Archive for October, 2011

Nicole Kidman to Star in FAMILY FANG

Monday, October 31st, 2011

A GalleyChat favorite, The Family Fang, by Kevin Wilson (Ecco, 8/2011), is being optioned by Nicole Kidman’s production company, with plans for her to star, according to the movie news site, Deadline.

For those unfamiliar with the book, it has nothing to do with vampires, but with a quirky family of performance artists. On NPR’s Fresh Air, Maureen Corrigan was glad that it was published during the heat of summer because,

…it’s such a minty fresh delight to open up Kevin Wilson’s debut novel, The Family Fang, and feel the revitalizing blast of original thought, robust invention, screwball giddiness. Every copy of The Family Fang sold in August should have a sticker on it imprinted with the life-giving invitation that used to be issued on movie marquees in summertime during the dawn of the air-conditioning age: ‘Come on in! It’s cooool inside!’

Kidman recently wrapped filming on the film adaptation of Pete Dexter’s novel, The Paperboy. Directed by Lee Daniels (Precious), it also stars Zac Efron, John Cusack, Matthew McConaughey and Scott Glenn.

The Family Fang: A Novel
Kevin Wilson
Retail Price: $18.99
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Ecco – (2011-08-09)
ISBN / EAN: /780061579035/ 006157903

Stephenie Meyer, Producer

Monday, October 31st, 2011

The current issue of Glamour magazine features an interview with Breaking Dawn star Kristen Stewart. The interviewer is Stephenie Meyer, who, in addition to writing the Twilight Saga book series, is a producer on the film.

Meyer has formed her own production company, Fickle Fish Films, which wrapped filming last month on its debut effort, Austenland, a romantic comedy based on the first adult title by Newbery Honor Medalist (Princess Academy) Shannon Hale. About a woman who gets to live out her obsession with the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice by going to a Jane Austen fantasy camp, it stars Keri Russell, JJ Feild and Bret McKenzie, along with Jennifer Coolidge and Jane Seymour. Filming has wrapped in England, but no release date has been set.

A follow-up to the book, Midnight in Austenland, is coming Jan. 31. Also in the works is Hale’s untitled sequel to the Princess Academy, coming in August, 2012.

Midnight in Austenland: A Novel
Shannon Hale
Retail Price: $24.00
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA – (2012-01-31)
ISBN / EAN: 1608196259 / 9781608196258

Snooki Loves Her Cats

Monday, October 31st, 2011
Entertainment Weekly reads Snooki’s Confessions of a Guidette(Gallery/ S&S, Oct.) so you don’t have to, and includes this choice bit:

The book is dedicated to her cats for being the “best cats, best friends ever.” Later, she threatens those who bad mouth her cats. “Don’t talk s–t about my cat; I’ll go squirrel monkey on your ass.” Does anyone know what this means?

Below, Snooki shows what goes down at the typical author/publisher meeting:

The Madoffs on Sixty Minutes

Monday, October 31st, 2011

Convicted Ponzi schemer, Bernie Madoff is currently serving 150 years in jail. His wife Ruth, son Andrew and his fiancée, Catherine Hooper, appeared on CBS Sixty Minutes last night, as part of the promotion for a new book, Truth and Consequences: Life Inside the Madoff Family by Laurie Sandell (9780316198936; Hachette Audio, 9781611135251). The book is based in on interviews with the three of them. Ruth Madoff says that Andrew and Catherine wanted to do the book and she did so as part of an effort at reconciliation with them. Interviewer Morley Safer notes, “neither Ruth nor Andrew will benefit from sales of the book, Catherine Hooper will.”

As a result of the show, the book rose on Amazon’s sales rankings, but did not crack the top 100. It is currently at #111. Libraries that purchased it are showing modest holds on light ordering.

Although it was under an embargo, sections of the book have been widely leaked, so the claim that Bernie and Ruth attempted suicide is not a revelation.

Part Two:

Mark Madoff’s widow, who remains estranged from the family, also published a book recently. It was not mentioned on the show.

The End of Normal
Stephanie Madoff Mack
Retail Price: $26.95
Hardcover: 253 pages
Publisher: Blue Rider/Penguin – (2011-10-20)
ISBN : 9780399158162

Available in EPub and PDF on OverDrive.

New Title Radar – Week of 10/31

Friday, October 28th, 2011

The holidays are heralded with the release of tie-ins to three major family movies, directed by two major filmmakers. Coming for Thanksgiving is Martin Scorsese’s Hugo. At Christmas, Steven Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tintin will be going head-to-head with, um, Steven Spielberg’s War Horse.

Heavily anticipated (as documented by New York magazine’s “Anticipation Index“) is Joan Didion’s next memoir Blue Nights, which follows her searing Year of Magical Thinking. We also see the finale of the Wicked series.

Memoir & Biography

Blue Nights
by Joan Didion (Knopf; RH Audio; Large Type, Thorndike) is a memoir of the acclaimed writer’s loss of her adopted daughter in 2005, and her reckoning with herself as an aging, grieving mother. New York magazine has a piercing profile of Didion, with more coverage to follow after the blockbuster success of Didion’s memoir of widowhood, The Year of Magical Thinking. Appearances are scheduled for the Today Show, NPR’s Fresh Air and the Charlie Rose ShowLibrary Journal says, “This worthwhile meditation on parenting and aging by a succinct writer, while at times difficult to read and a bit self-centered, is well worth the emotional toll.”

No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington by Condoleeza Rice (Crown; Random House Audio) is the former National Security Advisor and Secretary of State’s story of eight years serving at the highest levels of government. The Washington Post writes that Rice’s confessions of self-doubt and regret are a revelation – and calls it the first serious memoir of the Bush Administration.

Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero by Chris Matthews (S&S; Thorndike Large Print) is a biography by the host of MSNBC’s Hardball that draws on interviews with friends and former staffers of the 35th President. PW says, “Matthew’s stirring biography reveals Kennedy as a fighting prince never free from pain, never far from trouble, and never accepting the world he found.” Matthews has ready access to TV coverage and will appear on several shows next week, including NBC’s Today Show and ABC’s The View.

Usual Suspects

Zero Day by David Baldacci (Grand Central; Hachette Audio; Grand Central Large Print) finds combat veteran and investigator in the U.S. Army’s Criminal Investigative Division on a brutal murder scene in West Virginia coal country. Preorders have kept it in Amazon’s Top 100 for a month.



Lost December by Richard Paul Evans (Simon and Schuster; S&S Audio; Thorndike Large Print) is another feel-good Christmas tale by the mega-selling author, this time featuring the self-made owner of a copy shop empire, Carl, and his estranged son, Luke. Kirkus is not impressed: “Although Luke’s downfall is a mesmerizing train wreck, his redemption is predictable and unearned.”

The Next Always by Nora Roberts (Berkley; Brilliance Audio; Thorndike Large Print) is the first installment in a series that draws extensively on the author’s experience running a historic Maryland inn. PW says, “Roberts paints a charming picture of smalltown life with likable characters, but supernatural thriller elements feel out of place in the bucolic contemporary setting, and too much detail about the nuts and bolts of the inns restoration slows down the story.”

Hotel Vendome by Danielle Steele (Delacorte; Brilliance Audio; Random House Large Print) is the story of an Eloise-like girl raised by a single father as he struggles to keep his hotel running while being a responsible parent. PW says, “As usual, Steel leaves nothing of her character’s feelings, backgrounds, or attitudes to reader inference, preferring to spell out every last detail, but who can argue with success?”

Out of Oz: the Final Volume in the Wicked Years by Gregory McGuire (Morrow; HarperAudioHarperLuxe) finds Oz in the midst of civil war, with granddaughter of the infamous Elphaba, Wicked Witch of the West, coming of age with a band of friends. Booklist give it a thumbs up: “after the slightly disappointing Son of a Witch (2005) and A Lion among Men (2008), Maguire recaptures his mystical mojo.” The musical based on first in the book series, Wicked is still running on Broadway. News broke in January of a possible ABC TV mini-series based on the book (not the musical). Since there has been no further news, that project may be stalled.

Young Adult

Crossed (Matched Trilogy #2) by Ally Condie (Dutton; Penguin Audiobooks) is the second installment in the popular teen science fiction series. PW says, “Newcomers will need to read the first book for background, but vivid, poetic writing will pull fans through as Condie immerses readers in her characters yearnings and hopes.”

Movie Tie-ins

The Hugo Movie Companion by Brian Selznick (Scholastic) ties in to the movie Hugo, directed by Martin Scorsese and based on The Invention of Hugo Cabret, also by Brian Selznick. The film opens 11/23 (the day before Thanksgiving). Scholastic is also publishing The Hugo Cabret Notebook in November. The first trailer was released this week, followed quickly by a second trailer.


War Horse by Michael Morpurgo (Scholastic) ties in to the major Spielberg movie that opens 12/23. The story, about a horse taken from a gentle farm boy and sold into service in WW1, was originally published in Great Britain in 1982.

The Adventures of TinTin by Herge, adapted by Stephanie Peters (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers) ties into another big Spielberg movie, opening on Christmas Day. Other tie-ins include a chapter book, picture books, and a middle grade book, (check our list of Upcoming Movies Based on Books for all the tie-ins). LBYR is also re-releasing the Tin Tin originals in new editions.



Thursday, October 27th, 2011

Dr. Seuss’s still-timely 1971 environmental fable The Lorax, has been adapted into a 3-D full-length feature film, which arrives in theaters on March 2nd next year. The first trailer debuted on the Web today.


The Lorax Pop-Up!
Dr. Seuss
Retail Price: $29.99
Hardcover: 18 pages
Publisher: Robin Corey Books – (2012-01-10)
ISBN / EAN: 0375860355 / 9780375860355

Step into Reading Titles:

Look for the Lorax (Step into Reading)
Tish Rabe
Trade Pbk 9780375869990; $3.99
Hdbk. Library Bindg 978-0-375-96999-7; $12.99
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers – (2012-01-10)
Age Range 4 to 6 yrs


How to Help the Earth-By The Lorax (Step into Reading)
Tish Rabe
Trade Pbk 978-0-375-86977-8; $3.99
Hdbk. Library Binding: 978-0-375-96977-5; $12.99
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers – (2012-01-10)
Age Range: 5 to 8 years


Thursday, October 27th, 2011

In today’s Washington Post, Ron Charles calls The Cat’s Table by Michael Ondaatje, “a charming mixture of eccentricity, serendipity and impish fun.” The semi-autobiographical story of a boyhood journey that affected  the main character’s entire life, Charles says the novel’s “vignettes convey a delightful sense of the urgency and mystery of adolescence, their galloping imagination, thumping anticipation and assurance that every overhead whisper is a conspiracy, a forbidden tryst or a murder in the planning stages.”

The book is #4 on the new Indie best seller list, rising from #6 last week.

The Cat’s Table
Michael Ondaatje
Retail Price: $26.00
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Knopf – (2011-10-04)
ISBN / EAN: 9780307700117/0307700119

RH Audio, 9780307943712; Center Point Large Print, 9781611732245

ENDER’S GAME Gets Release Date

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

For a while, it looked like it might not happen, but Summit has announced a release date of March 15, 2013 for Orson Scott Card’s 1985 science fiction classic Ender’s Game. It will be directed by Gavin Hood  (X-Men Origins: WolverineTsotsi).

No casting announcements have been made yet.



HUGO Trailer

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

The first official trailer for Martin Scorsese’s Hugo, based on Brian Selznick’s Caldecott-winning The Invention of Hugo Cabret (Scholastic, 2008) has made its appearance.  The film arrives in theaters the day before Thanksgiving.


The Hugo Movie Companion:A Behind the Scenes Look at How a Beloved Book Became a Major Motion Picture
Brian Selznick
Retail Price: $19.99
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Press – (2011-10-01)
ISBN / EAN: 0545331552 / 9780545331555

Get Over It, People!

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

A remarkably humorless Alexis Stewart tells the Today Show that unflattering comments about her mother, Martha, in her “anti-advice” book, Whateverland: Learning to Live Here (Wiley, 10/18) are just a joke:

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

More on that “break-up” with co-author and former BFF Jennifer Koppleman-Hutt:

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Best Books of 2011

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

We’re heading into the season of best books lists (Amazon already jumped the gun, with their mid-year “Best Books of 2011 .. so far“).

Publishers Weekly‘s list will arrive in two weeks. Leading up to it, the editors are blogging daily about their favorites. The first title is a debut, The Devil All the Time by Donald Ray Pollock, which received strong critical attention from the NY Times , the L.A. Times and Robert Goolrick (author of A Reliable Wife) in the Washington Post, who said it’s “grotesque, violent, haunting, perverse and harrowing — and very good. You may be repelled, you may be shocked, you will almost certainly be horrified, but you will read every last word.”

The Devil All the Time
Donald Ray Pollock
Retail Price: $26.95
Hardcover 261 pages
Publisher: Doubleday – (2011-07-12)
ISBN 9780385535045

John Green’s Cover Design Contest

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

If you haven’t had any coffee yet, the video below should wake you up.

If you’re already feeling a bit jittery, here’s the essence of it:

– YA author John Green is excited (extremely) to unveil the cover for The Fault in Our Stars (Dutton, Jan 10, 9720525478812), designed by his favorite designer ever, Rodrigo Corral (he did  covers for The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, by Juno Diaz, Super Sad True Love Story, by Gary Shteyngart and The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides).

– John also announces a contest for fans to design the cover of the paperback version of An Abundance of Katherines (details here; contest ends 11/21/11).

John doesn’t mention that The Fault in Our Stars just rose to #33 on Amazon’s sales rankings (it went to #1 back in June when he simply announced the title; it’s on the rise, so that may happen again).

Unexpected Read-a-Like

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

Many have tried to assert that certain books will appeal to Stieg Larsson’s readers. NPR reviewer Alan Cheuse  makes this surprising comparison,

Do you miss the girl with the dragon tattoo? Do you long for the thrill of following her adventures again through three volumes of exciting, intelligent fiction? If so, I have good news for you. She’s got a sort of soul sister in one of the two main characters in Haruki Murakami’s wonderful novel 1Q84.

He agrees with most other reviewers that readers will be compelled to read all 900+ pages of the novel, which comes out today.

Haruki Murakami
Retail Price: $30.50
Hardcover: 944 pages
Publisher: Knopf – (2011-10-25)
ISBN / EAN: 0307593312 / 9780307593313

Amazingly, it is also available as an unbridged audio (just 36 hours long) from Brilliance Audio.

STEVE JOBS en Español

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

Walter Isaacson’s bio of Steve Jobs achieves a new landmark today; the Spanish language edition rose to #1 on Amazon’s sales rankings for Books > Libros en español and to #233 overall. The English language edition continues at #1.

Steve Jobs: Edicion en Espanol (Vintage Espanol) (Spanish Edition)
Walter Isaacson
Retail Price: $17.95
Paperback: 752 pages
Publisher: Vintage – (2011-11-01)
ISBN / EAN: 030795028X / 9780307950284


Monday, October 24th, 2011

Daniel Kahneman, winner of the 2002 Nobel Prize in Economics, is enjoying a wide range of media coverage, from the New York Post to the New York Times (in both the magazine and in David Brooks’s column), for his new book, Thinking Fast and Slow (FSG, 10/25). As a result, it has been in the top ten on Amazon sales rankings for the past two days and shows heavy holds in libraries that have ordered it (several libraries have not).

About the book’s excerpt in the Sunday New York Times Magazine, editor Hugo Lindgren says,

…we could have randomly selected any 3,000-word chunk of it and it would’ve been just as brilliant as the bit we chose. [Kahneman’s] writing style is so charming and amiable that you almost forget that he’s kicking the table legs out from under life as we think we live it.

Forbes takes a narrower view, focused on their own specific interests, “Nobel Prize Winner: Stock Advisors are Worthless,” as does the Wall Street Journal, “Investors, Beware Overconfidence — And Not Just Your Own.”

The New York Post calls it an answer to Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink.

Thinking, Fast and Slow
Daniel Kahneman
Retail Price: $30.00
Hardcover: 9780374275631; 512 pages
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux – (2011-10-25)
UNABR Audio 9780739357989