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.
In her review, Becky Ohlsen described it as "no ordinary coming-of-age novel. Or rather, it is ordinary, in the sense of being universal, even though the story’s primary setting will strike most readers as exotic and unfamiliar."
To learn more about the story, which follows Kimberly Chang through 20 years of her life, watch Kwok describe it in her own words in the book trailer below. Here's an excerpt: "It's basically a story about loss of innocence, it's about overcoming hardships. . . but at its core, it's a love story."
If you're interested in the behind-the-scenes life of an author, Kwok keeps a funny and informative blog. ("And hotels will give you stuff, like bottles of wine and extra flowers and chocolates. At one hotel, I found a copy of my book. ‘That’s a strange gift,’ I thought, ‘I already have a copy of my book.’")
Abby, our fiction editor, has expressed a lot of excitement for this novel, and I personally can't wait to read it. To give you an idea of the buzz it's already built up, consider this: I'm #9 out of 21 holds at the Nashville Public Library.
Have you read Girl in Translation? Is it worth the hype?
Ice Cold is Tess Gerritsen's eighth book in the Rizzoli & Isles crime series, and if the trailer is any indication, this book will be creepy, adrenaline-pumping and a page-turner.
The novel follows Boston ME Maura Isles to the seemingly abandoned town of Kingdom Come, where she and some friends are stranded in a blizzard. Abandoned houses—with food still on the tables—are suspicious, and the group gets the feeling that someone is lurking in the darkness. After Maura's body is found in a ravine, homicide detective Jane Rizzoli comes to investigate the town's "twisted history". . .
Will you read Ice Cold, out June 29 from Ballantine? An icy thriller sounds about perfect for the heat of summer. . . and just in time for TNT's new Rizzoli & Isles series.
Also in BookPage: Browse our Tess Gerritsen archives.
Those of you who read Kate's interview with Neil Gaiman in honor of National Library Week will be happy to hear that we have some more information from the prolific author: background on his latest project, Instructions, a picture book for all ages.
Before you read Gaiman's comments, you have to watch this book trailer—one of my favorites in recent memory. In it, Gaiman reads the whole book out loud, and illustrator Charles Vess's illustrations come alive:
Kate Pritchard: How did Instructions come about? I know the poem was one you had written a while back, but how did it become a picture book?
Neil Gaiman: It became a picture book because Blueberry Girl came out, hit the New York Times bestseller list, much to everyone’s astonishment, and became a beloved book in no time flat. [Laughs]
Normally it takes a very long time for these things to happen, and Charles Vess and I are looking around and faintly reeling. And our editor, the lovely Elise Howard, said, you know, I would love another book from you guys. Now, bear in mind that Blueberry Girl had taken Charles Vess four or five years to draw and paint, he’d been working on it for years and years. So I thought, oh good, we’ve got another book for 2013 then. And Charles and I started talking and he suggested, I think, doing a book of my poetry. And I said, well, you know what, doing the book poetry, I’m not sure, and I’m not sure we’re ready for that yet. I’m sure one day we’ll do a collected poetry of Neil Gaiman, but why don’t we just take a poem that everybody loves, like "Instructions," and do that? And Charles said OK, and Elise said, what a great idea, and I figured we had a book for 2013.
And, it was magic. Absolutely, absolutely magic. The pages just started flooding in. A few weeks later, there’s all the pencils, and I’m going, who is this man and what has he done with Charles Vess? And then he painted them, and then we had a book! And now it’s out, and it’s out a year after Blueberry Girl, which means it took Charles something ridiculous like four months to do. Which is only mad, when you know that it took Charles, working on Blueberry Girl, years and years and years and years and years. And it’s just . . . I kind of think of it as a strange bonus from the gods, you know, that Instructions shouldn’t be out for years, but it is. And Charles just got inspired, and did it. So that’s why it exists, and I’m so happy with it.
Also in BookPage: Like what you read? Browse our Neil Gaiman archives.
Will you read Instructions, now on sale?
For today's highlight of book trailers, I've decided to focus on nonfiction—Jason Turbow's hilarious must-read for baseball fans: The Baseball Codes: Beanballs, Sign Stealing, and Bench-Clearing Brawls: The Unwritten Rules of America's Pastime (love that complete title) and First Brother-in-Law Craig Robinson's anticipated memoir, A Game of Character.
You can get the inside scoop on the following dilemmas in Turbow's book, which is covered in our April baseball roundup: How does a pitcher know when to hit a batter? How does a runner know when it’s acceptable to bulldog the catcher? Should a ballplayer bring his wife to the bar at the team’s hotel? The trailer definitely captures the fun and upbeat tone of the book:
A Game of Character goes on sale today, and BookPage reviewer Pete Croatto writes that the book is "a combination of autobiography, motivational handbook and presidential campaign log." Although there is motivational prose (complete with exclamation points) that will ensure Robinson's spot "on the corporate speaker circuit," Croatto assures us that this memoir is really a compelling tale of determination and principles. Here's a preview:
Have you seen any good book trailers lately?
Dean King is known for his impeccably researched nonfiction books, such as 2004's Skeletons on the Zahara: A True Story of Survival. His latest work, Unbound, tackles the "Long March," the Red Army's 4,000-mile walk in 1934. King focuses on the 30 women who took part in the journey, and for research, he traveled the length of the Long March himself and talked to survivors.
Have you seen any good book trailers today?
We're running a roundup of historical fiction titles in the April edition of BookPage. The plots move from Renaissance Italy to 16th-century England, and feature "struggling artists and merciless monarchs, dysfunctional families and doubt-wracked lovers," writes contributor Julie Hale.
Two of the four books in the roundup come out this week: Daughters of the Witching Hill by Mary Sharratt (out tomorrow) and Claude & Camille: A Novel of Monet by Stephanie Cowell (out today). And, lucky for us, there are book trailers of each book to compliment our reviews.
Daughters of the Witching Hill takes place in Lancashire, England, in 1612, as two women are targeted in a witch hunt. Hale raves: "Striking just the right balance between the demands of fact and the allure of a good story, [Sharratt] has produced a novel that’s both convincing and compelling. . . literally—a spellbinding book." In the trailer below, Sharratt tells the true story of the witches of Pendle Hill.
Claude & Camille: A Novel of Monet tells the story of Monet and his wife and inspiration, Camille Doncieux. In her review, Hale writes that Cowell fleshes out "the artist’s biographical outline with fresh imagery, well-paced dramatic scenes and carefully calculated dialogue." Look at some of Monet's gorgeous paintings in this trailer:
Have you seen any memorable book trailers lately? Do you have a great historical fiction title to recommend?