Sunday, May 31, 2015

Events: BookExpo and BookCon 2015

Every year, thousands of people in the book business gather at the premier industry trade show, BookExpo.

This year’s event, held at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York, was expanded for two days afterward by the consumer-friendly BookCon.

 The BookExpo experience is all-books-all-the-time for three days or so. There are ticketed breakfasts and lunches where hundreds gather for a meal, free books and a chance to come face-to-face with authors.

Mostly, though, there are publishers. Hundreds of them. Their booths fill the Javits Center from one end to the other, and each is there to do one thing: showcase their newest, most exciting books to the mostly independent booksellers who come from near and far, far and wide, to see what they’ll be selling in the months to come.

The publishers who want to grab some real attention make advance copies available. Stacked up by the hundreds, or handed out at autographing sessions, these advance readers’ copies (ARCs if you’re into the lingo) can be like gold. And they go fast. It’s not uncommon to see people filling tote bags (also given away by publishers) with every kind of book: fiction, non-fiction, travel, romance, mystery, memoir, you name it.

In the aisles things move fast, so there’s little time for getting a sense of what a book is truly like before you take it. Often it’s the title or the author or the cover that compels you, and only when you get home do you know if you grabbed a diamond or a dud.

Every year, there’s at least one Big Book. This year, it seemed like there were two: City on Fire and Illuminae (both coming from Knopf in October). ARCs of these were readily available -- the piles were mountainous -- and I doubt one was left when BookExpo closed up shop.

There were authors galore this year, from names you don’t know (yet) to bestsellers to movie stars. Garth Risk Hallberg, author of City on Fire, signed copies. Mindy Kaling signed copies of her upcoming book. So did Julianne Moore. So did John Grisham. So did Brad Meltzer. Jonathan Franzen was there to talk about his upcoming novel, Purity. Lee Child, James Patterson, Nathan Lane, Judy Blume, Al Roker, Bernadette Peters, Jesse Eisenberg, Gregory Maguire, Brian Selznick, David Baldacci -- all were there, all with books coming out soon, along with hundreds of other authors, along with publicists, marketing people, editors, agents, and booksellers.

This year, BookExpo was held on a Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday and the next two days were filled with BookCon. While attendance at BookExpo is limited to people in the book trade, BookCon is open to the public. By 8:00 am on Saturday morning, there was an enormous line outside Javits, and the doors didn’t open until 10. I was blown away by the size of the crowd, which only grew as the opening bell ticked closer. BookExpo usually pulls in around 25,000 people, but that crowd is made up of every sort of person: author, editor, publicist, etcetera, with, in the end, probably a few thousand bookshop owners, librarians, bloggers and press, a good cross-section of the industry.

BookCon’s numbers, it seemed to me, were far greater -- and this was just people who attended. The massive crowd swarmed Javits, ducking in and out of booths, attending author events, schmoozing with fellow fans, and standing in line for autographs. I was impressed by the sheer number of people, as well as by the fact that these people love reading enough to buy BookCon tickets, fly or drive or train to New York, get up at dawn, weather the lines, and show up for their favorite authors while screaming like fans at a rock concert. They are true fans, and no matter what kind of books they love, they love them big-time. Anyone who doubts that people love to read just need to spend a few hours at BookCon -- and surely the people who make it to BookCon represent so very many more who couldn’t. These are the people writers write for, the people publishers publish for. In other words, for the people who trek to BookExpo, the BookCon crowd is pure gold. Together, these two events have become the center of the publishing universe. Next year, BookExpo will be in Chicago. No idea yet about BookCon -- but if you like books, get there. I’ll see you in the aisles.

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Saturday, May 30, 2015

Hollywood Quaking as Finke Turns to Fiction

As part of an agreement with Jay Penske, the owner of Variety and Women’s Wear Daily, over the purchase of Deadline Hollywood, the web site she began in 2006, lifelong journalist Nikki Finke can’t report on the entertainment industry for something like a decade. But it seems that Finke found a loophole: she’s going to write fiction about the entertainment industry.

When it begins publishing later this year, Hollywood Dementia, will charge readers between one and three dollars for access to a story. From the New York Times:

 “There is a lot of truth in fiction,” she said. “There are things I am going to be able to say in fiction that I can’t say in journalism right now.” She said there was an appetite on both sides and cited creative people in Hollywood who have no forum to air their stories on the industry, for fear of losing work, and readers who ate up the sometimes salacious details revealed by the hacked Sony emails. She has begun writing stories for the site, though she declined to reveal details about them. She has also been contacting other writers and said she has gathered dozens of potential contributors. In Hollywood, said Patrick Goldstein, a former Los Angeles Times film industry columnist who has known Ms. Finke for decades, people are “scared of their own shadows.” “I would say that everyone is secretly full of trepidation about what Nikki’s new site will be like,” he said. “Will it be literary short stories, or will it be fiction as a thin disguise for the truth?” 

The full piece is here.

Friday, May 29, 2015

The End of the Tour: Looking Back on David Foster Wallace

Back in 2010, I loved brilliant David Lipsky’s heartbreaking and intimate book based on the time he spent with David Foster Wallace near the end of the tour for Infinite Jest, the book that would make the young writer’s career.

It was 1996. Lipsky was on assignment for Rolling Stone. Wallace was in the process of becoming the next-big-thing. As Lipsky wrote:
I’m thirty years old, he’s thirty-four. We both have long hair .... this book runs from the minute I turn on the recorder, through five days of diners, arguments, on-ramps, friends, a reading, a faraway mall, his dogs, up to the last word David said to me.
Except, of course, it’s more than that. The portrait Lipsky shared is a barometer of his own fierce skill and powers of observation. It’s a powerful recollection of a fierce talent too quickly lost.

It’s a wonderful book.

With all of that in mind, I’m really looking forward to what I think might be an equally wonderful adaptation of that book. The End of the Tour would seem to have all the right stuff, with Jesse Eisenberg as David Lipsky and Jason Segal as the troubled author. Directed by James Ponsoldt (The Spectacular Now), the film opened at Sundance to stellar reviews. It will open to wider release July 31st, and I’ll in in that line. Meanwhile, the trailer is below.



Thursday, May 28, 2015

A Walk in the Woods Film Opens in September

There is something warm and woodsy and deeply filmic about Bill Bryson’s 1997 book A Walk in the Woods, a memoir of his own long walk along the Appalachian Trail.

January Magazine interviewed Bryson when the book first came out, prefacing our interview with an introduction:
The book is about his adventures along the Appalachian Trail, the mammoth American wilderness trail that runs over 2000 miles and through 14 eastern states. It's the longest continuous footpath in the world and snakes through some of the most renowned landscapes in the United States: the Smokey Mountains, Shenandoah National Park, the Great North Woods of Maine and the Berkshires. The Appalachian Trail is no one's idea of a walk in the woods: there are bears, moose, bobcats, rattlesnakes, poisonous plants... it's more than a stroll in the park.
A feature film based on the book opens in September. Robert Redford, Nick Nolte, Emma Thompson, Mary Steenburgen, Nick Offerman and Kristen Schaal star.

See the full piece here. January Magazine’s 1997 interview with Bryson is here.


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Third Time’s the Charm for League of Extraordinary Gentlemen?

Back in 2003, the film adaptation of Alan Moore’s steampunkish comic series, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, made for a notably awful film starring Sean Connery. Then it was developed as an unsuccessful Fox television series in 2013. But Tracking-Board is optimistic that a third comic reboot will see Fox getting lucky:
Perhaps, the third time’s a charm for THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN. After a lackluster feature film in 2003, and a failed attempt to kick off a TV series in 2013, 20th Century Fox and Davis Entertainment have decided to go back to the source, planning to reboot a potential franchise based on Alan Moore’s comic book series.
The critically and commercially successful comic book series follows Mina Murray, who is recruited by Campion Bond to assemble a league of other extraordinary individuals to protect the interests of the Empire. Captain Nemo, Allan Quatermain, Dr. Jekyll and Hawley Griffin, the Invisible Man team up with Murray to form an off-color group of outcasts that use their powers and skills to save the world from destruction. The award-winning series ran fifteen issues and two graphic novels. 
See the full piece here.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Non-Fiction: Fully Charged by Tom Rath

Tom Rath creates self-help books aimed at the Ted Talk generation. Millions of people have read -- and apparently benefited from -- Rath’s nine books to date including Eat Move Sleep, How Full Is Your Bucket and Strengths Based Leadership.

Newly out, Are You Fully Charged? (Silicon Guild) challenges you “to stop pursuing happiness and start creating meaning instead, lead you to rethink your daily interactions with the people who matter most, and show you how to put your own health first in order to be your best every day.” Rath sums up the premise early on:
When you are fully charged, you get more done. You have better interactions. Your mind is sharp, and your body is strong. On days when you are fully charged, you experience high levels of engagement and well-being. This charge carries forward, creating an upward cycle for those you care about.
Rath says that he and his team “reviewed countless articles and academic studies, and interviewed some of the world’s leading scientists. We identified more  than 2,600 ideas for improving daily experience.” As they worked through these various items, they discovered that “three key conditions differentiate days when you have a full charge from typical days.”

The three key conditions are as follows:

• Meaning: doing something that benefits another person
• Interactions: creating far more positive than negative moments
• Enrgy: making choices that improve your mental and physical health

Are You Fully Charged i filled with the positive forward moving energy that is Rath’s trademark. No matter what you do with the information in the book, you can’t help but feeling engaged and energized while reading. There’s a reason he’s sold so many books. This is well thought out, positive stuff. ◊

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Mr. Holmes Hit With Law Suit

Mr. Holmes, a film directed by Bill Condon and starring Ian McKellen and based on a book by Mitch Cullin has been hit with a lawsuit. From Entertainment Weekly:

The plot has thickened for Mr. Holmes, the upcoming film based on the later life of the world’s most famous detective, and not in a good way. The estate of Sherlock Holmes author Arthur Conan Doyle is suing Miramax, Roadside Attractions, director Bill Condon, author Mitch Cullin, and Penguin Random House for copyright infringement.
The film, starring Ian McKellen in the titular role, is focused on Sherlock Holmes’ later years as a retired man contemplating his life while getting involved in an unsolved mystery.
In the legal documents obtained by EW, it is stated that the first 50 of Conan Doyle’s short stories and novels are in the public domain, but the last 10 are still protected by copyright in the United States. Those stories are the ones that “develop the details of Holmes’ fictional retirement and change and develop the character of Holmes himself.” That’s a problem because the estate is asserting that Cullin’s book A Slight Trick of the Mind, which the film Mr. Holmes is based on, is based on these copyrighted stories.
The film is set for a July 17th release. Read the full story is here.


Homer’s Odyssey to Get Hunger Games Treatment

Circe Offering the Cup to Odysseus  (1891) 
by John William Waterhouse
It’s no secret that epic book-based franchises like Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and The Hunger Games did really, really well on the large screen. It’s no wonder that filmmakers continue looking for book-based series of movies that will slot in as simply and do as well as these earlier films. Enter Lionsgate’s adaptation of Homer’s epic poem, The Odyssey. From Collider:
This year, Lionsgate finds itself in the same position that Warner Bros. was in a few years back. Its golden goose franchise—The Hunger Games—is coming to an end, and the studio is trying to find ways to bolster up its slate. Given that Catching Fire and Mockingjay – Part 1 were the #1 and #2 movies, respectively, of 2013 and 2014, it’s certainly gonna hurt not to have that kind of revenue coming in next year. But the studio is doing all it can to get some new franchises going, and fresh off this morning’s news that Now You See Me 3 is already in development comes word that the studio’s upcoming adaptation of The Odyssey will span a number of films.
Read the full piece here.

Monday, May 25, 2015

This Just In… Strays by Jennifer Caloyeras

Sixteen-year-old Iris Moody has a problem controlling her temper -- but then, she has a lot to be angry about. Dead mother. Workaholic father. Dumped by her boyfriend. Failing English.

When a note in Iris’s journal is mistaken as a threat against her English teacher, she finds herself in trouble not only with school authorities but with the law.

In addition to summer school, dog-phobic Iris is sentenced to an entire summer of community service, rehabilitating troubled dogs. Iris believes she is nothing like Roman, the three-legged pit bull who is struggling to overcome his own dark past, not to mention the other humans in the program. But when Roman's life is on the line, Iris learns that counting on the help of others may be the only way to save him.

With sparkling prose and delightful humor, Jennifer Caloyeras’s novel beautifully portrays the human-animal bond.

You can order Strays here. Visit author Jennifer Caloyeras on the web here. ◊

This Just In... is a column that shares basic information on selected titles. Titles are included at the editor’s discretion and on a first come, first served basis or for a small fee. Want to see your new book included? Ordering details are here.


“All About the Bass” Parody Celebrates Books

A video created for a bookstore in the hamlet of Chilliwack, British Columbia has gone viral, including a push from Ellen Dengeres’ EllenNation.

A parody of “All About the Bass” by Megan Trainor, “All About the Books (No Kindle)” celebrates the written word. According to The Chilliwack Times, the video isn’t the first the production team has made for The Book Man, but it’s the first music video.
[Producer Emily] Hamel-Brisson said she was looking at what other book stores around North America do “that is really funky.” 
“We want The Book Man to not just be a book store but a place where people think of as cool and fresh and interesting,” she said. “It’s just something to promote the store and to get people who are creative out there doing something.”

Monday, May 18, 2015

Falling in Love With Books All Over Again

An elegant Tokyo bookstore helps readers fall back in love with the written word. From Medium:
… I was more than a little surprised when I recently entered the flagship Tokyo store of a multimedia chain called Tsutaya, and saw throngs of people eagerly crowding the magazine section. The store, in the Daikanyama district, felt like a testament to the continued power and relevance of the written word — a place where browsing, reading, and buying books and magazines was a popular and pleasurable experience.
It’s not just that Tsutaya feels more upscale than other bookstores. It’s that it celebrates words and books, and the people who read and write them, in a thoughtful, seductive, and ultra-contemporary way. 
Don’t get me wrong: This is a business, not a cultural institution. It sells books from 7:00 am till 2:00 am every day of the week, closing only to clean and restock. And it’s always packed. This first location has proved such a hit that another site has already opened in the Kanagawa area outside Tokyo, with a third outpost soon to debut in nearby Futakotamagawa district.
Read the full piece here.


Children’s Books: The Form That Evil Takes

There is no evil like that found in children’s books. Unrelenting, unapologetic, unrestrained and pure, the baddies in kid’s books don’t need any excuses and don’t seek to apologize. As a clan, they tend to be bad to the bone. In The Guardian, author William Sutcliffe notes that:
When writing for adults, every character, however malevolent, has to have a nuanced motivation behind the choices they make. Only when writing for children can you give full rein to pure, unadulterated wickedness. Children’s literature is filled with preposterously nasty people who are motivated by greed, sadism, vengeance and hatred.
Here is Sutcliff’s Top Ten list of ways to be bad in books for kids:
1. Kidnap
2. Hating Children
3. Killing the protagonist
4. Eating the Protagonist
5. Skinning the protagonists
6. Anarchism
7. Disliking Christmas
8. Sending children to bed with no dinner
9. Dictatorial tendencies
10. Being Spoilt
Clearly all of these require explanation. The full piece is here.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Trailer You’ve Been Waiting For: True Detective

Waiting for a preview glimpse of True Detective season two? Wait no more.

We’ve previously written about the new season here and here.


Monday, May 11, 2015

The Downside of Electronic Books

The amorphous nature of e-books is causing consumers some concern. This according to Michael Kozlowski, Editor-in-Chief of Good e-Reader. Complicated e-book licensing issues and the tenuous nature of some providers make faith in the format difficult to maintain.
It is my belief that consumers are losing confidence in e-books because so many stores are closing and taking their purchases with them. In other cases they are sick of all the Apple anti-trust and Amazon vs the world drama. Others are pissed they can’t loan out e-books to friends or find themselves locked into one specific ecosystem and can’t transfer their purchases to other phones they buy, due to DRM.
Major publishers are also reporting diminished sales when it comes to e-books. In a recent financial earnings report Simon & Schuster stated that e-book sales only increased by one percentage point in the last three months, while HarperCollins said sales were  down 3%.
In the last few years I have gravitated away from exclusively buying e-books and am buying print again. Apparently, I am not alone.  Nielsen BookScan, which tracks what readers are buying, found the number of paper books sold went up 2.4% last year.
You can see the full piece here.

Saturday, May 09, 2015

True Detective Debuts June 21st

The much anticipated second season of True Detective will begin airing Sunday June 21st at 9 pm.

In the first of eight episodes, a bizarre murder brings together three law-enforcement officers and a career criminal. Each of them must navigate a web of conspiracy and betrayal in the scorched landscapes of California.

Colin Farrell, Vince Vaughn, Rachel McAdams and Taylor Kitsch star. Written by series creator Nic Pizzolatto, the first two episodes were directed by Justin Lin.


This Just In… Orphan in America Author: Nanette L. Avery

Orphan in America follows three generations across vast distances and through the impact of a dark and unfamiliar episode of America’s past; the Orphan Train. 

Set in the 1800s, Orphan in America extends far beyond the genre of historical fiction. This odyssey begins with Alex, an innocent young boy, living in the slums of New York. Like thousands of other children who were transported from overcrowded cities on the Eastern Seaboard during the mid-1800s, Alex is removed from a life of poverty, put on the Orphan Train, and sent to start a new life in America’s heartland. But despite the best intentions of a project meant to improve children’s lives, Alex’s world is forever changed as he is snatched away from his loving yet impoverished parents. 

Alex is quick to see the advantages of adapting to the ways of the rugged pioneers of Missouri -- at least on the outside. But soon his life is intertwined with the tale of Will and Libby Piccard’s flight from rural England and their relationship with the powerful Cambridge family of Baltimore. 

Murder, intrigue, and misfortune collide, unraveling the relentless efforts by Alex’s father to reunite his family and the young boy caught up in a scheme of deception. Avery’s expressive language and fully realized staging enrich this literary work with an authenticity that brings the saga to life. 

You can order Orphan in America here. Visit author Nanette L. Avery on the web here. ◊

This Just In...
 is a column that shares basic information on selected titles. Titles are included at the editor’s discretion and on a first come, first served basis or for a small fee. Want to see your new book included? Ordering details are here.


Friday, May 08, 2015

This Just In… Autumn Quotes by Caroline Clemens

A Poetry collection displayed with care for the seasons of our lives. 

From our beginnings in Summer Love we follow ideas to the Spring Spirit in all of us. Maturity and wisdom blend for an adventure into Autumn Quotes, which then, finally, we arrive at Winter’s Fin. 

The tulip tree or Japanese Maple on the cover represents to me that burst of life some of us are lucky enough to be gifted, and in so doing we are ignited with endless energy for our pursuits. I often wondered why the tulip tree was my favorite spring blossom and now I know why.

You can order Autumn Quotes: Poetry For The Seasons of Our Lives here. Visit author Caroline Clemens on the web here. ◊

This Just In... is a column that shares basic information on selected titles. Titles are included at the editor’s discretion and on a first come, first served basis or for a small fee. Want to see your new book included? Ordering details are here.


Books for Kids Up, Celeb Memoirs Down

A recent article in The Guardian reports that, in the UK, there has been a “decline in biography and cookbook sales, while children’s literature in print” has risen by 10 per cent.

As the piece points out, there was a time when publishers knew all they had to do was sign up a big name and get the book out by Christmas. Recent data indicates those days are gone.

Overall in the UK, non-fiction was down, but books for kids were up across all categories:
Sales of children’s books in print were up 10% to £328m, defying expectations that under-18s would abandon paper books for screen reading.
Children’s fiction provided the industry’s biggest-selling book, John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars. The love story narrated by a 16-year-old cancer patient was turned into a Hollywood film and sold 900,000 paperbacks in 2014 – outselling the latest offerings from Lee Child, Kate Atkinson and Donna Tartt.
The full piece is here.


This Just In… Into the Vines by Kim Troike

Into the Vines is a novel of discovery, personal triumph and heroism. 

French Bleu, a vintage-jazz nightclub in Paris offers a reprieve to its inhabitants from death, illness and captivity. Olivier is a pilot who rescues stranded and desperate souls from famine and war torn areas of Africa, while Daniela, a young nurse, seeks that which is amiss in her own life. Brie, a strong woman, must find a destiny which awaits her own ambition. She celebrates a milestone birthday after encountering an illness, bringing grace and experience in her search for something more. Daniela dreamed. “I want to be as confident as Brie on a sunny day in Savannah in the summertime.” 

From the vineyard cooking school in the garden-like Loire Valley, where these three lives meet, to the streets of Paris, where fate brings blessings from angst and longing, Into the Vines revels in realism. 

You can order Into the Vines here. Visit author Kim Troike on the web here. ◊

This Just In...
 is a column that shares basic information on selected titles. Titles are included at the editor’s discretion and on a first come, first served basis or for a small fee. Want to see your new book included? Ordering details are here.


Thursday, May 07, 2015

Zeitgest Essential in Storytelling

She is, of course, aiming her comments at screenplays, but “storytelling guru” Bobette Buster has advice for anyone trying to tell a story in a compelling, meaningful way. In a piece for SSN called “How to Ignite Audience Word-of-Mouth Through Story, No Matter the Genre,” Buster writes:
Zeitgest is an essential component in storytelling. Zeitgeist is often translated as “spirit of the age.” But I read that Einstein once translated it as, really meaning “ the rotten nerve of the age.” (I prefer that definition.) We all feel the “rotten nerve of the age” – but most of us are too afraid to name it, or can’t yet find the word for what’s unsettling us. So, we turn to facts.
And, Buster says, genre has no bearing on these facts:
Stories work from zeitgeist word-of-mouth – the storyteller dares to speak the truth of our times in dangerous new ways. Genre does not matter. Only broadcasting the unspoken truth in an audacious way counts -- to the audience. 
Buster is taking part in the SSN Storyteller lecture series, “Deconstructing the Masters,” starting June 2. Click here for tickets and to learn more. She is the author of How to Tell Your Story So the World Listens (Do Book Company) and we all want to know about that.


This Just In… The Grace of Crows by Tracy Shawn

The Grace of Crows is an award-winning novel about how an anxiety-ridden woman finds happiness in the most unexpected way.

Tormented with irrational fear, Saylor Crawmore tries every cure: from self-help books and therapy to medication. Nothing has worked and she’s desperate for an answer. 

Along with Saylor’s anxiety, she must navigate the ongoing drama between the troubled generations of her family. Her aging mother’s narcissism, her teenage children’s compulsions, and her husband’s need to pretend everything is okay, all compound her debilitating fears. 

When Saylor discovers her childhood friend Billy, homeless and ignored since his teens, her world begins to shift. The encounter sparks Saylor’s journey to gain insight into her strange fears and helps her to forge the power to overcome them. 

You can order The Grace of Crows here. Visit author Tracy Shawn on the web here. ◊

This Just In...
 is a column that shares basic information on selected titles. Titles are included at the editor’s discretion and on a first come, first served basis or for a small fee. Want to see your new book included? Ordering details are here.


Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Alice Notley Wins $100,000 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize

Alice Notley has been awarded the 2015 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize. Established in 1986, the prize recognizes the outstanding lifetime achievement of a living U.S. poet. At $100,000, it is also one of the nation’s largest literary prizes.

The Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize is sponsored and administered by the Poetry Foundation who is also the publisher of Poetry magazine. The award will be presented, along with the Pegasus Award for Poetry Criticism, at a ceremony at the Poetry Foundation on Monday, June 8. The winner of the award for poetry criticism will be announced later this month.

Born in 1945, Alice Notley is recognized as one of America’s greatest living poets. From her Poetry Foundation bio:
She has long written in narrative and epic and genre-bending modes to discover new ways to explore the nature of the self and the social and cultural importance of disobedience. The artist Rudy Burckhardt once wrote that Notley may be “our present-day Homer.” 


News Corp. Head Gives Go Set a Watchman the Nod

The Telegraph reported it, but we’re not sure it’s news:
Robert Thomson, the head of News Corp., which owns Go Set a Watchman publisher HarperCollins, expects the novel to take the world by storm.
Maybe not the most unbiased reader that could be found?

It is probably bigger news that Barnes & Noble is planning a special event around Harper Lee’s debut novel, set for May 14. From The Wall Street Journal (another News Corp. vehicle, BTW):
… Barnes & Noble … said it will host a discussion of Ms. Lee’s debut novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” on May 14th at all of its 649 consumer stores nationwide. The novel, originally published in 1960, has sold more than 40 million copies worldwide, according to HarperCollins Publishers. HarperCollins, like The Wall Street Journal, is owned by News Corp.

“Go Set a Watchman” is set in the 1950s during a period of civil rights unrest in Alabama and features Scout, a key character in “To Kill a Mockingbird,” as an adult. “Go Set a Watchman” ranked No. 8 on Barnes & Noble’s best-seller list Wednesday morning.

HarperCollins earlier said it will print 2 million copies of the new novel, depending on orders. Barnes & Noble apparently wants to make sure it gets its fair share of sales. In addition to the book discussion on May 14, the book retailer is hosting a related movie discussion at all its stores on June 18, followed by a read-a-thon of Ms. Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel on July 13.
January Magazine has previously written about Go Set a Watchman here and here and here.