Tom Hanks Buys Film Rights to ‘In the Garden of Beasts;’ Erik’s Book Hits Many Best of 2011 Lists, Including NY Times’ 100 Most Notable and Janet Maslin’s Ten Best; Erik’s Daughters Suspect Bribery

Tom Hanks

I’ve always been a big fan of Tom Hanks, and I’m not just sucking up. Two of my favorite Hanks films are “Sleepless in Seattle,” which, I hasten to note, I saw long before I moved to Seattle, and “You’ve Got Mail.” I also loved “Cast Away,” for the sheer bravado Hanks demonstrated in taking on a one man/one volleyball  movie. I have to ask, is it Kismet that Hanks and Leonardo DiCaprio both starred in “Catch Me If You Can,” and now both have bought rights to books of mine? Or is that merely the delusional talk of a man living in the far northwest, with a vitamin D deficiency?

For more on the Hanks deal, see the latest posting at Word & Film:  

The Huffington Post:

And The Hollywood Rep0rter:

And here, in a flare of narcissistic indulgence (spurred by my publicist, my agent, and the marketing department of my publisher), is a list of the best-of lists for 2011 that include In the Garden of Beasts. Though I remain utterly bummed that contrary to rumor People Magazine did not short-list me for it’s Sexiest Man of the Year issue. Personally, I am dumbfounded; my wife says, “there there dear, perhaps next year?” 

The lists:

O Magazine, “Best Nonfiction 2011” (one of five) Given descriptive of “Most Important.”

Washington Post:

Seattle Times:

The New York Times:

Janet Maslin, New York Times:

Toronto Globe and Mail, The Globe 100: The Very Best Books of 2011:

Amazon (Beasts is no. 4 of top 100):

Amazon Top Ten Nonfiction Books, 2011: (Amazon Canada): Best Books of 2011 (#2)

Barnes & Noble: Top 10 Books of 2011 – Best Books of the Year (#5)

Hudson Booksellers Best of 2011: included in 10 Best Nonfiction

Kirkus Reviews: Best of Nonfiction 2011

Indigo Books (Canadian bookseller), Best Books of 2011, #8 on Nonfiction list, Best Book of the Year award, Nonfiction category

BookPage, Best Books of 2011 (#10)

Kansas City Star, Top 10 list, 12/1/11:

St. Louis Post Dispatch, Favorite Books of 2011, 12/4/11:

Larson Daughters’ Best in History of World: Harry Potter Series. (Okay, so, you can’t win them all.)


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Erik Larson is the author of six New York Times bestsellers, most recently The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz, which examines how Winston Churchill and his “Secret Circle” went about surviving the German air campaign of 1940-41. Erik’s The Devil in the White City is set to be a Hulu limited series; his In the Garden of Beasts is under option by Tom Hanks, for a feature film. He recently published an audio-original ghost story, No One Goes Alone, which has been optioned by Netflix. Erik lives in Manhattan with his wife, who is a writer and retired neonatologist; they have three grown daughters.

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