Archive for the ‘2016 — Summer’ Category

To The Movies: HILLBILLY ELEGY

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

9780062300546_9dafbRon Howard’s Imagine Entertainment production company has won the film rights to Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis (Harper; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample), reports Deadline Hollywood. Howard will direct.

Vance’s memoir arrived as the presidential campaign was heating up. The media embraced his sympathetic portrait of life in the Rust Belt as an explanation for the deep divides that drove the election. As a result of growing media attention, the book landed on best seller lists several weeks after publication. It is currently #2 on the NYT Hardcover Nonfiction list after 36 weeks.

It came to define what Slate‘s Laura Miller calls a new genre of nonfiction, the on-the-ground Trump explainer … illuminating the desperation driving white small-town Americans, as told by a native son.” She calls Vance’s book the genre’s “vanguard title.”

In a statement, Imagine describes it as “a powerful, true coming-of-age memoir … Through the lens of a colorful, chaotic family and with remarkable compassion and self-awareness, J.D. has been able to look back on his own upbringing as a ‘hillbilly’ to illuminate the plight of America’s white working class, speaking directly to the turmoil of our current political climate.”

MIDNIGHT, TEXAS Premiere Date

Monday, March 20th, 2017

The NBC series adapting Charlaine Harris’s Midnight, Texas trilogy will air in late summer. It will introduce viewers to the world Bustle calls “Twin Peaks with vampires” on Tuesday, July 25, 10-11 p.m.

François Arnaud (The Borgias) stars as Manfred, described by Deadline as “a charming, powerful psychic who can communicate with spirits and finds safety in Midnight [the fictional town in Texas] surrounding himself with both human and supernatural allies.” Dylan Bruce (Orphan Black), Parisa Fitz-Henley (Luke Cage), Arielle Kebbel (The Vampire Diaries), Jason Lewis (Sex and the City), Peter Mensah (True Blood), Sarah Ramos (Parenthood), and Yul Vazquez (Captain Phillips) are also in the cast.

9780425263167_2a8829780425263204_791d69780425263235_1a388

 

 

 

 

 

The trilogy includes:

Midnight Crossroads (PRH/Ace, 2014; Recorded Books; OverDrive Sample)

Day Shift (PRH/Ace, 2015; Recorded Books; OverDrive Sample)

Night Shift (PRH/Ace, 2016; Recorded Books; OverDrive Sample)

Tor. com gives the summary:

“the story is wacky, ya’ll. Immensely wacky, but, like, in a fun way. Midnight Crossroad starts off as a book about a pawnshop owner’s dead girlfriend and turns into a murder conspiracy involving white supremacists. Day Shift is ostensibly about the suspicious circumstances in which one of Manfred’s clients [he is the psychic] dies and ends up with a pack of weretigers wandering through town and vampires hunting a telepath visiting his grandpappy. Night Shift goes from people and animals killing themselves at the crossroads to a magic sex ritual with a pitstop at a subplot with a hangry Etruscan-literate vampire.”

A new trailer adds a bit more to first one, released in October:

GalleyChat, Nov. 1

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

Join us today to find out which galleys fellow librarians are loving –
4 to 5 p.m. ET (3:30 for virtual cocktails)

Follow along below, and add your comments by clicking on the blue button at the bottom (it will enter #ewgc for you automatically). Refresh the page to see new tweets.

GIRL WHO DRANK THE MOON
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.

LUKE CAGE: To Watch and To Read

Sunday, October 2nd, 2016

mv5bmtcymzc1mji5mf5bml5banbnxkftztgwmze4ody2ote-_v1_sy1000_cr007041000_al_The premiere of Netflix’s new 13-episode Luke Cage series, based on the Marvel comics’ character, was so successful that it may have caused the streaming service to go down for two hours on Saturday.

The NYT television critic offers a lukewarm take on the new run, but he is in the minority. Most other critics agree with Deadline Hollywood which calls it “one of the most socially relevant and smartest shows on the small screen you will see this year.”

New York magazine calls the comic book Cage “one of the most important black characters in sequential art,” noting, however, that over his 44-year history, Marvel struggled to “make the character relevant in a world where conceptions of black characters in American pop culture were rapidly evolving.”

screen-shot-2016-09-30-at-12-02-06-pmCharting the character’s evolution in “5 Comics to Read Before You Watch Luke Cage,” New York magazine writes that the first stories, collected in Luke Cage, Hero For Hire vol. 1, represent “Marvel Comics’ blatant attempt to cash in on the Blaxploitation craze.” As a result, the collection is “somewhat awkward to read today, with its urban patois (penned by white men, of course) and simplistic depictions of avarice.”

The Netflix series is quite the opposite. As the show’s creator Ched Hodari Coulter tells Wired magazine in a cover feature on the series, “There have been African ­American super­heroes on our screens before—such as Wesley Snipes’ titular turn in Blade—but Luke Cage is the first to be surrounded by an almost completely black cast and writing team and whose powers and challenges are so explicitly linked to the black experience in America.”

A collection of comics featuring the character was released in August,  Luke Cage: Avenger, (Marvel).

Holds Alert: ATLAS OBSCURA

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

9780761169086_ff360A gazetteer to the “the weird, the unexpected, the overlooked, the hidden and the mysterious” places of the planet, from a 40-year old sound instillation still humming away in Times Square to a tree in South Africa with a pub inside, is rising on Amazon’s sales rankings and in holds as a result of a round of media attention.

Atlas Obscura: An Explorer’s Guide to the World’s Hidden Wonders by Joshua Foer, Dylan Thuras, and Ella Morton (Workman; OverDrive Sample) is drawn from the website which has been described as “National Geographic for millennials.”

One of the authors provides a tour of Manhattan’s astounding places for NPR’s All Things Considered, taking host Ari Shapiro on a path through of the city’s little known wonders such as an apartment filled with earth and an elegant, but abandoned, subway station.

The coverage helped launch the atlas into Amazon’s top 10 sellers.

Public radio is big on the book. In an earlier story for NPR’s 13.7: Cosmos & Culture, a blog about science and culture, an essayist writes,

“The human brain seems to love lists and, at its core, Atlas Obscura is a text-rich, prettily illustrated, brick of a list. It invites us to compose fantasy travel lists of our own, or seek places we’ve already traveled to that have made the cut … Fair warning: It’s addictive.”

Back in 2015, PRI’s The Takeaway featured the website’s creation of a detailed literary map of road trips across America and discusses the ways different authors over time have described the same landscapes.

While the site has been running for a couple of years, it is just now gaining mainstream attention. A recent article in the Washingtonian provides background on the site and its mission, “to delight you, then get you off your couch and out into the world.”

Despite its 100,000 copy initial printing and enthusiastic prepub reviews from LJ and Booklist, libraries have bought it very modestly or not at all and holds are soaring on the few copies purchased.

Late Night Literati

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

9780385542364_b2a61Last night, Seth Meyers turned his attention from celebrities to an author he’s been a “fan of for a long time,” Colson Whitehead and his book The Underground Railroad (PRH/Doubleday; RH Audio; BOT).

Although he features authors on his show relatively rarely, Meyers is known for reading widely and for personally selecting the books he features.

The book is currently at #2 on the New York Times Hardcover Fiction best seller list, after 5 weeks.

First segment:

Click here for the second segment.

Readers’ Advisory: OBELISK GATE

Friday, August 19th, 2016

9780316229265_28d13A rising star in the SF and fantasy world, N.K Jemisin just received a glowing review on NPR’s book site for the second in her Broken Earth trilogy, The Obelisk Gate (Hachette/Orbit; OverDrive Sample).

The new novel picks “up right where that first book left off” says NPR reviewer Amal El-Mohtart, “plunging us deep into the Evil Earth and all its machinations after the first” (The Fifth Season). She continues, it “pole-vaults over the expectations I had for what epic fantasy should be and stands in magnificent testimony to what it could be.”

The SF site, Tor.com has different take on the book, writing “The Obelisk Gate is small and safe where The Fifth Season was large and surprising.” It happens that El-Mohtart also writes for Tor.com and begins a short exchange with their reviewer in the comments section, helping RA librarians by speculating that reading both books back-to-back might affect a readers perception.

io9 sides with El-Mohtart regardless of reading order. They featured the book in their August list of “15 Must-Read” titles for the month.

The Fantasy fan world initially took note of the author when she won the Locus award in the first novel category for The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. Her profile rose even higher when The Fifth Season was shortlisted for the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus awards. It also hit many best books lists for the year, including the New York Times and the Washington Post‘s.

Librarians new to Jemisin might want to read The Guardian‘s 2015 profile, which says her books “are about multicultural, complex worlds that stand out in a field that has been traditionally dominated by white men.”

She is known for elaborate world-building, her unique settings, far beyond the typical locales for Fantasy, and her strong point of view. As The Guardian puts it, “Stereotypical fantasy series like, say, The Lord of the Rings, usually present a virtuous status quo threatened by a dark and eventually defeated outsider. But Jemisin’s stories almost always involve a flawed order, and the efforts (also flawed) to overthrow it.”

The Invisible Zoo

Friday, August 19th, 2016

9780062368591_892eaI Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life by Ed Yong (HC/Ecco; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample) is rising on Amazon after getting the Fresh Air bump, moving from #570 to now sitting firmly within the top 50 at #41.

Host Terry Gross talked with the author, Ed Yong, a writer at the The Atlantic and for National Geographic‘s “science salon,” Phenomena. The early part of the interview is a not-for-dinner-table conversation about fecal transplants and “fake poop.” It then moves to a more wide ranging and fascinating exploration of what the microbiome and its nearly countless numbers do.

One intriguing outtake is the fact that humans have evolved so that the sugars in breast milk feed the microbes in a baby’s stomach, sugars specifically meant for the microbe as the baby cannot digest them. Yong says “So breast milk isn’t just a way of nourishing an infant. It’s a way of nourishing babies’ first microbes. It’s really a way of engineering an entire world inside a baby’s body. You know, breastfeeding mother is a sculptor of ecosystems.”

There is also a microbe called Wolbachia that “allows some caterpillars that eat leaves to stop the leaves from turning yellow. It actually holds back the progress of fall so that … its hosts can have more to eat.”

To close the interview Gross asks Yong what he thinks about now that he knows about the microbiome multitudes and he says,

“all this biology which I thought I knew, all these creatures, these elephants and hawks and fish that I was fascinated by, these things I could see with my eyes, are actually deeply and profoundly influenced by things that I cannot see. And I know that if I go to a zoo now that every animal and every visitor in that zoo is in fact a zoo in its own right.”

The Daily Show Bounce Is Back
for HOMEGOING

Wednesday, August 17th, 2016

9781101947135_40918Trevor Noah took over hosting The Daily Show from Jon Stewart last year. His predecessor was beloved by publishers for the many writers he featured on the show and for the resulting bumps in sales of their books.

Noah has not followed in those footsteps. While he has featured writers, they have been the usual late show mix of well known comedians and politicians who just happen to have written books and those appearances have rarely produced noticeable sales bumps.

Last night’s guest was different. Noah interviewed novelist Yaa Gyasi and The Daily Show bump returned, sending her debut Homegoing (RH/Knopf; RH Audio; BOT; OverDrive Sample) shooting up the Amazon sales ranks, moving from #315 to #62.


Noah is passionate about the book, calling  it “one of the most fantastic books I have read in a long time,” continuing that it is a “powerful … beautiful story … hopeful while at the same time being very realistic … you cry and you laugh as you are reading it.”

Gyasi says her visit to a slave fort in Ghana spurred her to write about the “diaspora as a family … if you go back far enough in time the thing that connects us … both African immigrants and African Americans … is the fact that we were all related … I wanted to bring it down to that most elemental level … to connect the family for all of us.” She also says that the story of slavery cannot be told without including the role played by African slave traders.

Noah closed the brief interview by reminding the audience that Gyasi’s novel is being hailed as “the new Roots of our generation” and saying he expects to be hearing more from her.

The million-dollar debut has been a hot title since before it even hit shelves, getting nods from librarians and booksellers, making multiple Summer reading lists, and Entertainment Weekly‘s list of “Best Fiction of 2016 So Far..” It spent a few weeks on the NYT bestseller extend list (getting as high as #15) but did best on the American Booksellers Association list which measures indie bookstore sales, reaching #5.

Circulation continues to be strong across libraries we checked with high hold numbers and turnover rates.

A Frontier Memoir Resurfaces

Tuesday, August 16th, 2016

9780316341394_cdcc0A circuitous publishing path has brought new attention to a frontier memoir, recounting the hardscrabble life in Arkansas and on the Mississippi Delta during the late 1800s and early 1900s, Trials of the Earth: The True Story of a Pioneer Woman, Mary Mann Hamilton (Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample).

Featured on NPR’s Fresh Air yesterday, the book is rising on Amazon, leapfrogging over a thousand other books to move from #1,170 to #76.

Hamilton’s life story first saw the light of day when a neighbor urged her to enter her journal into a writing competition sponsored by publisher Little, Brown in 1933. It did not win and languished in a box kept under a bed, until the University Press of Mississippi published it to little fanfare in 1992 (although it was reviewed by the New York Times). Coming full circle, Little, Brown, has just  published a new edition.

NPR reviewer Maureen Corrigan calls it a “standout,” with a “blunt voice” that makes vivid the world Hamilton occupied. Highlighting a racist passage, she warns some of the “sections are ugly and tough to read” but that ultimately the book is rewarding, revealing the wildness of that world and “just how easy it was to vanish in an earlier America.”

USA Today gave it three out of four stars, writing it “underscores the huge power of unvarnished storytelling.”

The Chicago Tribune writes vividly about the “backbreaking labor” and wilderness Hamilton existed within, offering a picture of a woman tough as nails. In an especially intense example: soon after Hamilton gave birth, her home was cut off by flood waters, she “shelters with her daughter and three-month-old baby on a tree stump while bears swim past in the flood, not knowing whether her husband is dead or alive.”

Similar to the unexpected success of another frontier memoir, Pioneer Girl, holds are growing and inventory is low. In libraries we checked some systems are showing hold figures as high as 6:1.

Hitting Screens, Week of August 15

Sunday, August 14th, 2016

 

MV5BMzQ2MDI3Mzg1OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMTM5MzI4Nw@@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,772,1000_AL_9781496411051_52382One of the new movies opening this week is a blast from the past, Ben-Hur.

NY Magazine writes that the book it is based on “was a best seller on release, surpassing Uncle Tom’s Cabin as the most-purchased American book in history, and holding that record for an astounding 56 years (Gone With the Wind unseated it).”

Forbes reviews the re-make, saying “the pitch here is basically 300: Rise of an Empire … with cheaper looking costumes, the same CGI and editing, and Morgan Freeman, whose performance as God in Bruce Almighty and as a divine narrator in so many other things helps subtly sell the godly aspect.”

The biblical epic is executive produced by Roma Downey (Touched by an Angel) and husband Mark Burnett (Shark Tank, The Apprentice). It stars Jack Huston and Morgan Freeman and opens Aug. 19.

There is a tie-in: Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ, Carol Wallace (Tyndale House; also in trade paperback and in Spanish).

9781451667608_3a26fWar Dogs opens on August 19 and stars Miles Teller, Jonah Hill, Bradley Cooper, Ana de Armas and J. B. Blanc.

As we wrote earlier, it is based on a nonfiction account originally titled Arms and the Dudes. It tells the unlikely story about winning a $300 million US government contract to supply weapons for the war in Afghanistan.

A tie-in came out in late July: War Dogs: The True Story of How Three Stoners From Miami Beach Became the Most Unlikely Gunrunners in History, Guy Lawson (S&S; OverDrive Sample; also in mass market).

MV5BMjA2Mzg2NDMzNl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMjcwODUzOTE@._V1_SY1000_SX675_AL_Also heading to theaters is Kubo and the Two Strings by Oregon’s stop-motion animation house Laika (the operation behind Coraline and The Boxtrolls).

As we wrote when the preview lit up the Internet, the the fantasy-adventure is set in Japan and features the voices of Charlize Theron, Matthew McConaughey, George Takei and Art Parkinson (Game of Thrones). It debuts in theaters on 8/19/16.

There are multiple tie-ins:

9781452153155_b2a16Kubo and the Two Strings: Meet Kubo, R. R. Busse (Hachette/Little, Brown YR; pbk.; Passport to Reading, Level 2, Ages 4 to 8).

Kubo and the Two Strings: The Junior NovelSadie Chesterfield (Hachette/Little, Brown YR.; pbk.; Ages 4 to 8).

The Art of Kubo and the Two Strings, Emily Haynes, Travis Knight (Chronicle).

MV5BMjIyNzk2MTY0Ml5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMzExNTA2OTE@._V1_SY1000_SX675_AL_9780156032520_72c98Opening in limited release is A Tale of Love and Darkness, Natalie Portman’s directorial debut (she acts in the film as well). It is based on the memoir of the same name by Israeli author Amos Oz.

Variety calls the film “well-meaning but dreary,” but Esquire headlines it as “the Most Revolutionary Jewish Movie Since Schindler’s List” and goes on to say it “is urgently relevant and unlike anything else.”

There is no tie-in but the book is available in paperback: A Tale of Love and Darkness, Amos Oz, translated by Nicholas de Lange (HMH/Mariner Books).

ANOTHER BROOKLYN Soars

Thursday, August 11th, 2016

9780062359988_42588Jacqueline Woodson’s first novel for adults in two decades, Another Brooklyn (HarperCollins/Amistad; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample), is racing up the Amazon sales ranks, moving from #1,678 to #346.

The jump is a result of Woodson’s appearance on NPR’s Fresh Air, where she talks with host Terry Gross about poetry, sex, gender, homosexuality, and how growing up in a deeply religious family fueled her creativity and instilled in her a confidence that she had “a right to say what I believe in.”

USA Today reviewed the coming of age novel Tuesday, giving it 3 out of 4 stars and writing “it’s a story about adolescence as a feat of survival … alert to the confluences of dramas that a teen absorbs all at once, from racism to sexual abuse to the loss of family members.”

It is the #1 Indie Pick for August and earned rare all-star status from the four trade review journals. As we wrote earlier, it is on the majority of the summer reading lists and is sure to be heavily reviewed.

Mysteries of the Brain

Wednesday, August 10th, 2016

Patient H.M.

One of the most-reviled medical practices of the last century is the lobotomy. In a book published this week,  Patient H.M.: A Story of Memory, Madness, and Family Secrets, (PRH/Random House; RH Audio/BOT), Luke Dittrich examines one of the practitioners, a neurosurgeon who lobotomized Patient H.M. in an effort to solve his epilepsy. As a result, the patient emerged from the operation unable to create new memories and, in a time when “the lines between medical practice and medical research were blurry”  became the “most important research subject in the history of brain science.” Dittrich says he finds the story personally shocking, particularly because the neurosurgeon was his grandfather.

He was interviewed on the PBS NewsHour last night.

An excerpt titled, “The Brain That Couldn’t Remember: The untold story of the fight over the legacy of ‘H.M.’ — the patient who revolutionized the science of memory” is the cover of this week’s New York Times Magazine.

UPDATE: A letter of protest sent to the NYT (but, oddly, not to the book’s publisher), signed by 200 members of the scientific community, most of them from MIT, protests parts of the story that are critical of MIT professor Suzanne Corkin.

Crystal Ball: YOU WILL KNOW ME

Tuesday, August 9th, 2016

9780316231077_73720With her 8th novel, a dark thriller about a young female gymnast, You Will Know Me (Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample), author Megan Abbott is poised to break out,

It got the NPR bounce on Amazon (rising to #145) after Maureen Corrigan reviewed it on yesterday’s Fresh Air, using gymnast metaphors to describe it as a “terrific new psychological suspense novel [with] a plot that somersaults and back flips whenever a safe landing seems in sight.”

It’s been racking up positive reviews, with the daily NYT ‘s critic Jennifer Senior enthusing that Abbott “is in top form in this novel … filling her readers with queasy suspicion at every turn.”

The timing of the release conveniently ties in to the Summer Olympics.  Interviewed by  Entertainment Weekly  Abbott says that the inspiration for the parents in the novel came directly from US Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman, who recently pulled off a nail bitter to qualify for the women’s all-around finals. Abbott references video footage that went viral in 2012, but Aly’s mom and dad are also getting noticed this year (see video below).

Holds are soaring, with some libraries we checked running as high as 5:1.