From Stephenie Meyer's novella to Justin Cronin's much buzzed-about The Passage, there's a lot going on in publishing this week. As always, BookPage.com will be in on the action. You can especially look forward to the following reviews and features. (Click the book titles to take a sneak preview.)
Is The Passage worth the hype? Trisha says yes in her interview with Justin Cronin
The vampire craze sweeping literature is not unlike the virus that decimates the world in Justin Cronin’s The Passage. Sure, there are isolated enclaves of holdouts, defending literature as they know it from the onslaught of supernatural beings, but most of the reading public seems to have developed an insatiable thirst for stories featuring the undead, from writers like Charlaine Harris and Stephenie Meyer.
Read a review of Charles Wohlforth's "intellectual, philosophical" The Fate of Nature
Will present and future generations help protect our planet from neglect and abuse, or will the social and political mechanisms of the market economy win out? In The Fate of Nature, award-winning writer Charles Wohlforth (The Whale and the Supercomputer) argues that humans are inexorably linked to nature and “if we’re to imprint good will on the world, those wishes have to vie in the same arena as our selfishness.”
In the YA realm, Jackson Pearce's Sisters Red puts a modern spin on Little Red Riding Hood. The review's online now, and a Q&A will be published in Wednesday's Reading Corner.
After defending her sister Rosie from a werewolf attack—and losing her grandmother and her eye in the process—Scarlett March resolves to hunt and kill the “Fenris” until every single wolf is dead. To do so, she poses as a confused and scared teenage girl, the favorite prey of the wolves, and then she goes in for the kill. Her desire to slay the werewolves is every bit as brutal as the wolves’ desire to attack. Rosie knows that she owes Scarlett her life, and her devotion to her sister is palpable. However, Rosie finds herself falling for Silas Reynolds, a woodsman also bent on killing the Fenris, and she begins to imagine a life focused on more than just hunting and slaying werewolves.
What books are you buzzing about this week?
This morning we offered the first look at our The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner review to Book of the Day subscribers, but now you can all check it out. The review can be found at this link, and in it Trisha writes that the novella is "poignant and full of Meyer's trademark thwarted love . . . a gift for fans—exactly as Meyer intended."
If you're hooked by the review, you're in luck! From noon today until July 7 at midnight, the novella is available for free online. Note that the text is available only at BreeTanner.com; you can't download it to an e-reader or phone or print it out.
Anyone read Bree Tanner yet?
Publisher's Marketplace posted an interesting nonfiction deal this morning: Paul Tough, author of Geoffrey Canada's Quest to Change Harlem and America, will publish a book called The Success Equation, "a character-driven exploration of cutting-edge research on success and failure by economists, psychologists, neuroscientists, and animal behaviorists looking at why some children succeed while others fail—and what exactly we can do to move individual children toward their full potential for success." Looks like publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is banking on a hit; the book sold in a "major deal" (aka $500,000 and up).
You may also recognize Tough's name from the New York Times Magazine, where he writes about school reform, childhood development and other education topics. Recent articles include teaching self-control in preschool and education reform as an election issue.
I've been racing through Rebecca Skloot's The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, and I know I'll be itching for another character-driven nonfiction book—maybe The Success Equation will fit the bill? (When it's published in fall 2012, that is.)
Does The Success Equation sound like something you would read?
By the way, if you read Geoffrey Canada's Quest to Change Harlem and America, you may enjoy new education documentary Waiting for Superman, which features Geoffrey Canada and D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee.
Stephenie Meyer fans probably don't need a reminder, but just in case your summer reads have you distracted . . . The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner goes on sale tomorrow! The hardcover costs $13.99, and one dollar from every sale will be donated to the American Red Cross. At noon on June 7, you can read the book for free on Meyer's site.
Seth—Meyer's webmaster/little brother—posted a news item today on StephenieMeyer.com: Meyer has created a The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner Playlist, which you can check out here. (Side question: Do you all listen to music while you read? I never do—too distracting—although I can read in almost any public place.)
I'd also like to announce that on Monday morning, we'll be offering an exclusive first look at our review of Bree Tanner to Book of the Day subscribers. If you haven't already signed up for this fun and informative newsletter, you can do so now.
Anyone going to a late-night Bree Tanner release party or downloading the e-book at midnight?
My Google Reader was packed after the long weekend, but I've finally been able to catch up on some blog reading and bookmark a few posts. What posts did you enjoy this week?
Best Netflix Streaming Movies for Readers: Dramas Based on Contemporary Literature
Posted by Jason Boog on GalleyCat
So you can get your book-to-film fix without wasting a second, GalleyCat highlighted literary-themed movies from the "Watch Instantly" section of Netflix. Selections include The Basketball Diaries, Stand By Me, Iris and others. Also don't miss their ten best plays adapted into films. (My hands-down favorite? A Streetcar Named Desire.)
Maximum Consumption: The 10 Best Musical Cookbooks
Posted by Margaret Eby on Flavorpill
Proximity to Loretta Lynn's Dude Ranch just might be my favorite thing about living in Nashville, so I was excited to see a blog post on cookbooks from musicians—#1 on the list being You’re Cookin’ It Country by Loretta Lynn. (Butcher Holler Possum, anyone?) Other authors range from Sinatra to Coolio. Do you have a cookbook to add to the list?
A Book Bloggers View Inside NYC’s Publishing Houses
Posted by Natasha on Maw Books Blog
5 Impressions from BookExpo America
Posted by Amy from My Friend Amy
Trisha and Abby tweeted and blogged from BEA and the Book Blogger Convention, but it's always nice to read another perspective. Amy writes about the heightened popularity of book bloggers at BEA, and Natasha takes readers on a tour inside some of New York's biggest publishing houses. Are you a book blogger who posted from BEA/BBC? Feel free to share the URL in our comments section.
Allen Ginsberg, the poet who wrote Howl and gave voice to the Beat Generation's passion and discontent, would have turned 84 today. (He died of liver cancer in 1997.) A new book celebrating Ginsberg's life and the lives of his fellow Beats was released last month: The Typewriter is Holy, by Bill Morgan. As the book's publicist says,
For the last two decades of Allen Ginsberg’s life, Bill Morgan assisted him daily as his bibliographer and archivist. As the author and editor of more than twenty books on the Beat Generation, including I Celebrate Myself: The Somewhat Private Life of Allen Ginsberg (Viking Press, 2006), Morgan, quite simply, knows more about the Beats than anyone alive.
Helen Fielding's beloved Bridget Jones character transitioned successfully from a column in the Independent, to two hugely successful novels (Bridget Jones's Diary and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason), to the screen, earning an Academy Award nomination for Renee Zellweger.
And now, the Guardian reports that it may become a musical, with the score written by British recording artist/actress Lily Allen.
According to the Guardian, Allen "is rumoured to be working with author Helen Fielding to bring a show to London's West End next year." (Although so far she's only finished one number, "a song about poor Bridget contemplating her fridge.")
Would you see a Bridget Jones musical?
For more on books-to-musicals, see posts on Arthur Phillips' The Song is You and Lee Smith’s and Jill McCorkle’s short story stage adaptation.
This week's recipe is another veggie delight, the theme of this month's cooking column. Simon Hopkinson focuses on vegetables in The Vegetarian Option (Stewart, Tabori & Chang), his follow-up to the entertaining Roast Chicken and Other Stories. Cookbook columnist Sybil Pratt says, "Whether your leanings are strictly veg or happily omnivorous, Hopkinson’s options will expand your repertoire of delectable meatless dishes." Do vegetarian dishes regularly make the table at your house?
Although the flavors in this dish are those of Spanish paella, the rice I have chosen is Italian carnaroli; other risotto rice may be employed (a simple arborio or vialone nano), but I find carnaroli swells more evenly and tenderly for the stuffing.
These tomatoes may also be served alongside other small dishes as part of a buffet lunch (in which case, one each is sufficient). For a first course, as here, you will need two.
8 firm, ripe medium-small tomatoes
½ small green bell pepper, seeded, pith removed, and coarsely chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
large pinch of dried chili flakes
handful of Italian parsley leaves
1 teaspoon Spanish paprika
1 teaspoon saffron threads, steeped in 1 tablespoon boiling water
1/2 cup olive oil, plus a little more, if liked
1/3 cup carnaroli rice
Maldon sea salt
Remove the stalks from the tomatoes and then turn them over. Using a small, sharp knife, slice through about a fifth of the way down the tomato, to give little caps. Reserve these for later. Now, using a teaspoon, carefully scoop out all of the tomato innards into a bowl. Place the hollowed-out shells in a roasting dish that will accommodate them snugly.
Put the green bell pepper, garlic, chili, parsley, paprika, and infused saffron (with its water) into a food processor and pulse until the ingredients are evenly but coarsely chopped. Now tip in the tomato pulp with a generous 1/3 cup of the olive oil and process further until the entire mixture is a sloppy, seedy, and oily tomato pap, with the other solids now more finely processed and in suspension. Put the rice into the bowl that previously held the tomato pulp. Pour the tomato pap from the food processor over it, mix well, and season with salt to taste. Leave to soak for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Fill the tomatoes with the rice mixture. Don’t be tempted to overfill—there may be a little left over—but do make sure that as much liquid as possible is included, even if it overflows into the dish. Replace the little caps onto the tomatoes and trickle the remaining oil over (plus a little more, if you like).
Bake in the oven for about 45 minutes, turning the heat down a touch if the tomatoes are browning too much—but browned and blistered they certainly must be! Taste a little of the rice to make sure it is fully cooked, although it will also continue to swell and tenderize as it cools. Serve at room temperature, for preference, basting well with the juices and oil just before serving.
Reprinted from The Vegetarian Option by Simon Hopkinson. Copyright (c) 2010. Published by Stewart, Tabori & Chang.
BEA may have lasted only two days, but many of the convention's most eager attendees had an event of their own to look forward to after the show closed: the first ever Book Blogger Convention. Organized by several of the most prominent literary bloggers, the event kicked off with a social hour on Thursday after BEA closed. There were nearly 200 registered attendees, and at least 100 others participated in an "Armchair Convention" organized by the bloggers who stayed at home.
Eager to meet my favorite bloggers, I hadn't realized I'd also encounter publicists and authors like Emma Donoghue, Susan Holloway Scott and Glen Plaskin, who attended with his puppy, Lucy, a descendant of the dog he writes about in the upcoming book Katie.
It's clear that savvy publicists and writers are interested in courting bloggers and social media mavens—the question is, has the rest of the world gotten with the program, or will the New York Times still print quotes from authors who categorize them as Terre Haute basement-dwellers? (Sorry, Richard Ford, but no one is going to forget that one.)
It's a busy season for Jennifer Weiner fans. Best Friends Forever came out in paperback May 4, and Fly Away Home, Weiner's newest novel about the family of a philandering politician, is out in hardback on July 13. (Look for a review in our July print edition and on BookPage.com.)
And today Publisher's Marketplace posted Weiner's latest deal—four new books, for publication once a year, again to Atria Books.
Any speculation on what Weiner will tackle next? What's your favorite of her seven published books?