EarlyWord

News for Collection Development and Readers Advisory Librarians

STILL ALICE, Oscar Bump

Behind American Sniper, a second, quieter film did well at the box office this weekend. Also the recipient of good timing  Still Alice, based on the novel by Lisa Genova, expanded nationwide this weekend and was able to capitalize on the movie’s star, Julianne Moore, becoming the front-runner for this year’s Best Actress Oscar.

It’s a Cinderella story for both the book and the movie. Unable to get an agent for the book, Genova self-published it. Her guerrilla marketing was so successful that she then landed an agent and a mainstream publisher, Simon & Schuster. Released as an original trade paperback in 2009, it went on to become a best seller. Appropriately, as the author recently told the Boston Globe, for the film rights, the she took a chance on a “very small new production company,” because she felt, “they really understood the intent of the story.”

In libraries we checked, Still Alice is neck-and-neck in holds with American Sniper.

Genova, a neuroscientist, has published two novels since, both dealing with brain disorders. Left Neglected is about the results of a brain injury and Love Anthony, about autism. In her next novel, Inside the O’Briens, (S&S/Gallery; S&S Audio; 4/7/14), she writes about a family dealing with Huntington’s Disease.

Tie-ins:

9781501107733_6d66bStill AliceLisa Genova
S&S.Gallery: December 16, 2014
Trade Paperback

Mass Market, S&S/Pocket Books

Audio CD, &S Audio

 

AMERICAN SNIPER
Storms Box Office

The Clint Eastwood movie American Sniper, based on Chris Kyle’s autobiography, was a big winner at the box office this weekend, giving the movie industry much-needed hope.The timing of the film’s wide release, immediately after the Oscar nominations were announced, is considered a big factor in its success.

Another is the film’s patriotic appeal, although that is being question by several who object to the movie making a hero of a man who said in his book, “The enemy are savages and despicably evil,” and his “only regret is that I didn’t kill more.”

The movie’s subject, the late Chris Kyle is getting renewed attention, including this story on NBC’s Nightly News:

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9780062238863_986cb  9780062376336_4cf40  9780062290793_498b1

As a result, his book, which has been a long-running best seller, now occupies three spots on the Amazon top 10, with another editions is at #64:

#1 —   Mass market ed. with original cover, (Harper, 2013)
#5 —   Trade pbk tie-in (HarperCollins/Morrow Paperbacks, 2014)
#8 —   Hardcover memorial edition (HarperCollins/Morrow, 2013)
#64 — Mass market. tie-in, (Harper, 2014)

The Next STAR TREK

The debut on Friday of the Syfy Channel’s new series 12 Monkeys, based on Terry Gilliam’s 1995 movie, is part of the cable network’s plan to lure back its audience by returning to its roots in scripted, hard-core science fiction.

9780316129084Other upcoming series are based on books. Just released is a trailer for The Expanse, based on James S.A. Corey‘s series of the same title that begins with Leviathan Wakes, (Hachette/Orbit, 2011). The 10-episodes series, aims, says Entertainment Weekly to be “the next great Star Trek/Firefly/Farscape space drama” or “Game of Thrones in space.”

 

The date for the series has not yet been announced, but the release of the trailer indicates it is not far off.

9780345423498_f0263  9780765331533  9780765348258

Also on tap are adaptations of  two Arthur C. Clarke novels, 3001 The Final Odyssey, (RH/Del Rey, 1997) in development with Ridley Scott as the executive producer and Childhood’s End, (RH/Ballantine, 1953), currently being cast, as well as  Hunters, based on Whitley Strieber’s novel Alien Hunter, (Macmillan/Tor, 2013) and the just-announced adaptation of Robert Charles Wilson’s 2005 novel Spin. (Macmillan/Tor, 2005).

The Zuckerberg Bump

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The second title in Mark Zuckerberg’s new Facebook book club, Steven Pinker’s The Better Angels of Our NatureWhy Violence Has Declined, (Penguin/Viking, 2011; trade pbk, 2012; Brilliance Audio  OverDrive Sample), announced on Saturday, immediately moved up Amazon’s sales rankings, and is now at #307 from a lowly #7,514.

The selection may seem at odds with the times, but Zuckerberg insists, “Recent events might make it seem like violence and terrorism are more common than ever, so it’s worth understanding that all violence — even terrorism — is actually decreasing over time. If we understand how we are achieving this, we can continue our path towards peace.” He adds, “A few people I trust have told me this is the best book they’ve ever read.”

As to the length, it is 800 pages. Zuckerberg admits he will need a month to finish it, so he promises to pick a shorter book in two weeks so club members can read both at the same time.

One of those people is Bill Gates, who has called The Better Angels of Our Nature his “favorite book of the last decade” and “a long but profound look at the reduction in violence and discrimination over time.”

The rise in sales was not quite as great as for the first selection, Moisés Naím’s The End of Power, which climbed to #10 on Amazon’s rankings and also just debuted at #14 on the Jan. 25 New York Times combined nonfiction best seller list. Ironically, as The Washington Post reported, Facebook proved to not be a conducive platform for the book discussion.

The attention also generated holds in libraries. Given the brief two-week window for these selections, however, it will be a losing proposition for libraries to try to meet the demand. We can just hope Zuckerberg’s discovery that books can be “very intellectually fulfilling … in a deeper way than most media today” has resonance.

 

Pierce Brown, Best Seller

Red Rising  golden-sun

Debuting on the Jan. 25 NYT hardcover fiction best seller list at #6 is the second in Pierce Brown’s Red Rising trilogy, Golden Son, (RH/Del Rey; Recorded Books; Thorndike; OverDrive Sample), surpassing the first book, which spent three weeks on the extended list.

Librarians have been big supporters of the series, making the first title the #1 LibraryRead pick last February. Golden Son is on the current list, with the following recommendation:

“After reading Red Rising, I was looking forward to seeing more of the politics of this world. Darrow has infiltrated the Golds and works to bring them down from the inside, end their tyranny, and free his people. There’s so much political drama and action. Brown does a wonderful job describing it all through Darrow’s eyes. It’s exhausting, thrilling, and heart wrenching!”

Nita Gill, Brookings Public Library, Brookings, SD

Entertainment Weekly calls it the “gripping follow-up to last year’s should-have-been-huge debut.”

It is the lead in this week’s NYT BR “Inside the List” column.

“Unexpected” Best Seller Continues

9781476746586_95d5dThe Jan. 25 New York Times best seller lists are studded with new titles, but the real surprise is a book that has already been on the hardcover fiction list for 36 weeks. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (S&S/Scribner; Thorndike; S&S Audio) is not only remarkable for its tenure on the list, but for its gradual rise to number one.

In December, the New York Times examined the factors that went in to making this “unexpected breakout bestseller.” At that point, it had just climbed from #6 to #2. As S&S CEO Carolyn Reidy observed, “An awful lot of titles drop off the best-seller list after four months, and it’s a miracle if it lasts more than four months,” but even more surprising, this one, “not only kept going, but the longer it went, the bigger it got.”

The book emerged last February as a favorite among librarians on GalleyChat, and went on to become a May LibraryReads pick and a LibraryReads Favorite of Favorites.

Many libraries continue to show heavy holds (we issued a holds alert for it back in April last year). One large system expects interest to continue, having just entered a substantial reorder. The trade paperback is currently scheduled to release in June, but don’t count on that if the hardcover continues selling.

Next week, we’ll see if it continues at number one, or whether The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, (Penguin/Riverhead) takes that spot.

A Dozen Titles for Readers Advisors, Week of Jan. 19

With no blockbuster names arriving next week, readers advisors can concentrate on the many picks by colleagues.

All 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 Jan. 26, 2015

Advance Attention

9781594205866_67fe3  9780312622954_970fa  9780393244076_89390

Leaving Before the Rains Come, Alexandra Fuller, (Penguin Press, Penguin Audio; OverDrive Sample)

Fans of Fuller’s previous autobiographies, Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight and Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness, will want to know whether this new one is as good. Entertainment Weekly‘s top book critic Tina Jordan, clearly a Fuller fan, says in the new issue’s lead review it is even better than the others and gives it a resounding A. It also received an early review in last week’s NYT BR, and the author is profiled in Home & Garden section.

It is also an Indie Next pick:

“Fans of Fuller’s African adventures will be thrilled to find she is back with another engaging memoir, and new readers will want to read her previous works. In Leaving Before the Rains Come, Fuller tells of her unraveling marriage and her realization that she is a person truly between countries, living in the U.S. with her husband and children while her heart and soul remain in Africa. Her experiences in the States change her, and when she returns to Africa she discovers that she no longer fits in as she previously had. Fuller must face some tough questions about who she is and where she belongs, and she does so with her usual intelligence and wit.” —Liz Heywood, The Babbling Book, Haines, AK

Fear the Darkness: A Thriller, Becky Masterman, (Macmillan/Minotaur; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample);

Janet Maslin gives Fear the Darkness early attention in the daily NYT this week. Clearly expecting a winner, based on the authors previous title, Rage Against the Dying, she calls this one “another strong display of the author’s ingenuity” but seems let down by the book’s “involving, if not electrifying, first half.”  In the end, however, she says the “book’s later stages are easily its best and well worth waiting for.”

Gateway to Freedom: The Hidden History of the Underground Railroad, Eric Foner, (Norton)

The NYT covers this book by the Pulitzer Prize winner in a story that should fascinate anyone interested in research.

People Picks 

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Etta and Otto and Russell and James, Emma Hooper, (S&S; OverDrive Sample)

People Pick of the Week, 1/26/15;  ” … a lovely book you’ll want to linger over.”

Also an Indie Next pick:

“Eighty-three-year-old Etta Vogel quietly sets out one day to walk 3,200 kilometers to the coast of Canada for her first view of the ocean. As Etta travels, author Hooper gently and poignantly reveals a lifetime of morally charged events that shaped Etta as well as her husband, Otto, and her lifelong friend, Russell. This is a beautiful and sometimes hauntingly stark portrait of three WWII-generation lives, sprinkled with the wise counsel of a loyal coyote named James. I loved it!” — Susan Tyler, The Book Bin, Onley, VA

See How Small, Scott Blackwood, (Hachette/Little, Brown; OverDrive Sample)

People Pick, 1/26/15:

‘This strange and mesmerizing novel begins with the murder of three teenage girls in an Austin ice-cream shop, then traces the crime’s impact on survivors, including a mother, a witness and an accomplice to the crime. In lyrical, often dream-like prose, Blackwood illuminates the nature of grief and the connections among the living and the dead.”

The Man Who Couldn’t Stop: OCD and the True Story of a Life Lost in Thought, David Adam, (Macmillan/FSG/Sarah Crichton; Recorded Books; OverDrive Sample)

People Pick, 1/26/15:

”One day David Adam was a regular guy; the next he scraped himself on a screw and panicked that he’d contracted AIDS. For more than a decade that thought dominated his life. Part memoir, part exploration of the science behind OCD, The Man Who Couldn’t stop is an obsessive read and one with heart.’

LibraryReads Pick

First 9781250019837_9abf8Frost, Sarah Addison Allen, (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Press; OverDrive Sample)

Both a LibraryReads and Indie Next pick

LibraryReads recommendation:

First Frost is a great continuation of the stories of sisters Claire and Sydney, and Sydney’s teenage daughter, Bay. Each of the Waverlys has their own somewhat supernatural gift, and all of them struggle with issues of identity and family. As with Allen’s previous works, this novel will appeal to fans of Alice Hoffman and readers who enjoy family stories that are not overflowing with angst and drama.” — Lauren Mitchell, Pima County Libraries, Tucson, AZ

GalleyChat Pick

9780802123190_da341Before He Finds Her, Michael Kardos, (Grove Atlantic/Mysterious Press)

GalleyChat Fave, Sept:

“I loved Michael Kardos’s The Three-Day Affair (2012) and was sorry it didn’t get the attention it deserved, so I’m keeping fingers crossed that his newest will find a bigger audience. This fast moving plot about a man who murdered his wife and may be looking for his missing daughter is told from multiple viewpoints and is perfect for Harlan Coben and Linwood Barclay readers.” — Robin Beerbower, EarlyWord

Indie Next Picks

9780871407900_0d56aSweetland, Michael Crummey, (Norton/Liveright)

Indie Next recommendation:

“Crummey takes readers into the heart of the insular fishing community of Chance Cove, Sweetland Island, Newfoundland. Sixty-eight-year-old Moses Sweetland’s family founded the town, and he is the only holdout when the government offers the residents a generous cash settlement to relocate to the mainland that is effective only if everyone signs on. Told in sparse, beautiful prose with generous helpings of the local dialect, Sweetland is a requiem for the intimate knowledge of place that a transient society can just barely remember.” —Sarah Goddin, Quail Ridge Books & Music, Raleigh, NC

9780062346032_d56d4Migratory Animals, Mary Helen Specht, (Harper Perennial; OverDrive Sample)

Indie Next recommendation:

“Specht’s novel weaves together stories of science and art, friends faraway and family returned. Migratory Animals is a coming-of-age tale for grown-ups, a reminder that growing pains don’t stop as we age and change and become who we’re supposed to be — or who we hope to be. Flannery and her friends will grab hold of you and not let go until the last page has been turned.” —Annie B. Jones, The Bookshelf, Thomasville, GA

9780525427506_43541Unbecoming, Rebecca Scherm, (Penguin/Viking, BOT Audio; OverDrive Sample)

Indie Next:

“Julie rents a room in a dilapidated house outside of Paris. She repairs antiques, mostly things no one else wants, and is a loner with no friends or social life. In her room at night, she reads the news from Garland, Tennessee, her hometown, where two men are about to be let out on parole for a crime for which she was the mastermind. Julie is terrified of being found and is just trying to survive. This is an exhilarating page-turner with multi-layered characters and several good twists. Once you hit the halfway point, it’s a race to the finish to find out what’s going to happen.” —Amanda Skelton, Union Avenue Books, Knoxville, TN – See also, our chat with the author, Rebecca Scherm. 

9781616954277_51a87Morte, Robert Repino, (Penguin/Viking; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample)

Indie Next:

“Ants conquer the world and pets overthrow their masters in this smart, gripping novel. House cat Sebastian becomes Mort(e), a fearsome warrior for the animal cause. Battling across a dystopian landscape, flushing out the few human survivors, Mort(e) can never quite forget his domesticated past and lost friend, the dog Sheba. A crisis of conscience ensues. What is good? Who is evil? Are the dictatorial ants truly better than the humans with their germ warfare? Laced with humor, this action-packed thriller is thought-provoking.” — Mariga Temple-West, Big Blue Marble Bookstore, Philadelphia, PA

Oscar Noms, Book Adaptations

 

Commenting on the slate of Oscar nominations announced yesterday, Entertertainment Weekly notes,

“Well, it’s certainly going to be one white, male Oscars.

With no people of color nominated in the acting categories, no stories about women included in the best picture race, and even Gone Girl novelist/screenwriter … Gillian Flynn omitted from the best adapted screenplay category, the Academy demonstrated its lack of diversity today in a big way.”

Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken, based on the book by Laura Hillenbrand, was not nominated for either Best Picture or  Best Director. It only received nominations for Best Cinematography, Sound Editing and Sound Mixing.

Neither is Unbroken nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay. The nominees in that category are:

American Sniper, Jason Hall — based on Kyle, Chris, American Sniper,  (HarperCollins/Morrow, 2012)

The Imitation Game, Graham Moore — Hodges, Andrew, Alan Turing: The Enigma, (S&S, 1983; re-released by Princeton U. Press, 2012)

Inherent Vice, Paul Thomas Anderson — Pynchon, Thomas, Inherent Vice, (Penguin Press, 2009)

The Theory of Everything, Anthony McCarten — Hawking, Jane, Traveling To Infinity: My Life With Stephen, (Alma Books, 2007)

Whiplash, Damien Chazelle

If you’re wondering about the latter, so are many others, including the film’s creators. The Academy decided that since writer/director Damian Chazelle released another short film on the same subject in 2013, also called Whiplash, the feature film technically falls into the category of being “based on material previously published or produced.”

The other major nominations for book adaptations are:

American Sniper, Best Picture, Actor (Bradley Cooper), Adapted Screenplay, Film Editing, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing — based on Kyle, Chris, American Sniper, (HarperCollins/Morrow, 2012)

The Imitation Game, Best Picture, Director, Actor (Benedict Cumberbatch), Supporting Actress (Keira Knightley), Adapted Screenplay, Original Score, Film Editing, Production Design– Hodges, Andrew, Alan Turing: The Enigma, (S&S, 1983; re-released by Princeton U. Press, 2012)

The Theory of Everything, Best Picture, Actor (Eddie Redmayne), Actress (Felicity Jones), Adapted Screenplay, Original Score — Hawking, Jane, Traveling To Infinity: My Life With Stephen, (Alma Books, 2007)

Still Alice, Best Actress (Julianne Moore) — Genova, Lisa, Still Alice, (S&S/Pocket Books, 2009)

Gone Girl, Best Actress (Rosamund Pike) — Flynn, Gillian, Gone Girl, (2012)

Wild, Best Actress (Reese Witherspoon), Supporting Actress (Laura Dern) — Strayed, Cheryl, Wild, (RH/Knopf 2012)

The following has a book tie-in, which was released around the same time as the movie:

Foxcatcher, Best Director, Actor (Steve Carell), Supporting Actor (Mark Ruffalo), Best Original Screenplay — Mark Schultz & David Thomas, Foxcatcher: The True Story of My Brother’s Murder, John du Pont’s Madness, and the Quest for Olympic Gold, (Penguin/Dutton, 11/4/14).

Why is Foxcatcher getting a nomination for Original Screenplay? It’s a complicated story, but it seems that Schultz sent the unpublished book to the filmmakers. The movie they made was based on the story, with Schultz consulting, but not technically the book, which was published later.

For Best Animated Feature, three of the nominations are adapted from print sources:

Big Hero 6 — Seagle, Steven T. and Duncan Rouleau, comics (Marvel)

The Boxtrolls — Alan Snow, Here Be Monsters!(Atheneum, 2008, rereleased 8/5/14)

How to Train Your Dragon 2 — characters by Cressida Crowell

Later for IN THE HEART OF THE SEA

Never underestimated the importance of the Oscars to a movie’s bottom line.

Just a few months after the release of the first trailer for Ron Howard’s adaptation of  Nathaniel Philbrick’s In the Heart of the Sea and the announcement of a March 13 release, comes a change in date to, you guessed it, one that falls right in the awards season sweet spot, Dec. 11, 2015.

As a result, the tie-ins are likely to be moved to a later release date.

In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex (Movie Tie-in)
Nathaniel Philbrick
Penguin, Trade Paperback Feb. 24, 2015
9780143126812, 0143126814

Audio: Feb. 24, 2015
Nathaniel Philbrick, Scott Brick
9781611763577, 1611763576

Live Chat with Caroline Rose

The live chat is now a wrap — see what you missed, below.

Live Blog Live Chat with Caroline Starr Rose, BLUE BIRDS
 

New NPR Program INVISIBILIA Creates Book Bump

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Ghost Boy: The Miraculous Escape of a Misdiagnosed Boy Trapped Inside His Own Body by Martin Pistorius (Simon & Schuster, 2011; OverDrive Sample) is getting renewed attention after NPR featured it on its new program, Invisibilia, devoted to exploring the “intangible forces that shape human behavior.”

The show debuted on January 8th and repeated on All Things Considered the next day. It sent Ghost Boy racing up Amazon’s sales rankings all the way to #2.

NPR may have created a new book bump vehicle. The story was picked up by The Washington Post and The Christian Science Monitor and the book is currently out of stock on Amazon. Few libraries bought Pistorius’s memoir at the time of publication. Those that did are showing heavy holds. One library we checked has 91 holds on 3 copies.

FINDERS KEEPERS Follows
MR. MERCEDES

Mr. MercedesIn June, Stephen King announced a followup to Mr. Mercedes, the second in a planned trilogy, titled Finders Keepers, (S&S/Scribner; S&S Audio; 6/2/15).

Yesterday, it was announced that the first book is being developed as a limited series for the small screen, to be directed by Jack Bender who did the adaptation of King’s Under the Dome, that aired on CBS last year.

New Book from Elizabeth Gilbert

BigMagicFinalEat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert is publishing a new book in September on creativity, which may be why she gave the exclusive announcement to the Etsy blog, which is written for craftspeople and craft buyers.

Titled Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, (Penguin/ Riverhead; 9781594634710), the announcement has been picked up by several news sources, including the New York Times (via the AP) and USA Today.

BIG SHORT, Big Stars

9780393338829Talk about your moneyball. The film version of Michael Lewis’s best seller about the financial meltdown, The Big Short, (Norton, 2011).has attracted some big stars, Brad Pitt, Christian Bale and Ryan Gosling, will star according to Variety. Pitt is producing.

Pitt, of course, starred in an adaptation of another title by Lewis, Moneyball, (Norton, 2003).

Before that, the movie based on his 2006 book,  The Blind Side, (Norton), was also a hit.

Aaron Sorkin, who was wrote the screenplay for  Moneyball, bought the rights to Lewis most recent title, Flash Boys, (Norton, 2014) and it was reported to be on his “front burner” after his success with Newsroon, but hacked Sony emails indicate he has passed on the project.

New FIFTY SHADES Trailer

Amid protests that the “R” rating for the film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey is too mild, a new trailer debuted during the broadcast of the Golden Globes awards. This one offers a glimpse of a new “Grey,” Marcia Gay Harden as Christian’s mother.

The movie, of course, will be released on Valentine’s Day weekend.