Weekly book agenda: 'Holes' author Sachar returns with 'The Cardturner'

Click to follow

A new story from the internationally best-selling author of Holes is likely to be a popular summer read for the young adult crowd. The Cardturner is published May 11 in the US and June 1 in the UK.

The Cardturner
May 11/June 1

The author of the internationally best-selling children's book Holes is due to publish his first work of fiction in four years. The Cardturner centers on Alton Richards, who begins his summer break with no money, no job, no girlfriend, and a great-uncle whom he must drive to his bridge club four times a week to be his cardturner - "whatever that means." As the summer continues, Alton "finds himself intrigued by his uncle, by the game of bridge, and especially by the pretty but shy Toni Castaneda." American author Sachar is best known for his children's book series Sideways Stories From Wayside School as well as for his 1998 novel Holes, which was adapted into a Disney film.

Lost Man Booker Prize
May 19
London, UK

The Man Booker Prize has created a one-off award to honor books published in 1970, the only missing year in the history of the prize since it began. Online voting is now underway for a winning title. The shortlist includes The Birds on the Trees by Nina Bawden, Troubles by J. G. Farrell, The Bay of Noon by Shirley Hazzard, Fire From Heaven by Mary Renault, and The Driver's Seat by Muriel Spark.

James Patterson's 'Witch & Wizard: Battle for Shadowland'

May 19

The international best-selling author of the Alex Cross detective series is set to release the first comic book in a five-part series based on his young adult novel Witch & Wizard. Dara Naraghi wrote the book with direction from Patterson, Victor Santos provides illustrations and cover art, and J.K. Woodward contributed a painted cover. In June, Patterson's non-fiction book The Murder of King Tut will be released in a graphic adaptation, the first in a series of four. Both titles are available for pre-order.

Book Expo America

May 25
New York City, USA
BookExpo America is the premier book fair in North America and the largest English-language book fair in the world. More than 1,500 exhibitors and 500 authors are expected to attend the 2010 event, as well as up to 30,000 visitors. For publishing professionals, the fair will likely see a record number of deals, after April's Icelandic volcanic eruption led to lower attendance at the London Book Fair. BookExpo America will be a star-studded event, with Jon Stewart, Condoleeza Rice, Cory Doctorow, Sarah Ferguson, John Grisham, Sara Gruen, and Christopher Hitchens all scheduled to take part.

John Grisham's 'Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer'

May 25/June 10

The first in a series of children's books by John Grisham will focus on Theodore Boone, Grisham's first series character, and will be geared to families and children aged 9-12. According to the publisher: "Theo Boone is the ultimate Grisham unlikely hero, a thirteen-year-old boy who knows more about the law than most lawyers who, in the first novel of the series, finds himself unwillingly caught up in his town's first murder trial." Grisham is best known for his internationally best-selling legal novels, including A Time to Kill and The Client.

Stephen King's 'Blockade Billy'
May 25

Blockade Billy, Stephen King's baseball-themed novella, was released in April as a limited edition hardcover and is now due to get a full-scale print run. The novella tells the story of William 'Blockade Billy' Blakely, "the first - and only - player to have his existence completely removed from the record books. ... Every effort was made to erase any evidence that William Blakely played professional baseball, and with good reason. Blockade Billy had a secret darker than any pill or injection that might cause a scandal in sports today. His secret was much, much worse... ." The novella will be available in hardcover, audio, and e-book editions.

Hay Festival
May 27 - June 6
Hay-on-Wye, Wales

Famously called "Woodstock of the mind" by former US president Bill Clinton, the Hay Festival was founded in 1988 and has become one of the world's most prominent literary festivals, growing to encompass political themes, science, law, art, music, and film. The 2010 festival will feature a long list of writers, including Hilary Mantel, Melvyn Bragg, Kazuo Ishiguro, Tom Stoppard, Roddy Doyle, Bill Bryson, and well-known voices in Arab literature. Speakers from other fields include neuroscientist David Eagleman, theologian Maggi Dawn, and astronomer Martin Rees. More than 100,000 visitors are expected. Tickets for individual events can be booked at the festival's website.

Stephenie Meyer's ‘The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner'

June 5

Stephenie Meyer is set to publish her first new title in nearly two years, about a character originally featured in Eclipse. The novella (at 192 pages) will be released at 12:01am EST on June 5 in hardcover and on the same day at 6:00am EST as an e-book. It will then be available for free at www.breetanner.com from June 7 to July 5. The book tells the story of Bree Tanner and "the darker side of the world she inhabits. The novella chronicles the newborn vampire army's journey as they prepare to close in on Bella Swan and the Cullens, following their encounter to its conclusion." Stephenie Meyer has become a worldwide best-selling author with her young adult series The Twilight Saga, which has sold 100 million copies worldwide and been adapted into blockbuster films.