The NYT today looks at the halo effect of the success of the Starz adaptation of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander on the books. After the TV series debuted, the first in the book series went to #1 on best seller lists for the first time since its publication twenty years ago, two others in the series also hit the lists (in addition, the most recent in the series, Written In My Own Heart’s Blood, RH/Delacorte, which came out in June, hit the list at #1).
The final eight episodes of season one are set for release on April 4 of next year. Starz has also ordered a second season, to be based on the next book in the series, Dragonfly in Amber, (RH/Delacorte, 1992). Like Game of Thrones, to which it is compared, there are plenty more books to draw on, eleven novels plus several novellas and shorter pieces (see Gabaldon’s own chronology here).
While Game of Thrones and other TV series have brought readers to the original books, the article does not mention that this is not always the case. The just-concluded HBO series The Leftovers, for instance, had only a small effect on Perrotta’s book and it seems most people didn’t even get that NBC’s About A Boy is based on Nick Hornby’s novel.
Predicting which adaptations, whether film or TV, will have a halo effect can drive selectors (and de-selectors) nuts. Over a dozen more adaptations are on TV schedules through 2015, with many more in the works (see our downloadable Books to TV listing; our full list, including film adaptations is here).
Play along with us as we try handicapping the adaptations coming up through the end of the year:
Big Driver — Lifetime TV movie, 10/18/14 — A one-off movie, based on a lesser-known Stephen King title (a novella published in Full Dark, No Stars,, S&S/Scribner, 2010), won’t inspire many to seek out the original.
Death Comes to Pemberley — PBS, 2 episodes, begins 10/16 — P.D. James riffed on Pride and Prejudice in her 2011 book. Matthew Rhys plays Darcy in the adaptation, but sorry, we don’t think he’ll have the impact that Colin Firth did when he played the role in the 1995 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. As a two-part series, it won’d have time to build an audience, so we are not expecting a big resurgence of interest in the book. Tie-in, RH/Vintage.
Olive Kitteridge, HBO, four parts, begins 11/2/14 — Winning the Pulitzer Prize shortly after it was released in trade paperback sent Elizabeth Strout’s novel on to the NYT list where it stayed for nearly two years, rising to #5. HBO publicity will remind people who always meant to read it to pick it up and it will go on to lists again, but won’t reach previous heights. Tie-in, Random House Trade
The Red Tent, Lifetime, 12/7 & 12/8/14 — Just two nights long, this won’t have much time to build a following. However, as a reading club favorite, the title has remained in the public consciousness, so the series promotion may remind people to look for the book. That beautiful new cover, displayed in the front of book stores won’t do it any harm, either. Tie-in, Picador
Mr. Miracle, Hallmark, Holidays — This is the fourth holiday-themed movie based on a Debbie Macomber book. This time, both Mr. Miracle, the book, RH/Ballantine and the movie are being released in the same season. Hallmark has already burnished Macomber’s brand, so there’s little room for growth. Watch next year, however, when Hallmark plans to do the same for Karen Kingsbury and Sherryl Woods.
Surgeon Atul Gawande shook up the medical profession a few years ago when he told doctors in his book The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right, that they could improve their results by borrowing a simple idea from the airlines, going through a checklist to make sure that important items aren’t overlooked during medial procedures.
In his new book, Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End, (Macmillan/Holt/Metropolitan; Macmillan Audio), he has something to tell the medical profession that may be even more difficult to swallow. Doctors don’t listen to their patients, and that if they did, he says, they would discover that at the end of life, living longer is often not a person’s top priority.
Three upcoming major book awards will be announced within a week of each other.
First, the 2014 Nobel Prize in Literature will be announced this Thursday, Oct. 9. The current favorites are Haruki Murakami, whose books are owned widely by U.S. libraries, and Kenyan writer Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, whose works are available in the U.S., but are less widely owned.
Don’t take the wagering too seriously, however, as the Christian Science Monitor outlines, this award is notoriously difficult to predict.
The next day, Wednesday, Oct. 15, sees the release of the shortlist of finalists for the National Book Awards (winners to be announced on Nov. 19). Now that Americans are included in the Booker Awards, it would have been interesting if there were overlaps. However, just one title was on both longlists, Richard Powers’ Orfeo, and it did not make it to the Booker shortlist.
Following the release last month of a brief teaser and a few clips, the first full length trailer has arrived for the adaptation of Elizabeth Strout’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel, Olive Kitteridge Random House, 2008).
We’re in to October already, so it’s high time to begin thinking about the holidays. To the rescue, the first of the Christmas-themed novels arrives next week, this one by Debbie Macomber. It’s also the basis for a Hallmark movie … a children’s book is one of the three leaders in holds … and you will have a record number of LibraryReads picks to recommend, five in total.
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 10/6
“This memoir focuses on Cumming’s reaction to being told that his father was not, in fact, his father. An appearance on the UK’s Who Do You Think You Are was meant to reveal the mystery behind what happened to Cumming’s maternal grandfather. Instead, his father’s admission leads Cumming to resolve long-held memories of verbal abuse. Cumming is extremely open, allowing readers to share in his pain and understand his relationships.” — Tracy Babiasz, Alachua County Library District, Newberry, FL
“Smiley’s latest is a love song to American farms and the people who keep them. This glorious and heartfelt novel chronicles the lives of an Iowan farm family over 30 years, beginning in 1920. Family members are born, grow, change, and die. Readers follow their triumphs and crushing losses and, along the way, learn about the evolution of farming and society in the United States. Definitely one of the best novels of 2014.” — Laurie Van Court, Douglas County Libraries, Parker, CO
Media attention: NPR Weekend Edition Sunday – 10/5; New York Times – interview with Chip McGrath – 10/7. It is also on the National Book Awards longlist (finalists TBA on Oct. 15).
“Emotionally scarred by a near-drowning experience, young Jack Keenan spends all his time indoors, fanatically preoccupied with drawing strange things. While Jack’s parents chalk his drawings up to the imagination, Nick, Jack’s only friend, notices mysterious things happen whenever Jack picks up a pencil. This detailed coming-of-age tale with a twist offers unique insights into boyhood friendships and the complexities of adult relationships.” — Courtney Block, Charlestown Clark County Public Library, Charlestown, IN
“When Kate learns that her estranged father has committed suicide, she and her siblings travel to Atlanta to bury him and work out years of resentment. Life seems overwhelming to Kate as she battles with infidelity, divorce, and a massive debt. It’s only when she takes a good look at herself that she begins to heal the rift in her family. Unfolding like a saga, this short book packs a punch.” — Elizabeth Kanouse, Denville Public Library, Denville, NJ
“Detective Kaga is investigating the murder of best-selling author Kunihiko Hidaka. Hidaka’s wife and best friend both have rock-solid alibis, but Kaga discovers that the friendship might not have been what it seemed. A classic cat-and-mouse game with twists that keep the pages turning.” — Vicki Nesting, St. Charles Parish Library, Destrehan, LA
Media attention will be heavy, led by NPR’s Morning Edition on Monday, Oct. 6 and Fresh Air the next day.
It is also longlisted for the 2014 National Book Award for Nonfiction. Book trailer, below.
Endgame: The Calling, James Frey, Nils Johnson-Shelton, (HarperCollins)
A YA title that is, according to the publisher, “designed to play out over multiple media platforms, including mobile games,” this one also arrives with an attention-getting gimmick, a global scavenger hunt for $500,000 worth of gold coins. It’s working, at least for drawing media coverage. USA Today has covered the contest as well as the New York Post‘s “Page Six.” The first in a planned trilogy, each new book will up the ante by an additional $500,000. Of the prepub reviewers, only Booklist recommended it and library ordering is modest
The first book from the popular Vegan web site (Gwyneth Paltrow is a fan). A certain word may be obscured on the cover, but it’s on full display multiple times in the text. In fact, if the swear words were removed, this cookbook would be half the size.
To be featured on CBS Sunday Morningthis weekend (argh! Rebel Yell on CBS Sunday Morning? Nearly as jarring as when we first heard Bob Dylan on Muzak).
In addition to advance excerpts in RollingStone.com and Time.com, Idol’s memoir will also be featured in USA Weekend this Sunday, on NBC-TV/‘Today Show (interview and performance) on release day, Tuesday and on The Howard Stern Show, on Wednesday.
While not a tie-in, this is related to the premiere of AMC’s 5th season of The Walking Dead. The TV series is based on the original comic books (which have been gathered into various book compendia). This prose novel is set in the same world and includes characters from both the comic and television series. It is he fourth and final in the series, which began with The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor, and continued in The Walking Dead: The Road to Woodbury and The Walking Dead: The Fall of the Governor: Part One. Another new Walking Dead series begins next week, with The Walking Dead Descent.
Editor’s Note: Robin Beerbower is EarlyWord‘s regular “GalleyChatter” columnist. In her day job, Robin is the readers’ advisor and homebound services coordinator for the Salem [OR] Public Library. Enthusiastic about the importance (and fun) of reading books ahead of publication, she tirelessly tracks down galleys, making her an authority on what to read next. She is also very active on the Edelwiss Community Board, using it to spot titles and gauge developing buzz among librarians (you can join in; just register on Edelweiss and “friend” Robin). Below is her latest:
Three titles that garnered rave reviews during past GalleyChats also recently received top accolades from People (Laird’s Neverhome, Hachette/Little, Brown and St. Mandel’s Station Eleven, RH/Knopf) and Entertainment Weekly (Station Eleven and Sarah Waters’ The Paying Guests, Penguin/Riverhead). Also, Station Eleven made the National Book Award Longlist! Are there a few crystal balls in library offices? No, we’re just a group of librarians with discerning eyes as to what will popular with readers.
What will the critics and the public be raving about in a few months? To find out, check out the following top titles from the September 9 chat. For a complete Edelweiss list of what was discussed, check here. Many are available in as egalleys; read them and remember to nominate your favorites on LibraryReads.
Storytelling at Its Best
There’s nothing like a good story to keep us reading and three titles stood out for their gripping plots.
A couple of us were so excited to chat about Greer Macallister’s The Magician’s Lie (Sourcebooks Landmark, January), we could hardly wait until the official chat time began. The story of a female illusionist in the early 1900s who flees her show after her husband is found hacked to death and is caught by the local constable kept us enthralled. Sharron Smith said the tale was hypnotic and the eerie dark tone reminded me of Goolrick’s A Reliable Wife.
Judging from the excited responses when I mentioned Fiercombe Manor, Kate Riordan (Harper, February), the gothic novel is alive and well. With its English manor setting, threads of madness, and hints of hauntings, it’s an obvious homage to Kate Morton, Victoria Holt, Sarah Waters, and Daphne du Maurier. Before reading, Google “Owlpen Manor” to see the house that inspired the setting.
Maria Dueñas’s first book, The Time In Between was a beautifully told epic story, and her follow-up, The Heart Has Its Reasons (S&S/Atria, November) is another clear winner. Beth Mills (New Rochelle Public Library) said this story of a female professor moving from Madrid to San Francisco and becoming obsessed with an exiled writer who died years before is “an absorbing read—it ties in academic politics, 20th century Spanish history and early California history.”
It’s unanimous that GalleyChatters love Stewart O’Nan’s ability to build sympathetic characters and his next book, West of Sunset (Penguin/Viking, January) with its focus on F. Scott’s Fitzgerald’s last years in Hollywood doesn’t disappoint. In her Edelweiss review Darien Library’s Collection Development manager Jennifer Dayton said “This is a portrait of a man drowning in longing for lost chances, lost loves and lost worlds. I loved it.”
Appearing on the Booker Man 2014 longlist (but alas, not the shortlist), Us, David Nicholls (Harper, October), the witty story of a man trying to save his marriage of 30 years after his wife announces she wants a divorce, was very popular with readers. According to Janet Lockhart (Wake County Libraries, NC), Nicholls “blends humor and sadness with great dialog and engaging characters.”
Virginia Woolf is hot again — in the publishing world anyway. She’s featured in two new novels. Jennifer Winberry (Hunterdon County Library, NJ) is anticipating Vanessa and her Sister, (RH/Ballantine,December), a “biofic” about Virginia Woolf and her sister, saying “I’m very much looking forward to this as I’m addicted to Virginia Woolf & all things Bloomsbury.” Then Adeline: A Novel of Virginia Woolf, Norah Vincent (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, April), the imagined story of the events prior to Woolf’s suicide was posted on Edelweiss after our GalleyChat .
The Rest of What We Loved
Back in May Jill LePore impressed the audience with her spirited presentation at the BEA librarians’ breakfast and since then anticipation has been building for The Secret History of Wonder Woman (RH/Knopf, October), the amazing account of how Wonder Woman came into existence along with a crucial bit of feminism history.
I haven’t read many graphic novels but I am now addicted to Lucy Knisley’s series of personal experiences that started with Relish: My Life in the Kitchen and continued with An Age of License. Her latest, Displacement(WW Norton/Fantagraphics, February), received high praise from collection development librarian Janet Lockhart who said “Knisley is single handedly turning me into a graphic novel reader.”
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 his newest, Before He Finds Her (Grove Atlantic, Mysterious Press) will find a bigger audience of thriller lovers in February. 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.
Comparisons to Jacqueline Mitchard’s Deep End of the Ocean is enough to make most of us want to read Tim Johnston’s Descent (Workman/Algonquin, January) but Kaite Stover goes further, saying it is “moving, absorbing, and lyrical in telling the story of a family’s anguish at the disappearance of a child.” And nine other Edelweiss users agree giving it “much love.” Oprah, are you paying attention?
So what is destined to become hits with both the critics and the public? We shall see. In the meantime, if you want to test your psychic skills, join our next GalleyChat on October 7 from 4:00-5:00, Eastern, (more details here), and if you want to keep up on what I’m anticipating on Edelweiss, “friend me.”
The film adaptation of Still Alice by Lisa Genova (S&S/Gallery, 2009), starring Julianne Moore, Alec Baldwin, Kristen Stewart and Kate Bosworth, won raves and Oscar predictions when it premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Those predictions now have a shot at becoming true. The movie is set for an Oscar-qualifying, limited release (NY and LA only) in December, opening in more theaters on Jan. 15, 2015
A clip was released last month:
Tie-ins are timed for the limited release:
S&S.Gallery: December 16, 2014
$16.00 USD, $18.99 CAD
S&S/Pocket Books: December 16, 2014
$7.99 USD, $9.99 CAD
S&S Audio: December 16, 2014
$19.99 USD, $23.99 CAD
More adaptation news below (for our full listing of upcoming adaptations, see our listing of Books to Movies and TV:
A memoir, aimed at young adults, by a young woman who was diagnosed at 13 with HIV and then became the victim of bullying so ferocious that she considered suicide, is the next title in the Today Show Book Club.
Positive : A Memoir
Paige Rawl, Ali Benjamin, Jay Asher (Intro. by)
HarperCollins: August 26, 2014
$18.99 USD, $23.99 CAD
The Today Show‘s book club began last fall with the debut Bone Season by Samantha Shannon, sending it on to best seller lists for a brief time. Since then, there have been just four more picks, the most recent in May, The Fault in Our Stars, which capitalized on the attention surrounding the movie.
For the new pick, the Today Show invites people to:
“Read along with TODAY viewers, sharing your reaction to the book on Twitter via @TODAYsBooks and the TODAY Book Club Google+ community. Be sure to follow the TODAY Book Club newsletter for the latest information.”
Hager will host an online conversation with Rawl on Nov. 14.
Just when you thought it was finally over, the Twilight series may be revived.
The New York Times reports that Lions Gate, the studio that bought the studio behind the films, and Stephenie Meyer, author of the books and producer on the final two feature-length Twilight movies, have announced plans for five short films based on the Twilight characters, to be shown exclusively on Facebook next year.
Partially funded by the organization Women in Film, the program, called The Storyteller: New Voices of the Twilight Saga, will invite women filmmakers to submit short films based on the Twilight characters. Five will be selected by a panel of women in the entertainment industry, including Meyer and Kristen Stewart, star of the feature films.
When the Twilight series was coming to a conclusion, there were rumors that Meyer was planning more books in the series. There’s been no news on that since.
Wolf Hall: Parts 1 & 2, the Royal Shakespeare Company’s adaptation of the first two books in Hilary Mantel’s Tudor trilogy, Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, has been a has been a hit in London and is now set to make its American debut on Broadway April 9 next year. The production is over 5 1/2 hours long, which can be viewed in two consecutive parts (with a dinner break), or on separate days.
Perhaps feeling some competition, the executive producer of the upcoming BBC TV adaptation of Wolf Hall, commented in a recent essay in The Guardian, “I would like to clarify that the BBC commissioned the six-hour mini-series long before it was produced for the stage.” Starring Mark Rylance as Thomas Cromwell and Damian Lewis (Homeland) as Henry VIII, filming was under way in various historic British locations this summer. No release dates have been announced.
The author is at work on third book in the series, The Mirror and The Light, (she and the stage play’s producer both say they hope it will also be adapted). No publication date has been announced, but some sources say it is due next year.
The stage adaptation will be released in book form this coming February. According to the publisher, it also”contains a substantial set of notes by Hilary Mantel on each of the principal characters, offering a unique insight into the plays and an invaluable resource to any reader looking for an even deeper understanding of Mantel’s historical creations.”