Archive for the ‘2011 — Summer’ Category

Stewart Begins Work On Film Based On A Book

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

John Oliver began his stint as host of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart last night, replacing Stewart, who is on hiatus from the show to direct a movie.

The film is based on one of the many books Stewart has featured on the show, Maziar Bahari’s memoir, Then They Came for Me, (Random House, 2011), about the author’s imprisonment in Iran. The film, titled Rosewater after the nickname of one of Bahari’s captors, stars Mexican actor Gael García Bernal, whose previous credits include playing Che Guevara in The Motorcycle Diaries.

Below is Stewart’s 2011 interview with Bahari, in which he announces that they are working on the film.

The Daily Show – Exclusive – Maziar Bahari Extended Interview Pt. 1

Below, Stewart gives more background on the project as he signs off for the summer:


Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

Rules of Civility“If you’ve ever wondered what 1930s New York City was like, Amor Towles, through his debut novel, Rules of Civility (Viking, 2011;  Books on TapePenguin Audio; audio on OverDrive; Large Print Thorndike; released in Trade Pbk, in June) is one of the best tour guides around,” says Costco’s head book buyer, Pennie  Clark Ianniciello, describing her  January book pick in COSTCO Connections.

In the accompanying interview, Towles recounts his journey from a successful 21-year career as the co-founder of an investment fund to full-time writer and says he can’t wait to start his next book

The book spent one week in the top 15 of the NYT Hardcover Fiction after its release in 2011 and 9 weeks on the trade paperback list this year. Reviews praised it for its evocation of the novels of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Edith Wharton. NPR added kudos, calling it a “stylish, elegant and deliberately anachronistic debut novel.”

Earlier this year, it was announced that Lionsgate closed a deal with Towles to adapt Rules of Civility. It was noted at the time that several others in Hollywood had been courting Towles, but he was recluctant because, as “the principal of a big hedge fund, Towles didn’t need Hollywood option money and was wary of trusting Hollywood with the book he’d always wanted to write.” No news has emerged since on when, or if, production will begin.

Some libraries still showing holds.

RULES OF CIVILITY Heads to Big Screen

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

Lionsgate has closed a deal with Amor Towles to adapt his book Rules of Civility(Penguin/Viking). According to Deadline, Lionsgate’s president Erik Feig, has been pursuing Towles since last spring. He wasn’t the only one courting Towles, who was recluctant because, as “the principal of a big hedge fund, Towles didn’t need Hollywood option money and was wary of trusting Hollywood with the book he’d always wanted to write.”

Spielberg’s ROBOPOCALYPSE Gearing Up

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

Don’t weed those copies just yet. Reports of possible leads for Steven Spielberg’s Robopocalypse, based on last year’s novel by Daniel H. Wilson (RH/Doubleday; BOT), indicate that the movie is on track for a planned release date of April 25, 2014.

Anne Hathaway and Chris Hemsworth are in talks to star, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Written as an oral history of a robot uprising against humans, the book was heavily promoted at BEA in 2011 and landed on the NYT best seller list at #13 for one week. It won a 2012 Alex Award and has been used in STEM programs, gaining it the distinction of an attempted ban, due to its use of certain colorful language.

New Title Radar: May 28 – June 3

Friday, May 25th, 2012

Historian Douglas Brinkley‘s biography of Walter Cronkite – the TV reporter known for decades as “the most trusted man in America” – is already drawing early reviews and praise for its unexpected revelations about this private man. Emmy-winning Daily Show writer Kevin Bleyer also sends up contemporary political designs on the U.S. Constitution in Me the People. In fiction, there’s a promising debut thriller by longtime TV cameraman John Steele, plus new titles from Jeff Shaara, Clive Cussler and Joseph Kanon.

Watch List

The Watchers by Jon Steele (Penguin/Blue Rider Press) is a debut thriller about a series of murders tied to a religious work about fallen angels, written by an award-winning news cameraman who has covered wars around the globe. It’s a June Indie Next pick, and Library Journal says, “although it takes a while for the story to gather steam, and the characters sometimes seem flat, the suspense builds to a satisfying climax as the author deftly sets the stage for book two in this planned trilogy.” 100,000 copy first printing.

Usual Suspects 

A Blaze of Glory by Jeff Shaara (Ballantine Books; Random House Large Print Publishing; Random House Audio)  begins a new Civil War trilogy. It starts in 1862, as the Confederate Army falters after the loss of Fort Donelson, and face what will become the Battle of Shiloh.

The Storm: A Novel from the NUMA Files by Clive Cussler and Graham Brown (Putnam; Penguin Audio Books) continues this popular series with the tale of researchers who uncover a plan to permanently alter the weather on a global scale. 500,000 copy first printing.

Istanbul Passage by Joseph Kanon (S&S/Atria; Thorndike Large Print) is a thriller about an American businessman working for the Allies in Istanbul, and is a June Indie Next pick. Library Journal says, “some thrillers don’t just entertain but put us smack in the middle of tough moral questions, and it’s no surprise that the author of The Good German has done just that in his superbly crafted new work.”  Kanon will speak at the AAP/EarlyWord lunch at Book Expo on Tuesday, June 5.


Pinkalicious: Soccer Star by Victoria Kann (HarperCollins) is an adventure for beginning readers about Pinkalicious and her soccer team, the Pinksters. 175,000 copy first printing.


Cronkite by Douglas Brinkley (Harper; Harperluxe; HarperAudio; Thorndike Large Print) is a biography of the newsman who was an cultural icon for decades before his retirement in 1981, drawing on Cronkite’s just-opened private papers and interviews with more than 200 family and friends, including Morley Safer and Katie Couric. Reviewing it for Newsweek, media columnist Howard Kurtz calls it “sweeping and masterful,” and says it reveals that “the man who once dominated television journalism was more complicated—and occasionally more unethical—than the legend that surrounds him. Had Cronkite engaged in some of the same questionable conduct today—he secretly bugged a committee room at the 1952 GOP convention—he would have been bashed by the blogs, pilloried by the pundits, and quite possibly ousted by his employer.” LJ notes, “this one’s big; with a one-day laydown on 5/29, a 250,000-copy first printing, and a seven-city tour.” Brinkley will appear on CBS’s Face the Nation this Sunday.

Me the People: One Man’s Selfless Quest to Rewrite the Constitution of the United States of America by Kevin Bleyer (Random House) is an irreverent look at the Constitution by an Emmy-winning Daily Show writer. Kirkus says, “Among the radical suggestions in Bleyer’s revision is to make every citizen a member of Congress, since, as it stands, “Con-gress is the opposite of pro-gress.” Funny stuff with both a point and a perspective.” Jon Stewart has already promoted it on The Daily Show and will undoubtedly do more.

Buzz Building for New Bio of Obama

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

The cover of the June issue of Vanity Fair features a photo from a new book about Marilyn Monroe (Lawrence Schiller’s Marilyn & Me: A Photographer’s Memories, RH/Doubleday/Nan A. Talese), but buzz is building about the magazine’s excerpt of another bio, David Maraniss’s Barack Obama: The Story.

It features “the untold story” of Obama’s post-grad romance with former girlfriend Genevieve Cook, including quotes from her diary. Does that sound like a bit of extraneous gossip aimed at selling books? US News responds with “Why Barack Obama’s Old Girlfriend Matters.”

Meanwhile, The Huffington Post is more interested in “Obama’s Thoughts On T.S. Eliot” and the NYT “City Room” blog sniffs, “Obama? Just the Forgettable 1980s Boyfriend of a Landlord’s Tenant.”

Barack Obama: The Story
David Maraniss
Retail Price: $32.50
Hardcover: 672 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster – (2012-06-19)
ISBN / EAN: 1439160406 / 9781439160404


Marilyn & Me: A Photographer’s Memories
Lawrence Schiller
Retail Price: $20.00
Hardcover: 128 pages
Publisher: Nan A. Talese – (2012-05-29)
ISBN / EAN: 0385536674 / 9780385536677

Surrender The Grey

Sunday, March 4th, 2012

The media went on red-alert last week about an erotic fiction trilogy.The New York Post reported on Tuesday that Fifty Shades of Grey by first-time British author E.L. James “has NYC moms reading like never before.” Apparently, they are also talking nonstop to each other about what they are reading. So much sharing is going on that one woman called it “the new kabbalah for female bonding in this city.”

Canada’s Globe and Mail gives the publishing background,

Through an independent publisher in Australia [The Writer’s Coffee Shop is based in New South Wales, Australia; the company’s US address is in Waxahachie,Tex] the trilogy has sold more than 100,000 copies, the bulk of them e-books…First time-author E.L. James, a television executive living in London, honed her erotica chops penning BDSM-themed Twilight fan fiction. She has said that the bondage opus was her “midlife crisis.”

The story was picked up by several other news sources, culminating on the Today Show on Friday.

WorldCat indicates that a handful of libraries own or have ordered the print version of the book. Most are showing a modest number of holds. The first title in the series hit the NYT best seller list in ebook format last week (#24, rising to #23 this week).

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Tweet Your Favorite Books of the Year

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

Two of our GalleyChat regulars have started a hashtag for librarians to list their top 11 favorite books from 2011, #libfavs2011. It runs through Dec. 31, so head on over to Twitter and join in. (Thanks to Robin Beerbower, Salem [OR] Library and Stephanie Chase, Multnomah County Library, for starting and shepherding this project).

So far the title with the most mentions is the debut, Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (RH/Crown). Librarians backed it early on (it was BEA Shout & Share pick). Try it on readers who claim to hate science fiction. USA Today put it this way, “This unabashedly geeky view of a 2044 dystopia provides an enchanting escape from today’s economic crisis, dreary politicians and international turmoil,” adding, “Few novels set up an engaging plot as fast as this one.” Check your holds; some libraries are showing a significant number.

Publisher Broadway Books is treating the trade paperback, coming in June, as a relaunch, with a new cover.

Ready Player One
Ernest Cline
Retail Price: $14.00
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Broadway – (2012-06-05)
ISBN / EAN: 0307887448 / 9780307887443

RH Audio/BOT; Audio and eBook on OverDrive


Thursday, November 10th, 2011

A relatively new prize, the three-year-old  Wellcome Trust Book Prize for the “best of medicine in literature” has been awarded to a work of fiction for the first time. Alice LaPlante’s debut novel, Turn of Mind  (Atlantic Monthly, 7/5; Audio, Brilliance; Large Print, Thorndike; audio and eBook, OverDrive) is a mystery with a twist. The protagonist, a brilliant woman surgeon, is under suspicion of murder, but because of the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, she does not know if she is guilty.

The book won over a distinguished short list, which includes Siddhartha Mukherjee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning history of cancer, The Emperor of All Maladies.

The prize committee chair described the book as “…a gripping, intricately plotted, and profoundly moving novel that takes the reader deep inside the mind of someone whose memories are being eroded by Alzheimer’s. As with all the books shortlisted for the Prize, it has something both interesting and important to say about the place of medicine and disease in our lives.”

The book has had a strong audience in libraries, showing holds of 10:1 this summer. Heavy holds continue in several libraries

De Niro To Play Madoff

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

HBO confirmed this week that they are developing a made-for-tv movie about Ponzi-schemer Bernie Madoff with Robert De Niro as producer and expected to play the lead.

It will be based on two books, the recently-released Truth and Consequences: Life Inside the Madoff Family by Laurie Sandell, based on interviews with Madoff’s family (they appeared on Sixty Minutes last week to help promote the book) and The Wizard of Lies: Bernie Madoff and the Death of Trust by Diana B. Henriques (Times Books/Holt/Macmillan) published earlier this year (the author appeared on the Today Show in April).

Novelist John Burnham Schwartz is writing the screenplay.


Monday, November 7th, 2011

Kirkus said of the true crime story, The Man in the Rockefeller Suit by Mark Seal (Viking, 6/2/11), “Patricia Highsmith couldn’t have written a more compelling thriller.” Director Scott Cooper (Crazy Heart) has been in talks to direct a movie based on this unlikely tale of a man who managed to con people into believing he was a member of the Rockefeller family, helping him to land prestigious jobs on Wall Street. He was sentenced to jail after kidnapping his own daughter and is now facing charges that he murdered his former landlord in 1985.

The movie may be on the back burner for a while, however. Cooper’s next project is likely to be the adaptation of the Claire Messud novel, The Emperor’s Children (Knopf, 2006), replacing Noah Baumbach. It’s set to star Keira Knightley, Michelle Williams, Eric Bana and Richard Gere.

The Man in the Rockefeller Suit: The Astonishing Rise and Spectacular Fall of a Serial Imposter
Mark Seal
Retail Price: $26.95
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: VIKING ADULT – (2011-06-02)
ISBN / EAN: 0670022748/9780670022748

Thorndike Large Print

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

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

Diffenbaugh Gets a Big Bouquet

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

Vanessa Diffenbaugh, whose first novel, The Language of Flowers is at #6 on the the Indie Hardcover Fiction Bestseller list and debuted at #13 on the 9/18 NYT list, got a hearty new endorsement for her book in the form of a movie deal, according to The Hollywood Reporter. In a statement, the producers say,”Great characters make great movies and these are the most vivid and compelling women we have read in a long, long time.”

The book has been published in several other countries (the Australian cover is at the left, above and the British one at the right. The words on the cover, which don’t appear on the U.S. edition, are “Anyone can grow into something beautiful”). It has reached #1 on best seller lists in Italy and #5 in the U.K.

The novel explores the difficulty many foster children have in forming relationships. Diffenbaugh, who has raised foster children of her own, used her $1 million book advance, to set up the Camellia Network (in the language of flowers, camellias stand for “my destiny in in your hands”). Among other activities, the network asks book clubs to help raise money for the organization, with the opportunity to win a call-in or personal visit from the author.


Thursday, September 8th, 2011

The daily NYT is uncharacteristically late to the party in reviewing Ballantine’s big debut novel, The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh,(8/23; Audio, Random House Audio and Books on Tape and OverDrive; Large Print, Thorndike).

Janet Maslin’s review drips with sarcasm about the book’s potential for book clubs, which sounds curiously familiar:

The Language of Flowers, review by Janet Maslin, 9/8/11 — “Ballantine is surely well aware that there are book clubs that have theme parties based on a literary work’s ambience. In this case the festive possibilities are mind boggling.”

The Help, review by Janet Maslin, 2/18/09 — “Book groups armed with hankies will talk and talk about [the maids] quiet bravery and the outrageous insults dished out by their vain, racist employers.”

Despite her many reservations about The Help, Maslin rightly predicted that Kathryn Stockett’s “button-pushing book” would be “wildly popular.”

Maslin doesn’t make predictions for the popularity of The Language of Flowers, but it’s already showing signs of success. It moves up the Indie Hardcover Fiction Bestseller list today to #6, from #11 last week (we also hear it debuts at #13 on the 9/18 NYT list).

The Help arrived on the Indie list at #15 the week of its publication; it took six weeks for it to reach #5. It was a much slower journey on the NYT  list, taking 24 weeks before it climbed to #5.

Ballantine is publishing a companion to Diffenbaugh’s novel, a dictionary of flowers, which many libraries have not ordered.

A Victorian Flower Dictionary: The Language of Flowers Companion
Mandy Kirkby
Retail Price: $22.00
Hardcover: 192 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books – (2011-09-20)
ISBN / EAN: 0345532864 / 9780345532862