5 Books That Inspired Bill Gates This Year | Book Pulse

Bill Gates shares the books that inspired him this year, including Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World by David Epstein and The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander. More 2020 best-of lists are out from Audible, Wired, and the New York Public Library. See the PEN America annual gala, which took place virtually this year and honored Patti Smith and Barack Obama, among others. There's news of several adaptations in the works, including Ring Shout by P. Djéli Clark, The Poppy War series by Rebecca F. Kuang, Dark Matter by Blake Crouch, and Dying to Be Me: My Journey from Cancer, to Near Death, to True Healing by Anita Moorjani.

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Book Lists

Bill Gates shares the books that inspired him this year with Time.

Audible selects the 10 best audiobooks of 2020.

GMA anchors share their favorite books of the year.

Wired recommends 8 of the year's best science books.

The NYT names "The Best Graphic Novels of 2020." 

Electric Lit selects the top short story collections of the year.

New York Public Library chooses its "Favorite Trans, Nonbinary, and GNC Titles of 2020."

Ridgerunner by Gil Adamson (House of Anansi Press) tops the Loanstars "Best of the Brightest 2020 List."

The Booklist Reader suggests some of the best new books of the week, as does BuzzFeed.

Tor.com looks at the fantasy books coming out this month.

Amazon picks the best biographies and memoirs of December, as well as some holiday romances.

BookPage offers some suspense and mysteries.

The NYT rounds up books that are "New & Noteworthy, From Schopenhauer to the Pope."

PopSugar has 23 discussion-ready book suggestions for book clubs.

Autostraddle recommends "Eight Fat Positive Queer Books."


The NYT reviews An Inventory of Losses by Judith Schalansky and translated by Jackie Smith (New Directions: W. W. Norton; LJ starred review): "The meditation that emerges is less about loss and disappearance and more about the ludic nature of the archive, with its gaps and fragments." Also, The Shadow Drawing: How Science Taught Leonardo How to Paint by Francesca Fiorani (FSG: Macmillan): "The book trains its gaze on his technical and philosophical obsessions. Its focus may feel narrow at times, and yet its pleasures often prove surprisingly wide."

The Washington Post reviews This Is Not My Memoir by André Gregory and Todd London (FSG: Macmillan): "You are the beguiled, occasionally alarmed audience for boundary-smashing director André Gregory’s free-form monologue about his quest for meaning in life and art."

USA Today reviews Snowdrift by Helene Tursten (Soho Crime), which earns 2.5 stars: "And while Tursten tells a solid character-driven tale, unlike Stieg Larsson’s 'The Girl With…' series (the benchmark for Scandinavian crime novels), her slow-melt plotting takes much of the thrill out of an otherwise convincing crime thriller."

Book Marks has "The Best Reviewed Books of 2020: Short Story Collections."

Briefly Noted

PEN America's annual gala took place virtually this year, and honorees include Patti Smith and Barack Obama. The event is available to watch here

Barbara Hoffert has new Prepub Alert columns in LJ

Tordotcom Publishing will release four more books by Seanan McGuire. Across the Saltwise Sea and two more will complete the series stared by Over the Woodward Wall, then the Wayward Children series will expand to a total of 10 books.

Entertainment Weekly has excerpts from I Am Not Starfire by Mariko Tamaki and Yoshi Yoshitani (DC Comics; due out Aug. 2021) and Misfit in Love by S.K. Ali (Salaam Reads: S. & S.; due out May 2021), plus an interview with Ali.

The NYT talks with Barack Obama about the reading and writing that led to A Promised Land (Crown: Random House), in which he cites early influences including James Baldwin, Malcolm X, Langston Hughes, and Zora Neale Hurston.

Karen M. McManus describes The Cousins (Delacorte: Random House) as "a bolt of lightning book" in an interview with Shondaland.

USA Today looks into the history of Stories of the Sahara by Sanmao, originally published in Asia in 1976, and how it came to be published in the U.S. by Bloomsbury and found a new audience this year.

The L.A. Times speaks with Karla Cornejo Villavicencio, The Undocumented Americans: A Homecoming (One World: Random House), and Marcelo Hernandez Castillo, Children of the Land (Harper), ahead of its free, virtual Book Club on Dec. 15, which they will both attend.

People interviews photographer Brian Hamill, Dream Lovers: John and Yoko in NYC (Acc Art).

Nina Renata Aron talks with BOMB about Good Morning, Destroyer of Men's Souls: A Memoir of Women, Addiction, and Love (Crown: Random House). 

Vogue profiles Douglas Stuart, Shuggie Bain (Grove; LJ starred review), who says he learned the patience of writing from learning the craft of textiles during his time in the fashion industry.

Parade has a Q&A with Jen Atkin, Blowing My Way to the Top: How to Break the Rules, Find Your Purpose, and Create the Life and Career You Deserve (Harper Wave).

The NYT  reports on a dispute over the ownership of translation rights of Louise Glück's work.

Rather than send scripts of Slave Play to Tony Award voters, playwright Jeremy O. Harris has chosen to "donate a collection of 15 plays by Black playwrights to 53 libraries and community centers across the country." Deadline reports.

Slate has a smoldering look at the history of book burning.

To commemorate the passing of Chuck Yeager, the NYT has a look at how the book The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe and its film adaptation came to be.

Authors on Air

Deadline has lots of adaptation news. Following some competition, the rights to Ring Shout by P. Djéli Clark were acquired by Skydance Television to create a series. The Poppy War series by Rebecca F. Kuang is also getting prepped for television, this one by Starlight Media. Blake Crouch will work on the script for the Apple TV+ series based on his book Dark Matter. Wonder Street is producing a feature film based on Dying to Be Me: My Journey from Cancer, to Near Death, to True Healing by Anita Moorjani. Disney is planning another live-action version of Judith Viorst's Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

David Sedaris, The Best of Me (Little, Brown: Hachette), is on Vulture’s Good One podcast

The Quarantine Tapes podcast features Jeffrey Sterling, Unwanted Spy: The Persecution of an American Whistleblower (Bold Type: Hachette).

Edmund Fawcett discusses Conservatism: The Fight for a Tradition (Princeton) with the Keen On podcast. 

Bob Gruen talks with NPR's Fresh Air about Right Place, Right Time: The Life of a Rock & Roll Photographer (Abrams).

Rachel Maddow, Bag Man: The Wild Crimes, Audacious Cover-Up, and Spectacular Downfall of a Brazen Crook in the White House (Crown: Random House; LJ starred review), is on with Stephen Colbert tonight.

Michael Eric Dyson, Long Time Coming: Reckoning with Race in America (St. Martin’s: Macmillan), appears on The Late Late Show with James Corden.

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