Category Archives: On the TV

BookTV is Featuring Fiction

BookTV has aired, on CSPAN2, every weekend since 1998 focusing on non-fiction books. That focus shifts a little in January 2018 when their 3-hour-long show In Depth will begin featuring fiction authors as well.

They are going to feature one fiction author, on the first Sunday of each month, all year long. These segments will be conducted as all In Depth shows are, allowing viewers to watch live and call or send in questions via social media.

They haven’t shared the whole line up for the year, but there are some big fiction authors slated to be on the show:

  • January 7th: David Ignatius
  • February 4th: Colson Whitehead
  • March 4th: Jeff Shaara
  • April 1st: Walter Mosley
  • May 6th: TBD
  • June 3rd: Gish Jen
  • July 1st: Brad Thor
  • August 5th: Cory Doctorow
  • September 2nd: TBD
  • October 7th: Geraldine Brooks
  • November 4th: TBD
  • December 2nd: Brad Meltzer

What a great lineup! Those are some smart folks who are writing about big and small topics all over the place. BookTV has chatted with fiction authors before during their coverage of literary festivals or industry events like Book Expo of America. In fact they’re airing a conversation with George Saunders about his book Lincoln in the Bardo, which is a segment I plan on watching.

If you don’t keep up with BookTV, it is well worth your while to check the lineup every weekend. They’ve had some great interviews over the years and they broadcast many author readings, book parties, and book festivals. It’s one of the coolest things our government has every spent taxpayer dollars on. The BookTV YouTube channel is worth a subscription too.


Watch the National Book Awards LIVE

This year’s National Book Awards will be broadcast live over Facebook (as well as on their website) on Wednesday, November 15th, starting at 6:20pm CST. But then they’ll roll pre-recorded videos of the finalists reading, during the dinner portion of the gala, and then pick up the live broadcast when they’re done eating to begin handing out the actual awards.

Last year’s awards were fun to watch, with Colson Whitehead winning the 2016 fiction prize for The Underground Railroad, and this year’s evening looks to be brimming with more bookish greatness.

It looks like all you have to do is click over to the National Book Foundation’s Facebook page to watch the event. I watched last year on the foundation’s site, but this year it looks like they’re going after a more social-share plan. They even made a PDF ballot to download so you can play along at home.

They are @nationalbook on Twitter and they are using #NBAwards as the official hashtag for the 2017 event.

Hopefully it’ll work. It’d be fun if people outside of the industry started tuning in and looking forward to these awards.

There are four awards being handed out, one for fiction, non-fiction, poetry and young adult literature. I’m anxious to see this year’s winners as out of all 20 books nominated – I have only read Jesmyn Ward’s Sing, Unburied, Sing. And if one of the other fiction finalists is deemed better than that one (which was a great read, though I appreciated her Men We Reaped more.) I certainly want to read it!

Hope you get to tune in next Wednesday night, starting at 6:20pm CST, for the 68th year of the National Book Awards. Here is the slate of finalists for this year’s awards:




Young Adult

H is for Hawk: A New Chapter

Tonight, PBS will air the first episode of H is for Hawk: A New Chapter which could loosely be billed as a “follow up” to Helen McDonald’s best-selling book H is for Hawk. 

H is for Hawk is a book that’s been in the middle of my TBR pile since it came out in paperback. I’ve heard so many good things about this memoir, but I’ve just never gotten around to moving it to the “excited to read next” pile. I’m not 100% sure why that is, but I think I’m going to pick it up and read (that is after my current read Want Not by Miles) before I watch the show.

In the book, McDonald trains a goshawk as part of her coping with the death of her father. The show starts next week, which is about 10 years after the events in the book. And again she’s back to raising and training birds.

Here’s a 41-second preview to watch:
The movie rights to the book have also been sold. They were bought by Lena Headey who plays Cersei in HBO’s Game of Thrones.

The show has the potential to add some great visuals and color to what has already proven to be a great selling book. I’m looking forward to diving into both.

Scalzi on TV & in Print

Science-fiction author John Scalzi is having a big year. Just a few weeks ago he inked a multi-book multi-million dollar publishing deal. And his new book The End of All Things will be out August 11.

You can read excerpts from the first four chapters (Chapter 01, Chapter 02, Chapter 03, Chapter 04) of The End of All Things, which is the second book of the Human Division, set in the Old Man’s War universe.


The whole Old Man’s War universe/storyline  revolves around John Perry, a 70+ man who who enlists in the army and transfers his consciousness into a younger, more battle-ready body.  So the wars rage on among the stars with troops in enhanced bodies while having the wisdom and humor of “old men”. Parts of it borderline on cute. But the books are fast paced and just plain fun to read.

Which is why I think it’ll make a great TV show on SyFy. At the end of last year, it was announced that the Ghost Brigades TV show was in development. It gets its title from the 2006 book by Scalzi.

So a new book, a new contract, and a new TV series. No doubt John Scalzi is staying super busy this year.

Have you read any of John Scalzi’s books?