Happy last weekend of February, dear readers! This week’s newsletter is a bit of a mishmash – some adaptation news, some upcoming book announcements, and a couple of buzzy nonfiction titles out this week.
Before we get going, a quick reminder to hop over to our Instagram account for the chance to win $500 in Penguin Clothbound classics – I’m super jealous I can’t enter this one myself!
For All You High School Theater Geeks
I’ve you’ve been watching the Olympics as much as I have, then you’ve almost certainly seen the trailer for Rise, a new NBC series debuting in a few weeks. The show is based on an excellent 2013 book, Drama High by Michael Sokolove, which profiles a drama director at a high school in a blue collar Pennsylvania town. I really loved the way the book made an argument for the importance of the arts for all students, and it felt like a real privilege to get to know the teacher at the center of the book, Lou Volpe. I’m a little skeptical about casting Josh Radnor (Ted from How I Met Your Mother) in the leading role, but everything else about this show has me EXTREMELY excited.
John Lewis Writing a New Book
Congressman John Lewis will be writing another multi-part graphic novel, Run, which will pick up where March left off. March told the story of Lewis’ childhood through his work as a student leader during the marches from Selma to Montgomery in 1965. Run will continue in 1966 as Lewis separated from the group he was leading and found other ways to support the Civil Rights movement.
From Political Reporting to Memoir
I very much enjoyed this essay by reporter Amy Chozick about her process of shifting from life as a political reporter to life as a memoirist, and the role that books played for her. During a nine-month writing sabbatical, Chozick split her time between writing, revising, and reading, everything from memoirs to novels. This essay did what it was supposed to do – get my excited to pick up her memoir, Chasing Hillary, when it comes out in April.
Marie Kondo is Coming to Netflix
And speaking of adaptations… Netflix is adding an eight-episode series featuring minimalist organizer Marie Kondo (author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up). According to a report in Vulture, Kondo will be “bringing her KonMarie Method to people who are ‘at a crossroads’ in life, and in need of some sparks of joy. There will be transformations. There will be a lot of decluttering, and each episode will bring Kondo one step closer to her endgame ‘to organize the world.’” I can’t decide what I think of this.
New Books Out This Week!
The big nonfiction release of this week was Educated by Tara Westover, a memoir about “a young girl who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University.” Get a peek at the book in this interview Westover did with Bustle, book excerpt in Vogue, and essay in TIME.
The other major release that, frankly, hasn’t been getting nearly as much buzz as I expected, is What Are We Doing Here?, a collection of essays by the great Marilynne Robinson. In the collection, Robinson “trains her incisive mind on our modern political climate and the mysteries of faith.” The New York Times called the book “a dense, eccentric book of profound and generous gifts,” which is one of those phrases that sounds great but doesn’t say much. Robinson published an essay of the same name as the book in the New York Review last year, which might give you a sense of whether the book is up your alley.
That’s it for the week! Check in with me on Twitter or by email, email@example.com, and until next week, happy reading! – Kim