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Philip Roth’s INDIGNATION,
the Trailer

imagesThe film adaptation of Philip Roth’s 2008 novel, Indignation, (Houghton Mifflin) received high praise when it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year.

The recently released trailer begins with a scene that The HollyWood Reporter describes as “Played as a thrilling match of equals between Logan Lerman in a breakout performance and playwright-actor Tracy Letts in a turn that will push his estimable reputation to greater heights, this daringly extended exchange is a dialectic pitting a secular Jewish college student, resistant to suffocating authority, against a needling faculty Dean, impressed by the young man’s presentation while deploring his content. It’s characteristic of a film that is simultaneously erudite and emotional, literary and alive, that so much talk could be so enthralling.”

Variety and Vanity Fair were also impressed.

The movie opens on July 29th. No tie-ins have been announced. It was published in trade paperback by PRH/Vintage in 2009 and is part of the collection Philip Roth: Nemeses: Everyman / Indignation / The Humbling / Nemesis (Library of America #237).

YA/MG GalleyChat, Tues. May 17

This edition of GalleyChat has now ended. Please join us for the next one on June 21, 5 to 6 p.m. ET (4:30 for virtual cocktails).

Queen of Katwe, Trailer

“Disney has its sights set on Oscar,” writes Vanity Fair about Queen of Katwe, set for release on Sept. 23.

Starring Lupita Wyong’o, who won an Oscar for 12 Years a Slave, it is directed by Mira Nair and is based on the book by former senior editor for Sports Illustrated, Tim Crothers,  The Queen Of Katwe: A Story Of Life, Chess, And One Extraordinary Girl’s Dream Of Becoming A Grandmaster, (S&S/Scribner, 2012).

The first trailer was released last week.

Tie-in:

The Queen of Katwe: One Girl’s Triumphant Path to Becoming a Chess Champion, Tim Crothers. 9/9/16
Trade pbk, (S&S/Scribner)
Mass Market, (S&S/Pocket Books)
Audio CD, (S&S Audio)

 

Proving Einstein Right

9780307958198_f1384On Feb. 11 of this year scientists proved Einstein’s theory of gravitational waves. It was an idea many thought could never be tested, much less proven, but an intrepid group of scientists worked for decades to do just that.

Nonfiction author and novelist Janna Levin, a physicist and astronomer herself, has written a book about the quest: Black Hole Blues and Other Songs from Outer Space (PRH/Knopf; RH Audio; BOT; OverDrive Sample).

Yesterday, on the PBS NewsHour Bookshelf conversation, Levin explains that scientists were actually able to hear gravitational waves and “like mallets on the drum. They rang space-time itself.”

In what is a science adventure book, Levin details how a small number of determined and insightful researchers bet their careers on the concept that the waves not only existed but could actually be heard. She witnessed the process of building detector machines, the rivalries and jealousies of those involved in the project and “realized that this could actually read like a novel. And if you followed these characters, you could understand not only the process of science, but the internal ambitions and the drives.”

No one thought the project would work as well or as early as it did, she continues, “and then it struck. It came from 1.3 billion years ago. It struck Louisiana. About 10 milliseconds later, it crosses the continent and hits Washington state and rings that machine. It is a spectacular detection.”

Summing up the meaning of the discovery Levin says,

“You know, Galileo was just looking at the moon and Saturn. He didn’t foresee that there were hundreds of billions of stars in collections called galaxies, or that there were quasars powered by black holes … what a lot of us hope is that the future will be so vast, beyond what we have even imagined, that there are dark sources out there that will ring these detectors, they will record the sounds of space, and there will be things we have never even predicted before.”

Reception to the book is mixed. A front page NYT “Sunday Book Review” states, “Taking on the simultaneous roles of expert scientist, journalist, historian and storyteller of uncommon enchantment, Levin delivers pure signal from cover to cover. … what makes the book most rewarding is Levin’s exquisite prose, which bears the mark of a first-rate writer: an acute critical mind haloed with a generosity of spirit.”

The daily NYT nonfiction reviewer, Jennifer Senior, however, is far less generous, writing “Awkwardness is everywhere … Editors. Where are they.”

But readers are not bothered. The book is currently ranked just outside of Amazon’s Top 100 and libraries are showing strong holds on light orders with several locations we checked tipping over a 3:1 ratio.

A succinct explanation of gravitation waves below:

BILLY LYNN’S LONG HALFTIME WALK, Trailer

Headlines warn, “Watch Out Oscars! The First Trailer for Ang Lee’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk Is Here.”

It is adapted from the 2012 debut novel by Ben Fountain, winner of the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award and a finalist for the National Book Awards. TheWashington Post called the book  “a masterful gut-punch of a debut novel … a razor-sharp, darkly comic novel — a worthy neighbor to Catch-22on the bookshelf of war fiction.”

When the movie was announced  the press release promised that Lee, known for using 3D to great effect in The Life of Pi, would “explore new methods, both technological and artistic … creating a new way for audiences to experience drama, including the heightened sensation that soldiers really feel on the battlefield and on the home front.”

That technology, called by  Sony  “Immersive Digital.”  Time says that, in layperson’s terms, it is “a stunningly crisp visual experience unprecedented in feature films,” achieved by shooting in  “3D, at 4K resolution and 120 frames per second for each eye.”

Slate cautions that the trailer seems to miss the angst and dark humor of the book, while acknowledging it’s just a trailer, and perhaps “the film itself will be as wild, lacerating, and true as the book.”

The movie debuts in prime Oscar-bait season, November 11.

Tie-in,

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, Ben Fountain, (HarperCollins/ Ecco; trade pbk.; 9/20/16)

THE VEGETARIAN Wins Man Booker International

9780553448184_795d0Author Han Kang and translator Deborah Smith win the Man Booker International Prize for The Vegetarian (PRH/Hogarth; BOT; 2/2/16; OverDrive Sample). Proving it is an award with selling power, the novel rose on Amazon’s sales rankings as a result, up from a lowly #27,707 to #272.

Kang represents South Korea while Smith is British, and in this Olympics of books, the two bested Italian Elena Ferrante, nominated for The Story of the Lost Child: Neapolitan Novels, Book Four, translated by American Ann Goldstein (PRH/Europa Editions, 9/1/15; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample) as well as Turkish Nobel Laureate Orhan Pamuk, nominated for A Strangeness in My Mind, translated by Turkish Ekin Oklap (PRH/Knopf, Oct. 20, 2015; BOT; OverDrive Sample). See our earlier post for the full short list.

The Vegetarian is a surreal and violent novel about a woman who decides to stop eating meat. That act of self-determination, as Slate puts it sets off “a chain of catastrophes in her otherwise ordinary extended family … At first she rejects meat, but eventually she will excuse herself from a number of other common human activities, as well. At last she refuses humanity itself.”

Entertainment Weekly gives it an A, writing that the “astonishing” novel “viscerally explores the limits of what a human brain and body can endure, and the strange beauty that can be found in even the most extreme forms of renunciation.”

The daily NYT  calls it a “mesmerizing mix of sex and violence” while the NYT “Sunday Book Review”  says nothing can “prepare a reader for the traumas of this Korean author’s translated debut in the Anglophone world.”

In deciding the award the BBC reports the judges variously remarked the novel was “unforgettably powerful and original” and that “in a style both lyrical and lacerating, it reveals the impact of this great refusal both on the heroine herself and on those around her … This compact, exquisite and disturbing book will linger long in the minds, and maybe the dreams, of its readers.”

Remarkably, the BBC also reports that the book’s translator, Smith “only started teaching herself Korean in 2010,” picking that language as so few in her country studied it and she wanted a job that combined reading and writing. The BBC Arts correspondent is deeply impressed, saying she “managed brilliantly” and that “The prose is relaxed and idiomatic but it’s powerful. There isn’t a paragraph or turn of phrase which feels like it didn’t originate in English.”

The International Award is a younger sibling to the more well-known Booker Prize for Fiction (that longlist will be announced in July) and has been given every two years since 2005 to authors who are not citizens of the Commonwealth, for an entire body of work in any language (past winners have included Canadian Alice Munro and US citizens Philip Roth and Lydia Davis). Now that the main Booker Award is open to all writers in English, regardless of citizenship, the International Award has been changed this year to honor individual novels in English translation, recognizing not only the authors, but also the translators, a change that the Guardian notes, “should help raise the profile of translated books.”

Indeed, the award is a high water mark for translations and translators which are gaining wider recognition with feature stories in the WSJ and The Atlantic and, for the first time ever, a translated novel winning the Hugo Award. It is also an important resource for RA librarians searching for a more diverse and international list of authors to suggest.

Dunham Drops New Title

lenabook2_largeFollowing her best seller, Not That Kind of Girl, Lena Dunham is releasing a surprise new title, in a move characterized by BuzzFeed as “Beyoncé-style,” referring to the singer’s surprise release of the album Lemonade.

Is It Evil Not To Be Sure?, a 56-page “chapbook” of excepts from Dunham’s college diaries, was released early this morning as an eBook, published under Dunham’s imprint Lenny. So far, it is not available from library vendors. A $25  limited hardcover edition of just 2,000 copies will be available for sale beginning at noon today, with profits going to the organization, Girls Write Now.

Ripert Charms

9780812992984_72d44Three-star Michelin chef, author of four cookbooks, familiar to many from his appearances on various cooking shows, including his own, Avec Ripertwas feted on yesterday’s CBS This Morning for his new book, a memoir, 32 Yolks: From My Mother’s Table to Working the Line, (PRH/Random House; RH Audio).

Libraries are showing heavy holds on very light ordering.

The New York Times profiled Ripert, an this book,  earlier this month. During the interview, Ripert eats a prodigious meal. saying, “When I eat, I eat. I do not understand the idea of guilty pleasure. It’s all about pleasure.”

Publishers Weekly reflects the universal praise from trade reviewers, “With his exacting prose and eye for detail, Ripert has created a wonderful memoir about his early days as a chef.”

NERVE Trailer

When it was published in 2012, Jeanne Ryan’s debut YA novel Nerve, about a teen girl who is seduced into joining a dangerous online game, was compared to The Hunger Games, but with a near-future setting. Lionsgate, in the midst of the success of the Hunger Games adaptations,  scooped up the rights.

Starring Julia Roberts niece, Emma Roberts, the trailer for the movie, set to debut on July 27, has just been released.

9780142422830_28226Unlike many other dystopian YA novels, this one is billed as a stand-alone, but a review on the A.V Club site notes, “the ending openly invites a sequel or series.” At the time of publication, trade reviews were mixed, praising the ingenuity of the plot, but unimpressed by its characterizations (for example, the Kirkus review).

Tie-in:

Nerve Movie Tie-In by Jeanne Ryan
Penguin/Speak; Trade Paperback.

BFG’s New Trailer

A new trailer has been released for Steven Spielberg’s The BFG.

Deadline Hollywood reports the complete film got a 4-1/2 minute standing ovation at the Cannes film festival when it premiered on Saturday. It will release in the US on July 1.

9781101997697_e08eeThe tie-in edition comes out next week, The BFG Movie Tie-In, Roald Dahl (Penguin/Puffin Books; Paperback; $7.99; Audio tie-in, Listening Library; OverDrive Sample).

In related news, Entertainment Weekly reports that Puffin is publishing fresh hardcover editions of james-and-the-giant-peach-hcsome of Dahl’s books to celebrate his 100th birthday, complete with new jacket art, expected for release on Sept. 6.

One of Dahl’s most beloved illustrators, Quentin Blake, will create the new covers for Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, James and the Giant Peach, and Fantastic Mr. Fox.

The new releases will be available in time for the global celebration of Dahl’s birthday to be marked on Sept. 13th.

LAB GIRL Blooms

9781101874936_d2c41The most recent audio book club pick by Slate [UPDATE: sorry, the audio is no longer on the Slate site. It is available free on iTunes]  Lab Girl, Hope Jahren (PRH/Knopf; BOT; OverDrive Sample), currently #18 on the extended NYT Hardcover Nonfiction Best Sellers list and a GalleyChat favorite.

Slate critics Susan Matthews, Laura Miller, and Katy Waldman offer glowing praise, calling it “wonderful” “beautiful” and “endearing” and saying it is already one of the 10 best books of the year, comparable to H is for Hawk and to the work of Oliver Sacks.

Beyond the style of the memoir and its tone, the Slate critics centrally appreciate the detailed insider look at what it is like to “do science.” They also appreciate the way Jahren approaches science as not about getting the world to tell you what you want it to, but listening to what is really happening.

They conclude the conversation by saying the book should be required reading.

Readers seem to agree, holds are strong at libraries we checked with spikes well above a 3:1 ratio at some locales.

Comics Legend Darwin Cooke
Dies at 53

9781401248888_c2884Iconic Eisner-winning comics illustrator and writer Darwyn Cooke, has died of lung cancer. He was 53.

Of his many contributions he is perhaps best known for his revamp of DC Comics characters, Catwoman (working with Ed Brubaker) chief among them. He also worked on comic adaptations of Donald E. Westlake’s Parker novels and on a prequel to Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’s Watchmen.

DC co-publisher Dan DiDio said in a statement reported by USA Today:

“He was both compassionate and combative, approaching everything he did with a tenaciousness and temerity that is now unheard of in a world afraid to offend. This is an industry-wide loss that I feel personally, but the sadness is mitigated in the knowing that the beauty and grace of his art will forever stand the test of time and be a monument to all that is great about comics.”

Of his signature style, the L.A. Times writes:

“His work was ingrained with a sense of humanity and wonder pulled directly from his signature retro-touched style [of] fat, black lines, V-shaped men and hourglass cut women [that] fill each page with nostalgic charm and bold visuals … His style and taste … sound like a golden trumpet through the DC Comics catalog. It was loud, daring and it heralded hope.”

Cooke’s DC: The New Frontier may be his most exemplary work (also adapted into a animated direct-to-video film in 2008). It combines a deep knowledge of the DC universe with a strong sense of hope and justice and showcases his trademark style, as he imagines the Golden Age DC characters such as Superman and Batman meeting the Silver Age characters such as Green Lantern and Flash, creating new stories and pairings while reaching deep into the DC backfile. This approach, practiced frequently by other comics and comic films, is particularly well handled by Cooke.

9781401262457_e492fHe is the illustrator for a new title releasing this week, The Twilight Children written by Gilbert Hernandez (RH/Vertigo). The paperback release of DC: The New Frontier (RH/DC Comics) is due Jun 28.

Two of his works are rising on Amazon, the deluxe edition of DC: The New Frontier and Graphic Ink: The DC Comics Art of Darwin Cooke  (RH/DC Comics).

Many publications, from A.V. Club to Entertainment Weekly to the The New York Times offered tributes.

The best tribute is Cooke’s work itself. Below is a feature on the art in DC: The New Frontier.

TED, New NYT Best Seller

9780544634497_4fc66Books on public speaking rarely hit best seller lists, but TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking by Chris Anderson (HMH; Brilliance Audio; OverDrive Sample) is not your usual how-to, drawing on lessons from the popular series of dynamic speeches. It debuts on the NYT‘s Advice, How-To & Miscellaneous, landing at #3.

Written by the organization’s president, the book details how to give a talk worth listening to. It got a push from Forbes which called it “extraordinary reading.”

Anderson, who knows how to promote his work, features the title on the TED site and has published a summary piece in The Wall Street Journal [subscription might be required]. He recently appeared on the Diane Rehm Show and has a new post up on YouTube:

Holds are strong but not yet topping a 3:1 ratio. The title, however, is bound to become a go-to choice for anyone who has to give a speech, an activity that remains our #1 fear.

9781501129087_cc48c9781401947538_90f2cTwo other titles hit the list for the first time this week, Perfectly Imperfect: The Art and Soul of Yoga Practice, Baron Baptiste (Hay House; OverDrive Sample) at #9 and Start Here: Master the Lifelong Habit of Wellbeing, Eric Langshur and Nate Klemp (North Star Way; OverDrive Sample) at #10.

The three titles that got knocked off the the main list were Spark Joy by Marie Kondo, which fell to #11 on the extended list after 17 weeks in the top 10; Fascinate: Revised and Updated by Sally Hogshead; and The Startup Checklist, David S. Rose,  both of which fell out of the top 15 completely.

Titles to Know and Recommend, Week of May 16, 2016

9781250064691_04ace 9781250065940_153fa

Women lead in holds this week. Nevada Barr is in first place with Boar Island (Macmillan/Minotaur; Macmillan Audio), the 19th in her Anna Pigeon mystery series, That is followed by Mary Kay Andrews’s The Weekenders, (Macmillan/St. Martin’s) with an appropriate cover to welcome in the summer. It is also an Indie Next pick (see below).

The titles covered here, 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 17, 2916

Media Attention

The Gene The Gene: An Intimate History, Siddhartha Mukherjee (S&S/Scribner; S&S Audio)

As we wrote earlier, in anticipation of an onslaught of coverage, the daily NYT published an early review of the Pulitzer Prize winner’s second book. The coverage ranges from the expected, an excerpt in the upcoming New York Times Magazine, to the less expected, Vogue features a piece about the author and his wife titled, “Meet the Most Brilliant Couple in Town.”  Also scheduled are:

• NPR Fresh Air, May 16
CBS This Morning, May 17
• PRI-Radio, Science Friday, May 20
New York Times Book Review, May 22

9780062457042_619f7-2The Vegas Diaries: Romance, Rolling the Dice, and the Road to Reinvention, Holly Madison, (HarperCollins/Dey Street Books)

Former girlfriend of Hugh Hefner and one of the stars of the 2005 to 2010 E! reality show, The Girls Next Door, already spilled the beans on life in the Playboy Mansion in her memoir, Down the Rabbit Hole. The followup is excerpted in the current issue of People magazine and featured on the cover.

Peer Picks

Four Peer Picks hit shelves this week. One is a big name from the May LibraryReads list (which also made the June Indie Next List). The other three, all Indie Next selections, include the return of a reader and librarian favorite.

9780062200631_20c73Both a LibraryReads(and Indie Next title is The Fireman, Joe Hill (HC/William Morrow; HarperAudio).

Heralded by daily NYT‘s reviewer Janet Maslin a week ahead of publication, it is also in development as a film.

Mary Vernau, of Tyler Public Library, Tyler, TX offers an introduction:

The Fireman is a novel that will keep you up reading all night. No one really knows where the deadly Dragonscale spore originated but many theories abound. The most likely is that as the planet heats up, the spore is released into the atmosphere. Harper Willowes is a young, pregnant nurse who risks her own health to tend to others. This is her story and I loved it! This is one of the most creative takes on apocalyptic literature that I have read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Highly recommended for all Hill and King fans.”

9781594633164_53221The following are Indie Next picks:

Anton DiSclafani returns with The After Party (PRH/Riverhead Books; Penguin Audio; BOT; OverDrive Sample).

The Indie Next pick is DiSclafani’s sophomore outing after 2013’s The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls. That novel was one of our Penguin First Flights titles.

“The real star of The After Party is the novel’s setting: 1950s Texas, where wealthy housewives and Junior League debutantes rule the social landscape. At the center is Joan Fortier, an unconventional bachelorette who is not content to sit on the sidelines — or to stay in Houston. Joan’s attitude causes conflict with her childhood best friend, CeCe Buchanan, and their relationship falters, exposing insecurities in both women. Fans of DiSclafani’s first novel, The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls, will not be disappointed by this well-written, engaging new work.” —Annie B. Jones, The Bookshelf, Thomasville, GA

9781250065940_153faThe Weekenders, Mary Kay Andrews (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Press; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample) .

“This book is perfectly named. The title describes the characters in the story and also recommends it be read during a relaxing weekend on the beach, by the pool, or curled up on the couch at home. True to her roots, Andrews serves up a mystery complete with a dead body and lots of secrets, many of which don’t get revealed until the very end. And to add a touch of urgency, there’s a hurricane. What could be better?” —Rona Brinlee, The BookMark, Neptune Beach, FL

9781594748622_17678My Best Friend’s Exorcism, Grady Hendrix (RH/Quirk Books; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“Abby and Gretchen are the best of friends. They have navigated through all the adolescent pros and cons that came with growing up in the late ’80s: zits, big hair, getting the nod from senior class heartthrob Tommy Cox, and — demonic possession? Written in Hendrix’s unique, darkly comedic, and slightly twisted voice, My Best Friend’s Exorcism is that quirky and satiating page-turner that fans of Horrorstör, have been salivating for.” —Angelo Santini, McLean & Eakin Booksellers, Petoskey, MI

Tie-ins

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