Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Hitting Screens, Week of July 3, 2017

Monday, July 3rd, 2017

Only one film opens this week but it is expected to be a blockbuster, Spider-Man: Homecoming.

Fans of the Captain America: Civil War movie already got a look at the new Spidey played by Tom Holland; he stole every scene he was in.

Now Holland gets his own film, one The Verge describes as “a joyous celebration, not just of the MCU’s [Marvel Comic Universe] usual crowd-winning balance of humor and action, but of a little guy’s ability to make a difference, even when, for once, the fate of the world isn’t on the line.”

Reviews are generally strong. Vanity Fair says it is a film of “easy, abounding charm” that makes viewers want even more to follow. The Guardian calls it a “razor-sharp reboot” and “a crowd-pleasing triumph.” io9 says it is “great” and USA Today calls it “remarkable and refreshing.”

Not all the reviews are glowing but most acknowledge its pleasures. Entertainment Weekly, in its B+ review, says “Homecoming comes off as loose and sweet and light on its feet.” The NYT says it is “likable, amusing.” Most critical, The Hollywood Reporter writes it is “occasionally exciting but often frustrating … a creative misstep for the studio.”

There have been five previous films since 2002, each making less money than the one before. Marvel clearly hopes this is the reboot that puts the character and the franchise back on track. Polygon reports that the film launches a trilogy. The next stand-alone feature will be July 5, 2019. Before that the webbed crusader will appear in Avengers: Infinity War.

Spider-Man: Homecoming premieres July 7th. It stars Holland along with Michael Keaton, Jon Favreau, Zendaya, Donald Glover, Tyne Daly, Marisa Tomei, and Robert Downey Jr. Several tie-ins are out, see our posts here and here.

Gold Rush

Wednesday, June 28th, 2017

James Ledbetter, author of One Nation Under Gold: How One Precious Metal Has Dominated the American Imagination for Four Centuries (Norton/Liveright; HighBridge Audio; OverDrive Sample), spoke on NPR’s Fresh Air about the ways gold has been perceived through American history.

The discussion covers the history of money in the US and the many different currencies that were used in the early days, including those issued by states and banks issued and even from other countries. The conversation also covers the role of the Gold Rush in monetary policy, the creation of Fort Knox, and the period of time when citizens had to turn in their gold to the government. In more recent times, there was even a 20th century alchemy quest to create more gold, called Operation Goldfinger.

NPR’s Dave Davies, filling in for host Terry Gross, says the book further details how gold became “a symbol of permanence and quality and most of all a store of value.”

HANDMAID Wins A Second Term

Thursday, May 4th, 2017

9780525435006_a03ffHulu has announced that The Handmaid’s Tale will return for a second season.

In a statement the streaming service said:

“The response we’ve seen to The Handmaid’s Tale in just one week since its premiere has been absolutely incredible. It has been an honor to work with this talented team of cast and creators to develop a series that has struck such a chord with audiences across the country … We can’t wait to explore the world of Gilead and continue Margaret’s vision with another season on Hulu.”

As New York magazine notes, the renewal means “the series will move beyond the scope of Margaret Atwood’s original novel, from which it has already started to diverge.”

While the news is not shocking based on the show’s success and media attention thus far (not to mention Moss’s long term series contract for the show), it does mean the series will continue to move off book, and perhaps, as New York magazine suggests, give room for the sequel Atwood has hinted might be coming.

E! News reports it was the most watched premiere in Hulu’s history and it has been quickly swept up in popular culture with many media outlets offering the type of per episode recap usually given to established hits such as Game of Thrones.

Monday, April 24th, 2017


Adult Titles for Teens

Adult 4 Teens

These six titles may have been published for adults,
but we think your teens will love ’em too!

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

MM Test2Macmillan Library @ TxLA 2017 (Booth #2606)
MM Txla 3

We can’t wait to see you at the
Texas Library Association Annual Conference next month!      
Join us in booth #2606 for tons of ARC giveaways and make sure to attend our many events(All events are free unless otherwise noted)

See you in San Antonio!

LibraryReads To Crit Pick

Tuesday, April 11th, 2017

9780812989885_a1476Pete Hamill reviews Hannah Tinti’s The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley (PRH/The Dial Press; RH Large Type; OverDrive Sample) for the forthcoming NYT Sunday Book Review, (not yet available online) calling it a “strikingly symphonic novel” and saying readers will keep turning pages “carried by Tinti’s seductive prose.”

Librarians saw it coming. It was the #1 LibraryReads pick in March:

The novel has received so much attention, that the review aggregator LitHub lists it as both one of the “Hottest Books of the Season” and the “Most Talked About Books.”

Booksellers also love it, picking it as an Indie Next selection for April 2017 and as we noted in Titles To Know, it was previewed on a number of monthly or seasonal best lists, including those by the BBC, Bustle, BuzzFeed, Elle, and InStyle. Much earlier in the year it was included in The MillionsThe Great 2017 Book Preview.”

The Rolling Stone says “Tinti has established herself as one of our great storytellers. She draws you in with this book, and it’s really difficult to get away.” Ron Charles reviews it for The Washington Post, as a “thriller with heart” and give it the “The Totally Hip Video Book Reviewer” treatment:

Tinti was interviewed on NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday in late March:

Holds are generally high. A few libraries we checked bought few copies and are facing ratios approaching 10:1. Others have ordered more copies to meet demand.


Future Visions

Tuesday, March 28th, 2017

9780316262330_fecffCommenting that “All science-fiction novels are about the future and about the present at the same time,” Kim Stanley Robinson discusses his new book  New York 2140 (Hachette/Orbit; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample) in an interview with New York magazine. In it, he envisions a waterlogged city that climate change has turned into the Venice of the U.S.

It is one of a number of novels getting media attention for their prescience about the current political climate,

A surprisingly hopeful version of what lies ahead, Robinson’s books shows survivors coping with the aftermath of  an epic flood that has hit NYC. They move into high rise buildings, get used to tides washing up the streets, and to living with canals rather than roads. Robinson says “at some point, science fiction has to imagine the people who come after, when the situation will be natural, whatever it is.”

In her monthly Sci Fi column in the NYT Book Review, N.K. Jemisin says Robinson “deftly conveys [the transformed city’s] unnerving strangeness … it is refreshing to see a futurism that acknowledges the innate resilience of the city and, by inference, of humanity itself.”

9780765388889_dac23Wired compares it to John Scalzi’s newest, the space opera The Collapsing Empire (Macmillan/Tor; OverDrive Sample), a far less hopeful vision set in AD 3500 when humanity appears doomed. They call it “Star Wars politics in the key of Firefly,” while New York 2014 could be pitched as “Waterworld survivalists battle Wall Street bogeymen.”

9780451493583_f9dc0Daily NYT critic Michiko Kakutani devotes her attention to a novel that, like Robinson’s, imagines the impact of global warming on the U.S., Omar El Akkad’s American War (PRH/Knopf; RH Audio; OverDrive Sample). In this darker version, the U.S., reduced to a much smaller country, is engaged in second Civil War.

Kakutani says “El Akkad has fashioned a surprisingly powerful novel — one that creates as haunting a postapocalyptic universe as Cormac McCarthy did in The Road (2006), and as devastating a look at the fallout that national events have on an American family as Philip Roth did in The Plot Against America (2004).”

Released today, the book is currently at #71 on Amazon’s sales rankings, moving up rapidly from a lowly #29,600.

Hitting Screens, Week of March 27, 2017

Monday, March 27th, 2017

Beauty and the Beast‘s box office juggernaut continued over the weekend. Even the release of the Power Rangers reboot could not break the spell, coming in a distant second.

Six screen adaptations come out this week:

MV5BYTFmNzRlNWYtMmFmNi00ZTFiLWJhODgtOGM5ODQ5NTgxZWUwL2ltYWdlXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMTExNDQ2MTI@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,674,1000_AL_Netflix’s new series 13 Reasons Why will premiere on March 31.

Based on Jay Asher’s 2007 YA novel TH1RTEEN R3ASONS WHY, it is about a high school student who commits suicide and leaves behind several tapes, telling classmates how each contributed to her decision. The novel is a YALSA Best Books of 2008, and was a NYT best seller in hardcover for over two years.

The trailer debut alone was enough to send the book soaring on Amazon. A new featurette is out:

Thus far critics seem very happy with the show. Entertainment Weekly gives it a B+ and writes “A frank, authentically affecting portrait of what it feels like to be young, lost, and too fragile for the world.”

Variety writes “13 Reasons Why [will] pull viewers into a suspenseful tale that will keep most of them engaged until the final scene fades out.”

A tie-in came out earlier this month: 13 Reasons Why, Jay Asher Razorbill (PRH/Razorbill; Listening Library; OverDrive Sample).


Alec Baldwin stars in DreamWorks Animation’s adaptation of Marla Frazee’s Boss Baby (S&S/Beach Lane, 2010), opening on March 31.

Directed by Tom McGrath (Madagascar), it also features the voices of Jimmy Kimmel and Lisa Kudrow.

As we posted earlier, the movie is described as “inspired” by Frazee’s picture book and adds several story lines. The tie-in, which came out in February, is a novelization of the movie script, The Boss Baby Junior Novelization by Tracey West (S&S/Simon Spotlight; also in trade pbk; OverDrive Sample).

Early reviews were glowing. Variety reported from the Annecy film festival that it “had the audience in stitches” and brought “whoops of applause.”

However, more recent reviews are not as strong. IndieWire headlines “The Boss Baby Might Pacify Kids, But This Dirty Diaper of a Movie Is Further Proof Hollywood Animation Needs a Change.”

The Wrap says “The Boss Baby runs in the opposite direction of real feeling in favor of bombast. There’s so much to like in this movie, but its best qualities are ultimately subsumed in formula. And not the nutritious kind.”

MV5BMzJiNTI3MjItMGJiMy00YzA1LTg2MTItZmE1ZmRhOWQ0NGY1XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyOTk4MTM0NQ@@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,675,1000_AL_Ghost in the Shell, the live-action adaptation of Shirow Masamune’s SF manga series, which Movie Pilot calls “a pioneer of cyberpunk,” opens March 31. It stars Scarlett Johansson, Pilou Asbæk, Takeshi Kitano, Juliette Binoche, and Michael Pitt.

There are few reviews thus far but the NYT offers a feature on the many incarnations of the story.

There are multiple tie-ins. See here and here.

MV5BNTY3YmZmYmMtZjc3Zi00N2VjLWE5ZGMtN2M0ODkzOGQ5M2UyL2ltYWdlL2ltYWdlXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTk1MTQ3NDI@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,647,1000_AL_The Zookeeper’s Wife opens on March 31. It is is already selling books, taking Diane Ackerman’s nonfiction account of the heroic story of a zookeeper and his wife who harbored 300 Jews from the Nazis back to the best seller lists and rising on Amazon’s rankings.

The film stars Jessica Chastain, Johan Heldenbergh, Michael McElhatton, and Daniel Brühl.

Reviews are not great. The Guardian says it “suffers from an uneven script” while Den of Geek says it is “hurt by erratic pacing.”

The Wrap writes, “Turning an incredible true story of a couple who sheltered Jews into bland historical fare is the most noteworthy of the film’s shortcomings.”

The best-selling tie-in came out in February: The Zookeeper’s Wife: A War Story, Diane Ackerman (W. W. Norton; Blackstone; OverDrive Sample).

In more limited release are two films. While they will not air to a wide audience at first, they will eventually be released on DVD, making them accessible for libraries creating book-to-film collections (and displays).

MV5BMjMxMTQ2ODgwMF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjQyODY2MTI@._V1_Carrie Pilby opens in limited release on March 31 and will be followed by VOD on April 4. It is based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Caren Lissner, Carrie Pilby: A hilarious and charming story (HC/Harlequin Teen; Harlequin Audio; OverDrive Sample).

The film stars Bel Powley, Nathan Lane, Gabriel Byrne, Jason Ritter, William Moseley, Vanessa Bayer, and Colin O’Donoghue.

The Hollywood Reporter calls it “a well-intentioned but imperfect young-adult-skewing comedy-drama … this often tritely plotted tale is not half as clever or cute as it thinks it is.”

Variety says “this is awfully soft stuff, its naval-gazing protagonist not nearly as unusual or delightful as we’re meant to think despite the high IQ she can’t stop referencing … For a story about a supposed genius, it’s not all that clever or complicated.”

The Guardian was much more favorable, giving it 4 out of 5 stars and calling it an “ambitious, upbeat and surprising comedy.”

There is no tie-in.

MV5BNTI5ZWFhOTAtMTRlNC00ZTA3LTk4NTctZjhjMmM3Y2JiMDE3XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNzI1NjQ1MTU@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,714,1000_AL_The Devotion of Suspect X, a Chinese-language film, opens in very limited release on March 31, just 45 theaters. It stars stars Wang Kai, Zhang Luyi, and Ruby Lin. There are no reviews as of yet.

The novel on which it was based, The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino (Macmillan/Minotaur; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample), received attention when it was published. It was selected by the ALA/RUSA Reading List in 2012 for best Mystery and was nominated for an Edgar. It earned three star reviews, from LJ, PW, and Kirkus.

The Wall St. Journal says, “Whether it amounts to math, philosophy, psychology or cosmology, The Devotion of Suspect X is an elegant literary experiment. It suggests, among much else, that a lot of bad behavior is forgiven in the name of genius—and then even a genius can push the envelope just so far before it breaks.”

There is no tie-in.

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017


MARLENA is the Electric Debut Novel of 2017!


With FOUR phenomenal starred reviews and tons of acclaim, Julie Buntin’s MARLENA is the electric debut novel you need in your collection!

It’s also been selected for the the following:
B & N Spring 2017 Discover Picks
PW Most Anticipated Spring 2017 Debuts
April 2017 Indie Next List

“In Buntin’s vivid debut, Cath, now a New York City public librarian in her thirties, tells the story of the friendship that changed her forever. Though Cath tells her story in flashbacks, Buntin’s prose is emotional and immediate, and the interior lives she draws of young women and obsessive best friends are Ferrante-esque.”Booklist, starred review

Thursday, March 16th, 2017


Perform Ann Cleeves’s
“Shetland Murder Mystery Game”
in Your Library!

To celebrate the forthcoming publication
of Ann Cleeves’s COLD EARTH
(book #7 in the Shetland Island series, on sale 4/18),
we are offering librarians a
free Shetland Murder Mystery Game
plus three Shetland series books to be used as prizes!


Developed by Ann and based around a traditional
Shetland Sunday tea, the script is designed
to be read by four actors.
Directions on how to stage the event are also included.

Download the murder mystery game PDF and click here for more information about book prizes.

Hitting Screens, Week of March 13, 2017

Monday, March 13th, 2017

MV5BMTUwNjUxMTM4NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwODExMDQzMTI@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,674,1000_AL_Relatively few adaptations are currently in theaters, but this weekend sees the opening of one of biggest of the season, the live-action version of one of Disney’s most beloved animated films, Beauty and the Beast, which in turn is based on the Grimm fairy tale. It’s another reminder that one of the fiercest copyright enforcers takes full advantage of public domain material.

The film stars Emma Watson as Belle and Dan Stevens as the Beast. Luke Evans, Kevin Kline, Josh Gad, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Audra McDonald, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Ian McKellen, and Emma Thompson also star.

Press coverage has been heavy with features in Entertainment Weekly and a Vanity Fair shoot for Watson.

Reviews range from praise to pans. USA Today says “Here’s some Disney magic for you: The new Beauty and the Beast actually improves upon the animated classic.

The NYT says “Its classicism feels unforced and fresh. Its romance neither winks nor panders. It looks good, moves gracefully and leaves a clean and invigorating aftertaste. I almost didn’t recognize the flavor: I think the name for it is joy.”

Entertainment Weekly is not as glowing, giving it a B- and writing “It’s fine and funny and sweet and lush and some of the songs are infectious, but I still don’t completely understand why it exists — and why they couldn’t do more with it.” New York Magazine calls it “Lifeless.”

There are multiple tie-ins, including Beauty and the Beast Novelization, Disney Writers (Hachette/Disney Press). For more see the listing of tie-ins.

MV5BMTU2NTA0NDM0MF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMDMzMTQzMTI@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,666,1000_AL_Another film that captured the imagination of a generation, although in a quite different way, is also getting a second pass at the silver screen. T2 Trainspotting opens on March 17.

The original 1996 film Trainspottingepitomize[d] an era” says the LA Times. “The film captured the growing consumerism, heroin-chic and Cool Britannia of the time … As it followed the exploits of Renton, Sick Boy and other on-the-margin types in Edinburgh, Scotland … [it] took on landmark status.”

The original cast stars again, including Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller, Robert Carlyle, and Kelly Macdonald. Director and screenwriter return as well, Danny Boyle and John Hodge.

Both films are based on novels by Irvine Welsh: his debut novel, Trainspotting (Norton, 1996; OverDrive Sample), and its sequel, Porno (Norton, 2003; OverDrive Sample). Norton released the new film tie-in, on March 7: T2 Trainspotting, Irvine Welsh. The cover says “Previously published as Porno.”

However, the book connections are a bit complicated. The NYT says “Although the second film uses elements from Porno … Mr. Boyle said the story was largely a development of ideas from the original book.”

Thus far reviews are mixed. Neither the Hollywood Reporter nor Variety are impressed. THR says “Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be” and calls the film “disappointingly redundant.” Variety says “a shinily distracting but disappointingly unambitious follow-up to 1996’s feverish youthquake of a junkie study, which reunites its quartet of older, none-the-wiser Edinburgh wretches to say simply this: Middle-aged masculinity is a drag, whether you’re on smack or off it.”

The Guardian disagrees, calling it “a vibrant and welcome reunion.”

MV5BMTkwNDgxNjYxMF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMjY5OTMzMTI@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,674,1000_AL_Hap and Leonard, Season 2 returns to Sundance TV on March 15 in a six-episode run.

Based on the books by Joe R. Lansdale the second season will draw on events from the second novel of the print series, Mucho Mojo (PRH/Vintage Crime/Black Lizard, 2009;Brilliance Audio; OverDrive Sample).

Stars James Purefoy, as Hap, and Michael Kenneth Williams, as Leonard, return.

Entertainment Weekly says the show, which has a notoriously high body count, has “reinforced [Season 2] with a number of new actors, including Brian Dennehy as a lawman named Valentine Otis, Irma P. Hall as local matriarch MeMaw, Dohn Norwood as charismatic preacher Reverend Fitzgerald, Cranston Johnson as Detective Johnson, and Tiffany Mack as Leonard’s lawyer, Florida Grange, who, together with Hap, attempts to clear Leonard’s name after he is arrested for a murder he didn’t commit.”

Deadline Hollywood reports the first season was “the network’s highest-rated original series.”

There is no tie-in.

SOONISH Sells Fast

Tuesday, March 7th, 2017

9780399563829A graphic nonfiction work is zooming up Amazon’s sales rankings, Soonish: Ten Emerging Technologies That’ll Improve and/or Ruin Everything (PRH/Penguin, October 17, 2017; ISBN 9780399563829), well in advance of its October release date..

Created by Zach Weinersmith, who writes the webcomic Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal and has over 100,000 followers on Twitter, it is co-written with his wife, Dr. Kelly Weinersmith, an Adjunct Faculty in the BioSciences Department at Rice University and the cohost of the podcast Science… Sort Of.

Comics Beat says to think about it as “sort of in the vein of Randall Munro’s immensely popular science books, if by that you mean a book about science by a webcomics superstar.”

Weinersmith ran a pre-order book promotion on his site, promising to do certain feats if the book hit #1 on Amazon, such as eat an entire peanut butter pie.

The book reached #3 yesterday, saving him from having to consume the pie. It marks, however, a very impressive rise on Amazon, going from “no ranking” to #3  within just a few hours.

Time For Oscar Displays!

Wednesday, January 25th, 2017

The Oscar nominations, announced yesterday, are providing good opportunities to build displays and make book lists, given the number of nominated films based on books.

Four of the nine Best Picture nominees are based on published material. Each is also in the running for the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar:

9781101972120_4afa1Arrival, based on a story in: Stories Of Your Life And Others (originally published in 2002 by Macmillan/Tor; re-released by PRH/Vintage in 2016; Tantor Audio; OverDrive Sample). The movie is also nominated for Best Director, Best Cinematography, Editing, Sound Editing, and Sound Mixing.

9780735216686_c42dbFences, based on: Fences (Movie tie-in) by August Wilson (PRH/Plume). Denzel Washington was nominated for Best Actor, Viola Davis for Best Supporting Actress and the film is also a nominee in the Production Design category.

9780062363602_4650aHidden Figures, based on: Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race, Margot Lee Shetterly (HarperCollins/Morrow; HarperLuxe; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample). Octavia Spencer is in the running for Best Supporting Actress.

9780425291764_e8861Lion, based on: A Long Way Home, Saroo Brierley (PRH/Viking, 2014, trade paperback, 2015; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample). Dev Patel got a nomination for Best Supporting Actor and Nicole Kidman for Best Supporting Actress. The film is also nominated in the Best Cinematography and Original Score categories.

mv5bnzqxntiyodaxmv5bml5banbnxkftztgwnzqymda3ote-_v1_sy1000_cr006741000_al_A fifth nominee for Best Picture is Moonlight. It is based on an unpublished school drama project titled In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue by Tarell Alvin McCraney.

Other nominations with book connections include:

Florence Foster Jenkins, which nets Meryl Streep a history-making 20th Oscar nomination, this time for Best Actress. The tie-in is Florence Foster Jenkins: The Inspiring True Story of the World’s Worst Singer, Nicholas Martin and Jasper Rees (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Griffin; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample).

Elle, for which star Isabelle Huppert is nominated for Best Actress. The film is based on Oh… by Philippe Djian (Gallimard, 2012; not published in the US).

Nocturnal Animals sees one of its stars, Michael Shannon, in the running for Best Supporting Actor. The tie-in uses the original title of the novel, Tony and Susan, Austin Wright (Hachette/Grand Central Publishing; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample).

Kubo and My Life as a Zucchini are both nominated for Best Animated film. Kubo is based on Japanese folklore and has a number of tie-ins, including Kubo and the Two Strings: The Junior NovelSadie Chesterfield (Hachette/Little, Brown YR; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample). Life as a Zucchini is based on Autobiographie D’une Courgette (J’Ai Lu Editions, 2003; no English translation), a YA novel by the French journalist Gilles Paris.

I Am Not Your Negro is nominated for Best Documentary. It is based on James Baldwin’s unfinished manuscript Remember This House, called by the publisher in a companion volume, to be published in February, “the most famous book Baldwin never wrote.”: I Am Not Your Negro: A Companion Edition to the Documentary Film Directed by Raoul Peck, James Baldwin, Raoul Peck (PRH/Vintage; OverDrive Sample).

Life, Animated is also in the running for Best Documentary. It is based on Life, Animated: A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes, and Autism, Ron Suskind (Hachette/Kingswell; OverDrive Sample).

A Man Called Ove is among the Best Foreign Language Films, based on Fredrik Backman’s A Man Called Ove (S&S/Atria, July 2014; Dreamscape; OverDrive Sample).

Four additional films with book connections are nominated in technical categories:

Silence — Best Cinematography. Based on Shusaku Endo’s Silence: With an Introduction by Martin Scorsese (Peter Owen Publishers, Dec. 1; trade paperback, Macmillan/Picador Modern Classics).

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them — Best Costume Design and Production Design. Based on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Hogwarts Library Book), Newt Scamander, J.K. Rowling (Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine Books).

Sully — Sound Editing and Sound Mixing. Based on Highest Duty, Chesley Sullenberger (HarperCollins/Morrow, 2009; OverDrive Sample).

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story — Sound Mixing. Not based on a book, but plenty of books, including the novelization, have been published as tie-ins: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Alexander Freed (PRH/Del Rey; RH Audio; OverDrive Sample).

Front Page News:
Presidential Reading

Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

The chief book critic for The New York Times, Michiko Kakutani, makes a rare departure from reviewing books to interview the President, in a front page, above-the-fold story titled “How Reading Nourished Obama During the White House Years.”

Kakutani writes “Not since Lincoln has there been a president as fundamentally shaped — in his life, convictions and outlook on the world — by reading and writing as Barack Obama.”

He says that reading gave him time to “slow down and get perspective” and provided “the ability to get in somebody else’s shoes … [both] have been invaluable to me.”

While in office he turned to the works by Martin Luther King Jr., Lincoln, Gandhi, and Nelson Mandela. He finds knowledge in Shakespeare, the tragedies proving “foundational for me in understanding how certain patterns repeat themselves and play themselves out between human beings.”

9780765377067_5f53bHe reads biographies of past presidents as well as SF such as The Three-Body Problem by Liu Cixin (Macmillan/Tor Books, 2014), saying “The scope of it was immense. So that was fun to read, partly because my day-to-day problems with Congress seem fairly petty — not something to worry about. Aliens are about to invade!”

It zoomed up to #32 on Amazon’s sales rankings as a result of the Presidential nod.

9781250062185_d7f86How did he find the time while in office? He read, says Kakutani, “for an hour or so late at night — reading that was deep and ecumenical, ranging from contemporary literary fiction (the last novel he read was Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad) to classic novels to groundbreaking works of nonfiction like Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow and Elizabeth Kolbert’s The Sixth Extinction.”

Kakutani writes that he is hoping to eventually use his presidential center website “to widen the audience for good books,” something he’s already done with regular lists of book recommendations, and then encourage a public “conversation about books.” She also hints that Obama plans to write more books himself.

A transcript is also available, with much more on his take on specific titles.

Under the Radar Book Club Pick

Tuesday, December 27th, 2016

costco-connection9781501145346_d7092The Tumbling Turner Sisters by Juliette Fay (S&S/Gallery Books; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample) is the latest Costco book club pick. Published last year in hardcover, the trade paperback, with a new cover, arrives on January 3.

The January, 2017 issue of COSTCO Connection, summarizes the novel, which is set in 1919 when character Frank Turner is out of work and “his resourceful wife and four daughters take their tumbling act on the road, leaving their upstate New York home to join the vaudeville circuit.” 

PW says that the women’s “lively personalities bring to life Fay’s outlandishly enjoyable premise. With humor, affection, ambition, and a talent for weaving in history, Fay brings the world of 1910s vaudeville vividly to life.”

RT writes “Readers who delight in books set around the 1920s or feature the theater will adore Fay’s spunky coming-of-age tale. Told in the alternating voices of two of the four sisters, this wonderfully evocative story charms readers.”

Fay has a direct connection, as the book video makes clear. She is the great-granddaughter of a vaudevillian herself.

The novel has largely flown under the radar since it came out in hardback last June and is the first work of historical fiction from an author better known for her women’s fiction titles such as The Shortest Way Home (PRH/Penguin, 2012).