views on aging.

Separately, New York magazine posts an excerpt from the book that describes writing a son with Bob Dylan.