Archive for the ‘Seasons’ Category

WONDER WOMAN,
the Final Trailer

Wednesday, May 10th, 2017

The last look viewers will have before the expected summer blockbuster Wonder Woman has just been released. The film arrives in theaters on June 2nd.

The trailer aired during the MTV Movie & TV Awards and has received media scrutiny. Offering a shot by shot analysis, Screen Rant says the trailer “reveals why a hero like Diana is needed now more than ever. Not just in the DCEU [DC Extended Universe], but the superhero genre as a whole.”

Two leveled readers have already published: Wonder Woman: I Am an Amazon Warrior, Steve Korte, Lee Ferguson (HC; OverDrive Sample) and Wonder Woman: Meet the Heroes, Steve Korte, Lee Ferguson, Jeremy Roberts (HC; OverDrive Sample).

More tie-ins are on the way including Wonder Woman: The Official Movie Novelization by Nancy Holder (PRH/Titan Books) and Wonder Woman: The Junior Novel by Steve Korte (HC/HarperFestival).

After the film premieres, DC begins a new series called DC Icons, written by best-selling YA authors.

It kicks off in August with Leigh Bardugo’s Wonder Woman: Warbringer (PRH/RH Books for Young Readers; Listening Library). Following that, Marie Lu takes on Batman (January 2018), Matt de la Pena tackles Superman (May 2018), and Sarah J. Maas stalks Catwoman (September 2018).

The Salt Lake Tribune reports that the comics artist Andie Tong, known for his work on various DC series, sent Bardugo a sketch of Wonder Woman “sitting atop a pile of defeated criminals, rewarding herself with another chapter of Bardugo’s Six of Crows novel.”

Patterson, Father and Son Authors

Tuesday, May 9th, 2017

Co-authors James Patterson and his son Jack, sat down with CBS This Morning to discuss their first book together, released last week, Penguins of America, (Hachette/ Little, Brown).

Described as a “childrens book that illustrates the humorous connection between Penguins and humans,” the authors say the inspiration came from Jack’s obsession as a kid with seeing the world as if it were populated by penguins. Asked who the audience is, Patterson replies it will appeal to anyone “from 2 to 102. Kids are going to like it. They won’t get some of them, but they will get a lot of them. That’s the way kids are, they’re used to not getting everything, but they will love the illustrations.”

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Asked about the novel he is currently working on with his latest collaborator, Bill Clinton, James Patterson says they are about “halfway through it.” Asked whether they will work on more books together, Patterson replies with a somewhat hopeful “Maybe.”

ARTEMIS Follows THE MARTIAN

Tuesday, May 9th, 2017

The announcement of the publication date of the new book by the author of The Martian, Andy Weir, set SF sites ablaze and the book rising on Amazon’s sales rankings.

Unsurprisingly, given the success of the adaptation of the author’s previous book, film rights have been acquired by the same team that produced that blockbuster adaptation.

Described as a “crime novel set on the moon,” the book is listed on wholesaler catalogs.

9780553448122_dacc7Artemis: A Novel
Andy Weir
PRH/Crown, November 14, 2017
Hardcover, 384 pages
$27.00 USD, $36.00 CAD
ISBN 9780553448122, 0553448129

Patterson’s Latest Partner in Crime

Monday, May 8th, 2017

51aCWVVUNDL._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_James Patterson’s newest co-author is getting top billing. According to the Associated Press, Patterson and former president Bill Clinton are writing a thriller together, appropriately titled The President is Missing.

The Amazon listing shows that it will be released on June 11, 2018, ISBN 978-0316412698. In an unusual move, it will be published jointly by PRH/ Knopf, which has published Clinton’s most recent books, and Patterson’s publisher, Hachette/Little, Brown.

In a the press release announcing the book, the publishers say it will be “a unique amalgam of intrigue, suspense and behind-the-scenes global drama from the highest corridors of power. It will be informed by details that only a president can know.”

Clinton adds, “Working on a book about a sitting president — drawing on what I know about the job, life in the White House and the way Washington works — has been a lot of fun. And working with Jim has been terrific. I’ve been a fan of his for a very long time.”

The Hill adds that Clinton and Patterson will go on a national book tour to promote their novel.

Hearing the news, we had to check the date, but April Fools Day was over a month ago. Further backing it up, the story is being reported by several other sources, including the Washington Post. and the New York Times, which quotes unnamed sources saying the idea was cooked up by the agent the two men share.

Hitting Screens, Week Of May 8, 2017

Monday, May 8th, 2017

Two very different adaptations begin airing this week, both on streaming services.

MV5BOWEzNWZkZWMtMDc2Ni00NTQxLWI5YzMtMDFjODFkNDAwNTkzXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMjIyNjMzODc@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,675,1000_AL_Anne with an E begins its eight-week run on Netflix starting May 12, with a two-hour premiere. It is a new version of L.M. Montgomery’s beloved childhood classic, Anne of Green Gables.

As we summarized last week, advance publicity indicates the new version will be grittier than readers remember.

As the show’s creator, Moira Walley-Beckett tells the CBC News, “I feel that this Anne is entirely different … We’re off-book … This is a very grounded, real version of the story. Life in Prince Edward Island in the late 1800s was a hard, gritty, scrappy life. It was messy, it was covered in red mud … It’s not doilies and teacups, it’s life.”

The relatively unknown Irish-Canadian actress, Amybeth McNulty, plays the title role. R.H. Thomson (Chloe) and Geraldine James (Sherlock Holmes) play Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert.

The few advance reviews are raves. The Globe and Mail say it is “striking and fresh … It imagines rather than remembers or reveres previous versions, no matter how beloved they were. This Anne should be approached and appreciated in the same spirit – it’s a sublimely reinvigorated Anne of Green Gables.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, writes “With an ‘e’ for exceptional, Walley-Beckett got it right.”

There is no tie-in, but the book is in print in multiple editions from various publishers.

MV5BMjJlZWYyNTUtMTE1OC00ZTVlLTg4YzgtNzk2MmIzNWFkODk1XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNjYxMDUzODc@._V1_Based on a cult novel by Chris Kraus, published by the indie press Semiotext(e) (reprinted by MIT press in 2006), I Love Dick starts airing on Amazon on May 12.

Jill Soloway, who created the Emmy-winning Transparent for Amazon, returns as co-creator and director. The series stars Kevin Bacon and Kathryn Hahn.

The press release details the plot: “Chris (Kathryn Hahn) is a frustrated New York filmmaker who finds herself marooned in Marfa, Texas, where her academic husband, Sylvère (Griffin Dunne), has a writing residency. Amid the dusty silence, art snobs, and tumbleweeds, she meets renowned scholar Dick (Kevin Bacon). An infuriating and beguiling exchange with this enigmatic, macho character unleashes in her a dramatic awakening.”

It debuted at Sundance and reviews thus far are generally strong. The Guardian says it is “innovative, well-acted and visually sumptuous.” Variety says it is “a treasure trove of charged moments, an intriguing dance of provocation, creation, and self-reflection. It digs to the roots of desire with unflinching curiosity. It is a daunting show to step into, with its scathing critiques and blunt personalities. But there is something cleansing and freeing about its unvarnished intimacy.” Reflective thought pieces are also piling up, from Slate, New York magazine and The New Republic.

There are some naysayers. The Hollywood Reporter calls it “Messy and not very likable,” summing it up with, “You might want to commit to something/someone else.”

There is no-tie in. For those who want to know more about the ground-breaking book, The Guardian wrote about it when it was published in the UK, saying it is “the book about relationships everyone should read.” The New Yorker wrote about it in 2015, calling it a “white-hot text.”

Holds Alert: THE RADIUM GIRLS

Monday, May 8th, 2017

9781492649359_ebafaKate Moore’s The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women (Sourcebooks; HighBridge Audio; OverDrive Sample) is catching on.

Holds are topping 7:1 ratios and spiking as high as 34:1. Bases on that, and Amazon’s sales rankings, it is headed for bestseller lists.

Already a hit with librarians, it is a LibraryReads selection for May and a GalleyChat title. Booksellers are on board as well, making it an Indie Next pick.

Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, CT provided the LibraryReads annotation:

This is the story of hundreds of young, vibrant women who were sentenced to death by their employers. The so-called “Radium Girls” painted luminescent faces on clock and watch dials using a paint mixture that contained radium. Instructed to “lip-point” their brushes as they painted, they absorbed high doses of radium into their bodies. When the effects of the radium led to horrific disfigurement and pain, the company refused to take responsibility. This heartrending book was one I could not put down.”

For GalleyChat, library director Nicole Steeves, Fox River Grove (IL), said the elements are perfect for readers’ advisory (readable non-fiction, women’s stories, and science writing) and would also recommend it to teens. She added, “It is also is a timely example of good research and careful attribution, relevant to librarians’ concerns about news literacy.”

Coverage is wide ranging. The Spectator introduces the book with the creepy headline, “The Radium Girls — still glowing in their coffins.” BuzzFeed runs an illustrated feature written by Moore, NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday has an interview, as do the NYT and Jezebel. Bustle, The Atlantic, the NY Post, and Nature offer stories, with Nature calling the book “harrowing.”

High Tide For INTO THE WATER

Monday, May 8th, 2017

Into the WaterReviews are pouring in for Paula Hawkins’s second novel, Into the Water (PRH/Riverhead; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample). So far, seven are pans, as Literary Hub’s Book Marks characterizes them, with just one rave, one positive and one mixed.

In The Guardian, crime writer Val McDermid gives Hawkins some sympathy, “The second novel is a notorious challenge to a writer. Hawkins had a mountain to climb after the success of The Girl on the Train and no doubt the sales of her second thriller will be massive. I suspect her readers’ enjoyment may be less so.”

Entertainment Weekly offers a rare life raft, giving the novel a B-, writing, “The book’s piled-on storylines lack the feverish, almost subdermal intimacy of Train, and Hawkins’ pulp psychology has only the soggiest sort of logic. Still, buried in her humid narrative is an intriguing pop-feminist tale of small-town hypocrisy, sexual politics, and wrongs that won’t rinse clean.” (They gave The Girl on the Train an A-).

USA Today is also on board, writing,”The various plot currents eventually converge, and when they do Into the Water takes off with a rush … So do dive in. The payoff is a socko ending. And a noirish beach read that might make you think twice about dipping a toe in those dark, chilly waters.”

Reviews are predictors of popularity only to the extent that they anticipate word of mouth an this book has legs. Movie rights were sold to Dremaworks, it is rising on Amazon’s rankings, and is currently in the top ten. Although holds were light prepub, they have risen dramatically in several libraries, jumping from ratios of 2:1 to 5:1, and in one case from 4:1 to 12:1.

We expect it to to hit the NYT bestseller list in the top five next week and stay there the next month or so, sliding down and settling in for the rest of the summer. In other words, while not at the level of The Girl on the Train, it will do as well as most books by established best selling authors.

UPDATE: Hawkins was interviewed today on ABC’s Good Morning America.

Possible TV Series: SHATTERED

Sunday, May 7th, 2017

9780553447088_1273bOne of the autopsies of the 2016 election might be made into a limited TV series reports the NYT.

Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes (PRH/Crown; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample) has been optioned by Sony’s TriStar Television.

The paper says it has become “a mainstay in dinner-party chatter in political circles since its publication.” In library circles it is doing well too, as we reported earlier, holds soared on light ordering.

It hit the  NYT  Hardcover Nonfiction list at #1 last week, slipping to #2 this week, displaced by Sheryl Sandberg’s Option B

The daily NYT‘s chief book critic Michiko Kakutani calls it “compelling”and The Globe and Mail writes that the authors “may be credited with banging the first hot-tipped galvanized spiral-shank nail into her historical coffin … [it is] an unfavourable – no, an unforgiving – look inside the Clinton presidential campaign of 2016.” Staff from the Clinton campaign are pushing back.

Deadline Hollywood reports that this would make the fourth TV project focused on the election. Mark Halperin and John Heilemann have a project with HBO. Annapurna and Mark Boal (Zero Dark Thirty) have one in the works they are keeping under wraps, saying only it will be “Trump-centric.” Tomorrow Studios is making what they hope will become an ongoing series, called Trump: It Happened Here.

The NYT says of this newest project that no writers or stars have been chosen for the project and a network “is not yet attached.”

Titles to Know and Recommend, Week of May 8, 2017

Friday, May 5th, 2017

9780399174476_44eb9  9780062129383_31807  9780385352161_082a7

Among the books arriving next week, the most eagerly awaited, based on holds are The Girl Who Knew Too Much by Amanda Quick, Dennis Lehane’s Since We Fell, which is also a peer pick (see below) and Jo Nesbø’s The Thirst, the 11th novel featuring detective Harry Hole, who will make his film debut this fall, played by Michael Fassbender in The Snowman scheduled for release on October 20.

9781501140211_54f85In literary fiction, Colm Tóibín’s take on Greek tragedy, House of Names, will be heavily reviewed. Among the first is The Washington Post‘s chief critic Ron Charles who writes, “Never before has Tóibín demonstrated such range, not just in tone but in action. He creates the arresting, hushed scenes for which he’s so well known just as effectively as he whips up murders that compete, pint for spilled pint, with those immortal Greek playwrights.” Tóibín is scheduled to appear on NPR’s upcoming Weekend Edition Sunday.

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 8, 2017

Media Magnets

9781501105562_17e6bThe Road to Camelot: Inside JFK’s Five-Year Campaign. Thomas Oliphant and Curtis Wilkie (S&S; Recorded Books).

With all the assessments of the recent election, it’s useful to be reminded that the first takes on history are often revised. In The Washington Post, Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign manager, David Plouffe, admits, “I thought I knew everything about the Kennedy magic on the campaign trail. But to my great surprise, Thomas Oliphant and Curtis Wilkie’s new book …  brings much new insight to an important playbook that has echoed through the campaigns of other presidential aspirants as disparate as Barack Obama and Donald Trump.” The authors will be featured this week on CBS Sunday Morning.

Peer Picks

9780735220683_fcd46Four LibraryReads arrive, including the #1 pick for May, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, Gail Honeyman (PRH/Pamela Dorman Books; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

“I loved this book about the quirky Eleanor, who struggles to relate to other people and lives a very solitary life. When she and the new work IT guy happen to be walking down the street together, they witness an elderly man collapse on the sidewalk and suddenly Eleanor’s orderly routines are disrupted. This is a lovely novel about loneliness and how a little bit of kindness can change a person forever. Highly recommended for fans of A Man Called Ove and The Rosie Project – this would make a great book club read.” — Halle Eisenman, Beaufort County Library, Blufton, SC

Additional Buzz: Honeyman is an EarlyReads author and was spotted by GalleyChatters in February. It is an Indie Next pick for May. InStyle names it one of “7 Books You Won’t Be Able to Put Down This Month.” Booklist stars, writing “Move over, Ove (in Fredrik Backman’s A Man Called Ove, 2014)—there’s a new curmudgeon to love.” It is doing well in audio too; AudioFile just gave it an Earphones Award. The Guardian profiles Honeyman in their introduction to the “new faces of fiction for 2017.” The book was the subject of a fierce auction fight, landing Honeyman over seven figures (in the US alone). PW reports it was one of the biggest books of the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2015. Paving the way, Honeyman won the Scottish Book Trust’s Next Chapter Award in 2014, which supports “a talented yet unpublished writer over the age of 40.”

9780062129383_31807Since We Fell, Dennis Lehane (HC/Ecco; HarperLuxe; HarperAudio).

“Rachel is a journalist who, after her online breakdown, becomes a recluse scared to resume her daily life. She is recently divorced and meets an old friend who wants to help her overcome her fear. They fall in love, marry and appear to have the perfect life, until Rachel ventures out of the house one day and sees something that makes her question everything she knows about her new husband. Once a reporter, always a reporter and Rachel has to get to the bottom of her story.” — Michele Coleman, Iredell County Public Library, Statesville, NC

Additional Buzz: DreamWorks bought the film rights prepub and Lehane will write the screenplay. Entertainment Weekly picks it as one of their “19 book you have to read in May.” The Guardian includes it on their list of “The best recent thrillers,” calling it “invigorating … With sharply acute [characterization], this is classic Lehane … [and] bears traces of his magnum opus, Mystic River.” The Denver Post counts it as one of the “38 books we can’t wait to read this spring.” Fast Company puts it on their “Creative Calendar” of “77 Things to See, Hear, And Read This May.” It is on the spring book lists complied by The Washington Post and the Amazon Editor’s Top 20. Booklist and Kirkus star. Booklist says “Lehane hits the afterburners in the last 50 pages, he produces one of crime fiction’s most exciting and well-orchestrated finales,” while Kirkus calls it “a crafty, ingenious tale of murder and deception.”

9780062661098_16823Sycamore, Bryn Chancellor (HC/Harper; HarperAudio).

“A newly divorced woman is starting life over in a small Arizona town. She comes across the skeletal remains of what the locals think is the body of a seventeen-year-old girl named Jess who disappeared almost two decades ago. The discovery forces community members to recall memories and secrets that have been buried a long time. Readers are treated to a cast of characters with distinct personalities who, with each piece of the puzzle, form a patchwork that reveals the truth surrounding Jess’s disappearance.” — Sharon Layburn, South Huntington Public Library, Huntington, NY

Additional Buzz: It is a GalleyChat title and an Indie Next pick. Bustle lists it as one of “The 15 Best Fiction Books Of May 2017,” calling it “masterfully-written suspense [that] will draw you in immediately.” Glamour includes it on their list of “New Books by Women You’re Guaranteed to Love this Summer.” LJ and PW star, with LJ calling it “absorbing” and “gripping” and PW saying it is “movingly written.”

9780307959577_b30abSaints for All Occasions, J. Courtney Sullivan (PRH/Knopf; RH Large Print; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

“Sisters Nora and Theresa Flynn leave their home in Ireland for a new life in 1958 Boston. Each adjusts to life in America in her own way. Steady Nora watches younger Theresa, until choices made by each woman drive the sisters apart. We follow the story from 1958 to contemporary New England, Ireland, and New York, exploring how siblings and children relate to their parents and each other as they age. Novels about Irish immigrant families and their American descendants are a weakness of mine and the way this story unfolds from everyone’s perspectives is very satisfying!” — Trisha Rigsby, Deerfield Public Library, Deerfield, WI

Additional Buzz: It is an Indie Next pick for May and a GalleyChat choice. It is on the spring book list from The Washington Post as well as Glamour‘s list of “New Books by Women You’re Guaranteed to Love this Summer.” The Denver Post picks it as one of the “38 books we can’t wait to read this spring.Elle names it as one of their “5 Must-Read Books for Your May Book Club,” saying it is for readers “ripe for a presummer blockbuster that delivers an engrossing family drama with feisty humor and transformative tough love.” NPR’s The Roundtable features it in the “Book Picks” section, calling it a “moving, unforgettable novel … captivating.” (Scroll down the page for the audio, unfortunately we cannot embed the file – if you don’t know the program, make sure to listen to the opening book-y jingle).

Tie-ins

There are no tie-ins this week. For our full list of upcoming adaptations, download our Books to Movies and TV and link to our listing of tie-ins.

Sandberg, Atwood, and Strout Score

Friday, May 5th, 2017

The May 14 New York Times best seller lists shows three women in top spots.

9781524732684_e51e2The #1 hardcover nonfiction title is Sheryl Sandberg’s Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy (PRH/Knopf; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample). A book about grief, resilience, and finding a way through tragedy – with some Facebook business ethos served on the side.

Coverage is pervasive, from NPR to In Style. The Atlantic offers a feature while The New Yorker and Wired offer a mix of cultural commentary and review. Summing up much of the positive coverage, The New York Times writes “This is a book that will be quietly passed from hand to hand, and it will surely offer great comfort to its intended readers.”

9780525435006_a03ffThe number one trade paperback title is Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale (Houghton Mifflin, 1986; tie-in ed., PRH/Anchor, 2017; OverDrive Sample), rising to that position after 12 weeks on the list.

As the author modestly says, she is having “a moment.” Her 1986 book has been rising as part of a post-election wave of interest in dystopian novels, solidified by the premiere of the Hulu series,  which is airing to rapturous reviews and think pieces and has just been renewed for a second season.

9780812989403_3b3daElizabeth Strout’s Anything Is Possible (PRH/RH; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample) debuts on the fiction list at #4, following strong coverage.

It was the #1 LibraryReads pick for April and made many monthly best of lists. The NYT calls the book is “a necklace of short stories” and says that “the writing is wrenchingly lovely … You read Strout, really, for the same reason you listen to a requiem: to experience the beauty in sadness … it’s certainly more grim than Strout’s previous work. It’s more audacious, too, and more merciless, daring you to walk away.”

The Guardian compares Strout to John Steinbeck, Leo Tolstoy, and Anne Tyler, calling the book “a wise, stunning novel.” NPR’s Maureen Corrigan calls it “gorgeous” and says “Strout is in that special company of writers like Richard Ford, Stewart O’Nan and Richard Russo, who write simply about ordinary lives and, in so doing, make us readers see the beauty of both their worn and rough surfaces and what lies beneath.” The New Yorker ran a feature and The Atlantic showcases Strout and the literature that matters most to her.

 

My Parents, My Self

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017

9780062661883_90d85Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist Richard Ford was featured on Fresh Air yesterday, discussing his new memoir, Between Them: Remembering My Parents (HC/Ecco; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample) with host Terry Gross.

In a long, gentle and revealing interview Ford talks about his parents’ lives and how their love for each other shaped his. He tells Gross that his somewhat wild childhood, breaking into houses and stealing guns, may indicate that he is missing the gene for guilt.

And, yet, as an adult, he has regrets. One of the biggest is that, as his mother was dying, he invited her to move in with him, but then told her not to make plans yet. He says he could see the light of hope in her eyes bloom and then die as he spoke to her.

Cheryl Strayed, reviewing it for the upcoming  NYT Book Review, writes that it offers “a master class in character development and narrative economy” and that “In this slim beauty of a memoir, he has given us — the same way he has given us many times in his fiction — a remarkable story about two unremarkable people we would have never known, but for him. Which he couldn’t have written, but for them.”

In the Washington Post author William Giraldi is less enthusiastic, “At just 175 pages, spattered with ‘I don’t know’ and ‘I’m not sure,’ Between Them is a wisp of a book.” However, he ends the review by saying, “[Ford] has attempted a gentle reckoning here, his own exertion of mercy and mourning — his parents breathe in him still — and the attempt alone makes a loving homage.”

PW, Kirkus, and Booklist all starred it, PW says it is vivid and graceful and writes “Every page of this little remembrance teems with Ford’s luxuriant prose.”

GalleyChat, TODAY, Tues. May 2

Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017

This month’s GalleyChat has now ended. Join us for the next one on Tues., June 6 – 4 to 5 p.m. ET (3:30 for virtual cocktails). Details here.

Inside The Ruins of Camelot

Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017

9781501158940_b4279A forthcoming book by Jackie Kennedy’s longtime assistant is getting wide media coverage, Jackie’s Girl: My Life with the Kennedy Family by Kathy McKeon (S&S/Gallery; S&S Audio; out May 9). The book’s title is how Rose Kennedy referred to her. The book arrives next week.

McKeon lived in Kennedy’s Fifth Avenue apartment from 1964 to 1977 and had a front row seat to history, caring for both children and helping Mrs. Kennedy. People says “McKeon’s position gave her a close-up view of the real lives behind the headlines — from Jackie’s romance with Greek shipping billionaire Aristotle Onassis and their controversial marriage, to the shattering news of RFK’s assassination in 1968.”

She was interviewed on the Today Show yesterday:

The family clearly loved her. Refinery29 says “McKeon, an Irish immigrant, began working for Kennedy at the young age of 19 … [when she left] to get married and start her own family, Kennedy and her children, Caroline and John Jr., attended the wedding. McKeon and her children were invited to Kennedy’s summer home in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, every year.”

People ran an excerpt and the news media is doing their best to mine it for unknown details. The most “salacious” is that John John once had a play date with “Robert Chambers, who went on to become the infamous ‘Preppy Killer.'” Others have to do with fashion: Jackie wore a quarter-inch lift in one of her shoes to make up for a slight difference in leg length and liked her closet arranged by color. Other insider details reveal that Carolyn Bessette Kennedy was terrified of the paparazzi and John F. Kennedy Jr. “was a ‘scrawny kid’ who shied away from ‘rough-and-tumble sports.’”

The book is selling well, and holds are high, on generally cautious ordering.

A Grittier Anne (with an “e”)

Monday, May 1st, 2017

MV5BOWEzNWZkZWMtMDc2Ni00NTQxLWI5YzMtMDFjODFkNDAwNTkzXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMjIyNjMzODc@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,675,1000_AL_Look out for flying pigtails. Anne of Green Gables is returning, this time in a Netflix adaptation called Anne With an E (previously titled just Anne). Set to begin airing on May 12, it gets an in-depth cover feature by the New York Times Magazine.

The article credits Anne’s enduring appeal to the sense of comfort her story offers young readers, as if they have “found a kindred spirit,” exactly as Montgomery intended.

It is intriguing, even unsettling, therefore that the new version, created by Breaking Bad‘s Moira Walley-Beckett ,introduces a grittier Anne, one dealing with the trauma of an abusive childhood, which may cause “Viewers familiar with the books and previous adaptations [to feel] that the emphasis is on the wrong syllable, while also finding something provoking and substantive in the new pronunciation.”

If what readers remember is a cheerful novel, or a romantic story, or even period frilly dresses and teacups, then buckle up. The NYT writes this new version is “much darker. Extrapolating from asides in the text, Walley-Beckett has fleshed out minor characters; given major ones back stories; drawn out themes of gender parity, prejudice, isolation and bullying.”

Walley-Beckett hopes the show will be meaningful to those who have long loved the story and those at the perfect age to meet it for the first time but she tells the NYT, “My bottom line is: Go deep and make the show worthy of watching … There are other versions of ‘Anne’ out there for 5-year-olds.”

Nevertheless, claims Walley-Beckett her version “is a highly lovable and yummy pleasure to sit down with at night.”

Netflix has released a few clips. The following shows some of the darkness beneath the surface.

Hitting Screens, Week of May 1, 2017

Monday, May 1st, 2017

9780316271639_4ab46Two film adaptations arrive this week, including the eagerly awaited Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2.

Based on the Marvel comics, and following the surprise hit of 2014, Guardians returns with another helping of action, comedy, and a killer soundtrack. Starring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Sylvester Stallone, and Kurt Russell, the film debuts on May 5. Early tracking numbers that put it on target for a massive money-making opening.

Many tie-ins have already been published, including:

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: The Deluxe Junior Novel, Marvel (Hachette/Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; Blackstone Audio; also in paperback; OverDrive Sample)

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 Guardians of the Galaxy: The Ultimate Guide to the Cosmic Outlaws, Nick Jones, Ages 7 to 10, Grades 2 to 5, (PRH/DK). For more see our listing of tie-ins.

Early reviews largely agree that, while it’s good, it doesn’t live up to first one. Entertainment Weekly gives it a B- and writes, “Alas, in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, the gag is starting to feel like it’s getting a bit old. It’s still a good Marvel movie (at times, a very good one), but it’s a come down from the dizzying highs of the first installment.” USA Today says it is “just short of magical.”

9780804190091_f5826Also arriving on the 5th is The Dinner, based on the novel of the same name by Herman Koch.

It depicts the tense story of the two Lohman brothers and their wives who are facing deep family strife as they try to decide what to do after their sons commit a terrible crime.

The novel was on the NYT Hardcover Fiction list for seven weeks, reaching a high of #7, although NYT critic Janet Maslin was no fan, writing “The Dinner has been wishfully compared to Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl (and enthusiastically endorsed by Ms. Flynn) for its blackhearted deviltry. But her book, with its dueling narrators, had two vicious but sympathetic voices. Her sneaky spouses were delectable in their evil genius. The Lohmans are indigestible.”

Early reviews echo some of her take, The Guardian says it is “soggy melodrama and indigestible ham all round” and The Hollywood Reporter says the film “will probably see some arthouse action both in Europe and stateside before ending up as broadcast fodder for people watching TV with plates of microwaved food on their knees.” However Variety is on board, writing that it is “riveting” with “a catchy atmosphere of disturbance.”

The film stars Richard Gere, Steve Coogan, Laura Linney, Rebecca Hall, Chloë Sevigny, and Charlie Plummer. Tie-in: The Dinner (Movie Tie-In Edition), Herman Koch (PRH/Hogarth; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample).