Paula McLain's The Paris Wife was one of the standouts among the crop of books starring the wives of famous men, a trend that launched with Nancy Horan's 2007 bestseller Loving Frank. On July 7, McLain's third novel will be published by Ballantine—but this time, she's taking on the life of a woman who can stand on her own: aviator Beryl Markham.
Markham was the first woman to complete a solo flight across the Atlantic, a feat she chronicled in her 1942 memoir West with the Night. According to early reports, McLain will also delve into Markham's rivalry with Out of Africa author Karen Blixen.
Any Paris Wife fans looking forward to this one?
Photo by Stephen Cutri.
If you need any proof that books aren't dead, just look to the children's and young adult industry, which continues to grow and dominate bestseller charts for adults and young readers alike.
To celebrate this "golden age" of children's and YA books, Time Magazine has compiled a list of all-time classics, both old and new. The children's list includes favorites such as The Giving Tree and Make Way for Ducklings, and my own personal favorite, Miss Rumphius. Check out the full list of 100 here, and vote for your favorite.
The young adult list is a little . . . let's say confusing, and we're not the only ones who feel this way. Books like Wonder—which is middle grade, not young adult—share space with A Monster Calls, and it's almost unfathomable to see Twilight and To Kill a Mockingbird on the same list. See the full 100 here.
Readers, what do you think?
The global phenomenon that is Harry Potter will never, ever end. (Insert maniacal laughter here.) A new deluxe, fully illustrated, full-color edition of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is coming on October 6, 2015, from Scholastic.
It will be illustrated by Kate Greenaway Medal winner Jim Kay (A Monster Calls) and will be the first fully illustrated HP book. Scholastic recently released four new images from the book. Check out Kay's Ron, Hagrid, Hermione and Draco:
Elizabeth Gilbert found massive success with her memoir Eat, Pray, Love, and now the writer wants to share some of her magic with readers. Today, Riverhead Books announced that Gilbert will be releasing a book on creativity titled Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear in September 2015. A press release from Riverhead states that with Big Magic, “Gilbert invites readers to embrace curiosity and to let go of needless suffering. She discusses the attitudes, approaches, and habits that allow the most creative life possible.”
This sounds like a promising book, and the cover is pretty cool, too! Check out how they made it in this video.
Are you looking forward to it?
Have you been staring at a blank page for a few days (or years), waiting for literary inspiration to strike? Good news! Through the end of January, Penguin Random House is hosting a series on their blog Biographile that features essays by successful authors on their writing process and habits.
In a press release, Penguin Random House states that "the series showcases original essays from more than forty fiction and nonfiction authors who share insights, tips, and poignant personal stories on how to get that first sentence on paper." Contributing authors include Maggie Shipstead, whose novel Astonish Me is our Top Pick for Book Clubs this month; Andy Weir, whose debut The Martian made him one of the breakout authors of 2014; David Levithan and many more. Check it out here and get writing!
Ah, New Year’s resolutions. For me, they’re more like a five-day resolution. But not for Mark Zuckerberg! The Facebook founder has announced his resolution: He will read one new book every other week for the year of 2015.
However, unlike the rest of us, Zuckerberg currently has 215,798 (and counting) people keeping him on task. Zuckerberg has invited the entirety of the Facebook community to join him in an online book discussion. (It’s a Facebook page, natch). Zuckerberg says his online book club’s selections will “emphasize learning about new cultures, beliefs, histories and technologies.”
His first pick is The End of Power by Moisés Naím, and Zuckerberg’s chosen book might turn into a golden book as well—Perseus, The End of Power’s publisher, rushed into a new print run of the title after Amazon quickly sold out of available copies two days after Zuckerberg’s announcement. We look forward to seeing how this trend keeps up as the months roll by.
What do you think, readers? Will you be joining Zuckerberg in his Year of Books?
BookPage was saddened to hear of the death of Edward Herrmann due to cancer on Dec. 31. He was 71. Not only was Herrmann an excellent actor, he was the voice behind many beloved books, and he won numerous Earphone and Audie awards for his narration. His voice can be heard on audiobooks such as The Greater Journey, The John Updike Audio Collection, Isaac’s Storm, Unbroken and many more. Our audio reviewer, Sukey Howard, has noted that Tony-award winner Herrmann was a “master narrator,” with a voice that could bring listeners to tears as he read books such as The Boys in the Boat.
Herrmann brought his talents to the stage and screen, appearing in Broadway productions, films such as The Wolf of Wall Street and television shows. He is perhaps best known as the lovable and kind—if a bit reserved—patriarch on “Gilmore Girls.” His son, Rory Herrmann, said, "He was full of knowledge and kindness and goodness . . . He always wanted to share the great and beautiful things in life.” Herrmann’s kind voice will be missed.
Merry Christmas! Thought today might be a good time to let Stephen King's millions of readers (a group I've been a member of since my tweens) know that the unstoppable, prolific author (seriously, has anyone considered putting King and Joyce Carol Oates in a write-off?) has a new book, Finders Keepers, coming in June 2015. And it stars the same "winning trio" of detectives he introduced in his June 2014 release, Mr. Mercedes.
Another return to theme for King: The novel's antagonist is a "vengeful reader" who is upset that his favorite author, the Salinger-like John Rothstein, is no longer writing books. Shades of Misery, anyone?
Author photo by Sean Leonard.
If you tried to buy a copy of Pioneer Girl but couldn’t get the book in time for the holiday gift-giving season, you’re not alone. Demand for Laura Ingalls Wilder’s real-life story of growing up on the prairie outstripped supply, according to the book’s publisher, the South Dakota Historical Society Press. All major online book retailers currently list the autobiography as “out of stock.”
“We anticipated high demand, but sales of Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography have outpaced the most optimistic pre-publication estimates,” SDHSP marketing director Jennifer E. McIntyre tells BookPage. “We attribute this to continuing publicity, well-placed advertising and enthusiastic reviews. The South Dakota Historical Society Press is temporarily out of stock but will begin shipping again in mid-January.“
Wilder wrote the autobiography in 1929-30, but was unable to sell it to a publisher. She later adapted much of the material from the book for her fictional Little House series, which became a beloved literary phenomenon. Pioneer Girl was finally published for the first time in November, in a beautifully illustrated and meticulously annotated edition, edited by Wilder biographer Pamela Smith Hill. The book received glowing reviews from numerous national publications, including BookPage.
McIntyre advises readers to check www.pioneergirlproject.org for updates on the book’s availability.