Amanda Gorman, Nation’s First Youth Poet Laureate, to Read at Biden Inauguration | Book Pulse

22-year-old poet Amanda Gorman will read at Joe Biden's inauguration. Meanwhile, more than 250 authors, editors, agents and others signed an open letter opposing any book deals for Donald Trump and members of his administration. Before She Disappeared by Lisa Gardner leads holds this week. A class-action lawsuit accuses Amazon of colluding with the "Big Five" publishers to inflate ebook prices. CNN anchor Don Lemon announced his forthcoming book, This Is the Fire: What I Say to My Friends About Racism. Plus, Netflix is developing three anti-racism projects that will be executive produced by Ibram X. Kendi and based on his books Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You, and Antiracist Baby.

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Books & Politics

"In my poem, I’m not going to in any way gloss over what we’ve seen over the past few weeks and, dare I say, the past few years," Amanda Gorman, the 22-year-old poet who will read at the Biden inauguration, tells the NYT. Her first books, The Hill We Climb and Change Sings, are due out this fall. The Associated Press, NPR's Morning Edition, and the L.A. Times also have interviews.

More than 250 authors, editors, agents and others signed an open letter opposing any book deals for Donald Trump and members of his administration. The L.A. Times reports.

After Simon & Schuster announced it had cancelled its publishing agreement with Senator Josh Hawley, Regnery will publish his book, The Tyranny of Big Tech. As The Guardian notes, S. & S. distributes Regnery titles.

John Bolton won "a potentially significant" legal decision in an ongoing battle with the government over his book, The Room Where It Happened. Publishers Weekly has details.

Big Books of the Week

Before She Disappeared by Lisa Gardner (Dutton: Penguin; LJ starred review) leads holds this week.

Other titles in demand include:

Till Murder Do Us Part by James Patterson (Grand Central: Hachette)

Winterkeep by Kristin Cashore (Dial: Penguin)

Pianos and Flowers: Brief Encounters of the Romantic Kind by Alexander McCall Smith (Pantheon: Random House)

Shipped by Angie Hockman (Gallery: S. & S.)

The Doctors Blackwell: How Two Pioneering Sisters Brought Medicine to Women and Women to Medicine by Janice P. Nimura (W. W. Norton; LJ starred review)

These books and others publishing the week of Jan. 18, 2021 are listed in a downloadable spreadsheet

Librarians and Booksellers Suggest

There are 3 LibraryReads selections arriving this week:

The Ex Talk by Rachel Lynn Solomon (Berkley: Penguin)

"Shay's lifelong dream has been to be in radio, and she's been working at a Seattle NPR station since she was 19. Ten years later, she and new wunderkind Dominic create a show around the idea that they're exes talking about relationships. The burn between Shay and Dominic is slow, intense, and HOT. Give to fans of The Kiss Quotient and The Hating Game.” —Jessica Werner, Seattle Public Library, Seattle, WA

Shipped by Angie Hockman (Gallery: S. & S.)

"Graeme and Henley are competing for the same job at their adventure cruise company. When their boss sends them on a familiarization trip of the company's cruise in the Galapagos the enemies to lovers’ plot gets steamy. For readers who enjoyed A Sweet Mess (Lee) and The Unhoneymooners (Lauren)." —Laura Bonds, Harris County Public Library, Houston, TX

Remote Control by Nnedi Okorafor (Tordotcom: Macmillan; LJ starred review)

"As a girl living in a future version of Ghana, Yatima was given an object from space that gave her the ability to emit a green light that brings death to all she touches. Now, as a young teen, she occasionally leaves death behind her as she searches for the alien object that was stolen from her. Africanfuturism, sci-fi, and magic. For readers who enjoyed The Fifth Season and Monstress." —Katie Kalil, Sterling Library, Sterling, VA

It is also an Indie Next choice:

"I have absolutely loved everything Nnedi Okorafor has ever written, and this latest book from her is no exception! Her amazing ability to blend traditional African stories and themes with hardcore science fiction is spectacular. While Sankofa cannot remember her name, she does remember her past as she travels from town to town. Even as a child, she demands respect from the townspeople she interacts with, for she is the Adopted Child of Death. Or is she? Was it an alien device that changed her when she was just a child? Sankofa knows. But she isn’t sharing. This mind-blowing science fiction fantasy novella is absolutely glorious, and I can’t wait to give it to everyone I know!" —Annie Carl, The Neverending Bookshop, Edmonds, WA

In the Media

People "Picks" book of the week is What Could Be Saved by Liese O'Halloran Schwarz (Atria: S. & S.). Other books highlighted are Bravey: Chasing Dreams, Befriending Pain, and Other Big Ideas by Alexi Pappas (Dial: Random House) and Black Buck by Mateo Askaripour (HMH). A section on nonfiction features Keep Sharp: Build a Better Brain at Any Age by Sanjay Gupta (S. & S.), Aftershocks by Nadia Owusu (S. & S.), and Sanctuary by Emily Rapp Black (Random House). The "Teen Pick" is Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas (Balzer + Bray: HarperCollins). Also included in this week's "Picks" is Batwoman, which has associated titles. There's a profile of Amber Ruffin, You'll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey: Crazy Stories about Racism (with Lacey Lamar; Grand Central: Hachette; LJ starred review), which is also available online. James Briscione and Brooke Parkhurst, Flavor for All: Everyday Recipes and Creative Pairings (HMH), and Mely Martínez, The Mexican Home Kitchen: Traditional Home-Style Recipes That Capture the Flavors and Memories of Mexico (Rock Point: Quarto), share recipes.

Reviews 

The Washington Post reviews Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas (Balzer + Bray: HarperCollins): "It walks us into the life of a character who is easy to condemn from the outside, and then dares us try to judge him once we’ve gotten in." Also, The Office of Historical Corrections by Danielle Evans (Riverhead: Penguin; LJ starred review): "...a magnificent, searing collection." That Old Country Music: Stories by Kevin Barry (Doubleday: Random House): "...coarse and lyrical, arresting and often hilarious." Plus, brief reviews of five recent thrillers.

The NYT reviews Sanctuary by Emily Rapp Black (Random House): "Black’s power as a writer means she can take us with her to places that normally our minds would refuse to go." Also, The Lives of Lucian Freud: Fame, 1968-2011 by William Feaver (Knopf: Random House): "Reading these talky and cluttered books is like scrolling through microfilm: There are no grand vistas, but there are neck aches and, often enough, because Freud led life up to the nostrils, fantastic 'aha!' moments." Craft in the Real World: Rethinking Fiction Writing and Workshopping by Matthew Salesses (Catapult: Penguin): "...a significant contribution to discussions of the art of fiction and a necessary challenge to received views about whose stories are told, how they are told and for whom they are intended." Craft: An American History by Glenn Adamson (Bloomsbury: Macmillan): "Adamson manages to discover 'making' in every aspect of our history, framing it as integral to America’s idea of itself as a nation of self-sufficient individualists." Trio by William Boyd (Knopf: Random House): "More than just a clever authorial performance, the structure underpins a sustained preoccupation with the tension between fate and chance, art and accident, script and improvisation." "The Shortlist" column reviews new experimental fiction. Plus, short reviews of three new thrillers.

USA Today reviews The Doctors Blackwell: How Two Pioneering Sisters Brought Medicine to Women and Women to Medicine by Janice P. Nimura (W. W. Norton; LJ starred review), which earns 3 stars: "...a fascinating dual biography that restores the two sisters to their rightful place in U.S. history and illuminates a period riven like our own with bitter disagreements over race, public health and medicine, and the role of women in society."

NPR reviews Angel of Greenwood by Randi Pink (Feiwel & Friends: Macmillan): "I hope teachers assign this in schools and librarians turn it face-out on the shelves. American kids need to know this history to be good citizens." Also, Yellow Wife by Sadeqa Johnson (S. & S.; LJ starred review): "A challenging read but beautifully told, this thought-provoking page-turner is also surprisingly uplifting." The Uncollected Stories of Allan Gurganus by Allan Gurganus (Liveright: W. W. Norton): "The collection is Gurganus at his finest: funny, compassionate, and marked by the author's amazing ability to reflect the lightness — and darkness — in the souls of his fascinating characters."

Briefly Noted

In addition to Connecticut's investigation, there's a class-action lawsuit against Amazon, accusing it of colluding with the "Big Five" publishers to inflate ebook prices. Reuters reports.

USA Today picks five books for the week.

The Millions selects three notable new releases.

Publishers Weekly highlights new books out this week.

CrimeReads has 10 new books for the week.

"Horror and Genre-Bending Books Arriving in January" via Tor.com.

Bustle rounds up this year's buzzy debut books.

Esquire recommends "The 20 Best Books of 2021 For the Long, Cold Months Ahead."

Time suggests "11 Audiobooks to Lighten the Mood This Dreary Winter."

Book Riot offers "10 Of The Buzziest 2020 Books To Catch Up On."

Abby Wambach shares her favorite recent reads with Amazon.

Tor.com has an excerpt from The Bronzed Beasts by Roshani Chokshi (Wednesday Books). It's due out Sept. 21.

The Guardian interviews Megha Majumdar, A Burning (Knopf; LJ starred review).

The NYT looks into how Goering's Man in Paris: The Story of a Nazi Art Plunderer and His World by Jonathan Petropoulos (Yale) came to be.

Katherine Seligman talks with Datebook about what inspired At the Edge of the Haight (Algonquin: Workman).

Electric Lit has a Q&A with David F. Walker and Marcus Kwame Anders about The Black Panther Party: A Graphic Novel History (Ten Speed: Random House). 

Avi Loeb, Extraterrestrial: The First Sign of Intelligent Life Beyond Earth (HMH), ponders the existence of aliens with Salon.

Entertainment Weekly's "What's in a Page" column features Kevin Barry, That Old Country Music: Stories (Doubleday: Random House).

The Rumpus has a Q&A with Torrey Peters, Detransition, Baby (One World: Random House). Also, an interview with Yi Shun Lai, Pin Ups (Little Bound).

Angie Thomas discusses Concrete Rose (Balzer + Bray: HarperCollins) with BuzzFeed.

Lambda Literary interviews Ryan La Sala, Be Dazzled (Sourcebooks Fire).

Elle speaks with Julia Rothman and Shaina Feinberg about Every Body: An Honest and Open Look at Sex from Every Angle (Voracious: Hachette).

Jonathan Lethem, The Arrest (Ecco: Harper), talks with Slate about teaching writing.

"I would just like people to read this book and not view it as an actor’s memoir but to assess it on its own merit," Gabriel Byrne tells Kirkus on Walking with Ghosts (Grove).

The Guardian interviews Kate Mosse, The City of Tears (Minotaur: Macmillan).

Kwame Alexander surprised a young fan at his home after learning the boy planned to read a passage from one of his books at his bar mitzvah, according to a video on Alexander's Facebook page.

Ursula K. Le Guin will be honored with a stamp from the USPS this year

Law professor and author Deborah L. Rhode died at age 68. The NYT has an obituary.

Authors on Air

Netflix is developing three anti-racism projects that will be executive produced by Ibram X. Kendi and based on his books Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You, and Antiracist Baby. Entertainment Weekly reports.

Rachel Givney will write the feature adaptation of her book Jane in Love for Amazon. Salma Hayek is developing an adaptation of Valentine by Elizabeth Wetmore for HBO. Justin Hartley will star in and executive produce the series adaptation of The Never Game by Jeffery Deaver. Deadline has all the details. 

To spotlight copyright law, NPR's Planet Money created a 4.5-hour episode in which they read the entirety of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

CNN anchor Don Lemon announced his forthcoming book, This Is the Fire: What I Say to My Friends About Racism (Little, Brown: Hachette), on CNN Tonight. He will be the keynote speaker at the LJ Winter Summit: Building the Next Normal, taking place on February 23.

Katherine Seligman discusses At the Edge of the Haight (Algonquin: Workman) on NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday. And on the Sunday show, an interview with Betto Arcos, Music Stories from the Cosmic Barrio (Adalberto Arcos Landa). 

"This is the other great magic trick of poetry, is that it brings the dead back to life," Mark Wunderlich, God of Nothingness (Graywolf: Macmillan), says on the First Draft podcast.

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