Archive for the ‘2017 — Summer’ Category

Titles to Know and Recommend, Week of May 29, 2017

Friday, May 26th, 2017

   

For their holiday weekend edition, the New York Times Book Review takes a look at summer books. Among the titles picked by Janet Maslin is a book of essays arriving next week that sounds like ideal beach reading for those who enjoy a little shade with their sun (with a fitting cover image), We Are Never Meeting In Real Life: Essays by Samantha Irby, (PRH/Vintage; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample). Describing the author as a “frank and madly funny blogger,” Maslin highlights the opening essay which contrasts Irby’s own wardrobe to “Bachelorette” contestants, “I don’t wear evening gowns and booty shorts every day. I wear daytime pajamas and orthopedic shoes, and lately I have become a big fan of the ‘grandpa cardigan.’ ”

Also arriving this week is a book by another funny essayist, David Sedaris, Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977-2002) (Hachette/Little Brown; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample). As the subtitle notes, it is based on his diaries, giving fans a view of the raw materials of the more polished essays in his eight bestselling books. Library Journal attests it will appeal to more than die-hard Sedaris fans, “even the more casual reader will be drawn in, as the author comes into his own as a writer and a person.”

With more gentle humor, Mo Willems publishes a stand-alone that is sure to become a baby shower staple, Welcome: A Mo Willems Guide for New Arrivals (Hachette/Disney-Hyperion). Written in faux safety manual/waiterspeak it will appeal more to new parents than to kids.

The titles covered in this column, and several other notable titles arriving next week, are listed with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of May 29, 2017

Media Magnets

Al Franken, Giant of the Senate, Al Franken (Hachette/Twelve; Hachette Large Print; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample).

The Senate’s most well-known humorist (intentional, that is), has already raised hackles with his new book. Ted Cruz has labeled the chapter devoted to him “obnoxious and insulting,” a phrase Franken would surely have loved as a jacket blurb.

She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World, Chelsea Clinton (PRH/Philomela Books; Listening Library; OverDrive Sample).

That other famous first daughter’s new book is aimed at young girls and takes its title from the phrase Mitch McConnell used to vent his frustration over failing to silence Elizabeth Warren. The book is getting attention for the person it does not include, Clinton’s mother. She explains to Entertainment Weekly that she feared “her story [would] overwhelm the book.”
The titles covered here, and several more notable titles arriving next week, are listed with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of May 29, 2017

Peer Picks

One LibaryReads title comes out this week, White Hot: A Hidden Legacy Novel by Ilona Andrews (HC/Avon; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample).

“After rereading the first Hidden Legacy book, I plunged immediately into White Hot. I wasn’t disappointed. Nevada is trying to return her life to a semblance of normal, “normal” being without powerful, sexy, and very dangerous Prime Rogan. Rogan hasn’t stopped thinking about Nevada and hasn’t stopped wanting her. And what Rogan wants, he eventually gets. The action in White Hot was faster, the plot more intricate, and the characters became even more real. I cannot wait to read book three!” — Heather Cover, Homewood Library, Birmingham, AL

Additional Buzz:
RT Book Reviews gives it 4.5 stars and makes it a Top Pick, HeroesandHeartbreakers.com praises its “combination of fresh world building, kick-ass heroines and touching relationships.” Kirkus starred, writing “An enthralling paranormal romance from a master of the genre.” HappyEverAfter offers an excerpt.

Three June Indie Next titles land this week.

Touch, Courtney Maum (PRH/G.P. Putnam’s Sons; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

“Sloane is a strong, independent businesswoman working as a trend forecaster. While at an innovative company, Sloane finds that the very technology that is supposed to connect people to one another is actually tearing them apart. The entire story is both hilarious and slightly terrifying as it tells of a future where we outsource intimacy to strangers and lead very isolated lives. Touch is a warning about what can happen if we become too attached to the technology in our lives and a great reminder to put the phone down and connect with others in person.” —Kristen Beverly, Half Price Books, Dallas, TX

Additional Buzz: It makes a number of best of the month lists including BuzzFeed‘s “Exciting New Books You Need To Read This Summer,”Bustle‘s “The 15 Best Fiction Books Of May 2017,” InStyle‘s “7 Books You Won’t Be Able to Put Down This Month,” Glamour‘s “New Books by Women You’re Guaranteed to Love This Summer,” and Refinery29‘s “Favorite Books Of 2017 – So Far.” In starred reviews Booklist calls it an “incisive, charming, and funny novel,” while PW says it is “a perceptive, thought-provoking read.” Interview Magazine calls it “sweet and funny … A sharp yet feeling satire.” The Millions offers an interview.

Extraordinary Adventures, Daniel Wallace (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Press; Recorded Books; OverDrive Sample).

“We are all Edsel Bronfman. Or at least those of us who have spent a substantial portion of our lives as terribly awkward introverts with no social skills and a complete lack of romantic experience or opportunity are. Daniel Wallace’s new novel had me cringing with recognition and laughing out loud as his 34-year-old protagonist is launched on an absurd and hilarious journey of self-discovery and transformation initiated by a mysterious phone call from a timeshare saleswoman. Extraordinary Adventures is a quirky, sweet, heartfelt, and offbeat romance that displays the imaginative playfulness Wallace is known for.” —Josh Niesse, Underground Books, Carrollton, GA

Come Sundown, Nora Roberts (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Press; OverDrive Sample).

“This is the story of the Bodine family, which runs a successful ranch resort. As you learn about Bodine Longbow, who helps to run the family business, and her new relationship, you also learn about Bodine’s Aunt Alice, who took off when she was 18 and never came home. The family never learned what happened to Alice, so when she is found alive they have to find out to keep her from disappearing again. Come Sundown is suspenseful, slightly creepy, and also touching. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys a mystery with some romance.” —Linda Keifer, Hockessin Bookshelf, Hockessin, DE

Additional Buzz: Kirkus stars, writing, “Roberts always tells a good story that balances romance and suspense, but in this title, the narrative is deeper, the mystery is more layered … Roberts moves into another level of exploring physical and emotional trauma and the powerful balm of family and love.”

Tie-ins

 

 

 

 

 

Two tie-ins come out this week attached to the Wonder Woman movie.

Wonder Woman: The Deluxe Junior Novel by Steve Korte (HC/HarperFestival; OverDrive Sample; also in a regular, pbk. edition)

Wonder Woman: The Art and Making of the Film by Sharon Gosling (PRH/Titan Books).

The film arrives in theaters on June 2nd, starring Gal Gadot (Fast & Furious franchise) as the Amazonian Princess. Star Trek‘s Chris Pine plays her romantic interest and ally. Connie Nielsen, Robin Wright, Lucy Davis, and Danny Huston round out the cast.

See our earlier posts for additional tie-ins as well as background reading.

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

GoT7, First Full Trailer

Thursday, May 25th, 2017

Minutes after it was released yesterday the first full trailer for Game of Thrones became the #1 trending video on YouTube, where it remains today.

Hollywood Life breaks down of the key elements and Entertainment Weekly uncovers new revelations. Even a brief animated gif of the leader of the White Walkers gets a thorough analysis.

Season seven begins on July 16 and will consist of seven episodes.

Beginning with the previous season, the TV series has now moved beyond the books. As a result, there is no tie-in.

THE BEGUILED Takes Its Bow

Thursday, May 25th, 2017

Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled got its moment in a screening at Cannes Wednesday morning. Entertainment Weekly calls it “a film that radiates with thrilling, deliciously dark southern gothic flair.” Starring Nicole Kidman, Colin Farrell, Elle Fanning, and Kirsten Dunst, it is based on the 1966 Thomas Cullinan novel, A Painted Devil (see our earlier post for a more on the novel and its adaptations).

The Guardian writes “With its hilariously fraught psychodynamic, the film has hints of Black Narcissus and the famous Diet Coke ad about office workers admiring a perspiring worker slaking his thirst” and continues, “Coppola tells the story with terrific gusto and insouciant wit.”

On Twitter, New York Magazine’s senior editor wrote that the film was “ravishingly shot, with a ‘damn she’s good’ MVP performance from Kirsten Dunst

Others were not as impressed. Variety misses the pulp aspects of the 1971 adaption and writes “If you’re the sort of moviegoer who favors good taste over sensation, restraint over decadence, and decorous drama over porno leering, then you may actually like Coppola’s coolly pensive and sober new version of The Beguiled. But anyone else may wonder what, exactly, the movie thinks it’s doing.”

The Independent says it is Coppola’s “worst work.

Set during the Civil War, the plot involves a group of women sequestered in a girls boarding school in the South, whose lives are turned upside down by the appearance of a wounded Union soldier. The movie is scheduled to debut in theaters on June 30th. A tie-in will be published on June 6, The Beguiled: A Novel (Movie Tie-In) by Thomas Cullinan (PRH/Penguin Books, Trade Paperback; OverDrive).

IndieWire explores Coppola’s adaptation and her jitters about appearing at Cannes for the first time since 2006, when her movie Marie Antoinette was poorly received.

Live Chat with Tamara Bundy, Author of WALKING WITH MISS MILLIE

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017
Live Blog Live Chat with Tamara Bundy, WALKING WITH MISS MILLIE
 

A Reading Life Revealed

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017

Pamela Paul who oversees all of the New York Times book coverageincluding the Book Review, was featured on NPR’s Fresh Air yesterday, ostensibly to talk about her new book My Life with Bob: Flawed Heroine Keeps Book of Books, Plot Ensues (Macmillan/Henry Holt and Co.; OverDrive Sample), but most of the interview focused on her day job.

Explaining the differences between reviews in the daily paper and the Sunday Book Review, she says that the daily reviews begin with the critic, who chooses which books to review. For the Book Review, the editors choose the books, but more importantly who will review them. Trying to imagine who New York Times readers would most want to read on a particular book is the  most creative and “delicious” part of the process, she says, resulting in pairings such as Bill Clinton on Bob Caro‘s fourth book on LBJ, or Michael Lewis on former Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner’s memoir.

As to her own book, it’s based on Paul’s reading diary which she dubbed “Bob,” or “Book of Books.” What titles shaped the most powerful book review editor in the country? A large diet of Nancy Drews and frequent trips to the library to make up for a home not filled with books. As we noted earlier, prepub reviews were strong, with LJ saying, “Titles about reading and books abound, but this memoir stands in a class by itself. Bibliophiles will treasure, but the addictive storytelling and high-quality writing will vastly increase its audience.”

Libraries ordered the title very lightly. All that we checked are showing active holds lists.

SEE WHAT I HAVE DONE Leads EW’s Summer Reading

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

In time for making summer plans this Memorial Day weekend, Entertainment Weekly has released their ranked list of the 20 must-read books of the season. It’s in the new issue featuring Wonder Woman on the cover, but not yet online.

You can play along by reading the digital review copies of the chosen titles to see if you agree. Our spreadsheet of all the titles notes which are available for direct download or request.

Entertainment Weekly, Summer Reading, 2017

The top pick is a debut, See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt (Atlantic Monthly Press; RH Audio/BOT; Aug. 1; DRC available). It was inspired by a dream in which Lizzie Borden poked the author in the leg and said “I have something to tell you about my father. He has a lot to answer for.” EW says, “The resulting novel is compelling, scary – and gruesomely visceral.” The Guardian is on board too, calling it “a surprising, nastily effective” work with “irresistible momentum and fevered intensity … part fairytale, part psychodrama.”

Arundhati Roy’s return to the novel form, twenty years after The God of Small Things, is #2, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness (PRH/Knopf; RH Audio/BOT; June 6). The magazine calls it “gorgeously wrought.” Vogue says “From the novel’s beginning—’She lived in the graveyard like a tree’—one is swept up in the story.”

At #3 is New People by Danzy Senna (PRH/Riverhead; Penguin Audio; Aug. 1; DRC available). Offering a killer invitation to run out and pick it up, EW says: “You’ll gulp Senna’s novel in a single sitting but then mull it over for days.” Kirkus stars and offers a rare three exclamation points, writing “A great book about race and a great book all around.!!!

The new graphic novel by Jillian Tamaki is #4, Boundless (Macmillan/Drawn and Quarterly; May 30): EW says the book “dazzles” and that it is “lush, vibrant, and packed with emotion.” The Comics Journal opens their review with “It’s said that great works of art are meant to be viewed at a distance from eye-level. Jillian Tamaki’s Boundless, inspires this same viewing condition.”

Dean Koontz wraps up the top 5 with The Silent Corner: A Novel of Suspense (PRH/Bantam; Recorded Books; June 20; DRC available). It is the launch of a new series and features an FBI agent trying to understand what is causing happy people to kill themselves, including her husband. The Hollywood Reporter says it is already optioned for a TV series and writes that Koontz plans to write at least five more in the series.

Several other summer previews have also been released, see our links at the right, under Season Previews. We will add to it as new lists appear.

Hitting Screens, Week of May 22, 2017

Monday, May 22nd, 2017

At the box office over the weekend, the YA adaptation Everything Everything brought in $12 million, outpacing the fourth in the established childrens franchise, Wimpy Kid, a disappointment with just $7.2 million.

A single adaptation airs this week. Netflix’s War Machine starring Brad Pitt begins streaming on May 26.

The film fictionalizes  Michael Hastings’s The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America’s War in Afghanistan (PRH/Plume; Tantor Audio; OverDrive Sample). Pitt’s character is based on General Stanley McChrystal who was fired after Hastings’s exposé ran in  Rolling Stone.

The movie details how the fictional general, Glen McMahon, is given command of the coalition forces in Afghanistan and, because of his ego and hubris is wildly unpredictable. Written and directed by David Michôd (Animal Kingdom), it is produced by the team that created the Oscar-nominated The Big Short. Tilda Swinton, Sir Ben Kingsley, Anthony Michael Hall, and Topher Grace star alongside Pitt.

The Hollywood Reporter writes that Neflix paid $60 million to finance the film after its original supporters backed out, fearful the movie’s arch black comedy slant might anger conservative audiences.

The single review to date is a rave. The Star-Telegram says “Brad Pitt, we salute you” and goes on to say “Pitt chews scenery in this dark comedy, a spiritual cousin to such films as Dr. Strangelove and Catch-22.”

To qualify for awards, in addition to streaming on Netflix, the film will also play in a few theaters in Los Angeles and New York.

BE THE ONE Rises

Friday, May 19th, 2017

ABC News chief national correspondent and Nightline co-anchor Byron Pitts just published a book about teens who overcome horrible circumstances ranging from bullying to abuse, addiction, and getting caught up in wars, Be the One: Six True Stories of Teens Overcoming Hardship with Hope (S&S; S&S Books for Young Readers; OverDrive Sample).

It is soaring on Amazon thanks to segments on The View and other shows, moving from #52,295 to #54.

Pitts knows the ground he covers. He tells The View he was raised by a very young single mother, did not learn to read until he was 13, and struggled with stuttering well into college. He says the teens he met were all dealt a bad hand. They opened a new world to him, illustrating the African proverb, “When you pray, move your feet.”

Booklist says the book “reads like an engrossing news program…Uplifting in its message and captivating in its content.”

Titles to Know and Recommend, Week of May 22, 2017

Friday, May 19th, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

It’s a relatively slow publishing week in terms of big names. Other than James Patterson, who releases a YA novel this week, Crazy House (Hachette/jimmy patterson; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample), the most recognized name is Michael Crichton, whose novel Dragon Teeth (HC/Harper; HarperAudio) is being published posthumously. Prepub preview are strong and it’s an Indie Next pick (see “Peer Picks,” below). The NYT book editor, Pamela Paul, publishes a book about, guess what? Reading. My Life with Bob (Macmillan/Henry Holt and Co.; OverDrive Sample) uses the reading notebook she has kept since high school, called “Bob,” or Book of Books, as the basis of a memoir. Prepub reviews are strong, with LJ saying, “Titles about reading and books abound, but this memoir stands in a class by itself. Bibliophiles will treasure, but the addictive storytelling and high-quality writing will vastly increase its audience.”

The titles covered in this column, and several other notable books arriving next week, are listed with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of May 22, 2017.

Peer Picks

Four Indie Next titles from the June list hit shelves this week.

Standard Deviation, Katherine Heiny (PRH/Knopf; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

“I was a fan of Single, Carefree, Mellow so it was a treat to read Katherine Heiny’s latest release. Standard Deviation wryly delves into the complications and contradictions inherent in good, long-term love and parenting a slightly more challenging child. This is a laugh-out-loud, funny read with brains and heart, and a gentler world to spend time in for anyone who just needs a break.” —Sarah Bumstead, Vroman’s Bookstore, Pasadena, CA

Additional Buzz: The author will be interviewed on the upcoming NPR Weekend Edition Saturday. Reviews are scheduled in the New Yorker, the Washington Post, and People magazine. BookPage lists her as one of “10 Women To Watch In 2017,” saying “Heiny offers a wry, often hilarious take on monogamy and marriage with her debut novel.” LJ includes the book on their list of May “Top Debut Novels,” calling it “brightly funny.”

Shadow Man, Alan Drew (PRH/RH;RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

Shadow Man is supposed to be the story of a serial killer who was horribly abused as a child and the efforts of the police to track him down and keep him from killing others. However, this book is really about Ben Wade, one of the detectives on the case. While the victims of the serial killer greatly affect Wade, who gives his all to catch him, it is the apparent suicide of a young teenager that really shakes up his world. Much more than just a search for a killer, Shadow Man is about living in the shadows of what happened in the past. Shadow Man could be called a thriller, but it is really much more than that, with characters that are so real you can feel their pain.” —Nancy McFarlane, Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC

Additional Buzz: Literary Hub lists it as one of the “5 Crime Must-Reads Coming in May,” writing it features “indelible characters.” Booklist and Kirkus star, with Kirkus writing “An unusually deft blending of styles, Drew’s engrossing novel works equally well as psychological study and cop thriller, literary novel and genre piece.” Booklist also includes it in their list of “The Year’s Best Crime Novels, 2017,” saying it “beats to multiple hearts of darkness.”

Dragon Teeth, Michael Crichton (HC/Harper; HarperLuxe, HarperAudio).

“I worshipped Michael Crichton. I cried for two days when he died, in part because there would be no more novels. However, after all these years, Dragon Teeth is a true surprise, and a joyful one indeed! Although he’s more associated with futuristic science, Mr. Crichton was a dab hand at the historic thriller, and this novel is deeply grounded in fact. At its heart are two feuding paleontologists, Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Marsh, participants in the late-1800s Bone Wars, a period of frenzied fossil discovery. Add to the mix a fictional Yale student, friendly and unfriendly Native Americans, a heap of varmints and scoundrels, and a lady or two, and you’ve got a rollicking good story!” —Susan Tunis, Bookshop West Portal, San Francisco, CA

Additional Buzz: The Associated Press reported last year on the discovery of this lost novel, one which Crichton’s widow found among his papers. It is on a number of spring and monthly book lists, including The Washington Post and io9. Such is the buzz around it that USA Today posted an excerpt in November 2016, a full six months before it hit shelves and film rights were bought early by the National Geographic Channel for a limited series. If you have forgotten Crichton’s reach in the near decade since his death, Vanity Fair offers a reminder.

Chemistry, Weike Wang (PRH/Knopf; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

“The unnamed narrator of Wang’s winning and insightful novel is working on her PhD in synthetic organic chemistry, but the chemistry she really needs to learn is the one that makes relationships click. The prodigy daughter of high-achieving Chinese American parents, she’s always strived to meet their demanding expectations. Then, suddenly, she just can’t. Her lab work falters. She’s unable to accept or decline her boyfriend’s marriage proposal. But when she has a breakdown and loses in both academia and in love, she finally realizes how angry she is. Coming to terms with her past becomes her next project, and soon she can see her parents in a new light — and they aren’t the fierce tiger couple they’d always seemed to be.” —Laurie Greer, Politics & Prose Bookstore, Washington, DC

Additional Buzz: It makes Entertainment Weekly’s list of “19 book you have to read in May,BuzzFeed‘s Summer Reading list, and New York magazine’s Spring Book List. EW calls it “sharp” and “witty” and says it is written in “precise, impeccable prose.” It also got a great deal of early attention. The Millions put it on their Most Anticipated: The Great 2017 Book Preview, Barnes and Nobel counted it as one of the “6 Superb Debut Novels to Read in 2017,Cosmopolitan, Bustle and Entertainment Weekly also listed it on their 2017 previews. It is on Electric Lit‘s list of “34 Books by Women of Color to Read This Year” and LJ highlighted it on their list of “Great First Acts.”

Tie-ins

Five tie-ins come out this week for the same movie, Despicable Me 3. The film stars Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, and Trey Parker. It will premiere on June 30.

Included in the tie-in line up is Despicable Me 3: The Junior Novel, Sadie Chesterfield (Hachette/Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; also in a Deluxe edition). Other tie-ins include the hardback picture book Despicable Me 3: Agnes Loves Unicorns!, Universal (Hachette/Little, Brown Books for Young Readers) and Despicable Me 3: Seek and Find, Universal (Hachette/LB Kids). There are also two level readers, Despicable Me 3: The Good, the Bad, and the Yellow by Trey King (Hachette/LB Kids) and Despicable Me 3: Best Boss Ever by Trey King (Hachette/LB Kids)

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

THE GLASS CASTLE, First Trailer

Friday, May 19th, 2017

The first trailer was just released for the film adaptation of the bestselling memoir by Jeannette Walls, The Glass Castle (S&S/Scribner, 2005):

Starring Academy Award winner Brie Larson as Walls with Woody Harrelson and Naomi Watts as her dysfunctional, sometimes homeless parents, Rex and Rose Mary, the film opens in wide release on August 11.

The author approves, telling People magazine, “They did a spectacular job bringing to life a complicated story, there’s so many nuances … I wanted Brie Larson to play this role even before I knew who she was. She understands how to be strong and vulnerable at the same time, how you can fight and be scared at the same time … The first time that I saw Woody in makeup and in character, I started trembling and crying … the degree to which he captured my father was breathtaking.”

The memoir spent over 250 weeks on NYT best seller lists, in both hardcover and the trade paperback, where it had its most enduring success. Also a constant in book groups, the memoir is assigned reading in schools, and even has its own Cliff Notes.

A tie-in is forthcoming:
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls (S&S/Scribner)

TWIN PEAKS Prep

Thursday, May 18th, 2017

Showtime’s revival of Twin Peaks, David Lynch’s iconic TV show (1990 to 1991), premieres on Sunday, May 21. In the run up to the launch there has been wall-to-wall coverage.

New York magazine re-ran a story first published last fall on the novel by the series co-creator Mark Frost, The Secret History of Twin Peaks (Macmillan/ Flatiron, 2016; OverDrive Sample). In a spoiler-filled piece they say the novel fills in characters’ backstories and clears up questions about the series finale. This October, Frost will publish a sequel, Twin Peaks: The Final Dossier (Macmillan/ Flatiron; Macmillan Audio).

Entertainment Weekly has started a podcast and published a “speed-binge” guide to understanding the series.

The NYT has multiple stories on the cult hit and its revival, including coverage in the  “Watching” column and episode recaps. USA Today and The Washington Post cover the show as well.

The Nerdist gives their opinion on what the new show needs to do to succeed, including the small matter of “Change TV Storytelling Again.”  Time looks at how the original did just that in  “Creators of Lost, Fargo, The Sopranos and Other Shows on How Twin Peaks Influenced Them.” On the same theme, The Atlantic offers a deep dive into “the immeasurably influential series.”

Finally, The Hollywood Reporter ranks all 30 episodes of the original show and io9 offers a list of “10 Things to Watch, Read, and Eat to Get Mentally Prepared for the New Twin Peaks.”

INTO THE WATER Surges to #1

Thursday, May 18th, 2017

Reviews be damned, Paula Hawkins’s Into the Water (PRH/Riverhead; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample) can now be declared a #1 best seller. In its second week on sale, it moved to that spot on the new USA Today Best Selling Books list, jumping from #4 and knocking James Patterson off his perch in just one week. This practically guarantees it will be #1 on the NYT list later this week.

Holds are growing, reflecting the considerable interest in the author and some recent PR, via media interviews and her U.S. book tour. Patron demand is catching up. After a rather sluggish start, especially when compared to the pre-pub holds for her debut, lists have grown and libraries have placed multiple re-oreders.

Holds Alert: GROCERY

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017

NPR’s All Things Considered featured Michael Ruhlman’s Grocery: The Buying and Selling of Food in America (Abrams; RH Audio/BOT), moving the book up Amazon’s rankings and driving holds. Libraries are seeing reserve ratios well over 3:1, in one case 10:1.

The interview takes place in an actual grocery store. Surveying the plenty spread out in the aisles, Ruhlman says a grocery store is “the best of America and the worst of America.”

Grocery stores are run with such narrow margins that they cannot stand to lose a customer, which is why they ask as at checkout if you found everything you were looking for. Not finding something is why shoppers change stores.

Because of the ease of online buying for commodity items like orange juice and cereal, Ruhlman thinks thinks grocery stores will shrink, selling only specialized items that customers want to pick by hand. The future will look more like the past, when stores were smaller and more specialized.

As a literary side note, a recent NYT Weddings column details Ruhlman’s long-held crush on Ann Hood (The Book That Matters) which last 20 years and led to a wedding last month (with Laura Lippman officiating).

I Won’t Grow Up

Monday, May 15th, 2017

If the conversation around “adulting” hits a nerve, meet Republican Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska.

Sasse is concerned with what he regards as the slow-to-nonexistent development of independent and thriving adults in the US and has written a book on the subject, The Vanishing American Adult: Our Coming-of-Age Crisis–and How to Rebuild a Culture of Self-Reliance (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Press; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample). It is zooming up the Amazon rankings, thanks to his appearance on CBS’s Face the Nation yesterday and CBS This Morning today, moving from #43 to #7.

He tells Face the Nation‘s John Dickerson, “this book is 100 percent not about politics, and it’s 99 percent not about policy. It’s about this new category of perpetual adolescence.”  However, as one of the Republicans who expressed reservations about the firing of James Comey as Director of the FBI, that subject dominates the  interview. Sasse finally gets to promote the book towards the end, saying it’s about the recent phenomenon of  “perpetual adolescence …Peter Pan’s Neverland is a hell … we don’t want [to] have our kids caught at a place where they’re not learning how to be adults.”

He followed up with an appearance on CBS This Morning, which also focused on the firing of Comey.

Sasse is making the media rounds. He is scheduled to appear tonight on Late Night with Seth Meyers. He has been on NPR’s On Point, the NYT has an interview, Sasse himself writes an essay for the Wall Street Journal (subscription maybe required), MarketWatch offers a summary, and Time covers it in an article titled “Ben Sasse Explains Why His New Book Is Really, Truly Not About Running for President.”

Death to “Zombie Words”

Monday, May 15th, 2017

Journalist and former Random House publisher Harold Evans entertained NPR’s Scott Simon on Weekend Edition Saturday, with his pet peeves about the misuse of the English language.

As a result of their lively exchange, Evans’s new book, Do I Make Myself Clear?: Why Writing Well Matters (Hachette/Little, Brown; OverDrive Sample) made a major leap up Amazon’s rankings, rising from #25,848 to #32.

The book addresses the “garbage” littering our prose. He particularly hates “zombie words,” nouns that are turned into verbs, because they drain “the sentences of vigor and immediacy,” he says, “It’s like a virus.”

The book is “a punchy follow-up to an earlier journalistic primer (Essential English for Journalists, Editors and Writers) that’s still a standard at many British universities,” notes The Hollywood Reporter in a lengthy interview with Evans, that focuses on the documentary Attacking the Devil, about Evans’s early journalistic fight against the drug thalidomide.

Evans stars in the doc, which the The Weinstein Co. will distribute in the US. A feature film is also in the works and Hugh Grant is “said to be among the contenders vying for the lead.” Although Evans jokes, “I think I may hold out for Brad Pitt to play me. He’s a better likeness, don’t you think?”