William Shakespeare's Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope by Ian Doescher skyrocketed up the charts when it was published back in July, no doubt due to its ingenious pairing of history's most enduring author with the most endearing movie franchise. Some good news for those of you who enjoyed the faithful retelling of Episode IV in iambic pentameter: Quirk will be publishing The Empire Striketh Back, followed by The Jedi Doth Return rounding out the trilogy. No release dates have been announced, but hopefully we won't have to wait three years between each. Are you looking forward to reading these? Or would you just as soon kiss a Wookiee?
Sue Monk Kidd's first novel, The Secret Life of Bees, spent more than 100 weeks on the bestseller lists and sold over six million copies. Her second novel, The Mermaid Chair, was a number one New York Times bestseller. Today, more than eight long years later, her publisher (Viking Press) announced that her third novel, The Invention of Wings, will be released on January 7, 2014.
Set in the early 19th century, The Invention of Wings opens on the 11th birthday of Sarah Grimke, member of a very wealthy family in Charleston, South Carolina, and inspired by a real-life historical figure. Sarah has just been given ownership of 10-year-old slave Hetty ("Handful") to be her handmaid. The book follows Sarah and Handful over the next 35 years, "as both strive for a life of their own, dramatically shaping each other’s destinies and forming a complex relationship marked by guilt, defiance, estrangement and the uneasy ways of love," according to the publisher.
Sounds intriguing! What do you think, readers? Are you looking forward to this one?
October is usually a huge month for fiction, and this year is no exception. Organized by date, here are seven novels that are sure to be bestsellers. Are any of these authors (or series) on your list of absolute must-reads?
Mad River by John Sandford
Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigator Virgil Flowers is after three teens on a killing spree in book #5 in John Sandford's series. Read Chapter 1 on Sandford's website.
The Bone Bed by Patricia Cornwell
I've heard of more than one reader refer to Cornwell's heroine, Kay Scarpetta, as a literary crush. Who wouldn't want to be like (or be with!) the brilliant Chief Medical Examiner of Boston? In Scarpetta's latest adventure, a woman has gone missing from a Canadian dinosaur dig.
The Racketeer by John Grisham
Grisham's latest thriller has a killer concept: Only four active federal judges have ever been murdered—until Judge Raymond Fawcett makes #5. The "Racketeer" knows who did it, but he's stuck in prison and the information comes at a price. If you already love Grisham's novels, I don't need to tell you why they're so addictive. Just make sure you clear a weekend before you dive in!
Back to Blood by Tom Wolfe
Little, Brown, $30
In his first novel since I Am Charlotte Simmons, Tom Wolfe turns to a Miami setting in Back to Blood. The hero of this fast-paced story is Nestor Camacho, a Cuban-American police officer who wants nothing more than to live the American dream—but who becomes an outcast after he arrests (and saves) a Cuban refugee.
This is only a partial list of what you can look forward to reading this fall. For even more books for your TBR, revisit our 15 most anticipated fall releases and take a look at our October Top 10 newsletter.
The Wall Street Journal reported this weekend that E.L. James' Fifty Shades trilogy is on track to hit 20 million copies sold in the United States, after just three months on bookstore shelves (it has been available digitally for about four months).
Here are some stats to make your jaw drop even more: It took three years for Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy to sell that many copies. And according to Nielsen BookScan, one out of five "adult-fiction physical books" sold in the United States were part of the trilogy.
Given these massive numbers, there's a good chance that if you're reading this blog post, you've already fallen under the spell of James' unlikely couple, college grad Anastasia Steele and billionaire Christian Grey.
Did you read the trilogy, love it and are looking for something new? We recommend Bared to You by Sylvia Day, which is also about a 20-something woman who falls for a billionaire entrepreneur. (I've read both Fifty Shades of Grey and Bared to You, and would venture to say that the latter is actually a better read, with more realistic dialogue and equally steamy sex scenes.) By the way, Bared to You may not have sold 20 million copies, but it's not doing too shabby, either. It's currently #4 on the New York Times trade paperback bestseller list.
I interviewed Day about her novel and the popularity of erotic romance. You can read her answers here.
If you enjoy erotic romance, you probably don't need anyone to explain the genre's popularity. (Perhaps you'll nod your head at Vintage's new marketing slogan for the Fifty Shades trilogy: "Reading for pleasure has a whole new meaning.") If you don't get the appeal, however, perhaps this excerpt from my Q&A with Sylvia Day will help you understand the phenomenon:
How do you sustain such explosive chemistry between Gideon and Eva for hundreds of pages? Is there a secret to writing sex scenes that continue to excite (rather than bore) readers over the span of a novel?
Emotional resonance—it’s absolutely necessary to writing erotic romance. Sex for sex’s sake is porn. Reading “Tab-A into Slot-B” scenes would be boring and repetitive. Each sexual scene has to further the story and character arcs. There has to be a goal to the interaction and a resolution (aside from physical climax!). For many of my characters, they lack the ability to communicate effectively verbally, so they show how they feel through sexual interaction. There’s a story in the way they communicate with their bodies and that’s what makes the sex hot. [Continue reading . . .]
The bad news is that summer's over. The good news? That fall is prime time for major book releases. Below, I've highlighted a few of the biggest sure-to-be bestsellers that you can look forward to in the coming weeks.
The Race by Clive Cussler
Clive Cussler is back with another story starring Detective Isaac Bell. The backdrop of this adventure is a competition in 1910 for the first aviator to cross the U.S.A. in less than 50 days.
Revenge at Bella Terra by Christina Dodd
Romantic suspense author Christina Dodd follows up Secrets of Bella Terra with another nail-biter about the handsome Di Luca brothers and their troubled vineyard.
Perfect by Ellen Hopkins
Margaret K. McElderry Books, $18.99
The author of Crank and Fallout has written a companion book to Impuse, about four high-school seniors and their ideas of perfection.
New York to Dallas by J.D. Robb
Homicide cop Eve Dallas faces her most intense case yet in J.D. Robb's latest "In Death" novel.
Reamde by Neal Stephenson
William Morrow, $35
The author of Anathem delivers an epic technothriller that will take readers around the world. (It'll also keep them busy for a while, at 1,000+ pages.)
1225 Christmas Tree Lane by Debbie Macomber
It's never too early to start getting excited for Christmas, especially if you have Debbie Macomber to get you in the spirit. In this latest Cedar Cove installment, you'll find romance, plenty of surprises . . . and an abandoned basket of puppies who need a home.
Want more fantastic book recommendations organized by date? See our 25 most anticipated books for fall. (Coming up soon are The Art of Fielding, What It Is Like to Go to War, The Night Circus and Life Itself.) Still can't find something good to put on your to-be-read list? Browse the September issue of BookPage.
What sure-to-be bestsellers are you most looking forward to?
This expanded version of the popular feature from the print edition of BookPage shares the release dates for some of the guaranteed blockbusters hitting shelves in June.
Which June release are you most looking forward to? Tell us in the comments.
The Kingdom by Clive Cussler
Cussler delivers another installment in the Fargo Adventure series, about husband-and-wife team Sam and Remi Fargo. This adventure takes them to to Tibet, Nepal, Bulgaria, India and China
Theodore Boone: The Abduction by John Grisham
I loved Grisham's first novel about kid lawyer Theo Boone. This new book is no less thrilling. The excitement grips readers from the very first page, when Theo’s friend April is abducted in the middle of the night—and it’s up to Theo to figure out what happened. Who says a 13-year-old can’t investigate a crime better than the police?
State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
BookPage editors liked State of Wonder so much we made an interview with Patchett our June cover story. Set deep in the heart of the Amazonian jungle, State of Wonder tells the story of Dr. Marina Singh, a research scientist with a pharmaceutical company dispatched to Brazil to track down her former mentor, Dr. Annick Swenson.
Hit List by Laurell K. Hamilton
Hit List is the 21st installment in author Laurell K. Hamilton’s long running series featuring Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter. This latest in the popular series is an interesting combo of paranormal, thriller, mystery and layered character study.
One Summer by David Baldacci
Grand Central, $25.99
Think you know David Baldacci, the thriller bestseller? Think again. One Summer, a giant departure from his adventure genre, is a story about love, family and moving forward in the face of tragedy. But lucky for us, the novel is written with the same fast pace as Baldacci’s razor-sharp thrillers.
Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares
Random House, $25
In her best-selling Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series for teens, Ann Brashares wrote about a remarkable friendship shared by four very different girls. She reunites the beloved characters in a new novel for adults, Sisterhood Everlasting.
Against All Enemies by Tom Clancy
In an exciting new page-turner, Tom Clancy introduces Max Moore, an ex-Navy SEAL who is left alone in Pakistan after a bombing kills his CIA team members.
Carte Blanche by Jeffery Deaver
Simon & Schuster, $26.99
Ian Fleming Publications chose Jeffery Deaver to write a new thriller about James Bond.
Folly Beach by Dorothea Benton Frank
In Frank's latest Lowcountry tale, a woman returns to the past to find her future in an enchanting story of loss, acceptance and love.
Fallen by Karin Slaughter
Police officer Faith Mitchell and her partner, Will Trent, are left with questions—and an investigation—when Faith's mother's house is found with a dead man in the laundry room and a hostage in the bedroom.
Now You See Her by James Patterson
Little, Brown, $27.99
In Patterson's latest thriller, a woman with a seemingly perfect life has been living a lie—and now it's time to confront the evils of the past.
This expanded version of the popular feature from the print edition of BookPage shares the release dates for some of the guaranteed blockbusters hitting shelves in June. Which June release are you most looking forward to? Tell us in the comments.
The Passage By Justin Cronin
The buzz book of the summer, this is the beginning of a trilogy set in a bleak future. Read our interview with Cronin.
The Lion By Nelson DeMille
Grand Central, $27.99
Special agent John Corey returns to track—and kill—a Libyan terrorist (known as “The Lion”) in DeMille’s sequel to The Lion’s Game.
Death Echo By Elizabeth Lowell
Two special ops agents are drawn together as they investigate a global conspiracy.
Uncharted TerriTORI By Tori Spelling
More candid reflections on celebrity life in Hollywood from wife, mother and TV fixture Tori Spelling.
Imperial Bedrooms By Bret Easton Ellis
The author of Less than Zero returns with another chilling take on American life—about a screenwriter who must confront personal demons.
Frankenstein: Lost Souls By Dean Koontz
Koontz's take on one of the classic scary stories of all time is haunting, timely and fierce.
Sizzling Sixteen By Janet Evanovich
St. Martin’s, $27.99
Evanovich’s 16th novel featuring spunky New Jersey bounty hunter Stephanie Plum is sure to be another sassy, sizzling romp.
Family Ties By Danielle Steel
A woman fights to escape a sociopath who has her under his control in Steel's thrilling new novel.