Page to Screen, May 31, 2019 | Book Pulse

Big names lead book adaptations for the week. More summer reading arrives. Book jackets take the spotlight. Mindy Kaling gets focused attention. Tony Robbins's next book is canceled and Moby cancels his book tour.

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Page to Screen

The adaptations debuting today and through the week read like the bestseller list: Gaiman, Pratchett, Hill, and Atwood. Add to that iconic comics and an Austen re-make.

May 31:

Good Omens, based on Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett (William Morrow: Harper). Reviews | Trailer.

Swamp Thing, based on the comic. Reviews (scroll down) | Trailer.

Bad Blood, based on Bad Blood (Business or Blood TV Tie-in): Business or Blood: Mafia Boss Vito Rizzuto's Last War by Peter Edwards, Antonio Nicaso (Vintage: Random House). No reviews | Trailer.

June 1:

Pride & Prejudice: Atlanta, inspired by the Jane Austen novel. No reviews | Trailer.

June 2:

NOS4A2, based on NOS4A2 by Joe Hill (William Morrow: Harper). Reviews | Trailer.

Fear the Walking Dead, based on the comic. No reviews | Trailer.

June 5:

The Handmaid's Tale, based on The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (HMH). Reviews (scroll down) | Trailer.


Lyndsay Faye reviews Westside by W.M. Akers (Harper Voyager) for the NYT: "superb ... a novel steeped in existentialism while delivering gun molls, drunken wastrels and purebred thugs." Also, Sarah Perry reviews The Poison Bed by Elizabeth Fremantle (Pegasus: W.W. Norton): "engaging ... has the vivid, cleverly constructed and always faintly unreal quality of a stage set." Tina Brown reviews The Plaza: The Secret Life of America's Most Famous Hotel by Julie Satow (Twelve: Hachette): "To want to own it meant you had to dream big, and big dreams have a way of becoming big nightmares." Dream Sequence by Adam Foulds (FSG: Macmillan; LJ starred review): "succeeds as a narrative thanks to Foulds’s prose. He doesn’t waste a single word, is frequently very funny, insightful and surprising." Prince of Monkeys by Nnamdi Ehirim (Counterpoint): "Nnamdi Ehirim’s first novel shows us a Nigeria that exists in both fantastic and tragic terms." The Drama of Celebrity by Sharon Marcus (Princeton): "inventive, stimulating." At Briarwood School for Girls by Michael Knight (Atlantic Monthly Press): "it floats from event to event without ever raising its pulse." Out of the Shadows: Reimagining Gay Men's Lives by Walt Odets (FSG: Macmillan): "argues that the transformational effects of recent political and judicial victories on the lives of gay men have been greatly exaggerated." Lake of the Ozarks: My Surreal Summers in a Vanishing America  by Bill Geist (Grand Central: Hachette): "charming ... he has perfectly captured what middle-class life was like in the midcentury American Midwest." The Fox and Dr. Shimamura by Christine Wunnicke, translated by Philip Boehm (New Directions: W.W. Norton): "[a] glittering, absurdist jewel of a novel." Cult of the Dead Cow: How the Original Hacking Supergroup Might Just Save the World by Joseph Menn (PublicAffairs: Hachette): "It is primarily a work of storytelling and as that, it stands as an invaluable resource." Original Prin by Randy Boyagoda (Biblioasis): "an original animal, a comedy of literary and cultural references." Finally, the paper has reviews of "Two Novels About Rape, Murder and Female Victims."

The Washington Post reviews Don't Read Poetry: A Book About How to Read Poems by Stephanie Burt (Basic Books: Hachette; LJ starred review): "an unremitting geyser of praise for the many different ways a poem can engage readers." Also, The Grandest Madison Square Garden: Art, Scandal, and Architecture in Gilded Age New York by Suzanne Hinman (Syracuse; LJ starred review): "the story of Madison Square Garden and the men who made it is an interesting one, even if occasionally in the most prurient of fashions."

The L.A. Times reviews Angola Janga: Kingdom of Runaway Slaves by Marcelo D'Salete (Fantagraphics: W.W. Norton): "the art is unequivocal in communicating this history ... Awe-inspiring or viciously ugly, it’s all part of D’Salete’s suggested history." Also, The Dreamt Land: Chasing Water and Dust Across California by Mark Arax (Knopf): "makes a riveting case."

NPR reviews Bezimena by Nina Bunjevac (Fantagraphics: W.W. Norton): "challenging and disturbing."

Briefly Noted

USA Today picks 20 books for summer reading. On that note, Vulture asks "What Is a Beach Read, and Why?"

Esquire picks the "Best Books of Summer 2019."

BookMarks gathers "The Best Reviewed Books of the Week."

The NYT recommends 9 books for the week. showcases "All the New Young Adult SFF Coming Out in June."

PBS NewsHour picks The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin (Orbit: Hachette: LJ starred review) as its June book club pick, a joint undertaking with the NYT.

Bustle offers 11 books to read after watching Fleabag.

The NYT re-publishes summer essay by Toni Morrison, "Cooking Out."

Time excerpts Waking the Witch: Reflections on Women, Magic, and Power by Pam Grossman (Gallery Books: S. & S.; LJ starred review).

In forthcoming book news, Nikki Haley's memoir gets a title: With All Due Respect: Defending America with Grit and Grace. Axios has a first look.

Vanity Fair profiles author and actress Mindy Kaling. USA Today has more on Kaling.

Tommy Orange answers the "Books that made me" questions for The Guardian. George Will goes "By the Book" for the NYT.

Electric Lit interviews Yuval Taylor, Zora and Langston: A Story of Friendship and Betrayal (W.W. Norton).

The Guardian interviews Arundhati Roy.

Electric Lit considers book covers, UK and US style.

LitHub picks "The 13 Best Book Covers of May."

Entertainment Weekly reports that Tony Robbins's next book is being canceled "in the wake of misconduct allegations."

Vanity Fair has more on Moby, his memoir, and how he was "Undone by a Powerful Combination of Fact-Checking and Instagram."

The NYT features Walt Whitman's bicentennial with reports on exhibitions and "10 Glorious Relics."

Publishing Perspectives reports on BookExpo. Shelf Awareness reports on BookExpo as well, including "Storytelling in 2020 and Beyond."

Claus von Bülow has died. The NYT has an obituary.

Authors on Air

Normal People by Sally Rooney (Hogarth: Random House; LJ starred review) is headed to Hulu. Entertainment Weekly reports. Vanity Fair has more on the adaptation.

Entertainment Weekly writes that George R.R. Martin told the GOT showrunners that he planned for Bran to be king.

PBS NewsHour features Daniel Mendelsohn, An Odyssey: A Father, a Son, and an Epic (Knopf; LJ starred review).

Deadline Hollywood reports that screen rights have sold for The Garden of Abdul Gasazi by Chris Van Allsburg and also for Jonathan Stroud’s The Bartimaeus Sequence.

The Kitchen gets a trailer.

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