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Posts Tagged ‘Oprah’

Noah Baumbach May Adapt ‘The Corrections’

According to Deadline, filmmaker Noah Baumbach may adapt Jonathan Franzen‘s The Corrections as an HBO drama series.

The Social Network producer Scott Rudin originally optioned The Corrections as a feature film; he would probably stay on as an executive producer. Baumbach and Franzen reportedly worked on the script for the pilot.

Here’s more from Deadline: “I hear HBO is nearing a pilot order for The Corrections … [which] revolves around the troubles of an elderly Midwestern couple and their three adult children, tracing their lives from the mid-twentieth century to ‘one last Christmas’ together near the turn of the millennium.”

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Are Book Clubs Ruining the Reading Experience?

It’s a controversial (albeit familiar) stance that any type of book club from Oprah to Richard & Judy encourages homogeneity, which is why the Sunday Herald’s doom and gloom article about whether book clubs are, in fact, “ruining” reading and publishing leaves me feeling more than a little skeptical, even if there are many good points made. “People were initially very sniffy when Richard and Judy announced plans for the book club. They thought it would be about promoting trash fiction,” said publishing commentator Danuta Kean. “But Amanda Ross recognised that people were interested in literary books as well as more commercial ones and the list is a great mix. That can only be a good thing.”

The problem is, Kean explains, “as soon as they saw its effect, publishers started looking for books that would be selected for the Richard and Judy list. They are also looking for a recommendation from Waterstone’s and to be the hot pick on Amazon.” And now that Tesco is teaming up with Random House for its own book club, the cries of commercialization are growing louder.

Even R&J-picked author James Robertson, author of THE TESTAMENT OF GIDEON MACK, has doubts. “The downside is that if someone goes into a book shop and buys the books that Richard and Judy have recommended, perhaps they won’t buy other titles,” he says. “There is no doubt that there are winners and losers in this. That’s something I feel slightly disturbed by. There is a sense that it is very much about corporate dealing.” Cathy Kinnear, manager of an independent bookshop in Glasgow’s west end, concurs. “The book clubs are not about giving people choice,” she says. “They are actually narrowing it. We can offer recommendations that are targeted at our customers, bearing in mind local preferences rather than picking out a few books for the whole nation.”

Grammar Girl Sells Audiobooks, Too

The New York TimesAndrew Adam Newman is the latest to jump on the Grammar Girl Podcast bandwagon, focusing on Mignon Fogarty‘s quick turnaround in producing the audiobook of her book, which Henry Holt won’t publish until next year. The reason for speed? An appearance on Oprah, which then propelled said audiobook to the top of iTunes’ bestselling books list. Unlike most authors, Fogarty owns a mixing board for recording her podcasts, which allowed her to gin up a quickie audio version of the book she plans to write. The effort was spearheaded by Mary Beth Roche, publisher of Audio Renaissance, the audiobook division of Holtzbrinck Publishers, which also publishes Henry Holt.

The resulting success has Holt publisher John Sterling feeling very happy. “We didn’t break out Champagne because we weren’t selling tens of thousands, but we certainly broke out the sparkling water,” Sterling said. “We are accustomed to working with product cycles one measures in months, but in this case we were working with a product cycle of days and even hours.” An audiobook would normally appear after – or simultaneously with – a published book, not before. “Traditionally, we would see the audiobook as the tail on the dog, and here the tail is wagging the dog.” And as with all success stories, expect this to be emulated over and over…

Book Clubs Aren’t Just About Books Anymore

The AP’s Chelsea Carter spotlights the so-called “next generation” of book clubs, which have evolved in surprising ways since Oprah made them oh-so-popular. It’s just not just about gathering together to discuss a book, but adding food, movies and specific hooks (mothers & daughters, Hollywood social networking) to get people interested in specific tomes. “I used to think if Oprah decided not to do her show, there would be a decline in book clubs,” said Diana Loevy, author of THE BOOK CLUB COMPANION. “But now I don’t think so. Book clubs are evolving. They are creating social units that really work. They serve a social function.”

Which is why, even in a time of technological advances, iPods and downloads, meeting face-to-face still has appeal. For Barbara Randall, a book club was a way to meet neighbors after moving into her Brooklyn neighborhood. For nearly seven years, the women on her block met monthly to discuss books — and their families. “A lot of us in the group were mothers with children and we were desperate to get out of the house. The husbands knew that was our one night and that they better be home on time to watch the kids,” she joked. Eventually, once-a-month meetings proved unnecessary as friendships deepened and the book club ceased. “Now, we just pick up the phone or go over and knock on the door.”