'Better Luck Next Time' Is Barnes & Noble's January Book Club Pick | Book Pulse

Better Luck Next Time by Julia Claiborne Johnson is the January Barnes & Noble book club pick. Recommendations for upcoming new releases come from The Millions, CrimeReads, Entertainment Weekly, Shondaland, Essence, and others. Buzzy reviews for The Prophets by Robert Jones, Jr., Nick by Michael Farris Smith, Exercised by Daniel Lieberman, and more. Love After Love by Ingrid Persaud and other winners of the 2020 Costa Book Award winners are announced. Plus, Tiffany Haddish will star in an upcoming adaptation of Landscape with Invisible Hand by M.T. Anderson.

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Buzzy Books

Better Luck Next Time by Julia Claiborne Johnson (Custom House: HarperCollins) is the January Barnes & Noble book club pick. See its other book club suggestions, and monthly genre picks

Newsweek lists the 40 bestselling books of 2020, based on data from Barnes & Noble's NYT Bestsellers page.

The AV Club picks the 10 best comics of 2020.

The NYT looks at recent releases "From Russian Satire to the Comet Apocalypse."

The Millions selects the best poetry coming out this month, and features notable books released today.

CrimeReads offers 10 book recommendations for the month.

Entertainment Weekly has "The best new comics to read in January."

Shondaland picks "The 5 Best Books for January."

The Chicago Review of Books lists "12 Must-Read Books of January."

Essence looks at 21 of the most anticipated new releases of the year.

BuzzFeed highlights "21 Excellent Fantasy Books Coming Out This Winter."

Refinery29 has "22 Great Books To Kick Off Your New Year’s Resolution To Read More."


The NYT reviews How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America by Kiese Laymon (Agate Bolden: Ingram; LJ starred review): "...by adding six rich new essays, deftly curating seven from the original book, and reworking the chronology, you have made a once solid collection superb." Also, The Art of Falling by Danielle McLaughlin (Random House): "We want to go on reading because there are examples of McLaughlin’s gifts on every page, and in them the promise of the pleasure a novel more fully in her control will offer." Nick by Michael Farris Smith (Little, Brown: Hachette): "In all the ways that really matter, 'Nick' is an exemplary novel." Himalaya: A Human History by Ed Douglas (W. W. Norton): "Douglas is a madman for facts." The Hearing Trumpet by Leonora Carrington (NYRB Classics: Random House): "...something at last truly radical, undoing not only our expectations of time and space, but of the psyche and its boundaries." The Push by Ashley Audrain (Pamela Dorman: Penguin): "Audrain has a gift for capturing the seemingly small moments that speak volumes about relationships." Exercised: Why Something We Never Evolved to Do Is Healthy and Rewarding by Daniel Lieberman (Pantheon: Random House): "Lieberman, drawing on his expertise and knowledge of the way evolutionary forces work, takes ideas that have been spun and spun again, often based on shaky information, and cracks them open." Plus, brief reviews of The Invention of Medicine: From Homer to Hippocrates by Robin Lane Fox (Basic: Hachette; LJ starred review), The Light Ages: The Surprising Story of Medieval Science by Seb Falk (W. W. Norton), and The Age of Wood: Our Most Useful Material and the Construction of Civilization by Roland Ennos (Scribner: S. & S.).

The Washington Post reviews Black Buck by Mateo Askaripour (HMH): "'Black Buck,' which marks the launch of an effervescent new career, is alternately sly and sweet, a work of cultural criticism that laments and celebrates the power of money." Also, The Prophets by Robert Jones, Jr. (G.P. Putnam's Sons: Penguin; LJ starred review): "The greatest gift of this novel is its efforts to render emotional interiority to enslaved people who are too often depicted either as vessels for sadistic violence or as noble, superhuman warriors for liberation."

NPR reviews Exercised: Why Something We Never Evolved to Do Is Healthy and Rewarding by Daniel Lieberman (Pantheon: Random House): "Lieberman makes a superb guide for anyone wishing to understand why it can be hard to commit to exercising, and why we should do it anyway."

The Washington Post reviews Human Nature: Planet Earth In Our Time, Twelve Photographers Address the Future of the Environment edited by Geoff Blackwell and Ruth Hobday (Chronicle): "...sometimes troubling, always stunning."

USA Today reviews The Prophets by Robert Jones, Jr. (G.P. Putnam's Sons: Penguin; LJ starred review), which earns 4 stars: "packed with otherworldly, and supremely artful storytelling, and readers will surely get lost in a radiant romance."

The L.A. Times reviews Nick by Michael Farris Smith (Little, Brown: Hachette): "...an earnest but humid and ill-advised attempt to deepen a top-tier candidate for the Great American Novel by applying some backstory to its least interesting character."

Entertainment Weekly reviews four recent romances.

Briefly Noted

The 2020 Costa Book Award winners are out

Barnes & Noble founder Len Riggio and his wife Louise donated $250,000 to Poets & Writers. Publishers Weekly reports.

Camilla Parker Bowles is starting a book club. The Duchess of Cornwall's Reading Room launches on Instagram Jan. 15. Vanity Fair has details.

The NYT's "Group Text" column features A Lie Someone Told You About Yourself by Peter Ho Davies (HMH).

Catana Chetwynd announced the release date of her new book on Instagram. In Love & Pajamas: A Collection of Comics about Being Yourself Together (Andrews McMeel) is due out Feb. 2.

Marlee Grace discusses Getting to Center: Pathways to Finding Yourself Within the Great Unknown (William Morrow: HarperCollins) with Autostraddle.

Amazon interviews Mateo Askaripour, Black Buck (HMH).

The Book Marks "Questionnaire" features Sue Rainsford, Follow Me to Ground (Scribner: S. & S.; LJ starred review).

Kirkus interviews Ilyasah Shabazz and Tiffany D. Jackson, The Awakening of Malcolm X (FSG: Macmillan).

Kara Lee Corthron, Daughters of Jubilation (S. & S. Books for Young Readers), shares thoughts on self confidence in Parade's "Novel Advice" column.

Tor.com looks at how libraries are depicted in several fantasy novels.

Five authors tell Wired "what it was like to release a book during quarantine."

Authors on Air

Tiffany Haddish will star in an upcoming adaptation of Landscape with Invisible Hand by M.T. Anderson. Deadline has details.

Nicholas Christakis discusses Apollo's Arrow: The Profound and Enduring Impact of Coronavirus on the Way We Live (Little, Brown Spark: Hachette) with the Keen On podcast.

Rebecca Priestley talks about the travels that helped feed her writing of Fifteen Million Years in Antarctica (Victoria Univ.), on the Time to Eat the Dogs podcast.

NPR's Morning Edition interviews Michael Farris Smith, Nick (Little, Brown: Hachette).

Sanjay Gupta, Keep Sharp: Build a Better Brain at Any Age (S. & S.), tells NPR's Fresh Air that "the act of experiencing something new" can build new brain cells. He will also appear on The View today and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert tonight.

Several books are featured on the Today Show: Black Buck by Mateo Askaripour (HMH), Martha Stewart's Very Good Things: Clever Tips & Genius Ideas for an Easier, More Enjoyable Life by Martha Stewart (HMH), and The Beauty of What Remains: How Our Greatest Fear Becomes Our Greatest Gift by Steve Leder (Avery: Penguin).

Maika and Maritza Moulite, One of the Good Ones (Inkyard: HarperCollins), will be on the Late Night with Seth Meyers tonight.

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