Archive for January, 2017


Tuesday, January 31st, 2017

9780345544957_b58a3Jodi Picoult’s most recent novel, Small Great Things (PRH/Ballantine; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample), is movie-bound with an attention-getting all-star cast.

Deadline Hollywood reports that Viola Davis and Julia Roberts will star and that a producer for La La Land will help shepherd the project.

As we noted at the time it hit shelves, the LibraryReads selection generated media attention.  It debuted on the NYT Hardcover Fiction list at #1 and is currently at #8 after 14 weeks.

NPR Weekend Edition Saturday featured the author, opening with a gripping summary:

“Ruth Jefferson, a labor and delivery nurse at a hospital in Connecticut … is barred from tending to a newborn baby by the baby’s parents. Ruth Jefferson is African-American. Brittany and Turk Bauer are white supremacists. But Davis, their baby, goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is on duty, briefly alone in the nursery. Should she disobey the order she’s been given by the hospital or touch the baby to try to save him? And does her slight hesitation doom the newborn boy?”

Picot also appeared on CBS This Morning. Host Gayle King noting that the book is “thought-provoking … interesting … and so timely,”asked Picoult how a “white woman of privilege” writes a book confronting racism.

It is early days yet so there is no word on when filming will begin. The paperback edition comes out in June from PRH/Ballantine.


Tuesday, January 31st, 2017

9781400067961_c8751A memoir from a MIT mathematician who beat the casinos at their own game is building reserve lists in libraries and climbing Amazon’s sales rankings, moving from #424 to within the Top 100.

A Man for All Markets: From Las Vegas to Wall Street, How I Beat the Dealer and the Market, Edward O. Thorp (PRH/Random House; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample) recounts Throp’s life in finance, distilling advice as well as mob-tinged tales.

The Wall Street Journal says the memoir “delightfully recounts his progress (if that is the word) from college teacher to gambler to hedge-fund manager. Along the way we learn important lessons about the functioning of markets and the logic of investment.”

Thorp, says the New York Post, invented the art of card counting, and incurred the wrath of the casino industry, so successfully that he was targeted for harm when he proved he could beat the house at blackjack. His 1962 guide, Beat the Dealer, sold over a million copies and is still in print.

After his careers in academia and the casinos, Thorp started hedge funds and tangled with Rudy Giuliani, who at the time was the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York. Thorp prevailed and continued his successful career making money. 

Holds range from almost 5:1 to 47:1 on modest ordering in systems we checked.

Hitting Screens, Week of January 30, 2017

Monday, January 30th, 2017

y648Getting rave reviews, a TV movie adaptation of Agatha Christie’s short story and play, The Witness for the Prosecution, comes to the small screen January 30th when Acorn TV begins streaming the BBC movie. The Wall Street Journal says it has “character … depth and startling bitterness … [the] times are vividly evoked in this splendidly written work whose surprise ending is the kind worth waiting for.”

The Guardian reviewer calls it “Perfectly crafted, expertly cast and beautifully scripted … I doubt there has ever been more brought by a cast, crew and writer to Agatha Christie. It is the most gorgeous gift to the viewer.”

The two-episode series stars Sex and the City’s Kim Cattrall along with Toby Jones and Andrea Riseborough.

We may see yet another version. Ben Affleck is planning his own adaptation according to Variety, and “will produce with Matt Damon, Jennifer Todd and the Agatha Christie estate.” Of course, he may bow to fan press to do the next Batman movie first.

It was famously adapted into the 1957 film directed by Billy Wilder, starring Tyrone Power and Marlene Dietrich. That production eared six Oscar nominations.

There is no tie-in, but the book is still in print, published by HarperCollins (HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample).

9780525434696_1f767I Am Not Your Negro is a documentary based on James Baldwin’s unfinished manuscript Remember This House, which reflects on the lives and assassinations of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Samuel L. Jackson narrates.

The film is nominated for an Oscar in the Best Documentary category and opens on Feb. 3.

Entertainment Weekly gave it an A-, writing “it’s impossible not to think: The more things change, the more they stay the same. It’s enough to make you weep.” The New Yorker says it is “incisive” and Variety calls it “transcendent.”

There is a companion book: I Am Not Your Negro: A Companion Edition to the Documentary Film Directed by Raoul Peck, James Baldwin, Raoul Peck (PRH/Vintage; OverDrive Sample).

9781945054242_6c92eThe fourth in the Ring horror franchise, Rings, premieres on Feb. 3.

The first US version of the story, about a cursed videotape, debuted in 2002. The series is based on the Japanese horror novel Ring by Koji Suzuki, originally published in 1991.

This new version stars Vincent D’Onofrio, Laura Wiggins, and Aimee Teegarden.

There is a tie-in edition: RINGS, Koji Suzuki (PRH/Vertical).

9780385302326It had seemed that Outlander season 3 would air in February but that now looks unlikely and a premiere date has yet to be announced.

The show just won four People’s Choice Awards, for Favorite TV Show, Favorite Premium Sci-Fi/Fantasy Series, and Favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV Actor and Actress.

We do know season three will be based on Voyager (PRH/Delacorte; OverDrive Sample), the third book in Diana Gabaldon’s long-running series. TV Guide has an article on what to expect and Movie Pilot offers a catch-up. Entertainment Weekly offers a first look, with Brianna as a baby.

Titles to Know and Recommend, Week of January 30, 2017

Monday, January 30th, 2017

9780525954583_b1083 9780735220959_86942   

The holds leader for the week, Lisa Gardner’s Right Behind You(PRH/Dutton; RH Large Print; Brilliance Audio; OverDrive Sample) marks the return, a welcome one, according to both PW and Booklist, of series characters last featured in 2008’s Say Goodbye.

Each week seems to bring a new Gone Girl/Girl on the Train contender. This week’s candidate is My Husband’s Wife, a debut by Jane Corry (PRH/Pamela Dorman; BOT; Thorndike; OverDrive Sample).

A best seller in the UK, it is showing high holds ratios in advance of its release here.  Parade Magazine features it this week,  predicting, “If you loved Gone Girl and The Talented Mr. Ripley, you’ll love My Husband’s Wife …It’s got every thriller’s trifecta: love, marriage and murder.” It received strong reviews from Booklist and PW, but Kirkus panned it. Note that holds are heavier, on another contender,  The Girl Before by JP Delaney (PRH/Ballantine; RH Audio/BOTOverDrive Sample), as we wrote last week.

The titles highlighted in this column, and several other notable titles arriving next week, are listed with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of Jan 30,2017

Media Attention

9780812997231_c6563  9781501145391_b4235

Rest in Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin, Sybrina Fulton, Tracy Martin,  (PRH/Spiegel & Grau; Random House/BOT Audio; OverDrive Sample)

The parents of 17 year-old Trayvon Martin, an African American high school student who was shot and killed by a neighborhood watch volunteer in Florida in 2012, an incident that helped spur the Black Lives Matter movement, will appear on several shows this week.

USA Today –  video interview, today
ABC Nightline – 1/27
ABC The View  – 1/30
Comedy Central Daily Show w/ Trevor Noah – 1/30
ABC Good Morning America – 1/31

I Don’t Belong to You: Quiet the Noise and Find Your Voice, Keke Palmer (S&S; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample)

Actress (Scream Queens) and singer Palmer offers advice to young women. She is scheduled for appearances on the following shows

NBC Today Show — 1/31
ABC The View — 1/31
Fox Wendy Williams — 2/1
NBC Harry — 2/1

Peer Picks

9781250111173_74e10One LibraryReads selection comes out this week, Behind Her Eyes: A suspenseful psychological thriller, Sarah Pinborough (Macmillan/Flatiron Books; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“Louise meets a charming man in a bar and is smitten. The attraction is mutual, but David confesses he is married. They go their separate ways…until the next morning when Louise goes to work and realizes that the new psychiatrist who has been hired by the practice is David. Adele, David’s wife, is struggling to keep their marriage alive, but David has tired of her lies. A friendship begins between Adele and Louise. David and Louise are still attracted to each other and the triangle is complete. This is not your average thriller. It is absolutely riveting!” — Mary Vernau, Tyler Public Library, Tyler, TX

Additional Buzz: The Guardian includes it in a recent thrillers round up review, leading with a description of the author as a woman “prepared to move decisively beyond the parameters of the possible – but who somehow disable[s] our scepticism.” The paper continues, calling the book a “lively … Hitchcockian thriller.” The Stylist includes it on their list of the “Best New Books for 2017,” pointing out its most used hashtag is #WTFthatending. It is also an Indie Next February selection and a GalleyChat pick.

9781627794466_02946One additional Indie Next title arrives this week, 4 3 2 1, Paul Auster (Macmillan/Henry Holt; Macmillan Audio).

“I celebrate whenever there’s something new by Paul Auster. I wasn’t prepared, though, for just how moved, awed, and astonished I found myself while immersed in his inventive and grand novel 4 3 2 1. About a life lived fully, about possibility in love and finding a path to take that’s the right one, this is a large novel in all respects, but, most importantly, in spirit. In its writing, Paul Auster has created nothing short of a masterpiece.” —Mitchell Kaplan, Books & Books, Coral Gables, FL

Additional Buzz: The Guardian offers a review and interview. It is on BuzzFeed‘s list of “27 Brilliant New Books You Need To Read This Winter” and on The MillionsMost Anticipated” list. It is one of the five books LitHub say is “making news this week.” They write “Critics are intrigued, occasionally baffled.” Two examples of those reactions: The Washington Post calls it “a multitiered examination of the implications of fate” and says “what’s compelling always is its sense that the most important time exists within us, the time of memory and imagination, out of which identity is forged.” New York Magazine is not impressed, saying of the 900 page novel, “what really defeats Auster in 4321 is his decision to write against his strengths. His B-movie plots and narrative sleights of hand thrive on elision, and this book is overstuffed. The one thing he always seemed to know was the power of brevity.”


mv5bmtcxmdy2nzqzml5bml5banbnxkftztgwodqzndmxmti-_v1_sy1000_sx700_al_Disney’s live-action version of Beauty and the Beast opens in theaters on March 17. The film stars Emma Watson as Belle, Luke Evans as Gaston, and Downton Abbey‘s Dan Stevens as the Beast. Ewan McGregor is Lumiere and Emma Thompson plays Mrs. Potts.

Variety reports the film is getting lots of buzz and Forbes predicts it will be one of the “three biggest domestic grossers of the year.”

Arriving this week are six tie-ins:







Beauty and the Beast Novelization, Disney Writers (Hachette/Disney Press)

Tale as Old as Time: The Art and Making of Disney Beauty and the Beast (Updated Edition): Inside Stories from the Animated Classic to the New Live-action Film, Charles Solomon (Hachette/Disney Editions)

World of Reading: Beauty and the Beast Something More: Level 2, Eric Geron, illustrated by the Disney Book Group (Hachette/Disney Press)







Beauty and the Beast Read-Along Storybook and CD, Disney Book Group, illustrated by the Disney Storybook Art Team (Hachette/Disney Press)

Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book, Jennifer Donnelly (Hachette/Disney Press)

Beauty and the Beast: Belle’s Library: A collection of literary quotes and inspirational musings, Brittany Rubiano, illustrated by Jenna Huerta (Hachette/Disney Press)

9781682559727_40effThe live-action version of the Archie comics, Riverdale, premiered last night on the CW.

In their rave review of the first four episodes, Den of Geek! calls the show “highly addictive” and writes “Yes, this is a show that mixes sex and murder and noir with Archie, but it does so in a way that is self-aware and instantly ready to shatter expectations … And you know what? It is magnificent.”

The tie-in comes out at the end of the month: Road to Riverdale, Mark Waid, Chip Zdarsky, Adam Hughes, Marguerite Bennett (PRH/Random House; OverDrive Sample).

9781632364241_75f1bDebuting in theaters on March 31 is The Ghost in the Shell, a SF film based on Masamune Shirow’s manga series of the same name, which Movie Pilot calls “a pioneer of cyberpunk.” Over a decade ago, it was adapted as an animated version, which IndieWire reports will run in a limited release this February.

The live-action adaptation stars Scarlett Johansson, Pilou Asbæk, Takeshi Kitano, Juliette Binoche, and Michael Pitt. It is already getting criticized for whitewashing, and TasteofCinema wonders if it will succeed.

The tie-in comes out on Jan 31: The Ghost in the Shell 1 Movie Tie-In Edition, Shirow Masamune (PRH/Kodansha Comics).

For our full list of upcoming adaptations, download our Books to Movies and TV and link to our listing of tie-ins.

First Trailer: My Cousin Rachel

Sunday, January 29th, 2017

9781402217098Daphne du Maurier’s moody Gothic romances have been adapted by many directors. Alfred Hicthock was a particular fan, basing two of his movies on her novels Rebecca and Jamaica Inn and a third, The Birds on one of her short stories.

One that escaped him was 1951’s My Cousin Rachel (republished in 2009 by Sourcebooks Landmark; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample). Adapted as a film in 1954, it starred Olivia de Havilland and Richard Burton, winning him a Golden Globe award as “Most Promising Newcomer, Male.” 

The international trailer for a new adaptation, set to debut on July 14, has just been released.

Director Robert Michell (Notting Hill) tells The Telegraph that his version, starring Rachel Weisz (The Mummy) and Sam Claflin (Hunger Games), will be “detailed, dark, sexy, cinematic and full of surprises.” 

Variety summarizes the Cornwall-set story as that “of a young Englishman who plots revenge against his mysterious, beautiful cousin, believing that she murdered his guardian. But his feelings become complicated as he finds himself falling under the beguiling spell of her charms.” As Slate notes, the sex between cousins angle was toned down for 1950’s sensibilities. It seems that will not be an issue this time around.

NYT Makes Cuts To Bestseller Lists

Sunday, January 29th, 2017

Several NYT best seller list are no longer being updated. With little advance notice, the NYT announced that it is eliminating “a number of their print and online bestseller lists,” starting with this week’s lists, dated Feb. 5.

PW reports the lists for “graphic novels and manga, as well as the lists for mass market paperbacks, middle-grade e-books, teen e-books have been eliminated.” Entertainment Weekly says those books will be eligible for the remaining fiction lists.

The comic world is outraged. Eric Reynolds, an editor at Fantagraphics Books, told the New York Magazine “Good comics have forever had to scratch and claw for legitimacy and resist marginalization, and this feels like a step backwards.”

A spokesperson for the NYT told New York magazine that “The discontinued lists did not reach or resonate with many readers … This change allows us to expand our coverage of these books in ways that we think will better serve readers and attract new audiences to the genres … [the change] allows us to devote more space and resources to our coverage beyond the best-seller lists.”

“Comics need to be measured against themselves, not the larger whole of books,” Charles Kochman, editorial director of Abrams ComicArts, the graphic novel imprint of Abrams, told PW.

The comics site The Beat reports that the decision came from New York Times Book Review editor Pamela Paul, who took to Twitter to say, across three tweets:

“Quick note to fellow comics/graphic novel fans: The Times is not cutting back on coverage of these genres/formats but rather expanding on coverage in ways that reach more readers than the lists did. To wit: new graphic reviews by comic artists, more reviews and more news and features about then [sic] genre and it’s [sic] creators. We are big fans, and want to recognize growing readership. Stay tuned.”

On the mass market side, PW quotes Steven Zacharius, CEO of Kensington Publishing, saying cuts were “enormously troubling … [it] effects sales, and not having this list will hurt authors tremendously.”

Click here for the NYT‘s full statement.

THE PASSAGE Trilogy Heads to TV

Sunday, January 29th, 2017

After a flirtation with the big screen, Justin Cronin’s post-apocalyptic horror/fantasy trilogy is now headed to the small screen via a pilot order by Fox for a possible 10-episode series adaptation.

Liz Heldens (Friday Night Lights) will write the pilot and Matt Reeves (Cloverfield) will direct. Cronin is on board as a co-producer.

Deadline Hollywood reports “The Passage‘s road to the screen started in 2007 when, in a fierce bidding situation … Fox 2000 landed the first book — then half-written — for $1.75 million … Originally developed as a feature, the producers eventually determined that the property would be better served as a TV series.”

Scott Free Productions is behind the series. Founded by Ridley Scott (Blade Runner, The Martian) and his brother Tony Scott (Top Gun), the production company is no stranger to high concept adaptations. They are the team responsible for The Man in the High Castle based on Philip K. Dick’s classic 1954 SF title and AMC’s upcoming The Terror, based on Dan Simmons’s historical horror novel.







The trilogy consists of:

The Passage (PRH/Ballantine, 2010; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample)

The Twelve (PRH/Ballantine, 2012; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample)

The City of Mirrors (PRH/Ballantine, 2016; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample)

13 REASONS WHY Gets Air Date and First Look

Friday, January 27th, 2017

Netflix’s new series 13 Reasons Why will premiere on March 31. Singer/actress Selena Gomez, an executive producer for the show, posted a clip on Instagram Thursday, which quickly took off. It is now the #1 trending video on YouTube:

Paste says the clip “gives off Gone Girl vibes.”

The series is based on Jay Asher’s 2007 YA novel TH1RTEEN R3ASONS WHY, (Penguin/RazorBill; Listening Library; OverDrive Sample), about a high school student who commits suicide and leaves behind several tapes, telling classmates how each contributed to her decision. The novel is a YALSA Best Books of 2008, and was a NYT best seller in hardcover for over two years.

It stars a relatively unknown cast, including Katherine Langford, Christian Navarro. and Michael Sadler. Oscar Winner Tom McCarthy (Spotlight) directs. Tony and Pulitzer Prize Winner Brian Yorkey (Next to Normal) wrote the script.

A tie-in comes out in March:

9780451478290_16e4613 Reasons Why, Jay Asher
Razorbill (Penguin Publishing Group)
On Sale Date: March 7, 2017
ISBN 9780451478290, 0451478290
Trade Paperback | 336 pages 
$10.99 USD, $14.99 CAD

Death of a Spy

Friday, January 27th, 2017

9781101973998_d801aThe author of a true-life espionage tale about the murder of Alexander Litvinenko, a Russian secret service officer and enemy of Putin, Luke Harding was the guest on NPR’s Fresh Air yesterday. He discussed his book on the subject, A Very Expensive Poison: The Assassination of Alexander Litvinenko and Putin’s War with the West (PRH/Vintage; RH Audio; OverDrive Sample).

Due to his reporting on the murder while he was the Moscow bureau chief for The Guardian, Harding was expelled from Russia.

He has also written about Edward Snowden (The Snowden Files) and Julian Assange (WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange’s War on Secrecy). Both books were sources for films, Snowden, directed by Oliver Stone, and The Fifth Estate starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Assange.

The book is rising on Amazon’s sales rankings today, skyrocketing from #116,292 to just outside the top 100. Libraries have been slow to order, or have bought in low numbers, perhaps due to a lack of pre-pub reviews.

The full interview also addresses possible Russian hacking of the US Presidential election, fake news, and Putin’s end game.

Back to the Future

Thursday, January 26th, 2017

1484156264-atwood1-1484154644UPDATE: Another older title experiencing a sudden boost is Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale (Houghton Mifflin, 1985). As the NYT reports, several signs spotted at the recent Women’s Marches made reference to the book. In addition, producers of the upcoming Hulu TV adaptation, which debuts April 26 starring Elizabeth Moss, say it  intentionally parallels the current political atmosphere.

1984-01George Orwell’s 1949 classic dystopian novel, 1984 (PRH/Berkley; Blackstone Audio; PRH/Signet mass market) is making headlines and is the bestselling book on Amazon.

Its popularity has brought a 75,000 copy reprint from Penguin USA, and a possible additional printing.

The NYT reports that demand for the novel rose on Sunday, after Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway, used the phrase “alternative facts” during a contentious interview on Meet the Press about White House press secretary Sean Spicer’s first press briefing.

Entertainment Weekly reports “The connection between ‘alternative facts’ and Orwell’s dystopian novel was made on CNN’s Reliable Sources, where Washington Post reporter Karen Tumulty said, “Alternative facts is a George Orwell phrase.’ ”

The Guardian writes that readers and reporters were quick to make comparisons to the novel’s “fictional language that aims at eliminating personal thought.”

Outside of the United States interest is strong for the novel as well. The NYT reports that this January “sales have risen by 20 percent in Britain and Australia compared to the same period a year ago.”

happen-hereAs we posted earlier, 1984 is not the only classic getting increased attention since the election. Sinclair Lewis’s 1935 novel, It Can’t Happen Here (PRH/Signet; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample), is also selling well, both in the US and the UK. Penguin re-printed it in Britain last Friday for the first time since its original publication date and adds that they are “already on to our third printing.”

The NYT published a new essay on Lewis’s novel, which Jon Meacham also mentioned in his newly launched book essay series for the paper,”The Long View.”







Other dark political classics doing well on Amazon include Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World (HC/Harper Perennial; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample), Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 (S&S; Tantor; OverDrive Sample), and Orwell’s Animal Farm (PRH/Berkley; Blackstone Audio).

Sundance Premieres Al Gore’s Second Warning

Wednesday, January 25th, 2017

9781635651089_1ec7a An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, the follow-up to Al Gore’s Oscar-winning An Inconvenient Truth, got a standing ovation at Sundance when it opened the festival last week.

Variety says the film depicts the “dire consequences of a warming earth — from flooding in Miami and the Philippines, to the worst drought on record in Syria, bringing human suffering there that predated the ongoing civil war, to air pollution so bad in some parts of China that life expectancy has declined by six years.”

Critical reaction to the screening is mostly positive. Slashfilm says “If An Inconvenient Truth was an eye-opening disaster movie, then An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power is the heartbreaking post-apocalyptic follow-up … You can sense Al Gore’s frustration, and he is certainly angrier this time around, but still as passionate as he ever has been.” The Hollywood Reporter adds “this fine film is a match for the first.

Several critics found it tedious, however. The Guardian writes it is “desultory and surprisingly vainglorious.”

A companion book will be published in May, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, Al Gore (Macmillan/Rodale Books).

The documentary will open in theaters on July 28, 2017.

Time For Oscar Displays!

Wednesday, January 25th, 2017

The Oscar nominations, announced yesterday, are providing good opportunities to build displays and make book lists, given the number of nominated films based on books.

Four of the nine Best Picture nominees are based on published material. Each is also in the running for the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar:

9781101972120_4afa1Arrival, based on a story in: Stories Of Your Life And Others (originally published in 2002 by Macmillan/Tor; re-released by PRH/Vintage in 2016; Tantor Audio; OverDrive Sample). The movie is also nominated for Best Director, Best Cinematography, Editing, Sound Editing, and Sound Mixing.

9780735216686_c42dbFences, based on: Fences (Movie tie-in) by August Wilson (PRH/Plume). Denzel Washington was nominated for Best Actor, Viola Davis for Best Supporting Actress and the film is also a nominee in the Production Design category.

9780062363602_4650aHidden Figures, based on: Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race, Margot Lee Shetterly (HarperCollins/Morrow; HarperLuxe; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample). Octavia Spencer is in the running for Best Supporting Actress.

9780425291764_e8861Lion, based on: A Long Way Home, Saroo Brierley (PRH/Viking, 2014, trade paperback, 2015; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample). Dev Patel got a nomination for Best Supporting Actor and Nicole Kidman for Best Supporting Actress. The film is also nominated in the Best Cinematography and Original Score categories.

mv5bnzqxntiyodaxmv5bml5banbnxkftztgwnzqymda3ote-_v1_sy1000_cr006741000_al_A fifth nominee for Best Picture is Moonlight. It is based on an unpublished school drama project titled In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue by Tarell Alvin McCraney.

Other nominations with book connections include:

Florence Foster Jenkins, which nets Meryl Streep a history-making 20th Oscar nomination, this time for Best Actress. The tie-in is Florence Foster Jenkins: The Inspiring True Story of the World’s Worst Singer, Nicholas Martin and Jasper Rees (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Griffin; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample).

Elle, for which star Isabelle Huppert is nominated for Best Actress. The film is based on Oh… by Philippe Djian (Gallimard, 2012; not published in the US).

Nocturnal Animals sees one of its stars, Michael Shannon, in the running for Best Supporting Actor. The tie-in uses the original title of the novel, Tony and Susan, Austin Wright (Hachette/Grand Central Publishing; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample).

Kubo and My Life as a Zucchini are both nominated for Best Animated film. Kubo is based on Japanese folklore and has a number of tie-ins, including Kubo and the Two Strings: The Junior NovelSadie Chesterfield (Hachette/Little, Brown YR; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample). Life as a Zucchini is based on Autobiographie D’une Courgette (J’Ai Lu Editions, 2003; no English translation), a YA novel by the French journalist Gilles Paris.

I Am Not Your Negro is nominated for Best Documentary. It is based on James Baldwin’s unfinished manuscript Remember This House, called by the publisher in a companion volume, to be published in February, “the most famous book Baldwin never wrote.”: I Am Not Your Negro: A Companion Edition to the Documentary Film Directed by Raoul Peck, James Baldwin, Raoul Peck (PRH/Vintage; OverDrive Sample).

Life, Animated is also in the running for Best Documentary. It is based on Life, Animated: A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes, and Autism, Ron Suskind (Hachette/Kingswell; OverDrive Sample).

A Man Called Ove is among the Best Foreign Language Films, based on Fredrik Backman’s A Man Called Ove (S&S/Atria, July 2014; Dreamscape; OverDrive Sample).

Four additional films with book connections are nominated in technical categories:

Silence — Best Cinematography. Based on Shusaku Endo’s Silence: With an Introduction by Martin Scorsese (Peter Owen Publishers, Dec. 1; trade paperback, Macmillan/Picador Modern Classics).

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them — Best Costume Design and Production Design. Based on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Hogwarts Library Book), Newt Scamander, J.K. Rowling (Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine Books).

Sully — Sound Editing and Sound Mixing. Based on Highest Duty, Chesley Sullenberger (HarperCollins/Morrow, 2009; OverDrive Sample).

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story — Sound Mixing. Not based on a book, but plenty of books, including the novelization, have been published as tie-ins: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Alexander Freed (PRH/Del Rey; RH Audio; OverDrive Sample).

The New GIRL?

Tuesday, January 24th, 2017

The Girl BeforeCalled the “‘ top girl’ of this season’s suspense novels,” by The Washington Post and picked as the #1 LibraryReads title for January, The Girl Before by JP Delaney (PRH/Ballantine; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample), receives two additional high profile reviews today.

Charles Finch, author of the Charles Lenox mysteries, gives it three stars in USA Today. He opens by listing its “major faults,” but then goes on to say “Delaney has created a genuinely eerie, fascinating setting … The pages fly.”

Putting Delaney in the company of Ruth Ware, B.A. Paris, and Shari Lapena, “the tier of writers a solid two or three notches below Tana French and Gillian Flynn,” he points out that even an imperfect novel can be fun to read and, as his review illustrates, fun to talk about. He concludes that this one is “worth a few hours of idle pleasure.”

Janet Maslin is less generous in her NYT review, headlined, “He Doesn’t Like It When You Leave Your Shampoo Out.”

She acknowledges that the novel works in many ways. It is set in “a high-tech house so sadistic that it practically spanks” the main characters. It features a man who is  “50 shades of pervy but still charms, ” is fast paced, and “milks suspense” from its juxtaposing plots.

Unlike Finch, Maslin, who was an early supporter of the fun to be had from recent successful “girl”  titles, does not find this one a worthy “girl” contender, saying “The author, clearly writing with commercial success in mind, has used as many other familiar genre ploys as the book can hold, to the point at which it has everything but a dead cat. Oh, wait. There’s a dead cat too.” There is also “clumsy trickery” and, at times, “unnerving ghoulishness.”

Based on the strong holds in libraries, Finch’s theory, that an imperfect novel can still be fun to read, has more followers.

UPDATE: the minimal book trailer underscores the meaning of the title.

Carnegies Get Media Coverage

Tuesday, January 24th, 2017

9780385542364_945219780553447439_4bc21The widely syndicated Associated Press just released a story on the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction.

On Sunday night, at the RUSA Book and Media Awards held during ALA’s Midwinter Meeting, Colson Whitehead won the fiction prize for The Underground Railroad (PRH/Doubleday; RH Audio/BOTOverDrive Sample) and Matthew Desmond won the nonfiction prize for Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City (PRH/Crown; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

Both books are also included on RUSA’s Notable Books List, announced Sunday night as well.

Cataloging his other accolades, including already winning the National Book Award and being a finalist for the $75,000 PEN/Jean Stein Book Award, the AP calls the Carnegie was “a thank-you from the country’s libraries” to Whitehead.

Both winners paid tribute to libraries in return. Whitehead told the AP that “Libraries have propped me up” and Desmond said “Libraries are not just places where people go read a book, but places where an immigrant goes to take English lessons and where folks out of a job search for community … Libraries are on the front lines.”


Monday, January 23rd, 2017


Amazon plans to produce a six-part series based on Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch, a fantasy-comedy novel written by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett (HarperCollins, 2007; trade pbk.; orig. pub date 1990; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample).

Slate reports BBC Studios will partner with Amazon and that Gaiman has already written all of the episodes. He will also act as showrunner and serve as a co-producer.

Amazon summarizes the series in its press release:

Good Omens takes place in 2018 when the Apocalypse is near and Final Judgment is set to descend upon humanity … So the armies of Good and Evil are amassing, Atlantis is rising, and tempers are flaring. Everything appears to be going according to Divine Plan. Except Aziraphale, a somewhat fussy angel, and Crowley, a fast-living demon—both of whom have lived amongst Earth’s mortals since The Beginning and have grown rather fond of the lifestyle—are not actually looking forward to the coming war. And…someone seems to have misplaced the Antichrist.”

In the same release, Gaiman says “Almost thirty years ago, Terry Pratchett and I wrote the funniest novel we could about the end of the world … It became many people’s favourite book. Three decades later, it’s going to make it to the screen … I just wish Sir Terry were alive to see it.”

The Guardian points out that it has been adapted before, as an award-winning radio drama on BBC Radio 4 and there were a proposal for a film adaptation, directed by Terry Gilliam and starring Johnny Depp as Crowley and Robin Williams as Aziraphale, that did not move forward.

The series will premiere sometime in 2018. Casting information is not yet available.