Last fall, John Grisham told Matt Lauer on the Today Show that he was seriously considering a sequel to his first and favorite novel, A Time to Kill. Over the years, he said, he has “been looking for some other trial [Mississippi lawyer] Jake could have a couple of years after the trial in A Time to Kill…and I’ve found the story.”
The NYT ’s Dwight Garner examines two books that lead the alarm, The Book of Woe: The DSM and the Unmaking of Psychiatry by Gary Greenberg, (Penguin/Blue Rider; Tantor Audio, 5/13) and Saving Normal: An Insider’s Revolt Against Out-of-Control Psychiatric Diagnosis, DSM-5, Big Pharma, and the Medicalization of Ordinary Life by Allen Frances, (HarperCollins/Morrow, 5/14) saying, they are “unalike yet deeply alike, as if they were vastly dissimilar Rube Goldberg devices that each ultimately drop the same antacid tablet into the same glass of water.”
Both, he says, are “repetitive and overlong,” and would have made better magazine articles, but, “Mr. Greenberg is a fresher, funnier writer. He paces the psychiatric stage as if he were part George Carlin, part Gregory House.”
The next season of the popular British series, Downton Abbey is currently in production. The series’ first black actor has just joined the cast. Gary Carr will play jazz singer Jack Ross, reports the UK’s Independent. A slide show of the other new additions, gives hints about the upcoming story lines (there’s at least one new love interest for Lady Mary).
Earlier, one of Kakutani’s colleagues, Dwight Garner, wrote glowingly about the author in New York Times Magazine, under the headline, “John le Carré Has Not Mellowed With Age,” calling A Delicate Truth, “an elegant yet embittered indictment of extraordinary rendition, American right-wing evangelical excess and the corporatization of warfare. It has a gently flickering love story and a jangling ending. And le Carré has not lost his ability to sketch, in a line or two, an entire character.” And, in the UK, The Guardian reports that, with this book, the author returns in “top form.”
Kakutani admits that the book offers one worthwhile bit, in the form of its “atmospheric, movielike opening.” Hollywood sees a movie in it; film rights were sold before publication. It was announced last week that screenwriter William Monahan (The Departed ) has been hired to write the adaptation.
Shriver, who left NBC in 2004, also announced that she is returning as a “special anchor,” and will be profiling people like Ensler whom she calls “architects of change” and “reporting on women’s evolving experiences.”
According to the Wall Street Journal, this debut novel set in Chechnya and arriving next week, is the hot new accessory. Sarah Jessica Parker is a huge supporter and has been working to help get the word out it.
The WSJ sits in on a book discussion, organized by the publisher and featuring the actress with a group of women in New York’s Tribeca nieghborhood,
…the conversation moved from the surprise that despite the lucidity with which Mr. Marra describes the environment in the novel, he had actually never visited Chechnya; to how people responded to the book’s leaps back and forth in time; to the pockets of humor, warmth and charm in this seemingly bleak fictional canvas; to whether the recent events in Boston would bring more people to the novel.
on PW‘s list of books ”Most Anticipated for Spring,” which mentions yet another supporter, “Ann Patchett [who] came on board early, calling the book ‘simply spectacular. Not since Everything Is Illuminated have I read a first novel so ambitious and fully realized.’”
received three starred prepub reviews (the only holdout being Kirkus, which gave it a strong review, but complained that some plot elements were contrived.)
Mark Leibovich, author of the forthcoming THIS TOWN
The embargo that reporters will be racing to break this summer is the one for This Town, (Penguin/Blue Rider), by the New York Times Magazine‘s chief national correspondent, Mark Leibovich, arriving July 16.
POLITICO’s chief political reporter, Mike Allen and co-founder, Jim VandeHei try a clever, very insidery, end-run by reporting on Leibovich’s reporting in an effort to find out who should “worry most about his book.” And, guess what? They conclude that POLITICO itself, and specifically Mike Allen, are part of that elite group.
Originally called The Club, the book’s title has since been changed to This Town. POLITICO notes that the subtitle, “for reasons we cannot fathom, will soon be changed from The Way It Works in Suck Up City to Two Parties and a Funeral — Plus, Plenty of Valet Parking! — in America’s Gilded Capital.” The funeral refers to the one that was held for Tim Russert, which POLITCO describes as an event “where Washington’s self-obsession – and lack of self-awareness – was on full display.”
Libraries have ordered the book (LJ‘s Barbara Hoffert featured it in a Prepub Alert column in October; it was originally scheduled for release in April) and it appears on catalogs under the old title. Holds are light at this point.
One of the most prolific serial killers in history, Charlie Cullen, killed an estimated 40 people in sixteen years while working as a nurse in seven different hospitals. He was tried, convicted and is currently in prison.
He broke a long-standing silence for an interview on CBS Sixty Minutes last night. To try to understand why he committed these crimes, the show featured, Charles Graeber, author of The Good Nurse: A True Story of Medicine, Madness, and Murder (Hachette/Twelve, $26.99, 9780446505291. 4/15/13). The chilling answer was, “Because he could.”
Several charming picture books are on their way next week (gotta love that pug in Everyone Sleeps), Lauren Myracle is set to reach a younger audience and screenwriter Paul Rudnick publishes his first YA novel with a cover that lives up to the title, Gorgeous.
All the titles highlighted here, and more (including a roundup of several new board books and several middle grade series that shouldn’t be overlooked, plus roundup of graphic novels and superhero comics), are on our downloadable spreadsheet, Kids New Title Radar, Week of 4.29.13.
My Lucky Birthday, Keiko Kasza, (Penguin/Putnam Juvenile)
From the creator of the storytime favorite My Lucky Day, another animal trickster romp.
Everyone Sleeps, Marcellus Hall, (Penguin/Paulsen)
Illustrator Hall (City I Love, Cow Loves Cookies) strikes out on his own, writing as well as illustrating his first picture book, featuring and adorable pug.
When You Wander: A Search-and-Rescue Dog Story, Margarita Engle, illus by Mary Morgan, (Macmillan/Holt BYR)
A gentle portrayal of the work of search and rescue dogs. Don’t worry about getting lost, they will find you.
Myracle is known by YA readers for several titles including Shine. To 9- and 10-year-olds, she is known for the Winnie Years series. She’ll soon to be known to a younger crowd with Ty, Winnie’s younger brother, appealing to fans of Judy Moody’s brother Stink. What are his “penguin problems”? Ty smuggles one out of the local zoo.
Gorgeous, Paul Rudnick, (Scholastic; Scholastic Audio)
The first YA novel by the stage and screen writer and frequent contributor to the New Yorker, a fantasy princess romance with a snarky voice and social commentary (PW says the writing is “hilarious, profane and profound — often in the same sentence”), likely to find an audience with the Princess Diary crowd.
Note: superhero comics arriving next week are rounded up in the spreadsheet.
My Life as a Cartoonist, Janet Tashjian, Jake Tashjian, (Macmillan/Holt BYR)
In this sequel to My Life as a Book and My Life as a Stuntboy, Derek is being bullied by a tough kid who, upending the stereotype, is in a wheelchair. A Wimpy Kid look alike.
Oz: Road to Oz, Skottie Young, Eric Shanower, (Marvel)
The graphic retellings of the Oz series are collected in this bind-up. Eric Shanower is the Eisner Award-winning and New York Times best selling cartoonist of Age of Bronze series, a graphic novel rendition of the Trojan War.
Next week brings the fourth James Patterson hardcover of the year, putting him on track to match his record output last year. Joe Hill, once known as the offspring of two best selling authors, Stephen and Tabitha King, and now an established best selling author in his own right, publishes a new novel with a title based on a clever vanity plate, NOS4A2. Our watch list begins with a memoir that librarians have been looking forward to for months.
All these and more titles arriving next week, are on our downloadable spreadsheet, New Title Radar, 4.29.13. Be sure to take a close look at the Media Magnets list — among the many authors battling for attention next week are Glenn Beck, Amanda Knox and Mark Bittman.
You don’t have to be a librarian to love this memoir. Booksellers appreciate it, too, and picked is as an IndieNext title for May: “Resplendent with the intelligence that comes from accumulated experience, seasoned with sudden and delightful humor, and written with great sensitivity, Hanagarne’s memoir is one of this spring’s best surprises. It is not simply a love letter to anyone who has built a life around books, but also a moving autobiographical work of a gentle giant who refuses to let his sense of wonder about the world be displaced by his challenges and an insightful and informative exposition of what it is like to wake every morning and navigate life with Tourette Syndrome. Highly recommended!” —Aaron Cance, The King’s English Bookshop, Salt Lake City, UT
If you are a librarian, you’ll naturally be drawn to it. Robin Beerbower of Salem P.L, OR, calls it her favorite book of the year and is confident it will remain so.
Hanagarne’s web site, WorldsStrongestLibrarian.com, manages to combine the seemingly disparate worlds of strength-training and books. The author will be interviewed on BookTalkNation on Monday (sign up here).
In the book trailer he characterizes being a librarian as a “state of mind.”
Remember when certain publications wouldn’t print the title of Eve Ensler’s groundbreaking play, The Vagina Monologues? Seventeen years after its debut, it’s often performed by local theater groups, and the local newspapers have no trouble calling it by its real name. Even the Catholic Education Daily writes out the full titles (as part of an effort to get it banned). In Ensler’s memoir, she writes about more issues that some would prefer not to hear about; her work with Congolese women who suffered torture and rape and her own torture undergoing treatment for uterine cancer.
“Messud’s previous novel, the wonderful Emperor’s Children, sprawled out over more than 400 witty pages to skewer Manhattan’s young cultural elite. Her new book is an entirely different creature: a tightly wound monologue with the intensity of a novella that reads more like a curse.”
Librarians have been enthusiastic about it on EarlyWord‘sGalleyChat, saying they couldn’t stop reading it and that it is a great choice for book clubs as well as a readalike for Jodi Picoult fans. Booksellers made it an IndieNext Pick for April — “Throw out all the cliched superlatives! McCreight’s remarkable debut novel is about Kate Baron, a high-powered lawyer who believes that her daughter Amelia has committed suicide — until she receives the anonymous text — ‘She didn’t jump.’”
It hasn’t been widely reviewed in the consumer press, but Entertainment Weekly gave it an “A,” saying, “Like Gone Girl, Reconstructing Amelia seamlessly marries a crime story with a relationship drama. And like Gone Girl, it should be hailed as one of the best books of the year.”
But on Monday, the daily NYT reviewer dismissed the book as merely “fairly engaging,” and groaned over the writing style (“sometimes Mr. Stelter seems to throw out verbiage mainly for his own amusement.” A 109-word sentence is called a “veritable life imprisonment”) and detailed spotty reporting.
Stetler responds in an interview with The Wrap, saying he expects NYT reviews to be tough but that he’s “more interested in readers’ reviews,” noting he has been “overwhelmed by positive messages from people on Twitter.”
The media is fascinated with the story of the morning shows’ struggle for ratings (New York magazine also devoted a long feature to it), but readers may be less so. Despite all the attention, the book barely cracked the Amazon Top 100 on release yesterday and holds in libraries are light.
Dirty Wars is both a documentary, with a newly-released hot trailer and a book (Perseus/Nation Books). Excerpted in The Nation, where the author, Jeremy Scahill is a correspondent, it accuses the Obama administration of continuing “the policies that liberals were outraged about under Bush … just with a kind of rebranding.”