EarlyWord

News for Collection Development and Readers Advisory Librarians

Yiannopoulos Book Delayed

9781501173080_e3f72The Breitbart News editor who was banned from Twitter for harassment and calls himself “The most fabulous supervillain on the internet,” is delaying his controversial new book DANGEROUS (S&S/Threshold Editions; S&S Audio), pushing the pub. date back from its original March 14 to June 13.

USA Today reports he has asked publisher for more time so he can include recent events in the book, including the violent protests against his planned appearance at the University of California, Berkeley, which was then cancelled. 

Reactions to the book have been highly charged. Roxane Gay pulled her forthcoming book with the publisher saying “I can’t in good conscience let them publish it while they also publish Milo.”

As USA Today characterizes it, S&S president Carolyn Reidy “felt compelled to send a letter to concerned authors, which read in part: ‘First and foremost, I want to make clear that we do not support or condone, nor will we publish, hate speech.’”

Yiannopoulos told The Hollywood Reporter, “I met with top execs at Simon & Schuster earlier in the year and spent half an hour trying to shock them with lewd jokes and outrageous opinions. I thought they were going to have me escorted from the building — but instead they offered me a wheelbarrow full of money.”

Bill Maher has booked Yiannopoulos on his show for tonight, causing The Intercept co-founder Jeremy Scahill to cancel his own appearance and forcing Maher to defend his actions, according to Entertainment Weekly.

Yiannopoulos has a large social media following and is a master at creating his own PR. His initial book announcement sent the title soaring on Amazon but it has since fallen sharply, although it remains in the top 50 sellers based on pre-orders. Despite his full court press, few know much about the book. USA Today offers a list of what is known, including that S&S won’t talk about the content and “respectfully declined” a request for more details. Libraries are showing low holds ratios.

NORSE MYTHOLOGY A Best Seller

9780393609097_a8601Neil Gaiman lands at #1 on the NYT Hardcover Fiction bestseller list for his newest work, Norse Mythology (Norton; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample). It is also doing very well against other formats and categories, debuting at #2 on the USA Today list.

The strong sales track alongside high demand in libraries and largely glowing reviews. The Guardian says “The halls of Valhalla have been crying out for Neil Gaiman to tell their stories to a new audience. Hopefully this collection will be just the beginning.” Tor.com calls it a must read.”

The book marks something of a full circle for the bestselling author. Last summer he told the NYT that the stories “have accompanied me through pretty much everything I’ve done.”

Gaiman discusses the book with NYT Book Review editor, Pamela Paul, on the “Inside the New York Times Book Review” podcast.

HENRIETTA LACKS, Premiere Date

9781400052172_1e7daHBO just announced that their adaptation of Rebecca Skloot’s long-running bestseller, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, will begin airing on Sunday, April 22 at 8 p.m.

Oprah Winfrey stars as Deborah Lacks, Henrietta’s daughter and the character through whom the story is told. Rose Byrne (Damages) plays Skloot. Others in the cast include Renée Elise Goldsberry (Hamilton) and Courtney B. Vance (The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story). George C. Wolfe (Angels In America) wrote the adaptation and will direct.

The book recounts the sad but fascinating story of Henrietta Lacks, a poor black woman from Baltimore who died in 1951. Johns Hopkins Hospital removed cancer cells from her body without her permission  They were the first cells to live outside a human body, making them invaluable for medical research. They continue to be used today.

The story is in the news again for reasons other than the HBO series. The Lacks family is suing Johns Hopkins. Lacks’s  grandson explains to The Baltimore Sun “Everyone else is making funds off of Henrietta’s cells … I am sure my grandmother is up in heaven saying, ‘Well, what about my family?‘”

A fixture on best seller lists, the book spent a year on the NYT Hardcover Nonfiction list and over four on the Paperback Nonfiction list, falling off that list just a couple of weeks ago. 

9780804190107_07eacTie-in: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (Movie Tie-In Edition), Rebecca Skloot (PRH/Broadway Books; March 28, 2017; OverDrive Sample).

Colbert Loves Saunders

9780812995343_73f0aCalling him “quite possibly my favorite living author,” Stephen Colbert hosted George Saunders on The Late Show yesterday to discuss his debut novel, Lincoln in the Bardo (PRH/RH; RH Audio/BOT; Overdrive Sample).

Colbert asks why, after a successful career writing short stories, Saunders wanted to write a novel. He decided to try his hand, he replies, because he had heard a story about president Lincoln holding the body of his dead son in a graveyard crypt and could not get it out of his mind. 

Colbert calls the novel “heartbreaking” even as he jokes about all the white space on the page, caused by the line breaks between the 166 speakers in the novel (which led to the audio with a celebrity-studded cast of an equal number of narrators. In addition, the NYT has created a virtual reality adaptation).

The two also talk about the concept of the bardo, a space of transition where. Saunders explains. all the regrets, issues, and concerns one has while living are magnified and must be worked through before a soul can move on.

The book  been racking up an impressive number of rave reviews, as tracked by Book Marks. In a NYT Book Review cover piece Colson Whitehead says:

“It’s a very pleasing thing to watch a writer you have enjoyed for years reach an even higher level of achievement … George Saunders pulled that off with The Tenth Of December, his 2013 book of short stories. How gratifying and unexpected that he has repeated the feat with Lincoln in the Bardo, his first novel and a luminous feat of generosity and humanism.’’

Check your holds. After a slow start they are climbing in several systems.

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Author of FOXLOWE

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And please join us for the next chat, with Gail Honeyman, the author of Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine. Read more about it and sign up for the program here.

Live Blog Live Chat with Eleanor Wasserberg: FOXLOWE
 

EXPATRIATES To TV

9780143108429_de82bNicole Kidman has optioned Janice Y.K Lee’s sophomore novel, The Expatriates (PRH/Penguin, 2016; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample), for a planned TV series, reports Deadline Hollywood.

Lee’s debut, The Piano Teacher (PRH/Penguin, 2009), was a hit, selling well and landing on the NYT bestseller lists in both hardback and paperback. In paperback it spent 18 weeks on the list in total, 7 weeks in the top 10, and rose as high as #2.

The Expatriates did not do as well, spending only one week on the NYT hardcover list before falling off. It did get some notable attention. USA Today wrote, “Raise a glass: The first great book-club novel of 2016 has arrived” and the NYT wrote Lee is “A female, funny Henry James in Asia … vividly good on the subject of Americans abroad.” The LA Times highlights her novel’s strong sense of place.

The novel is about three women, all members of the Western expat community, who connect and circle around each other as their relationships deepen.  Alice Bell (Suburban Mayhem) will write the adaptation and Kidman is considering a lead role.

Kidman, and her Blossom Films partner, Per Saari, will executive produce and Deadline says “The project will be shopped to premium networks and streaming-services.”

Like her frequent collaborator Reese Witherspoon, Kidman has become a powerhouse in literary adaptations. Blossom Films created the big screen adaptation of Kevin Wilson’s The Family Fang and are behind the HBO series Big Little Lies, based on Liane Moriarty’s bestseller. The company is also working on a big screen adaptation of another of Moriarty’s hits, Truly Madly Guilty, as well as the upcoming adaptations of A.S.A. Harrison’s The Silent Wife and Kimberly McCreight’s Reconstructing Amelia.

Ursula K. Le Guin
Heads To The Movies

planetofexileThe topics Ursula K. LeGuin explores in her novels should make her books attractive to today’s movie and TV producers, but none have made it to the screen since the 2004 mini-series based on Earthsea, most likely because LeGuin was not a fan of the outcome, writing “How the Sci Fi Channel wrecked my books.”

Last year, she told the site Den of Geek!, “I’ve got very hard-nosed about this. I don’t need the money so I can just say ‘no, you can’t have my book, if you’re going to chop it up and use its name and make it into something or other of yours that has nothing to do with what I wrote’. Enough of that.”

Thus, it’s big news that several well-credentialed producers, have acquired the rights to one of her early works, the 1966 SF novella Planet Of Exile, re-published in the collection Worlds of Exile and Illusion (Macmillan/Orb, 1996; OverDrive Sample). 

It is part of the Hainish universe of titles, which includes two of Le Guin’s most famous novels, The Left Hand of Darkness and The Dispossessed. As the site Signature characterizes Planet Of Exile, it “explore themes of power, justice, freedom, and personal responsibility towards society at large. Told from the distant future on an imaginary planet, [it] concern[s] matters of love and survival as familiar to readers today as they were when [it was] first published in the 1960s.”

In a retrospective review, Tor.com writes that it is possible to see Planet Of Exile as one of LeGuin’s “dry runs for The Left Hand of Darkness.” Perhaps this forthcoming adaptation will also be a dry run for more to come.

Lyra Returns!

the-book-of-dust-volume-1-finalPhilip Pullman is writing a new trilogy featuring his beloved character Lyra Bevacqua, to be titled The Book of Dust. The first in the series, as yet untitled, is scheduled for release on October 19, 2017 from PRH/Knopf Books for Young Readers (ISBN 9780375815300).

Breaking normal practice to cover the story, NPR’s Morning Edition noted, “we don’t typically cover book announcements at NPR,”  but did so because readers have been waiting seventeen years for Lyra to return.

9780375842382The first book of the new series will take place a decade before the fist book in The Golden Compass series, His Dark Materials, when Lyra is a baby. The second and third volumes will be set ten years after the last book of the earlier series (The Amber Spyglass), when Lyra is an adult.

Pullman tells NPR that readers should think of the new trilogy as a new story: “you don’t have to read it before you read [the original trilogy] … this is another story that comes after it, so it’s not a sequel, and it’s not a prequel, it’s an equal … It’s a sort of companion book, if you like. It doesn’t stand before [His Dark Materials], it doesn’t stand after it, it stands beside it.”

While a bit cagey about the plot, he says it is “More about the nature of Dust, and consciousness, and what it means to be a human being.” It features other characters readers know from the first trilogy and will include a great flood.

Pullman has already extended the His Dark Materials universe with two novellas and an audiobook-only spin-off, The Collectors. He tells NPR he is returning once more because “I sensed a big story. I sensed the presence, in the way that you do, of another story that hadn’t been told, and I went closer and … thought about it and lived with it for a while and discovered that yes, it was a big story, and it did deserve to be told, it deserves its own books.”

Final cover art (the image above is from the UK press release) and title will be revealed in the coming months.

The attention has already sent Pullman’s titles racing up Amazon’s sales rankings. The Book of Dust is currently ranked #285 and an omnibus edition of the full trilogy is now #302, up from yesterday’s ranking of #17,891.

NPR featured two stories on the news.

EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING SOARS

9780553496642_e29a7The film adaptation of Nicola Yoon’s debut just got a trailer, sending the paperback soaring on Amazon, jumping from #2,242 to #13.

Everything, Everything (PRH/Delacorte; Listening Library; OverDrive Sample) is about a teen girl who is allergic to the world and must stay inside at all times. Then a guy moves in next door and complicates her life.

The book debuted at No. 1 on the NYT  YA best-seller list in 2015 and earned a glowing NYT review (“gorgeous and lyrical”) and an A- review from Entertainment Weekly (a “complex,” “fresh, moving debut”).

The film stars Amandla Stenberg (who played Rue in The Hunger Games) and Nick Robinson (Zach in Jurassic World). Stella Meghie (Jean of the Joneses) directs.

Both actors have roles in other YA adaptations. Stenberg in Alexandra Bracken’s forthcoming The Darkest Minds and Robinson in Rick Yancey’s already released The 5th Wave.

Film rights to the author’s second book, The Sun Is Also a Star (PRH/Delacorte Press; Listening Library; OverDrive Sample), a finalist for the 2016 National Book Award, were aacquired last fall.

Everything, Everything opens in theaters on May 19. Two tie-in editions are forthcoming, cover art not yet finalized:

Hardcover: Everything, Everything Movie Tie-in Edition, Nicola Yoon (PRH/Delacorte Press; April 18, 2017; ISBN 9781524769802; 18.99).

Paperback: Everything, Everything Movie Tie-in Edition, Nicola Yoon (PRH/Ember; April 4, 2017; ISBN 9781524769604; $10.99).

Finding Pho

9781607749585_fca3dA favorite dish from Vietnam has found wide press coverage in the US thanks to The Pho Cookbook: Easy to Adventurous Recipes for Vietnam’s Favorite Soup and Noodle by Andrea Nguyen (PRH/Ten Speed Press; OverDrive Sample).

The NYT highlights the book in Florence Fabricant’s “Front Burner” column, WSJ runs a piece by Nguyen exploring its many variations, and foodie sites such as Lucky Peach, Epicurious, and Chowhound have also featured it.

Nguyen is considered one of the foremost experts on Vietnamese cookery. In a recent interview on San Francisco’s public radio station she shared her philosophy about teaching others to cook, “There’s so much intimidation about this. I try to take a certain Home Depot approach, like ‘You can do it, and I can help!’ As a cookbook author, you’re really just there to coach people along. If they’re happy, I’m thrilled.”

Her book is getting stellar reviews. Food & Wine writes “Nguyen is a master teacher when it comes to Vietnam’s national dish, and in her new book she provides meticulously clear instructions for every imaginable variety—we recommend you cook through every chapter.”

Proving Pho’s entry into the wider foodie culture, Target carries the book.

WONDER Gets “Family-Friendly” Release Date

9780375869020_9ed89The film adaptation of R.J. Palacio’s Wonder (RH/ Knopf Young Readers, 2012; Brilliance Audio; OverDrive Sample)  has been moved from this coming April to the week before Thanksgiving, setting it up for family holiday viewing, reports Entertainment Weekly, as a result of “the film’s positive testing with families.”

The film stars Jacob Tremblay (Room), Julia Roberts, Daveed Diggs (Hamilton), Mandy Patinkin, Owen Wilson, and Sonia Braga (Luke Cage). Tremblay plays a young boy with a facial deformity who enters a new school. Roberts plays his mother and Diggs fills the role of a teacher who, says Deadline Hollywood, uses literature “to teach what it means to be human.” Stephen Chbosky (The Perks of Being a Wallflower) directs.

The shift in date puts the movie into direct competition with Justice League, indicating the studio believes it can hold its own against one of the most highly anticipated superhero films of the year.

The novel has enjoyed 78 weeks on the NYT Children’s Middle Grade Hardcover list, and is currently sitting at #2, moving up from when the film was first announced.

A tie-in comes out November 7, 2017, Wonder Movie Tie-In Edition, R. J. Palacio (PRH/Knopf Books for Young Readers). The cover is not yet finalized. 

Hitting Screens, Week of Feb. 13, 2017

As expected, Fifty Shades Darker was a strong box office draw over the weekend, but it was shut out at #1 by the Lego Batman movie.

The movie has propelled the book back up best seller lists. It is currently #18 on the USA Today list, but is beat out the by Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron at #3  Hidden Figures at #4 and the Swedish import, A Man Called Ove,at #5. The Swedish-language adaptation was recently released on demand and DVD,  Readers are anticipating upcoming adaptations, as well, sending The Shack back up USA Today’s list where it is currently at #8.

9780399587191_29e1eAlso rising in anticipation of HBO’s adaptation is Liane Moriarty’s 2014 best seller, Big Little Lies, Starring  Starring Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Laura Dern, and Shailene Woodley, the series begins airing on February 19th. 

Dubbed the “Murderous Moms of Monterey,” by Deadline Hollywood, it is getting mixed reviews. Variety calls it “a bonfire of the vanities for this faux-progressive, self-satisfied set” and writes it “unfolds its mystery like a delicate flower, with teased hints that are sometimes flashbacks, sometimes flash-forwards, and sometimes glimpses of imagined fantasy.”

IndieWire says “Not since True Detective (Season 1) has an HBO limited series built a mystery this compelling.”

However, The Hollywood Reporter calls it a “soapy melodrama … more annoying than entertaining.”

9780143039631_ac32fIn Dubious Battle, the adaptation of the John Steinbeck novel, opens in limited release and on VOD on Feb. 17, starring James Franco, who also directs, and Selena Gomez.

The direct to VOD release indicates the studio does not have high hopes for it, although the theatrical release gives it the opportunity to qualify for the Oscars.

Reviews so far largely confirm the studio’s take. The Guardian says, “This admirably-intentioned adaptation of the 1936 industrial strife novel suffers from a tin ear, flat feet and overweening vanity.”

The Hollywood Reporter writes it is “a shame that Franco’s dreams and ideas for this film weren’t as big as those of his protagonists.”

However, Variety is on board, if damning with faint praise, writing it is “Franco’s first watchable dramatic feature.”

The film, about the formation of the labor movement in 1930s California, has a notable ensemble cast, including Zach Braff, Bryan Cranston, Ed Harris, Robert Duvall, Vincent D’Onofrio, and Sam Shepard.

The Penguin classics edition has a sticker announcing it is now a “Major Motion Picture.”

Skald Stories

9780393609097_a8601Neil Gaiman’s newest work, Norse Mythology (Norton; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample), is actually very old. It is a re-telling of the 13th century myths that, as he told the NYT, “have accompanied me through pretty much everything I’ve done.”

Now the 4th bestselling title on Amazon, it is also in demand in libraries. Several systems are showing holds ratios of 6:1. In libraries that bought it more heavily, all copies are in circulation.

Reviews range from glowing to puzzled. The Guardian says “The halls of Valhalla have been crying out for Neil Gaiman to tell their stories to a new audience. Hopefully this collection will be just the beginning.”

Tor.com says “This evocative and lyrical book is a must read … While the stories are ancient, Gaiman makes them fresh and lively, as if the antics of the gods and giants only just happened … you’ll be hard-pressed to finish it and not feel just as inspired.”

However, the LA Times is not as enthusiastic, writing that the publication “seems oddly superfluous … it’s the equivalent of going to see a rock band you like and finding that they’re just playing a set of Chuck Berry covers that night: great material, yes, and executed nicely, but less than the inventiveness we go to him for.”

In the book trailer, Gaiman makes his own strong case:

BEHIND HER EYES Getting Looks

9781250111173_74e10Positioned as her breakout title Sarah Pinborough’s Behind Her Eyes (Macmillan/Flatiron Books; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample) has fulfilled expectations by making the author a New York Times best seller for the first time. The book arrives at #15 on this week’s list.

The British author has written over 20 YA and fantasy novels, few of which have been released in the US. Her first foray into the hot genre of domestic thrillers, it was a hot commodity at the 2015 Frankfurt Book Fair. Reviewing it her most recent NYT BR Crime column. Marilyn Stasio calls it “an eerie thriller calculated to creep you out … [a] terrifying mind game.”

The Guardian reports the much hyped plot twists deliver, “When the first of her twists is revealed, it is fantastically creepy, if not entirely unexpected. The second twist turns the creepy factor up to 11 and is a total wrong-footer. #WTFthatending indeed – the sort that makes you go back to the beginning to check if it all pans out. And it does.”

That hashtag was developed by the publisher to promote the book but has been adopted by others. It was even applied to the outcome of the Super Bowl.

Librarians were early adopters. It was a January LibraryReads pick and a GalleyChat title. Holds are strong in most libraries we checked, with some topping 4:1 ratios.

Word of Mouth Success: GENTLEMAN IN MOSCOW

9780670026197_2f9f3A sleeper hit from the fall is doing well on multiple bestseller lists, rising as spring titles start to replace many others from 2016.

A Gentleman in Moscow, Amor Towles (PRH/Viking; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample), is not only still on best seller lists, it is climbing.


With media attention and the largest wave of publisher PR over, it is word of mouth that is propelling the novel upward.

It debuted at #82 on the Sept. 22nd USA Today list. This week, five month later, it rose to #40 . The Indie Bestsellers Lists currently has it at #3 and the novel has never fallen out of their top 11. On the LA Times list it has ranged from a low of #18 to a current high of #2. The NYT list is not as strong but does show a steady rise from outside the top 15 to its current position at #10.

Ron Charles, book reviewer for The Washington Post, and clearly an admirer, wrote upon its publication:

How delightful that in an era as crude as ours this finely composed new novel by Amor Towles stretches out with old-World elegance. [It] offers a chance to sink back into a lost attitude of aristocracy — equal parts urbane and humane … this is a story designed to make you relax, to appreciate your surroundings, to be a person on whom nothing is lost. And don’t worry: There’s some gripping derring-do in the latter parts. (Hollywood: Why haven’t you snapped this up?).”

Library patrons are also interested. Holds remain above a 3:1 ratio in most systems we checked.

As we noted earlier, this marks a significant leap for Towles. His debut, Rules of Civility, did not break into the NYT top ten, rising only as high as #16 and holding that position for just one week. Beyond its continued success on bestseller lists, Gentleman was both an Indie Next pick and a Fall Reading favorite from Entertainment Weekly.