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'Today' show launches its book club with 21-year-old's novel

August 20, 2013|By Elisabeth Donnelly
  • Author Samantha Shannon and the cover of her novel, "The Bone Season."
Author Samantha Shannon and the cover of her novel, "The Bone Season." (Mark Pringle; Bloomsbury )

The "Today" show started a monthly book club Tuesday morning with an Oxford-and-clairvoyance debut, "The Bone Season," by 21 year-old author Samantha Shannon.

With "The Bone Season" the first in a projected seven-part dystopian series, it seems impossible to talk about the book without calling the British author and young Oxford graduate "the next J.K. Rowling."

Buzz for the Bloomsbury series has been circulating since last October when the film rights were sold to Andy Serkis (Gollum himself) and Jonathan Cavendish's the Imaginarium, who offered Shannon "consultation rights with veto power," according to New York Magazine.

With the announcement that "The Bone Season" will be the first pick of the "Today" show's first-ever book club, retailers have doubled their orders of the novel, which went on saleTuesday. The book club premiered with an interview with Shannon. (Read an excerpt of "The Bone Season.")

The book industry is thrilled about the media coverage devoted to books, particularly on the "Today" show, No. 2 in the network morning programs with 4.4 million viewers. Jaclyn Levin, the senior producer responsible for "Today's" author coverage, said that the club will span fiction and nonfiction, new releases and classics. "The 'Today' show is so recognizable to so many people, and I just think it's a great opportunity to use that leverage. There are so many untold stories that want to be told," Levin told the New York Times.

In an interesting twist, New York Times reporter Brian Stelter, who contributed to the paper's report, is the author of the book "Top of the Morning," the story of the "cutthroat" world of morning TV.


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