Archive for November, 2013

VAMPIRE ACADEMY: They Suck at School

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

Vampire Academy

Vampire Academy Tie-in

Below is the first full-length trailer for the adaptation of Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters, the first in the series by Richelle Mead (Penguin/Razorbill). It comes with a terrific tagline, “They Suck at School.”

Given the tone, it’s no surprise that it’s directed by Mark Waters, who also directed Mean Girls. Adding to the darkly comic sensibility, the screenplay is by Daniel Waters, who also wrote Heathers).

Vampire Academy arrives in theaters on Valentine’s Day, 2014.

The tie-in (Penguin/Razorbill) arrives Dec. 31.

Best Books – McBride #1; Few Inroads For Ebooks

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

Best Books lists offer an opportunity to argue with the critics and to remind ourselves of the books we’d still like to read. To make this easier, and to aid in your end-of-year ordering and readers advisory, we’ve collated the major lists into download spreadsheets.

Several new lists are now available and we’ve update our adult fiction and nonfiction lists, resulting in a total of over 250 fiction titles and 150 nonfiction (we will update the children’s spreadsheet, after Kirkus releases their teen list next week). This year, we’re also including titles selected by the LibraryReads program, which began in September.

2013 — Adult Fiction — Downloadable Spreadsheet, V. 2

2013 — Adult Nonfiction — Downloadble Spreadsheet, V. 2

The Good Lord BirdAs we’ve learned to expect, there is not much consensus. In fiction, just 17 titles are picked by 4 or more of the 9 sources. Tied with six each are Anthony Marra’s debut novel, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, (RH/Hogarth) and James McBride’s The Good Lord Bird, (Penguin/Riverhead; Dreamscape Audio; Thorndike), which, because one of those picks is a major one, the National Book Award in Fiction, can be declared #1.

With continuing talk about ebook originals, it’s notable that they haven’t made many inroads onto best lists. Although Library Journal selects the 10 best ebook romances, no ebooks are included in any of their other lists. Kirkus lists one “E-riginal,” (originally published as ebook, 9781453297940_30f37later released in pbk), from Open Road Media for their top 100 fiction, The Salinger Contract by Adam Langer (with a compelling description). Publishers Weekly includes one in the romance category, Brothers of the Wild North Sea by Harper Fox (Samhain; later released in pbk).

Paperback originals make a stronger, but still limited showing. A total of 54 were picked in fiction. The top two, with two picks each, are also best sellers, the Silent Wife  by A. S. A. Harrison, (Penguin; Blackstone Audio; Large Print Press) and Stephen King’s Joyland, (Hardcase Crime). The format makes its strongest showing on LibraryReads, which, in just four months, has picked 8 paperback originals out of 40 titles, one of which, the mass market original, No Good Duke Goes Unpunished by Sarah MacLean (HarperCollins/Avon; Brilliance Audio) is the #1 pick for December.

Tell us what you think. Which books got overlooked? Which “best books” are you adding to your TBR piles?

MISS PEREGRINE, Deux, Sneak Peek

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

Hollow CityAttention Ransom Riggs’ fans, the followup to the surprise 2011 best seller, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Chidlren is a reality. A photo of the first copies of Hollow City, (Quirk Books, Jan. 13) arriving in the Quirk offices was tweeted a couple of hours ago.

Even better,  a chapter is now available online (via Random House Library Marketing’s Web site). We’re told there will be no ARC’s. either  print or digital.

What to Expect When You’re Expecting GONE GIRL

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

Gone GirlEntertainment Weekly‘s “Inside Movies” blog offers an enticing headline today, “Ben Affleck on what to expect from David Fincher’s Gone Girl — EXCLUSIVE.”

Dark PlacesUnfortunately, Mr. Affleck, who stars in the movie, is not particularly forthcoming, saying he doesn’t want to give away too much, “But I will say that Gillian [Flynn] adapted it and I think it’s very, very faithful to her book. If you read the book and liked it, you will definitely like the movie.”

The article adds that filming, which is currently under way, will wrap in February (the movie is scheduled for release on Oct. 3 next year).

A film based on an earlier title by Flynn, Dark Places, starring Charlize Theron, wrapped earlier this month and may make it into theaters first. IMDB lists its release date as Sept. 1 next year.

More Kids Best Books

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

SLJ Best Books, KidsAdding to the 2013 kids best books lists, SLJ has just published their picks (with cool cover by Melissa Sweet):

Picture Books

We’ll add these titles to our Childrens Best Books spreadsheet (see links to downloadable spreadsheets at the right) and post the update early next week.

Nancy Pearl Interviews Billy Collins

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

Aimless LoveIn the latest in her series, Nancy Pearl interviews two-time U.S. Poet Laureate, Billy Collins. Because people often think of poetry as “the spinach of literature,” he created the Poetry 180 program, to encourage high school students to discover the pleasure in  poetry.

Collins’ latest collection, his first in twelve years, is Aimless Love: New and Selected Poems, (Random House, 10/22/13). Collins reads the poems for the audio edition.

New Title Radar, Week of Nov. 25

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

Supreme Macaroni CompanyNew releases are understandably light next week as stores gear up for Black Friday, traditionally the big post-Thanksgiving gift-shopping day, clearing the way for Adriana Trigiani’s The Supreme Macaroni Company (Harper; HarperAudio; HarperLuxe), the final in her series featuring Valentine Roncalli.

Her previous title, The Shoemaker’s Wife, a standalone historical novel, was a departure and her biggest seller to date. The Supreme Macaroni Company, although a contemporary story, has a similar appeal in that it features a big, bickering, loving Italian family. A favorite of the morning TV shows, expect to see Trigiani on at least one next week.

9780143122685   City of Lost Dreams

A title to watch is City of Lost Dreams, Magnus Flyte (Penguin Books; Thorndike), the continuation of the story that began with the trade paperback original, City of Dark Magic, (see our Penguin First Flights feature). The new title is called by Kirkus “another lively, amusing romantic mystery …  Sensual, witty and sometimes laugh-out-loud funny, set forth in sparkling prose and inhabited by characters well-worth getting to know. Wunderbar!”

The Day JFK Died; Documentary and Book

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

ibg.common.titledetail.imageloaderToday is the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s assassination. Among the many TV shows covering the event is a 2-hour NBC documentary that looks at how individual Americans responded on that day, Where Were You: The Day JFK Died, hosted by Tom Brokaw.

A companion book is also being published, Where Were You?: America Remembers the JFK Assassination, edited by Gus Russo, and Harry Moses, with a foreword by Tom Brokaw, (Lyons Press, 9780762794560).

Brokaw spoke about the documentary on The Daily Show:

Shelf To Screen

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

Two heavily heralded movie adaptations open this Friday. Getting the most press, of course, is the second Hunger Games movie, Catching Fire. People magazine not only calls it “richer and deeper than last year’s The Hunger Games,” but also has the effrontery to claim it’s better than the book, “adding heft to a story that felt on the page like it was biding its time before the finale.”

Opening in a limited, Oscar-qualifying run (to expand in January) is Philomena, based on The Lost Child of Philomena Lee, by U.K. journalist Martin Sixsmith which recounts the author’s efforts to help the title character, played by Judi Dench, find the son she had been forced to give up fifty years earlier. The book was published here for the first time as a tie-in. Reviews have been stellar (a 92% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes), with Dench considered an Oscar nomination shoe-in.

Two  tie-ins arrive next week.

9780345549334_p0_v4_s260x420   Wolf of Wall Street

It was touch and go as to whether Martin Scorsese‘s The Wolf of Wall Street could be pared down from its 3-hour first cut in time to hit theaters on Christmas Day, but it looks like the editing process is now complete. Based on the memoir by Wall Street trader Jordan Belfort,  and called “the most audacious movie about Wall Street ever made” by the Wall Street Journal, it stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Matthew McConaughey, Jonah Hill, Kyle Chandler, Jean Dujardin and the Absolutely Fabulous Joanna Lumley.

The trade paperback tie-in (RH/Bantam) arrives next week; an audio read by Boardwalk Empire‘s Bobby Cannavale, (RH Audio) is listed for release on  Dec 17.

Homefront tie-in

Homefront Movie Tie-in Edition, Chuck Logan, (Harper Paperbacks; trade pbk and mass market editions)

Easily confused with the  TV show Homeland, the movie Homefront is based on the novel by Chuck Logan, adapted by Sylvester Stallone, starring Jason Statham, and releases Nov. 27. The Hollywood Reporter calls the script “ham-fisted” but says the movie is “sufficiently silly and low-down to be entertaining on a certain marginal level.”  Hogan’s earlier movel, Prince of Thieves was adapted as The Town by Ben Affleck.

Weird Story of the Year

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

Fifty Shades of GreyFirst it was bed bugs in library books. Now it’s something weirder, but fortunately it may not require nuking.

In Belgium, researchers from the Catholic University of Leuven found that library copies of Fifty Shades of Grey tested positive for herpes and cocaine. Jan Tytgat, a professor of toxicology, told the The International Business Times that “the deposit on the books was too low to pose a threat to readers when leafing through the pages.”

No news on why, but for some reason the university tested books in the Antwerp Library, finding that heavily-borrowed books contain “25-40% more microbes on them than less-borrowed ones.”

McBride, Fiction Award “Underdog”?

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

The Good Lord BirdThe New York Times declares James McBride the “surprise winner” of the National Book Award in fiction, announced last night. NPR calls him “the clear underdog.”

Both designations reveal more about the competition than they do about McBride, who has already published a major best seller, 1996’s The Color of Water, (which was on the NYT best seller list for over 2 years). His first novel,  Miracle at St. Anna, was made into a movie by Spike Lee and The Good Lord Bird (Penguin/Riverhead; Dreamscape Audio; Thorndike), his third novel and NBA winner, has already appeared on a number of the year’s best books lists.

As the NYT also notes, “While the National Book Awards tend to be criticized for their selections of little-known or obscure books, few were complaining about the finalists this year. Rachel Kushner, Jhumpa Lahiri and George Saunders, nominees in fiction, were critical darlings.”

There was at least one complaint. Eric Obenauf in the Los Angeles Review of Books, expressed disappointment that the fiction long list, introduced this year, didn’t expand opportunities for lesser knowns, but was “dominated by already brand writers.” He calls 2010, the year that true underdogs, Paul Harding’s debut novel Tinkers, (from “teeny ” Bellevue Literary Press) won the Pulitzer Prize and The Lord of Misrule by Jaimy Gordon (from the even smaller McPherson & Company), won the National Book Award for Fiction, “a watershed moment in contemporary publishing.”

If you’re surprised to hear McBride called an “underdog,” remember the term is relative.

DISPLAY NOTE: This is a good time to pull previous winners and put them on display — the National Book Awards site lists past winners, with links to comments that put them into a contemporary context.

2013 National Book Awards

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

The winners are:

9781416918820   9781555976354_9c1d7

9780374102418   9781594486340-1

Young Peoples Literature

Kadohata, Cynthia, The Thing About Luck, Ages 10 to 14, (Atheneum)

Szybist, Mary, Incarnadine, (Graywolf Press)

Packer, George, The Unwinding, (Macmillan/FSG; Macmillan Audio)

McBride, James, The Good Lord Bird, (Penguin/Riverhead; Dreamscape Audio; Thorndike)

Awards ceremony, below.

Live streaming video by Ustream


Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

9780812971835Deadline announces that Bill Murray has joined the cast of the HBO series based on the Pulitzer Prize winning novel Olive Kitteridge (Random House) by Elizabeth Strout. His role is unspecified. UPDATE: Word and Film reports that he will play Jack Kennison, a widower befriended by Olive.

Filming began in Massachusetts in October. The book is set in Maine, but Massachusetts may have been chosen for its favorable tax incentives to filmmakers.

Directed by Lisa Cholodenko (The Kids Are All Right), with Tom Hanks and Frances McDormand producing, the following roles have already been cast:

Frances McDormand … Olive Kitteridge
Richard Jenkins … Henry Kitteridge (Olive’s husband)
John Gallagher Jr. … Christopher Kitteridge, (Olive and Henry’s son)
Cory Michael Smith … Kevin Coulson, (Olive’s former student)
Zoe Kazan … Denise Thibodeau, (works with Henry at the pharmacy)
Brady Corbet … Henry Thibodeau, (married to Denise)
Rosemarie DeWitt … Rachel Coulson

Mass Market Paperback Title Tops LibraryReads for December

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

No Good Duke Goes UnpunishesFor several months on GalleyChat, we’ve been hearing about a book with a memorable title, No Good Duke Goes Unpunished by Sarah MacLean (HarperCollins/Avon; Brilliance Audio), so it’s no surprise to learn that it’s the #1 LibraryReads pick for December.

Published as a mass market paperback, this may put to rest one of the old fables about libraries; that they don’t buy paperbacks.

9780062068538It’s a good week for Maclean; her previous title in the Rule of Scoundrels series, One Good Earl Deserves A Lover, (HarperCollins/Avon) was selected by Kirkus as one of the 100 best fiction titles of the year.

We hope you’re already familiar with LibraryReads, the nationwide “library staff picks” program that identifies ten favorite titles each month.  Here’s how you can be part of it:

1) Nominate your favorite forthcoming books – info. on how, here

2) Promote the LibraryReads picks in your library, through your web site and newsletters by using the downloadable LibraryReads Marketing Materials

3) Read the LibraryReads picks and recommend the ones you like (many of the December titles are still available as e-galleys through Edelweiss and NetGalley)

Click here for our downloadable list of LibraryReads Dec titles, with ordering information and alternate formats. A list of all the titles to date is downloadable here; LibraryReads All Picks To Date.

A Lyrical Retelling of the Torah

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013


With a Mighty HandHanukkah is early this year (Nov. 27 to Dec. 5), so, as a sneak peek at my upcoming gift giving round up, I recommend With A Mighty Hand, by Amy Ehrlich and Daniel Nevins (Candlewick; Brilliance Audio), a lyrical retelling of the Torah that anyone of Jewish or Christian faith will want to share.

Nevins’ artwork supports and gives new dimension to Ehrlich’s masterful storytelling. It’s an exquisite volume.