Archive for March, 2017

Titles to Know and Recommend, Week of April 3, 2017

Friday, March 31st, 2017

American WarKeep your eye on the dystopian debut novel, American War by Omar El Akkad (PRH/Knopf; RH Large Type; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample), arriving on Tuesday.

As we note in Peer Picks, below, this LibraryReads selection has been getting a remarkable amount of advance attention for a debut, and particularly for a Sci-Fi debut. Much of the attention focuses on it’s spine-chilling view of the possible consequences of unchecked climate change. Today, the NYT looks at how it, along with five other “new dystopian novels … seem to channel the country’s current anxieties.”  The massive media attention has caused sales bumps on Amazon’s rankings, but, inexplicably, are not generating heavy holds in libraries. We suspect that will change soon.

9780316349604_01935The big news of the week may be the books that are NOT arriving. James Patterson’s series of short paperbacks, called BookShots, seems to have halted. All forthcoming titles are showing as unavailable or cancelled. Even the prolific Patterson may have found the output of 4 to 6 novels a month in addition to his already dizzying pace, a bit distracting. But we are not Patterson-less next week. He is releasing the next in his middle-grade series, I Funny: School of Laughs (Hachette/jimmy patterson; Blackstone Audio).

9780399177057_c720fSeveral favorite series arrive to heavy holds, but it may be worth taking note of one that is further down the list, Philip Kerr’s 12th Bernie Gunther thriller, Prussian Blue (PRH/Marian Wood Books/Putnam; RH Large Type; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample). In a starred review, PW says, “Kerr once again brilliantly uses a whodunit to bring to horrifying life the Nazi regime’s corruption and brutality.”

In an effort to bring the series to a wider audience, the publisher is running an ad in this week’s NYT, featuring blurbs from three big names under the header, “Alan Furst, Tom Hanks and Lee Child are reading Philip Kerr. Have You?”

9781501173219_774f4In a bit of “hasn’t this happened already?”,  the trade paperback edition of Anthony Doerr’s runaway hit,  All the Light We Cannot See arrives in trade paperback (S&S/Scribner), nearly three years after the hardcover became a surprise best seller.

More highlights from the titles coming out next week are below, listed, along with other titles of note, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of April 3, 2017.

Media Magnets

9781501131110_18a70 9780062409706_abc75 9781400067909_2ea62 9780316468978_fb72f

All by Myself, Alone, Mary Higgins Clark (Simon & Schuster; S&S Audio).

The long-time queen of romantic suspense, Mary Higgins Clark will be profiled on CBS Sunday Morning this week. Her story of building a writing career to support her children after being widowed at a young age may be familiar, but it is still amazing.

Nevertheless: A Memoir, Alec Baldwin (Harper; HarperLuxe; HarperAudio).

There are no prepub reviews for this one, indicating it was embargoed, undoubtedly in deference to the Vanity Fair cover excerpt. The effort to generate coverage isn’t working for everyone, however. Newsday sniffs,”The big news out of this: There really isn’t any.” Apparently, they are not as taken as Esquire is with the story that he Once Tried to Hit on Tina Fey. Baldwin, of course, narrates the audio.

Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life, Sally Bedell Smith (PRH/Random House: RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

Like the Baldwin book, Bedell Smith’s bio is excerpted in this month’s Vanity Fair, under the headline, “The Lonely Heir: Inside the Isolating Boarding School Days of Prince Charles.” It escaped embargo and prepub reviews are positive, including a star from Booklist, which calls it an “admirably fair biography.” UPDATE: USA Today lists tidbits from the book under the headline, “Odd stuff you didn’t know about the next British king,” including that he felt bullied into marrying Diana. People magazine continues to roll out excerpts, including one titles, “Prince Charles Sought Help During Honeymoon with Princess Diana — and Feared He Would Be Blamed for Her Death, New Book Claims.”

The Most Beautiful: My Life with Prince, Mayte Garcia (Hachette Books; Hachette Audio; Blackstone Audio).

Also apparently embargoed since there are no prepub reviews, this book, by the musician’s first wife, is published on the anniversary of his death. It was excerpted in People magazine, a story picked up by other entertainment news sources.

Peer Picks

Four LibraryReads titles arrive this week.

9780451493583_f9dc0-2 American War, Omar El Akkad (PRH/Knopf; RH Large Type; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

“In the not too distant future, the United States is again at war with itself. Fossil fuels, which have decimated the environment, are banned, but the states rich in them refuse to comply and thus break away from the union. Biological warfare, drones as killing machines, and state fighting against state contribute to make this a prescient novel. Multiple narration and differing viewpoints combine to make this an absorbing, shocking read of what could be. A must read that will be discussed by all who read it.” — Marika Zemke, Commerce Township Public Library, Commerce, MI

Additional Buzz: El Akkad caught librarians’ attention at ALA Midwinter, where he part of the United for Libraries “Spotlight on Adult Literature” showcase, The author describes the story in the book trailer, below, and says that, since it comes out at “a time when we are having a serious debate about whether the most powerful nation on earth is descending into fascism,” he understands why it is being seen as a cautionary tale.

The author is set to appear on NPR’s Weekend Edition on Saturday.

Michiko Kakutani reviews it in the NYT, writing it is a “powerful novel — one that creates as haunting a postapocalyptic universe as Cormac McCarthy did in The Road … and as devastating a look at the fallout that national events have on an American family as Philip Roth did in The Plot Against America.”

It appeared on a number of most anticipated lists, including Entertainment Weekly‘s list of “16 debut novels to read in 2017” and Time‘s list of the “Most Anticipated Books of 2017.” Emily St. John Mandel and Peter Heller offer blurbs. In The Millions, Mandel writes it was the “most haunting” novel she read in 2016 (having access to an early copy), “The premise is harrowing, the prose is stark and beautiful, the plotting is impeccable, and there’s something utterly heartbreaking in El Akkad’s subtle rendition of the ways in which war shapes the human soul.”

9781681773643_c7bcdA Twist in Time, Julie McElwain (Norton/Pegasus Books; OverDrive Sample).

“Time-traveling FBI Agent Kendra Donovan remains stranded in 1858 England. When her confidante and potential lover, Alec is accused of murdering his former mistress, Kendra must use her modern investigative skills to work through the list of suspects and clear Alec’s name. Kendra must also decide whether to stay in the past with Alec or to continue to try to find a way back to the present. If she makes it home, what will be waiting for her? Highly recommended to readers of historical romance, romantic suspense, and time travel.” — Glenda Ramsey, Catawba County Library System, Newton, NC

9781101886724_87891Waking Gods: Book 2 of The Themis Files, Sylvain Neuvel (PRH/Del Rey; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

“The sequel to Sleeping Giants contains just as much action and page-turning suspense. The story begins four years later and is told through interviews, memos, and news reports relating to the first robot, after Themis, lands in London. Soon Earth is in an uproar and Themis and her crew are once again called upon to make contact. Read the first book before you tackle this one but the good news is that you will have a shorter time than the rest of us waiting for the next installment.” — Kimberly McGee, Lake Travis Community Library, Austin TX

Additional Buzz: LJ and Kirkus give it stars, with Kirkus calling it “unputdownable.”

9780062460226_f3c29Miss You, Kate Eberlen (HC/Harper; Harper Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“Tess and Gus meet at when they are both eighteen and on holiday in Italy. Their meeting is one of those instant connections, but they go in different directions. Tess returns home, expecting to go to university, but instead her mother dies leaving her to care for her much younger sister. Gus goes to medical school and must deal with the death of his brother. Tess and Gus’ lives momentarily intersect at various points over the years. I enjoyed both of their stories and the anticipation of hoping they would meet again and make a final connection.” — Mary Bennett, Carmel Clay Public Library, Carmel, IN

Additional Buzz: It is an Indie Next pick for April. Already released in the UK, it was big hit. The Telegraph wrote “don’t be surprised to see it being devoured by sunbathers on holiday this summer.” The Guardian says it is a “funny, poignant and really rather lovely ships-in-the-night debut … Grief, family dynamics and how to live with, but not be defined by, the cards one is dealt are the central concerns here.” There is a book video:

Four additional Indie Next titles also hit shelves:

9780735213586_5215fHallelujah Anyway: Rediscovering Mercy, Anne Lamott (PRH/Riverhead Books; RH Large Type; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

Hallelujah Anyway completely consumed me. The world has changed so much in the last year and it seems overwhelming at times. Lamott’s new book is the answer to that despair, hopelessness, and futility. It’s exactly what the title says — mercy through difficult times, kindness when it’s not deserved, and singing hallelujah anyway. Lamott writes with such refreshing honesty. This book is now what I like to refer to as ‘well-loved’ — underlined, dog-eared, and slightly worn. I suspect I’ll revisit my favorite passages for years to come.” —Kristin Beverly, Half Price Books, Dallas, TX

Additional Buzz: The Washington Post reviews it, writing “Reading Anne Lamott’s new book of essays is like sitting down with a girlfriend you haven’t seen for quite a while. At times you’re perfectly in tune: You know this woman; you trust her. But when, out of nowhere, she starts spouting advice like, “Stop the train. Be where your butt is,” you roll your eyes and wonder if perhaps she’s spent too much time obsessing about the Kardashians. Still, you read on.” In response Lamott takes to Twitter to call the review “half great, half snarky & asshatty” and says it “is EXACTLY why I stopped reviewing books myself.”

9781555977696_2fdd1A Little More Human, Fiona Maazel (Macmillan/Graywolf Press; HighBridge Audio; OverDrive Sample).

A Little More Human kept me up way past my bedtime. Fiona Maazel’s seamless novel draws you in subtly and irresistibly. I just had to know how Phil Snyder (nursing assistant, professional superhero impersonator, and actual mind-reader) ended up on a horse with splashes of blood on his clothes and no memory of how he got there. Uncovering secrets in snippets along with Phil reminded me of his own mind-reading talent and built the suspense beautifully page by page. Another clever literary masterpiece from Fiona Maazel!” —Anna Thorn, Upshur Street Books, Washington, DC

Additional Buzz: StarTribune lists it as one of their “Books to watch for in early 2017” while the Chicago Review of Books counts it among “The Most Exciting Fiction Books of 2017’s First Half.”

9780735211025_4d643What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky: Stories, Lesley Nneka Arimah (PRH/Riverhead Books; Penguin Audio/BOT).

“Intense, haunting, and exquisitely rendered, the stories in Lesley Nneka Arimah’s debut collection exist in a category of their own. They are individual worlds linked together by familiar themes — self-discovery, yearnings to love and be loved, generational divides, and the meanings of home and place — refashioned in a fresh, new light. Arimah shines in this debut, whose magic will surely live with you beyond the final page. Absolutely stunning.” —Purvis Cornish, Square Books, Oxford, MS

Additional Buzz: The Rumpus reviews it, writing “In our current political climate with its rampant animosity towards immigrants, Arimah offers a humanizing portrait of both the Nigerian citizen and first generation young female immigrant.” Redbook counts it as one of “20 Books By Women You Must Read This Spring.”

9781627797641_40d0aMarlena, Julie Buntin (Macmillan/Henry Holt; OverDrive Sample).

“I can’t believe this is a debut novel: the writing is so assured; the prose so exquisite. Buntin is a master of word choice, and every sentence felt deliberate and precise. I quickly got sucked into this story about a pair of teenage girls, one doomed, one not. It was a quick read, but one I found myself lingering over. I’d recommend Marlena to fans of Megan Abbott’s dark, twisty books about girlhood — this is a similarly fierce read!” —Lauren Peugh, Changing Hands Bookstore, Tempe, AZ

Additional Buzz: It earned three starred reviews, from Booklist, Publishers Weekly, and Kirkus. Kirkus writes “Buntin creates a world so subtle and nuanced and alive that it imprints like a memory. Devastating; as unforgettable as it is gorgeous.”


Three anticipated blockbuster adaptations get tie-ins this week.

9780316271639_4ab46MARVEL’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: The Deluxe Junior Novel, Marvel (Hachette/Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; Blackstone Audio; also in paperback).

This is just one of seven tie-ins for the movie that are hitting shelves this week. See our list of tie-ins below for the others.

The sequel to the blockbuster SF film opens May 5 and stars (among others) Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Sylvester Stallone, and Kurt Russell.

9780804190107_26921The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (Movie Tie-In Edition), Rebecca Skloot (PRH/Broadway Books; RH Audio; OverDrive Sample).

HBO’s adaptation will begin airing on Sunday, April 22 at 8 p.m. As we posted earlier, it is expected to be a major show for the cable network and the release is being heavily covered by the entertainment media. Jezebel says “it looks like it might do Henrietta’s story justice.” Elle says it “is certain to be compelling.” Slate, Entertainment Weekly, and RollingStone (which was the first to report Lacks’s story, in 1976) also covered the news.

9781524769604_53039Everything, Everything Movie Tie-in Edition, Nicola Yoon (PRH/Ember; Listening Library; OverDrive Sample).

The film adaptation of Nicola Yoon’s debut opens May 19.

Expect an audience. As we posted earlier, the release of the trailer alone was enough to send the paperback edition soaring on Amazon’s rankings, jumping from #2,242 to #13. In hardback, the book debuted at No. 1 on the NYT YA best-seller list in 2015 and earned a glowing NYT review (“gorgeous and lyrical”) and an A- review from Entertainment Weekly (a “complex,” “fresh, moving debut”).

The film stars Amandla Stenberg (The Hunger Games, The Darkest Minds) and Nick Robinson (Jurassic World, The 5th Wave). Stella Meghie (Jean of the Joneses) directs.

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

MONSTERS, Raves and Film Rights

Friday, March 31st, 2017

9781606999592_9d70dTerry Gross opened yesterday’s episode of Fresh Air by saying, “I just read a great book.”

That statement and the following interview sent My Favorite Thing Is Monsters by Emil Ferris (Norton/Fantagraphics), soaring on Amazo’s sales rankings to #19.

Following up on an earlier rave by reviewer John Powers on Fresh Air, Gross describes the author’s personal horror story. Nearly dying after being infected with the West Nile virus, she was paralyzed for some time and now depends on canes to walk.

The disease also brings on delusions and hallucinations, which became inspirations for the book. She describes one that is both scary and humorously unnerving,

“The angel of death came to visit … as I saw it in my fever, [it] was a very big, 1940s kind of a gray/teal/blue filing cabinet, and it was sort of a bureaucrat and it just came into the room and spoke. One of the drawers slightly opened and there was this sort of glowing light inside of it and it said, ‘Are you in or are you out? We need to know for our records.’”

As we posted earlier, the book has received appreciation from other quarters. The NYT describes it as “blood-tingling,” full of “grisly delights,” oozing “with the secrets and hungers that shadow childhood.”

Françoise Mouly, the influential art editor of The New Yorker and co-founder of the comics magazine Raw, sets the story up, saying Ferris’s “mastery of comics, her pyrotechnic drawings, and her nested narratives are already placing her among the greatest practitioners of the form.”

Coincidentally, it was announced late yesterday that Sony won the film rights over four other studios an auction.

OUTLANDER: More Books On The Way

Friday, March 31st, 2017

Outlander season three premieres on Starz in September. As a partial cure for fan’s Droughtlander affliction, yesterday’s Entertainment Tonight provided a brief tour of the Outlander armoury as well as glimpses at footage from season three. The weapons props master for the show says “We had four trucks of weapons … Seven hundred weapons on a daily basis for two weeks” as they shot the scenes for the Battle of Culloden.

Three book are will be released in anticipation of the new series.

9780399593420_28ab7In late June comes a hardcover collection of Gabaldon’s short stories featuring characters from the larger Outlander world, Seven Stones to Stand or Fall: A Collection of Outlander Fiction, Diana Gabaldon (PRH/Delacorte; Recorded Books)

Two stories are new, “Besieged” features Lord John Grey, while “A Fugitive Green” stars his older brother, Hal Grey. The rest of the stories have been previously published in various anthologies, collections, and as e-novellas.

The tie-in edition the TV series arrives on August 15, Voyager (Starz Tie-in Edition), Diana Gabaldon (PRH/Bantam; Recorded Books; OverDrive Sample). Cover art is not yet released.

9780399178573In early September, Gabaldon lets fans in on some of the secrets to her success, with the ebook, I Give You My Body … “: How I Write Sex Scenes (PRH/Dell; Recorded Books; OverDrive Sample). The publisher says it includes a “handy lists of naughty euphemisms (with instructions for use).” Sounds useful, even for non-writers.

As to the TV series, Den of Geek has the official synopsis of the third season:

“The story picks up right after Claire (Caitriona Balfe) travels through the stones to return to her life in 1948. Now pregnant with Jamie’s (Sam Heughan) child, she struggles with the fallout of her sudden reappearance and its effect on her marriage to her first husband, Frank (Tobias Menzies). Meanwhile, in the 18th century, Jamie suffers from the aftermath of his doomed last stand at the historic battle of Culloden, as well as the loss of Claire. As the years pass, Jamie and Claire attempt to make a life apart from one another, each haunted by the memory of their lost love. The budding possibility that Claire can return to Jamie in the past breathes new hope into Claire’s heart… as well as new doubt. Separated by continents and centuries, Claire and Jamie must find their way back to each other. As always, adversity, mystery, and adventure await them on the path to reunion. And the question remains: When they find each other, will they be the same people who parted at the standing stones, all those years ago?”

Ferrante to HBO

Friday, March 31st, 2017

9781609450786_26fdcThe TV adaptation of  the international best seller My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante, announced earlier, now has a US outlet. HBO will broadcast it in Italian with English subtitles. It is being produced by the Italian studio that created The Young Pope starring Jude Law, running now on HBO to the bafflement of many reviewers.

There are plans to adapt each of the four novels in Ferrante’s Neapolitan series, across a total of 32 episodes. “So far HBO has committed only to the first eight-episode season,” the NYT reports, “but the network said it has the rights to the subsequent seasons based on the other books.”

Variety adds that Saverio Costanzo (Private, Hungry Hearts) will direct and Jennifer Schuur (Big Love, Hannibal) will serve as executive producer.

Costanzo told Variety that although the novels are very literary, ‘The characters really leap out of the book and come alive … That makes it easier for us to transpose this cinematographically.”

Shooting will begin this summer in Naples (where the books are set) with plans for a 2018 air date.

For those that have resisted Ferrante’s pull, Entertainment Weekly provided a summary to the books back in 2014, saying they are “an intoxicatingly furious portrait of enmeshed friends Lila and Elena, Bright and passionate girls from a raucous neighborhood in world-class Naples. Ferrante writes with such aggression and unnerving psychological insight about the messy complexity of female friendship that the real world can drop away when you’re reading her.”

The NYT notes that Ferrante, whose true identity has been the subject of much speculation, will be involved in the production. Presumably, she will handle that the way she does interviews, via email.


Thursday, March 30th, 2017

9780143126836_b6312A three-part documentary based on the book Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War, Mark Harris (PRH/Penguin; OverDrive Sample), premieres on Netflix tomorrow, March 31.

The book portrays how Hollywood fought a propaganda war agains fascism, through
the voluntary efforts of directors John Ford,
George Stevens, John Huston, William Wyler, and Frank Capra.

To tell the story in film, Harris has turned to five contemporary directors, Steven Spielberg, Francis Ford Coppola, Guillermo del Toro, Paul Greengrass, and Lawrence Kasdan, to provide context and insight and the entire series is supported with narration by Meryl Streep.

Netfilx will also air 13 of the films discussed in the series, reports Deadline Hollywood, “including Ford’s The Battle of Midway, Wyler’s The Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress, Huston’s Report from the Aleutians, Capra’s The Battle of Russia, Stevens’ Nazi Concentration Camps, and Stuart Heisler’s The Negro Soldier.”

Harris’s book got rave reviews when it was published. Slate calls it “one of the great works of film history of the decade.” The NYT says it is “a tough-minded, information-packed and irresistibly readable work of movie-minded cultural criticism.” The Guardian calls it “excellent” and The Washington Post says it “has all the elements of a good movie: fascinating characters, challenges, conflicts and intense action.”

The film version is also getting strong reviews. Entertainment Weekly gives it a B+, calling it “devastating and profound. And absorbing …well worth a binge.” Time says “The three episodes of Five Came Back run a little over three hours total, but the time goes by like a shot.” The Hollywood Reporter says it is “is intimately in tune with its subjects and the work they did.”

Nan Talese Profiled

Thursday, March 30th, 2017

UntitledDespite its headline, the story “How Nan Talese Blazed Her Pioneering Path through the Publishing Boys’ Club,” in the new issue of Vanity Fair, is as much about her marriage to the author Gay Talese, as it is about her career (the cover line, left, indicates the article’s true slant) and it gives little insight into how she became one of the first women in publishing to run an imprint that bears her own name, Nan A. Talese.

Still, it includes some great bits of publishing lore, like the time Talese stood up to her boss, the tyrannical Dick Snyder, head of S&S at the time (notably, that company is now run by a woman, CEO Carolyn Reidy) and insisted on publishing Schindler’s List.

She also fought off Ernest Hemingway’s widow who went to court to demand changes to a book she edited early in her career, A.E. Hotchner’s Papa Hemingway. As the author remarks admiringly, “Nan just stood there the whole time with her battle garments on and fought them off.”

It’s no surprise that the story focuses on the marriage. Many have found that subject intriguing, even Gay Talese himself, who is currently working on a book about it. The story ends with a typically Nan Talese response to a question about whether that worries her. “She smiles sweetly and [says] …’He doesn’t know anything about marriage, so I’m not concerned.'”


Thursday, March 30th, 2017

9781476796710_891d2Katey Sagal, the actress famous for her roles on Married with Children and Sons of Anarchy, for which she won a Golden Globe, appeared today on Good Morning America to talk about her new memoir, Grace Notes: My Recollections (S&S/Gallery; OverDrive Sample).

Host Michael Strahan notes that Segal reveals personal details in the book, being frank about her past addictions and life in recovery. Sagal says she began the book as a way to share her life and past history with her children and saw the project as a love letter to her family.

She also talks about her time as a singer and song writer. Expressing surprised at this bit of her history, Strahan marvels that she “opened for Etta James, sang background for Bette Midler, and got fired by Bob Dylan.” She still has a band and says music is a big part of her life.

Sagal as been on a media blitz for the book, already appearing on Nightline and featured in the March 27 issue of People. She will be on The View tomorrow. The book made USA Today‘s list of “New and noteworthy” booksPage Six and the NY Daily News covered some of the book’s revelations. The book has moved up Amazon’s sales rankings as a result and is currently at #518.

IT Gets a Trailer

Thursday, March 30th, 2017

The first trailer has been released for the film adaptation of Stephen King’s novel IT and is already the #1 trending video on YouTube.

Its release is moving two editions of the classic horror novel up Amazon’s sales rankings. The trade paperback moved from #449 to almost within Amazon’s Top Ten (it is #12). The mass market leaped from #7,395 to #225.

The clip is for the first of a two-part movie. As we posted earlier, part one follows a group of kids, members of the Losers’ Club, who live in a small town in Maine and fight against an ancient and shape-shifting evil that stalks the town every 27 years. Part two will follow those terrorized kids, now adults, as they once again stand guard against the recurring evil of It.

Andrés Muschietti (Mama) is directing and Swedish actor Bill Skarsgård plays the evil clown Pennywise. One of the producers is Seth Grahame-Smith, known for launching the mashup craze with his books Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter.

itposterUSA Today quotes Muschietti musing on what “IT” means: “Maybe it is real as long as children believe in it. And in a way, Pennywise’s character is motivated by survival. In order to be alive in the imagination of children, he has to keep killing.”

The tie-in comes out on July 25, 2017 (S&S/Pocket). There is no cover image yet, but it is likely to be similar to the creepy new film poster at left.

Dylan to Accept Nobel

Thursday, March 30th, 2017


It’s not a headline one might expect to see on the Nobel site, but yesterday a post appeared titled, “Good news about Dylan.”

In a few days Bob Dylan will visit Stockholm and give two concerts. The Swedish Academy is very much looking forward to the weekend and will show up at one of the performances. Please note that no Nobel Lecture will be held. The Academy has reason to believe that a taped version will be sent at a later point. (Taped Nobel lectures are presented now and then, the latest of which was that of Nobel Laureate Alice Munro in 2013.) At this point no further details are known.

The good news is that the Swedish Academy and Bob Dylan have decided to meet this weekend. The Academy will then hand over Dylan’s Nobel diploma and the Nobel medal, and congratulate him on the Nobel Prize in Literature. The setting will be small and intimate, and no media will be present; only Bob Dylan and members of the Academy will attend, all according to Dylan’s wishes.

Why has Dylan remained silent so long? NPR Music Editor Andrew Flanagan theorizes, on somewhat thin evidence, that the singer has been “revisiting his own development.”

UPDATE: Several news sources, including Vanity Fair  report that the “small private gathering” took place on Saturday, April 1.

Live Chat with

Wednesday, March 29th, 2017

Read our chat with Gail below.

Join us for our next chat on May 10th, when we will talk to Gin Phillips about her new novel, FIERCE KINGDOM, to be published by Viking on July 11th.

To join the program, sign up here

Live Blog Live Chat with Gail Honeyman : ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE


Wednesday, March 29th, 2017

The trailer for Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power has been released:

As we posted earlier, the sequel to Gore’s Academy Award winning film, An Inconvenient Truth, debuted at the Sundance Film Festival where it received a standing ovation. It is now gearing up for its wide release, beginning with the politically pointed trailer.

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.”

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.


Wednesday, March 29th, 2017

9780385542364_94521Barry Jenkins, the writer and director of the Oscar-winning film Moonlight, will write and direct the adaptation of Colson Whitehead’s National Book Award-winning novel The Underground Railroad (PRH/Doubleday) as a series for Amazon.

“Going back to The Intuitionist, Colson’s writing has always defied convention, and The Underground Railroad is no different,” Jenkins said in a statement. “It’s a groundbreaking work that pays respect to our nation’s history while using the form to explore it in a thoughtful and original way.”

The Underground Railroad is a massive job,” he told the the LA Times. “Right now, I’m thinking I want to do that over six or seven hours, and that will take a lot of time and consideration because it absolutely has to be done the right way. It’s a landmark work.”

Consequence of Sound reports “Jenkins has been working on the project since September, just one month after Colson’s book was released.”

It is early days, so there is no word on an air date or casting.


Tuesday, March 28th, 2017

9780385340991Called a “Downton Abbey Reunion,” the adaptation of Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows’s The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (PRH/Random House, 2008), currently filming in Australia, features four actors from the popular BBC series. Lily James, who played Downton‘s Lady Rose, is the movie’s lead. Recently joining the cast are Jessica Brown Findlay (Downton‘s Lady Sybil), Matthew Goode (Henry Talbot), and Penelope Wilton (Isobel Crawley).

Also recently added are Glen Powell (Hidden Figures), Michiel Huisman (The Age of Adeline, Game of Thrones), as well as Tom Courtenay (45 Years).

Mike Newell (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Four Weddings and a Funeral) directs the re-titled Guernsey. Release is expected in 2018.

The epistolary novel set during WW II received strong reviews and was a long running best seller. No tie-in has been announced

Future Visions

Tuesday, March 28th, 2017

9780316262330_fecffCommenting that “All science-fiction novels are about the future and about the present at the same time,” Kim Stanley Robinson discusses his new book  New York 2140 (Hachette/Orbit; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample) in an interview with New York magazine. In it, he envisions a waterlogged city that climate change has turned into the Venice of the U.S.

It is one of a number of novels getting media attention for their prescience about the current political climate,

A surprisingly hopeful version of what lies ahead, Robinson’s books shows survivors coping with the aftermath of  an epic flood that has hit NYC. They move into high rise buildings, get used to tides washing up the streets, and to living with canals rather than roads. Robinson says “at some point, science fiction has to imagine the people who come after, when the situation will be natural, whatever it is.”

In her monthly Sci Fi column in the NYT Book Review, N.K. Jemisin says Robinson “deftly conveys [the transformed city’s] unnerving strangeness … it is refreshing to see a futurism that acknowledges the innate resilience of the city and, by inference, of humanity itself.”

9780765388889_dac23Wired compares it to John Scalzi’s newest, the space opera The Collapsing Empire (Macmillan/Tor; OverDrive Sample), a far less hopeful vision set in AD 3500 when humanity appears doomed. They call it “Star Wars politics in the key of Firefly,” while New York 2014 could be pitched as “Waterworld survivalists battle Wall Street bogeymen.”

9780451493583_f9dc0Daily NYT critic Michiko Kakutani devotes her attention to a novel that, like Robinson’s, imagines the impact of global warming on the U.S., Omar El Akkad’s American War (PRH/Knopf; RH Audio; OverDrive Sample). In this darker version, the U.S., reduced to a much smaller country, is engaged in second Civil War.

Kakutani says “El Akkad has fashioned a surprisingly powerful novel — one that creates as haunting a postapocalyptic universe as Cormac McCarthy did in The Road (2006), and as devastating a look at the fallout that national events have on an American family as Philip Roth did in The Plot Against America (2004).”

Released today, the book is currently at #71 on Amazon’s sales rankings, moving up rapidly from a lowly #29,600.

Ferdinand Gets a Trailer

Tuesday, March 28th, 2017

The first trailer for a new animated adaptation of Leaf Munro‘s 1936 classic The Story of Ferdinand made its “exclusive” debut on the Today Show this morning. It opens on December 15. CORRECTION: As Donna points out in the comments, we transposed the author’s first and last names.

9780670674244A tie-in has not been announced.

The original is still available in both hardcover and paperback (Penguin Young Readers/Puffin).

A Board Book edition is coming in August.