Dan Brown sees the world a little differently than the average person. “Everything I see is a potential idea, and I wish I could turn that off,” says the author of the mega blockbusters “The Da Vinci Code” and “Angels and Demons.” His latest novel is a return to his beloved Europe and a chance, he hopes, to interest readers in the classic 14th century journey in verse by Dante that provides the title.
The genius of Khaled Hosseini’s novels is that they pull off the neat trick of embodying and transcending the essence of a place. That place, the author’s home country of Afghanistan, has a way of being both integral and oddly irrelevant in his latest, “And the Mountains Echoed,” a multigenerational saga with roots in a small Afghan village — roots that tunnel and spread to the city of Kabul, then to Paris and beyond.
What’s going on in the world of book publishing.
Local book signings and literary events, May 24-June 8.
Publisher’s Weekly’s top 10s for the week of May 26.
Jennifer Keishin Armstrong examines the creation of television’s “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” which defined a generation, in “Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted.” Using a “fly on the wall” approach into the minds of the people behind the scenes and the cast of the show, Armstrong has written the quintessential book on one of the best sitcoms to grace the airwaves.
In the dedication of her latest book, “The Cooked Seed,” best-selling Chinese author Anchee Min thanks her daughter for “making [her] write this book.” One cannot help but wonder why — with such a powerful story to tell — Min waited until now to share it.
Publisher’s Weekly’s top 10s for the week of May 19.
Local book signings and literary events, May 17-31.
Above and beyond all else, “Raven Girl,” Audrey Niffenegger’s very strange and very modern new fairy tale, serves as vivid proof that there can be no substitute for the sheer beauty of an old fashioned paper book. So just for starters, cheers to publisher Abrams Comic Arts, a division of the estimable art book publisher, for producing such an exquisite volume, and for giving this newest tale by the Chicago and London-based Niffenegger a jewel-like presentation.
Lauren Graham has a day job as Sarah Braverman on the NBC drama “Parenthood,” but she decided to fill up her free time by writing a novel. “Someday, Someday, Maybe” follows a twentysomething aspiring actress named Franny Banks who is living in New York City in the 1990s. The story isn’t autobiographical, but obviously Graham could relate to Franny’s struggle to break into show biz.
Publisher’s Weekly’s top 10s for the week of May 12.
Local book signings and literary events, May 9-25.
It’s the end of the road for Sookie Stackhouse, Charlaine Harris’ plucky, mind-reading heroine. “Dead Ever After” hits bookstores this week, and is the final Sookie Stackhouse novel. Disappointingly, there isn’t any sense of finality to the series. Fans seeking full closure will have to wait until the fall.
‘Dead Ever After,” the 13th novel in Charlaine Harris’ paranormal series about the telepathic Bon Temps, La., waitress whose story inspired HBO’s “True Blood,” has come to an end. Harris spoke about Sookie’s final chapter and what’s up next.