Book Geek Bulletin is a regular feature where we round up what’s going on in the world of literary culture and books—both here in Minnesota and around the world.
On September 30, 2015, actor Jack Black and three of his Goosebumps costars made a surprise visit to Richard R. Green Central Park Community School in Minneapolis, where students were watching a preview of the film. Goosebumps opens tomorrow, October 16, and stars Black as author R. L. Stine.
Marlon James, who was born in Jamaica but currently lives in the Twin Cities and teaches at Macalester College, has won the Man Booker Prize—one of the top honors in literature—for his novel A Brief History of Seven Killings. Read full coverage from the Star Tribune or the New York Times.
Ada Limón has been selected as a National Book Award finalist for her book Bright Dead Things, published by Milkweed Editions.
The free Twin Cities Book Festival takes place October 17, 2015, at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. There are plenty of exhibitors and events to choose from for kids, teens, and adults—here are just a few:
- 10:00 a.m., Middle Grade Headquarters: Star Wars Party with special guests Cecil Castellucci (The PLAIN Janes; Moving Target: A Princess Leia Adventure) and Daniel Wallace (DC Comics Year by Year; Star Wars: The New Essential Guide to Characters)
- 10:30 a.m., Rain Stage: Novels of the Midwest, a panel discussion with Lin Enger (The High Divide), Lauren Fox (Days of Awe), and Faith Sullivan (Good Night, Mr. Wodehouse)
- 11:15 a.m., Middle Grade Headquarters: John Flanagan presents The Tournament at Gorlan, the first book in his prequel series to the best-selling Ranger’s Apprentice books
- 1:30 p.m., Rain Stage: Author appearance by graphic novelist Craig Thompson (Habibi)
- 2:30 p.m., Children’s Pavilion: Book-O-Beards Photo Booth with children’s writer/illustrator duo Donald Lemke and Bob Lentz (Book-O-Beards: A Wearable Book)
Senator and Saturday Night Live alumnus Al Franken is looking for a publisher for a planned “‘psychological thriller’ about what it was like to have a life in comedy and then work hard to get to the nation’s capital to try to be productive—only to be met with gridlock and dysfunction.”
Alabama-based Keen Communications has acquired Adventure Publications of Cambridge, Minnesota, a 24-year-old publisher of books on the outdoors. The new company is called AdventureKEEN.
Amazon rolled out its Prime Now one-hour delivery service in the Twin Cities on October 8. The online retail giant opened a sorting facility in Shakopee this summer, and construction of a full-scale distribution center is currently underway nearby.
October 20, 2015, is publication day for Only What’s Necessary, a book collecting the best of Minneapolis-born artist Charles M. Schulz’s Peanuts comic strip along with rare archival and unpublished work, original art by photographer Geoff Spear, and contributions by high-profile book designer Chip Kidd and Diary of a Wimpy Kid author Jeff Kinney.
Welcome to Night Vale: A Novel, based on the podcast, also publishes October 20—and on October 25, series creators and book co-authors Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor will be at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul for the Talking Volumes series. Happy Halloween! You can purchase tickets online through Etix, by phone at 1-800-514-3849, or in person at the Fitzgerald box office. (A Fitz representative said last week that there were plenty of seats left but that they expected to come close to selling out by the day of the event.)
Milkweed Editions’ annual Book Lovers Ball, which this year celebrates the press’s 35th anniversary, will be held October 23, 2015, at the Mill City Museum. There is also an afterparty at the Nomad World Pub later that night, open to everyone, with a suggested donation of $10.
A June 2016 publication date has been released for Shadows of the Dark Crystal #1, the first novel based on the 1982 Jim Henson fantasy film The Dark Crystal, being written by Twin Cities author J. M. Lee.
Book deals recently announced by Publishers Lunch include:
- Since We Fell, a new thriller from author Dennis Lehane (Mystic River, Shutter Island)
- The Pigeon Tunnel: Stories from My Life, a memoir by author John Le Carré (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy) to be released simultaneously in print and audiobook in September 2016
- The Diabolic by S. J. Kincaid (Insignia series), an “action-adventure thriller set in space” described as a YA retelling of I, Claudius
- The Butchering Art, a history of 19th-century surgery and medicine by Dr. Lindsey Fitzharris, creator of The Chirurgeon’s Apprentice and host of the YouTube series Under the Knife (acquired by publisher Farrar, Straus & Giroux in a pre-empt)
Author, TV producer, and gender critic Jennifer Weiner has signed her first children’s book deal: a middle-grade trilogy with Simon & Schuster called The Littlest Bigfoot.
Swedish publisher Norstedts has announced that David Lagercrantz, author of The Girl in the Spider’s Web, will write two more novels in the Millennium series, based on the late Stieg Larsson’s original trilogy (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest).
Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, has has added a collection of rare Jack Kerouac material to its existing Kerouac archives.
Swedish writer Henning Mankell, best known for the Kurt Wallander series of detective novels, died October 5, 2015, at the age of 67 due to complications related to cancer. Mankell’s publishing partner, Dan Israel, has said that in order to protect the late author’s legacy, “It is out of the question that there would be other books featuring Wallander.”
According to the take-it-with-a-huge-grain-of-salt NY Post, singer Grace Jones has been getting attention for her behavior on the book tour for her book I’ll Never Write My Memoirs.
The 10th anniversary edition of Twilight, released October 6, 2015, included “surprise” bonus content—author Stephanie Meyer rewrote the story with the genders reversed, swapping Bella, Edward, and Jacob for Beau, Edythe, and Julie. Meyer appeared at New York Comic-Con on October 8, where she commented, “I want to say this is not a real book, and I am totally aware of this.”
The Nobel Prize for Literature was awarded October 8, 2015, to Belarussian author Svetlana Alexievich. The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences was awarded to Angus Deaton, author of The Great Escape: Health, Wealth and the Origins of Inequality.
The third book in Stephen King’s Bill Hodges trilogy, which so far has included Mr. Mercedes and Finders Keepers, is titled End of Watch and will be released in June 2016.
After a hiatus of almost 10 years, the Star Trek Strange New Worlds fanfiction contest is returning for 2016. Ten winners will have their stories published in a print and ebook anthology by longtime Star Trek publisher Simon & Schuster, and two additional winners will receive a package from S&S self-publishing company Archway Publishing. The deadline for submissions is January 15, 2016.
And Flavorwire profiled Memoranda, a point-and-click game inspired by the works of Japanese author Haruki Murakami that is currently seeking funding through Kickstarter.
Page to Screen
Film stills, a new poster, and an exclusive clip have been released for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part 2, which opens November 20, 2015. Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Liam Hemsworth were also featured on the cover of Entertainment Weekly.
The BBC has released a full trailer for the Sherlock Christmas special. As most fans are already aware, the special is set in the 19th century, rather than the 21st like the rest of the show.
The first trailer is also out for Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, based on the 2009 novel by Seth Grahame-Smith (in turn, of course, based on the 1813 novel by Jane Austen).
A featurette was released for Secret in Their Eyes, based on the Argentinian novel La pregunta de sus ojos (The Question in Their Eyes) by Eduardo Sacheri. The film, which opens November 20, stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Nicole Kidman, and Julia Roberts.
A voice recording, film clip, and other promotional material have been released for Room, based on the award-winning 2010 novel by Emma Donoghue. The film is getting a limited release this weekend and opens nationally on November 6.
Romance author Nicholas Sparks will produce a comedy for ABC that is “loosely based” on his own life since separating from his wife of 25 years. As Deadline notes, a TV series based on Sparks’ novel The Notebook, which was previously made into a 2004 film starring Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams, is also in development with the CW.
Screenwriter Mike Vukadinovich will write the adaptation of YA novel Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick for producers Channing Tatum and the Weinstein Company. The Weinsteins were also behind the movie based on Quick’s book The Silver Linings Playbook.
Game of Thrones author George R. R. Martin is developing a series with Cinemax based on his “werewolf noir” novella The Skin Trade. Kalinda Vazquez (Once Upon a Time) is set to write and executive produce. Read about Martin’s thoughts on the project on his blog, here.
A new trailer for The Shannara Chronicles, MTV’s series based on the fantasy books by Terry Brooks, debuted at New York Comic-Con.
Beasts of No Nation, a Netflix Original film based on the debut novel by Nigerian author, sociologist, and doctor Uzodinma Iweala, opens October 16, 2015.
And as noted up top, Goosebumps also opens October 16. Also in R. L. Stein news, the author recently confirmed that his Fear Street series is in development as a TV series produced by 20th Century Fox and Chenin Entertainment.