Way back in November, Abby wrote a "What We're Reading Wednesday" post about Let's Take the Long Way Home, Gail Caldwell's memoir of friendship, dogs and grief. "Read it," she wrote, "and try not to weep."
I finally read the memoir over the weekend, and I'll second Abby's request (confession: I tried not to weep, and I failed). Caldwell writes beautifully about her friendship with writer Caroline Knapp, who died in 2002 from lung cancer. In what will surely become one of the memoir's most frequently-quoted lines, Caldwell writes, "Finding Caroline was like placing a personal ad for an imaginary friend, then having her show up at your door funnier and better than you had conceived."
Let's Take the Long Way Home comes out three weeks from today. While you wait for the release, watch this just-released trailer from Random House, which provides an overview of the women's friendship and includes a clip of Caldwell reading an excerpt from the book:
Are you interested in Let's Take the Long Way Home?
Do you have a favorite memoir about friendship?
Super Sad True Love Story is Gary Shteyngart's third novel (after The Russian Debutante’s Handbook and Absurdistan), and it is "scary but exhilarating," according to BookPage contributor Alden Mudge. Alden interviewed the author for our August print edition, and we'll post that conversation in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, check out this hilarious trailer for the book—featuring cameos by James Franco, Jay McInerney, Mary Gaitskill and others:
We wondered how Shteyngart got such a big crew of superstars to appear in his book trailer, so we asked Jynne Martin, Associate Director of Publicity at Random House, to give us the dirt. She wrote:
Gary had cabin fever this past winter and wrote the original script in January. He wrote in all the funny cameos—James Franco, Mary Gaitskill et al—and then we just had our fingers crossed that everyone would find the script as funny as we did. Amazingly everyone in the all-star cast immediately said yes, except Salman Rushdie who had scheduling conflicts, so the moment of Gary asking Salman if he writes his books in Indian is forever lost to the imagination. It was filmed this spring in the Random House offices and in Gary's actual NYC apartment. The actual footage we filmed is far more extensive than the 5 minute book trailer, and it was a terribly sad process trying to edit down so many funny moments to fit into a short trailer. Happily we'll be releasing some of the outtakes in the coming weeks, including Gary teaching James Franco how to roll a joint, and Gary discussing his "relations" with Simon AND with Schuster.
Will you read Super Sad True Love Story (on sale July 27)?
Black Mamba Boy, out August 3 from FSG, is about a young boy's incredible quest. Here's more from the publisher:
Yemen, 1935. Jama is a “market boy,” a half-feral child scavenging with his friends in the dusty streets of a great seaport. For Jama, life is a thrilling carnival, at least when he can fill his belly. When his mother—alternately raging and loving—dies young, she leaves him only an amulet stuffed with one hundred rupees. Jama decides to spend her life’s meager savings on a search for his never-seen father. . .
Does Black Mamba Boy sound interesting to you? (In August, look for a review on BookPage.com.)
What book trailers are you buzzing about today?
Chevy Stevens' debut novel Still Missing hits stores a week from today. For the book trailer, St. Martin's did something a little different: recorded reactions from early supporters of the book (mostly booksellers). As they rave about Stevens' ability to shift back and forth between two voices—the same character, at two very different points in her life—they also provide a plot description:
My experience reading Still Missing was similar to the first recorded voice. Abby and Trisha brought me a review copy from BEA, and I ended up reading the book in one sleepless night! In the July 6 edition of BookPageXTRA, we're featuring a Q&A with author Chevy Stevens. Here's a one-line teaser from the interview:
"I’ve always been attracted to stories about twisted family dynamics and survivors of crime."
Intrigued? Click here to sign up for XTRA if you're not already on our mailing list, because content on this novel will appear there first.
Just for fun, here's another Still Missing book trailer from Stevens' Australian publisher Allen & Unwin:
Are you interested in this book?
Sloane Crosley's first book, a collection of essays titled I Was Told There’d Be Cake, because a surprise hit and a New York Times bestseller. How Did You Get This Number, Crosley's sophomore effort, "is decidedly more grown-up," writes Katie Lewis in a review for BookPage. "It matures, say, from a fabric scrunchie to a sleek hair clasp without losing any of the can-you-believe-this-is-actually-happening-to-me moments."
There are a couple of trailers available for the book, which was released last week. Watch, and let us know: Will you read How Did You Get This Number?
When Trisha sent me the link to this trailer, she joked that "we're draining the blood from the vamp craze." (Amish vampires, anyone?) Still, seems like the trend isn't going anywhere, and Blood Oath author Christopher Farnsworth got a major nod when Janet Maslin mentioned his novel in a New York Times roundup of guilt-free reads. As you might guess from the book's tagline ("The Ultimate Secret. The Ultimate Agent. The President's Vampire."), Blood Oath is about the President's undead protector. Not hooked yet? Take a look at the dramatic trailer:
Will you read Blood Oath? What book trailers are you buzzing about this week?
Memoirs about addiction—whether to alcohol, shopping or anything else—will likely never go out of style. Case in point? Bill Clegg's Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man, published yesterday, sold to Little Brown for a reported $350,000 and is already generating considerable buzz (including a lengthy profile in the New York Times).
Some brief background: Clegg led a double life as a successful literary agent and a crack addict until 2005, when he stopped showing up at the office and eventually checked into rehab. Five years later, Clegg is back to work at William Morris Endeavor Entertainment.
Abby, our Fiction Editor, worked in publishing in New York before coming to BookPage, and she says Clegg’s descent into drug addiction—and triumphant return to the publishing world—is something everyone in New York was talking about, long before the memoir was published. She devoured our galley copy of Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man the minute it arrived, and she said it’s a "heart-wrenching, shocking and powerful" memoir—but it’s not for the faint of heart.
Take a preview in the book trailer below . . . will you check out Portrait of an Addict?
Have you seen any great book trailers this week?
Everything Lovely, Effortless, Safe, a debut novel about a pastor's wife-turned-aspiring Hollywood actress, is filled with such precision and grace that author Jenny Hollowell seems like a veteran, according to BookPage reviewer Kari Edgens.
The novel comes out a week from today, but you can get a preview now in the book trailer below, which includes an excerpt from chapter 43 (don't let that number scare you off; the novel's 256 pages):
Also take a look at Edgens' review of this "engrossing read on the obsessive nature of celebrity."
Will you read Everything Lovely, Effortless, Safe? Can you recommend any other book trailers?
Just out of curiosity, how many Book Case readers took off work today to read The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest? (Or maybe you're reading under your desk right now—or, most likely, watching the clock tick down until you can go home and read.) In any case, Happy Book Release Day! Judging from comments I've seen on this blog, many of you are very excited about this day. As Charles McGrath wrote in a lengthy article about Stieg Larsson in the New York Times,
Except for “Harry Potter,” Americans haven’t been so eager for a book since the early 1840s, when they thronged the docks in New York, hailing incoming ships for news of Little Nell in Charles Dickens’s “Old Curiosity Shop.”
Has anyone had a chance to start Hornet's Nest? What do you think? (No spoilers, please!)
Since today's Trailer Tuesday, it seems like a perfect time to write about the 2010 Moby Awards, which on Thursday will recognize the best and worst book trailers produced between April '09 and April '10.
A panel of judges will award prizes in the following categories: Best Big Budget Book Trailer; Best Low Budget Book Trailer; Best Cameo in a Book Trailer; Best Author Appearance in a Book Trailer; and Least Likely to Actually Sell the Book.
You can view the complete list of finalists (and watch the trailers) at this link. I don't think anyone will be surprised that two mash-ups from Quirk Books made the list—Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Dawn of the Dreadfuls (one of our first Trailer Tuesday selections) and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.
The trailer for Lowboy by John Wray (a finalist for Best Cameo) had me cracking up at my desk. Check it out:
What's your favorite out of the Moby finalists? On Friday morning, I'll do a follow-up post on the winners.