Adrian Tchaikovsky's 'Children of Ruin' Wins British Science Fiction Award | Book Pulse

The British Science Fiction Association (BSFA) Awards are announced, as is the Plutarch Award. Bill Gates picks his books of the summer. Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld gets reviewed across the papers. The Atlantic has a new short story by Robin Sloan; it is part of the magazine's Shadowland project about conspiracy theories. Stars sign up to read Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach to help raise money for Covid-related causes.

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Award Winners and Best Books







The British Science Fiction Association (BSFA) Awards are announced, via video. offers the list of winners and finalists.

Sonia Purnell Wins 2020 Plutarch Award for A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win World War II (Viking: Penguin; LJ starred review).

Bill Gates picks his books of for the summer, and makes more suggestions. There is a video.

Here are “19 Books To Read For Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month” from Bustle.

Lit Hub offers “20 new books to look forward to this week.”

Book Marks has AudioFile’s best titles for May.

Elle picks its “Best Books Of 2020 (So Far).”

BookPage issues its “Reader’s choice” feature, with the “favorite books of 2020 (so far).”


Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld (Random House) gets reviewed across the papers. USA Today gives it 2.5 stars and writes “It’s a familiar place, but never a fully living, breathing one – a neat parlor trick with no real magic behind it.” The Washington Post has a higher opinion, offering it “provides an insightful analysis of the function of sexism in our political discourse.” The NYT has some issues but decides “I don’t know if Sittenfeld ever met the real Hillary, but in “Rodham,” she paints a post-Bill life for her that seems perfectly plausible, one that becomes richer with the passage of time.”

NPR reviews The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (A Hunger Games Novel) by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic Press): “baggy, meandering prequel … an overworked parable.” Also, Dark Mirror: Edward Snowden and the American Surveillance State by Barton Gellman (Penguin): “Gellman offers the most detailed, comprehensive and balanced take on the impact of Snowden's 2013 revelations and what they mean today, as the debate on national security versus individual privacy keeps evolving.”

NYT reviews The Motion of the Body Through Space by Lionel Shriver (Harper; LJ starred review): “no wilting lily. The dialogue is barbed and the characters immediately at odds.”  Also, Drifts by Kate Zambreno (Riverhead: Penguin): “I enjoy and admire Zambreno’s work so much that I resisted accepting that there is a flaw in this book.” Troop 6000: The Girl Scout Troop That Began in a Shelter and Inspired the World by Nikita Stewart (Ballantine: Random House): “She problematizes the myth, relentlessly returning to the debilitating chaos of homelessness itself.” The Tree and the Vine by Dola de Jong, translated by Kristen Gehrman (Transit Books): “accomplishes something bolder: It normalizes its characters’ unhappinesses, showing them to be just as complicated as anyone else’s.” The Equivalents: A Story of Art, Female Friendship, and Liberation in the 1960s by Maggie Doherty (Knopf): “an illuminating contribution to our history.” Lastly, The New & Noteworthy column is out.

The Washington Post reviews Endland by Tim Etchells (And Other Stories): “A squalidly funny collection.”

Briefly Noted

Entertainment Weekly features the forthcoming How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories by Holly Black, illustrated by Rovina Cai (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers).        

Time interviews André Leon Talley, The Chiffon Trenches: A Memoir (Ballantine: Random House).

Parade interviews Sue Monk Kidd, The Book of Longings (Viking: Penguin; LJ starred review). excerpts The Forever Sea by Joshua Johnson (DAW: Random House).

Autostraddle writes “Trans Representation in YA Fiction Is Changing, But How Much?

The Atlantic has a new short story by Robin Sloan, “The Conspiracy Museum.” There is also an interview with Sloan. It is part of The Atlantic’s Shadowland project about conspiracy theories: “The rise of mainstream conspiracism is the result not just of bad information or bad politics or bad thinking, but of systems built to stoke paranoia and to profit from mistrust. This project is an attempt to illuminate the forces that have created this unreality—and chart a course for how we might feel our way out.”

Electric Lit publishes a short story by Odie Lindsey, “A Run-Up to the Next Release.”

The Atlantic has author Jenny Odell write about What It’s Like To Be a Bird: From Flying to Nesting, Eating to Singing—What Birds Are Doing, and Why by David Allen Sibley (Knopf; LJ starred review) and The Bird Way: A New Look at How Birds Talk, Work, Play, Parent, and Think by Jennifer Ackerman (Penguin; LJ starred review). Also in the magazine, a feature on “J. M. Coetzee’s Unsettling Trilogy About a Possibly Divine Boy.”

Vanity Fair reports on the NYT’s piece on Ronan Farrow, writing “now journalism Twitter is aflame.”

COVID-19 Reading and RA/Collection Development Resources

Stars sign up to read Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach to help raise money for Covid related causes. Chapters one and two are out now. More will be released three times a week. The Guardian has details.

The NYT offers “How-To Books for an Age of Insecurity.”

Elle picks “23 Books That Will Put You in a Good Mood, Guaranteed.”

The Atlantic offers “20 Books to Read in Quarantine This Summer.”

Paste has details about All the Thyme in the World, a cookbook with recipes from Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris and more to benefit Music Health Alliance's Covid-19/tornado relief fund.

People suggests “The Best Children's Books to Read with Your Kids at Home Right Now.”

Both Lit Hub and The Washington Post have calendars for virtual book events.

Authors on Air

PBS NewsHour has a piece by Tayari Jones on “her takeaways from the novel in an annotated excerpt” of The Street by Ann Petry (Mariner Books: HMH).

Variety has a Summer Movie Preview, which includes a number of adaptations.

Here are “8 Musicals that You Might Not Know Were Based on Books” as gathered by Electric Lit.

Netflix plans an adaptation of Harlan Coben’s Stay Close. Mindy Kaling is co-writing Legally Blonde 3. HBO Max has optioned Lev Rosen’s Camp for a feature film. Deadline reports on all.

Netflix's The Umbrella Academy will restart with season 2 on July 31.

Fox News features Above the Law: The Inside Story of How the Justice Department Tried to Subvert President Trump by Matthew Whitaker (Regnery Publishing: S. & S.).

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