A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS Lemony Snicket (HarperCollins, $9.95) Barry Sonnenfeld (Men in Black II) and Scott Rudin hope to make a franchise out of the best-selling children’s series about three orphans in peril.

THE LAST AMERICAN MAN Elizabeth Gilbert (Viking, $24.95) Warner Bros. optioned Gilbert’s biography of mountain (and ladies’) man Eustace Conway.

COLD MOUNTAIN Charles Frazier (Vintage, $13) A dream cast: Nicole Kidman, Renee Zellweger, Jude Law, Natalie Portman, Donald Sutherland, Giovanni Ribisi.