It is a historical set in the 1920s that traces the story of a Kansas woman named Cora (played by McGovern and coincidentally the name of the character she played on Downton), who acts as the chaperone of Louise Brooks, a 15-year-old girl who becomes the famous 1920’s movie star (played by Julia Goldani Telles, The Affair).
McGovern is very familiar with the novel. She read the audiobook version, getting an AudioFile Earphones Award in the process. In their review, Audifile writes, “McGovern’s soft-spoken performance is utterly entrancing. Her careful use of emotion and mastery of expression pull listeners into this period piece about a young woman on the road to self-discovery and a girl on the brink of fame … an outstanding audio experience.”
It’s a relatively slow publishing week in terms of big names. Other than James Patterson, who releases a YA novel this week, Crazy House (Hachette/jimmy patterson; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample), the most recognized name is Michael Crichton, whose novel Dragon Teeth (HC/Harper; HarperAudio) is being published posthumously. Prepub preview are strong and it’s an Indie Next pick (see “Peer Picks,” below). The NYT book editor, Pamela Paul, publishes a book about, guess what? Reading. My Life with Bob (Macmillan/Henry Holt and Co.; OverDrive Sample) uses the reading notebook she has kept since high school, called “Bob,” or Book of Books, as the basis of a memoir. Prepub reviews are strong, with LJ saying, “Titles about reading and books abound, but this memoir stands in a class by itself. Bibliophiles will treasure, but the addictive storytelling and high-quality writing will vastly increase its audience.”
“I was a fan of Single, Carefree, Mellow so it was a treat to read Katherine Heiny’s latest release. Standard Deviation wryly delves into the complications and contradictions inherent in good, long-term love and parenting a slightly more challenging child. This is a laugh-out-loud, funny read with brains and heart, and a gentler world to spend time in for anyone who just needs a break.” —Sarah Bumstead, Vroman’s Bookstore, Pasadena, CA
“Shadow Man is supposed to be the story of a serial killer who was horribly abused as a child and the efforts of the police to track him down and keep him from killing others. However, this book is really about Ben Wade, one of the detectives on the case. While the victims of the serial killer greatly affect Wade, who gives his all to catch him, it is the apparent suicide of a young teenager that really shakes up his world. Much more than just a search for a killer, Shadow Man is about living in the shadows of what happened in the past. Shadow Man could be called a thriller, but it is really much more than that, with characters that are so real you can feel their pain.” —Nancy McFarlane, Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC
Dragon Teeth, Michael Crichton (HC/Harper; HarperLuxe, HarperAudio).
“I worshipped Michael Crichton. I cried for two days when he died, in part because there would be no more novels. However, after all these years, Dragon Teeth is a true surprise, and a joyful one indeed! Although he’s more associated with futuristic science, Mr. Crichton was a dab hand at the historic thriller, and this novel is deeply grounded in fact. At its heart are two feuding paleontologists, Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Marsh, participants in the late-1800s Bone Wars, a period of frenzied fossil discovery. Add to the mix a fictional Yale student, friendly and unfriendly Native Americans, a heap of varmints and scoundrels, and a lady or two, and you’ve got a rollicking good story!” —Susan Tunis, Bookshop West Portal, San Francisco, CA
“The unnamed narrator of Wang’s winning and insightful novel is working on her PhD in synthetic organic chemistry, but the chemistry she really needs to learn is the one that makes relationships click. The prodigy daughter of high-achieving Chinese American parents, she’s always strived to meet their demanding expectations. Then, suddenly, she just can’t. Her lab work falters. She’s unable to accept or decline her boyfriend’s marriage proposal. But when she has a breakdown and loses in both academia and in love, she finally realizes how angry she is. Coming to terms with her past becomes her next project, and soon she can see her parents in a new light — and they aren’t the fierce tiger couple they’d always seemed to be.” —Laurie Greer, Politics & Prose Bookstore, Washington, DC
Five tie-ins come out this week for the same movie, Despicable Me 3. The film stars Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, and Trey Parker. It will premiere on June 30.
Included in the tie-in line up is Despicable Me 3: The Junior Novel, Sadie Chesterfield (Hachette/Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; also in a Deluxe edition). Other tie-ins include the hardback picture book Despicable Me 3: Agnes Loves Unicorns!,Universal (Hachette/Little, Brown Books for Young Readers) and Despicable Me 3: Seek and Find, Universal (Hachette/LB Kids). There are also two level readers, Despicable Me 3: The Good, the Bad, and the Yellow by Trey King (Hachette/LB Kids) and Despicable Me 3: Best Boss Ever by Trey King (Hachette/LB Kids)
The first trailer was just released for the film adaptation of the bestselling memoir by Jeannette Walls, The Glass Castle (S&S/Scribner, 2005):
Starring Academy Award winner Brie Larson as Walls with Woody Harrelson and Naomi Watts as her dysfunctional, sometimes homeless parents, Rex and Rose Mary, the film opens in wide release on August 11.
The author approves, telling People magazine, “They did a spectacular job bringing to life a complicated story, there’s so many nuances … I wanted Brie Larson to play this role even before I knew who she was. She understands how to be strong and vulnerable at the same time, how you can fight and be scared at the same time … The first time that I saw Woody in makeup and in character, I started trembling and crying … the degree to which he captured my father was breathtaking.”
The memoir spent over 250 weeks on NYT best seller lists, in both hardcover and the trade paperback, where it had its most enduring success. Also a constant in book groups, the memoir is assigned reading in schools, and even has its own Cliff Notes.
Todd Haynes’s adaptation of Brian Selznick’s middle grade novel Wonderstruck (Scholastic, 2011) was screened this morning at the Cannes Film Festival, bringing mixed reactions. On the positive side, the AP writes, “The cacophony of the Cannes Film Festival was tamed Thursday by a deaf 14-year-old actress, Millicent Simmonds, whose screen debut is being hailed as a breakthrough.”
Describing the film itself, the AP calls it, “Fanciful and sentimental… an unlikely family-friendly turn for Haynes, the director of Far From Heaven and Mildred Pierce. But it doubles down on his fondness for period tales, weaving parallel story lines from 1927 and 1977.”
Variety‘s Chief Film Critic Owen Gleiberman is more subdued, saying the film is “a lovingly crafted adventure of innocence that winds up being less than the sum of its parts.” The Hollywood Reporter says the the screening drew merely a “polite burst of applause from the assembled press,” but adds the film “can be expected to be welcomed with a lot of warm reviews.”
Produced by Amazon Studios, Wonderstruck enters the Festival as concerns are heating up over changes in the way, as Variety puts it, “people are consuming content,” with particular animosity directed at Netflix, which has two films in competition that were originally scheduled to debut on the company’s streaming service, thus bypassing theaters (they have since changed that plan).
On the other hand, Amazon works in partnership with theatrical distributor Roadside Attractions, which will open Wonderstruck in limited release on October 20, but there is still concern about whether they will stick to that arrangement for future films.
Expressing his displeasure with Netflix at a press conference, Cannes jury president, Spanish director Pedro Almodovar, stated his position,
Actor Will Smith, also on the panel, basically said “good luck with that,” responding that his three children, “go to the movies twice a week and they watch Netflix. There’s very little cross between going to the cinema and watching what they watch on Netflix in my home.” Variety dryly notes, “Netflix, it just so happens, is the distributor of Smith’s next movie, the big-budget Bright, which opens this year.”
As we posted, early accounts reported that HBO was considering four different series, with Martin working on two of them. Martin says HBO is actually considering five different ideas and he is working on all of them.
He cautions that HBO is highly unlikely to proceed with all five, “At least not immediately. What we do have here is an order for four — now five — pilot scripts. How many pilots will be filmed, and how many series might come out of that, remains to be seen.”
Martin also objects to the term “spinoff,”
I don’t think it really applies to these new projects. What we’re talking about are new stories set in the “secondary universe” (to borrow Tolkien’s term) of Westeros and the world beyond, the world I created for A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE … None of these new shows will be “spinning off” from GOT in the traditional sense … Every one of the concepts under discussion is a prequel, rather than a sequel. Some may not even be set on Westeros. Rather than “spinoff” or “prequel,” however, I prefer the term “successor show.” That’s what I’ve been calling them.
He will not say what the shows will be about (Tor.com speculates on that issue), but does address the question on everyone’s lips, “I AM STILL WORKING ON WINDS OF WINTER and will continue working on it until it’s done.”
Reviews be damned, Paula Hawkins’s Into the Water (PRH/Riverhead; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample) can now be declared a #1 best seller. In its second week on sale, it moved to that spot on the new USA Today Best Selling Books list, jumping from #4 and knocking James Patterson off his perch in just one week. This practically guarantees it will be #1 on the NYT list later this week.
Holds are growing, reflecting the considerable interest in the author and some recent PR, via media interviews and her U.S. book tour. Patron demand is catching up. After a rather sluggish start, especially when compared to the pre-pub holds for her debut,lists have grown and libraries have placed multiple re-oreders.
The controversy surrounding the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why, which some say “glamorizes” teen suicide, has brought new attention to the YA novel it is based on, one that has been challenged since it was published ten years ago.
Last night, Nightline showed another side of the story, reporting on a group of Michigan high school students who used the show as the inspiration to talk publicly about the events that made each of consider suicide, creating a video for their fellow students titled “13 Reasons Why Not.”
The result has been a dramatic change in the school’s culture, one that was deeply needed, says one of the participants in the project. As the book’s author Jay Asher has said, it is much more dangerous to try to shut down the conversation than to bring it into the open.
Time to crank up the betting on which actor will play Israeli art restorer, spy and assassin Gabriel Allon from Daniel Silva’s New York Times bestselling novels. Deadline reports that MGM Television, has bought the rights to the books.
Silva has published 16 titles in the series beginning with The Kill Artist in 2000, but says he’s been waiting for the “right time and the right partner” to adapt the books. The partner he chose is currently hot, having produced Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale and FX’s Fargo. As MGM Motion Pictures president Jonathan Glickman notes, the books have been hot for some time, saying bidding was “highly competitive” and the rights “have been sought after for years.”
The 17th title in the series, House of Spies will be published on July 17th (HarperCollins/Harper; HarperAudio; HarperLuxe)
NPR’s All Things Considered featured Michael Ruhlman’s Grocery: The Buying and Selling of Food in America (Abrams; RH Audio/BOT), moving the book up Amazon’s rankings and driving holds. Libraries are seeing reserve ratios well over 3:1, in one case 10:1.
The interview takes place in an actual grocery store. Surveying the plenty spread out in the aisles, Ruhlman says a grocery store is “the best of America and the worst of America.”
Grocery stores are run with such narrow margins that they cannot stand to lose a customer, which is why they ask as at checkout if you found everything you were looking for. Not finding something is why shoppers change stores.
Because of the ease of online buying for commodity items like orange juice and cereal, Ruhlman thinks thinks grocery stores will shrink, selling only specialized items that customers want to pick by hand. The future will look more like the past, when stores were smaller and more specialized.
Bill Gates took to Twitter on Monday and sent Steven Pinker’s 2010 book, The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined (PRH/Penguin; RH Audio; OverDrive Sample), soaring to the top of the Amazon sales charts, where it is currently the best selling book across the site.
Julia Roberts will star in and produce a big screen adaptation of Cynthia Swanson’s 2015 debut novel The Bookseller (HC/Harper; HarperLuxe; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample), reports Variety.
The novel was not widely reviewed. It made the NYT eBook bestseller list for a week and rose to #85 on the USA Today list. It was also an Indie Next pick:
“In 1962, 38-year-old Kitty Miller lives unconventionally. She’s an unmarried working woman who is running a bookstore with her best friend. But at night, in her dreams, it’s a different story. There, Kitty (now Kathryn) explores the path not taken. She’s the married mother of three. It’s the life that might have been, and the novel explores both Kitty’s waking and dream lives in alternating chapters. Swanson’s enjoyable debut really gets interesting when the lines between waking and dreaming, fantasy and reality, begin to blur.” —Susan Tunis, Bookshop West Portal, San Francisco, CA
A starred review in LJ said, “This is a stunner of a debut novel … Kitty/Katharyn’s journey is intriguing, redolent with issues of family, independence, friendship, and free will. This will especially resonate with fans of the movie Sliding Doors and the authors Anna Quindlen and Anita Shreve.”
The TV adaptation of Stephen King’s 2014 novel Mr. Mercedes has wrapped. It will air on August 9 on AT&T’s Audience Network, a satellite service most widely available via DirecTV.
David E. Kelley (Big Little Lies) created the series and Jack Bender (Game of Thrones; Under the Dome) directs multiple episodes. It stars Brendan Gleeson (28 Days Later) as the detective who comes out of retirement to stop the serial killer, Mr. Mercedes, played by Harry Treadaway (City of Ember).
A mass market paperback tie-in edition comes out on July 25, Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King (S&S/Pocket; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample) [art work not available, the above image is from the 2015 mass market edition].
Well-known for hating screen adaptations of her work, Ursula K. Le Guin just sold the rights to one of her most famous novels, the 1969 Hugo and Nebula award winning The Left Hand of Darkness, an iconic work of feminist science fiction.
The novel is part of her Hainish Cycle and explores the ways sex and gender shape a culture. Variety speculates that the audience avidly following Hulu’s adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale will seek out Le Guin’s story as it is another “allegory about sexual politics and power.”
If your collection needs fresh copies, the novel has been republished a number of times, most recently in October 2016 in hardback as part of the Penguin Galaxy series with an introduction by Neil Gaiman: The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. Le Guin (PRH/Penguin; BBC Audio; OverDrive Sample).
If the conversation around “adulting” hits a nerve, meet Republican Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska.
Sasse is concerned with what he regards as the slow-to-nonexistent development of independent and thriving adults in the US and has written a book on the subject, The Vanishing American Adult: Our Coming-of-Age Crisis–and How to Rebuild a Culture of Self-Reliance (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Press; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample). It is zooming up the Amazon rankings, thanks to his appearance on CBS’s Face the Nation yesterday and CBS This Morning today, moving from #43 to #7.
He tells Face the Nation‘s John Dickerson, “this book is 100 percent not about politics, and it’s 99 percent not about policy. It’s about this new category of perpetual adolescence.” However, as one of the Republicans who expressed reservations about the firing of James Comey as Director of the FBI, that subject dominates the interview. Sasse finally gets to promote the book towards the end, saying it’s about the recent phenomenon of “perpetual adolescence …Peter Pan’s Neverland is a hell … we don’t want [to] have our kids caught at a place where they’re not learning how to be adults.”
He followed up with an appearance on CBS This Morning, which also focused on the firing of Comey.