As Robin Nesbit, Columbus Metro Library, said when presenting the book at BEA’s Librarian Shout ’n’ Share program, libraries that don’t buy the Star Wars books are missing some powerful “silent circulators,” adding that this one is by one of the series’ best authors.
Carly Simon, perhaps most famous for the song You’re So Vain, is the daughter of one of the founders of Simon & Schuster.
She finally makes a foray into the family business (although not with the family company), with her first book, a memoir entitled Boys in the Trees (Macmillan/Flatiron; 9781250095893; Nov. 24). UPDATE: as one of our astute commenters notes, this is not Simon’s first time publishing. She has written children’s book.
While speculation is circling whether Simon will reveal the subject of her iconic song, neither the publisher nor the singer is saying right now.
Simon does share the scope of her book, however, in a widely quoted statement picked up by Entertainment Weekly, People, and the LA Times: “This book is my way of going back through my childhood, my music, my romances, my marriage … and trying to make sense of it all…I’ve been working on it for so long that it feels like my third child … but now it’s time to send that child out in the world. It’s one of the most frightening — and exciting — things I’ve ever done.”
Boys in the Trees is due November 24th and joins other popular musician memoirs like Patti Smith’s Just Kids and Keith Richard’s Life. Smith’s new memoir, M Train(RH/Knopf; RH Audio) hits shelves on Oct 6th.
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart returns from hiatus this week, with two authors deeply concerned with the issues of race in America.
Tomorrow night’s guest is an author who has appeared on the show seven times, but hasn’t published a book since 2007 (Dreams from My Father), Barack Obama, His last appearance on the show was just before his 2012 re-election when he had to endure a ribbing by Stewart about a poor showing in one of the debates.
In all the excitement over Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman, some may have forgotten that earlier this year Theodor Geisel’s wife and his long time secretary found material for at least three new Dr. Seuss books as they were cleaning out Geisel’s office.
The first to be published arrives next week. What Pet Should I Get?(Random House Books for Young Readers; Listening Library.July 28, 2015) is believed to have been written between 1952 and 1962 and features the characters from One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish.
The debut novel, a mix of literary fiction and crime story, received somewhat grudging praise from the trade reviewers (“Despite drawbacks here, Mitchell is on her way to a place at the femmes fatales fiction dais with Megan Abbott, Gillian Flynn, Tana French, and Sharon Bolton”). It comes across as much more intriguing in the hands of the NYT reviewer, Sarah Lyall who says “What a satisfying novel, with its shifting perspectives and competing stories and notion that our relationship to the truth changes with time and distance. And what a relief to read a kidnapping thriller that is not an extended piece of fetishistic torture porn, that does not end with some nice young woman lying dead and dismembered in a pit.”
The novel traces the history of two young girls who are kidnapped and held for weeks before rescue. Years later, as adults, they meet again after one of them has written a novel based on the story and the other is tapped to star in the book’s film adaptation.
Like the trade reviewers, Lyall compares Pretty Is to books by another popular author, “Like Gillian Flynn’s spiky, damaged heroines — I’m thinking particularly of Camille in Sharp Objects and Libby in Dark Places— the girls, Lois and Chloe, have dry, self-aware senses of humor that make the book that much more fun to read.” Add this one to your RA file.
An unexpected venue has begun featuring novelists. The Wall Street Journal writes that Seth Meyers has created a “Late Night Literary Salon” on his TV show that boosts book sales.
When Hanya Yanagihara the author of the literary doorstopper,A Little Life, (RH/Doubleday, March) was invited to appear on the show, she assumed someone was playing a joke on her. Fortunately, she accepted. Meyers spoke to her for over six minutes, a long time for television and the interview caused sales to rise an impressive 54% according to BookScan. Meyers’s interview with Marlon James for A Brief History of Seven Killings (RH/Riverhead, 2014)resulted in a 31% sales bump. Those spikes are nothing, however, compared to the 500% jump Linda Fairstein saw after her appearance for Terminal City (Penguin/Dutton, June).
Other authors have not fared as well. Joshua Ferris’s To Rise Again at a Decent Hour (Hachette/Little, Brown, 2014) did not rise, but even so he told WSJ that “plugging a book is often a humbling enterprise… being on Seth’s show was the opposite. It was a gift.”
Meyers apparently reads very widely and picks the authors he wants to meet. As Marlon James says of his booking on the show, “I first just thought, well, my publicist is working overtime, which she is. But the idea that behind his booking was simply that he fell in love with these books just kind of blew my mind … it’s just not one of those things you expect.”
Meyers has featured authors who are no strangers to TV, such as Stephen King and George R.R. Martin as well and, according to the WSJ, Judy Blume and Junot Díaz are up soon.
We end our tribute to Jon Stewart for his attention to books and reading as host of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with one of our favorites. This one is not an author interview, but a segment in which Stewart quotes the “Statement of Purpose of the Boston Public Library,” perhaps the only time it’s ever been quoted on national television.
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart returns from hiatus next week. On Thursday, Stewart will interview Ta-Nehisi Coates, the author of Between the World and Me (RH/Spiegel & Grau). In his New York Times column today, “Listening to Ta-Nehisi Coates While White,” David Brooks calls the book “a mind-altering account of the black male experience. Every conscientious American should read it.”
The well-known names on books arriving next week include Ace Atkins, Alexander McCall Smith and David Rosenfelt. The only book with significant holds, however, is Kathy Reichs’ Speaking In Bones, the 18th in her Temperance Brennan series, which also is a LibraryReads pick for the month (see below).
The media is still focused on Go Set a Watchman — it leads the reviews in the new issues of both Entertainment Weekly (where it gets a D+, one of the lowest ratings we’ve seen. As a comparison, Fifty Shades of Grey got a B+) and People (“On its own, it is a deftly written tale about 1950s bigotry and a young woman coping with the revelation that his father is not the hero she thought he was.”) and is on the NYT web site “Books” section under the Sunday Book Review, although it doesn’t indicate when it will appear in print.
Below are some of the other titles people will be talking about next week.
The titles covered here, and several more notable titles arriving next week, are listed with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of 7/20/15
This combination should catch people’s attention, a surfing memoir by a New Yorker writer who has reported on some heavy duty topics like the civil war in Sudan and drug cartels in Mexico.
Back in 1992, towards the beginning of his 30-year career at the New Yorker, Finnegan wrote a 2-part essay about his experiences as a surfer in San Francisco. As the review in the upcoming NYT Sunday Book Review says, that essay “was instantly recognized as a masterpiece. A wise, richly atmospheric account of riding the gelid, powerful gray waves of San Francisco.” Since then, says the reviewer, there have been rumors of a book length memoir. Now that it’s here, it proves worth waiting for and a “cause for throwing your wet-suit hoods in the air.”
Entertainment Weekly also features it (not online yet), with a B+ review, somewhat less than enthusiastic than the NYT because, while the “vivid descriptions of waves caught and waves missed … [are] as elegant and pellucid as the breakers they immortalize …[they start] to blur together once you’ve reached the 50th or so description.”
Liftin, who has had experience as a ghost writer for celebrity memoirs (Tori Spelling, Tatum O’Neal, Miley Cyrus) now writes a novel in the form of a celebrity memoir. On New York Magazine’s 8 Books You Need to Read This July, which says it fictionalizes “the train wreck of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes … Liftin’s sly novel wears its lurid shallowness on its jacket sleeve, and yet her details are careful, funny, and right.” The New York Post‘s “Page Six” has picked up on the Cruise/Holmes connection.
On Oprah.com’s list of Dazzling New Beach Readsabout a woman who is forced to flee Kabul to London with her children, called “A must-read saga about borders, barriers and the resolve of one courageous mother fighting to cross over.” Listen to the book talk by HarperCollins Director of Library Marketing, Virginia Stanley.
The sequel to 2013’s The Andalusian Friend is reviewed in the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, which gives it a B+, “Sweden’s latest contribution to the pleasingly grim scandal-lit cannon … astute psych profiles and blood-soaked set pieces …hook readers for the third and final book.”
“This book lives up to the expectations we have for Kathy Reichs. A compelling and dangerous mystery, lots of medical details, and good characterization make this a title that will be easy to recommend!” — Leslie Johnson, Jefferson County Public Library, Lakewood, CO
“An intriguing tale of sex, romance and deception. Tara is a brilliant, sexy forty-something. She’s enjoying being single until Cavin, a handsome doctor, enters her exam room. They have a hot and steamy romance but there is much, much more to this story. Ellen Hopkins commands each word on the page from her prose to verse.” — Laura Hartwig, Meriden Public Library, Meriden, CT
Well-known for her teen novels in verse, Hopkins talks about why she turned to prose for this title and how writing teen fiction differs from adult:
The film adaptation of this graphic novel was a hit at the Sundance Film Festival and will arrive in theaters on August 7. The New York Times Magazine interviewed the author when she was working on the graphic novel in 2001, calling her “arguably the brightest light among a small cadre of semiautobiographical cartoonists … who are creating some of the edgiest work about young women’s lives in any medium.”
Few libraries own the original edition, which is now re-released, with a new introduction by the author (for our full list of upcoming adaptations, see our Books to Movies and TV and our listing of tie-ins).
As part of our celebration of the many authors Jon Stewart has featured during his 16 year tenure as host of The Daily Show, today we present his 2006 interview with movie critic Roger Ebert.
The book was The Great Movies II, but the conversation veered off in to some weird territory as they discussed Stewart’s upcoming gig as the host of the Oscars as well his checkered career as an actor. Giving one of his films, Death to Smoochy the ultimate backhanded compliment, Ebert had written in his review, “To make a film this awful, you have to have enormous ambition and confidence, and dream big dreams.”
Potter fans rejoice! Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find, the next trilogy in the Harry Potter film series, is moving closer to the screen now that director David Yates has issued an open call for auditions to fill the role of Modesty. CNN reports that Yates is searching for a female actress aged 8-12, who could become a household name like Hermione.
The film trilogy, the first of which is due out on November 18, 2016, follows the story of Newt Scamander, played by Eddie Redmayne, who won an Oscar for his portrayal of Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything.
The Warner Bros. films, as Flickering Myth suggests, have a good chance of replicating the look and feel of the HP movies. J. K. Rowling wrote the screenplay and the director, producer, production designer, and executive producer all worked on multiple HP films.
As we reported earlier, the movies are based on a Hogwarts textbook (a real edition of the fictional text was published in 2001, with a special charity edition out last month) and follows Scamander’s search for magical creatures. IMDb neatly summarizes the plot: “The adventures of writer Newt Scamander in New York’s secret community of witches and wizards seventy years before Harry Potter reads his book in school.”
Remember when Summer Reading at the library meant you got to move your die-cut hot air balloon up the wall towards the craft paper clouds?
Things have changed.
This summer The Seattle Public Library and the Seattle Arts & Lectures are hosting a citywide game of book bingo.
The bingo card challenges people to read a book in 25 different categories, such as a banned book, one published the year you were born, with a free space that urges players to “PASSIONATELY recommend a book to a friend.” ( download a copy here). The library supports the game through posts on their blog, Shelf Talk, suggesting titles for the categories.
Linda Johns, a librarian at SPL, writing for The Huffington Post, reports Seattle is abuzz, “people around the city are talking about what they’re reading. We’re hearing about it in our libraries, seeing people share what they’re reading for each square on Twitter and Instagram (#BookBingoNW), and listening in while readers offer each other suggestions to get to bingo.”
The idea of book bingo, writes Johns, is not just hot in the Pacific Northwest, it has been adopted in France and has been a feature on the Books on the Nightstand blog for some time.