When Trisha talked to Anne Fortier at BEA, she asked for a one-sentence description of her debut novel, Juliet. The answer? "It's a sequel to Romeo & Juliet!" [Click here to view the complete conversation, and watch other author interviews on the BookPage YouTube channel.]
More specifically, Juliet is about a woman who journeys to Siena in search of her inheritance; discovers she might be a descendant of the woman who inspired Shakespeare's Juliet; and embarks on a thrilling quest. Find out more in the book trailer:
In the September issue of BookPage, reviewer Lizza Connor Bowen praises Fortier’s "razor-sharp framing of time and insight into her characters." She also says the novel is a "fast-paced, sumptuous read."
Is Juliet a candidate for your TBR stack?
If so, you won't be alone. This book has already received a lot of attention—and it doesn't come out in the United States until August 24. Foreign rights have sold in 32 territories. It's a bestseller in Denmark, the author's home country, and Germany. And Universal bought the film rights, with James Mangold and Kathy Contrad (Walk the Line) attached to produce and direct. Not bad for a first-time author!
Grand Central Publishing imprint Twelve publishes only twelve books a year, and Sharon Pomerantz's Rich Boy is the sole novel of 2010. If that distinction doesn't convince you of this story's specialness, how about the following excerpt from David Madden's review in BookPage?
At 528 pages, Rich Boy is a Space Age version of a Victorian family saga, with the great difference being that the family is not upper-class English but Philadelphia Jewish. Perhaps it is more apt to call this novel an inflated Great Gatsby, with Robert Vishniak climbing the socio-capitalist ladder all the way up and into the Bernie Madoff Manhattan era. Readers will enjoy this journey through the labyrinth of episodes of class conflicts, sexual escapades, financial schemes and, of course, romantic love that Pomerantz spent a decade constructing. It is not to be missed.
Will you read Rich Boy?
Mary Roach has written about the history and science of sex (Bonk), cadavers (Stiff) and the afterlife (Spook). What do you think could possibly interest her next? Why, what happens to people in space, of course.
Packing for Mars came out yesterday, and Roach wrote on her website that Norton's book trailer "captures the essence of Packing for Mars . . . It made me laugh out loud, something my own books only rarely do." (It made me think that I would most certainly not like to know what my body odor smells like after 10 days in a space suit.)
Also, don't miss Roach's funny essay on the trickiness of researching cadavers, or an interview about Packing for Mars (click here to find out what she would bring on a trip to outer space).
Will book trailers are you buzzing about today?
Just yesterday, Scholastic unveiled the book trailer for Mockingjay, the final book in Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games trilogy:
There's not any new information here for Hunger Games fans, but the trailer does feed the fire of excitement that's building toward the August 24 release. I like that foreboding background music!
Also on The Book Case: Read our past coverage of Suzanne Collins and The Hunger Games.
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?