COVID-19 Impacts Book Industry & What to Read While Social Distancing | Book Pulse

The NYT reports on “The Newly Ominous Future” for the world of books. Sloane Crosley looks ahead. Amy Adams and Jennifer Garner step up. The April Library Reads list is out. The number one pick is The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix. Barn 8 by Deb Olin Unferth is BuzzFeed’s Book Club pick for April. The new buzzy "it" book was written during the 14th century when the Black Death stalked Italy. Amazon bans nearly all copies of Mein Kampf.

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Coronavirus and Books

The NYT writes “The World of Books Braces for a Newly Ominous Future” in a piece that looks at the financial implications of coronavirus. Also, Sloane Crosley has an essay in the paper about writing and the coming novels about COVID-19.

Author Max Brooks has a PSA on coronavirus, with his dad Mel Brooks. Entertainment Weekly has more detail.

The L.A. Times reports on Operation Storytime and #Save with Stories. Both are programs that read children's books aloud online. Amy Adams and Jennifer Garner are behind #SaveWithStories. Here is their announcement. Here is more about Operation Storytime. SLJ also has a report on how "Kid Lit Authors Step Up To Help Educators, Students, and Parents."

The new buzzy "it" book was written during the 14th century when the Black Death stalked Italy. Town & Country has the story of the Decameron.

Bustle suggests “19 Books To Read When You Have A Lot of Alone Time.”

O: The Oprah Magazine gathers “20 Happiness Books That'll Make You Feel Good at the Turn of Every Page.”

Deadline reports that more movies are being made available in some form of home release far ahead of schedule in light of social distancing and the closing of movie theaters. Both The Invisible Man and Emma will be available this week.

Need a laugh right now? LitHub offers “The first lines of 10 classic novels, rewritten for social distancing."


The Washington Post reviews Our House Is on Fire: Scenes of a Family and a Planet in Crisis by Greta Thunberg, Svante Thunberg, Malena Ernman, Beata Ernman (Penguin): “It’s both an intimate personal story and a call to action. Its message is hard to ignore.”

The NYT reviews The Dairy Restaurant by Ben Katchor (Schocken: Random House): “obsessive, melancholy and hungry-making.” Also, Faster: How a Jewish Driver, an American Heiress, and a Legendary Car Beat Hitler’s Best by Neal Bascomb (HMH): "the story itself is fresh, and told in vivid detail.” Nobody Will Tell You This But Me: A True (as Told to Me) Story by Bess Kalb (Knopf; LJ starred review): “an explicitly matrilineal project." That Hair by Djaimilia Pereira de Almeida, translated by Eric M B Becker (Tin House Books): “Timely and relevant, “That Hair” contains themes that will be recognizable to so many readers, regardless of their mother tongue, who are wrestling with their own mixed-race experience today.” The Mountains Sing by Nguyen Phan Que Mai (Algonquin: Workman; LJ starred review): “absorbing, stirring.” Hitler's First Hundred Days: When Germans Embraced the Third Reich by Peter Fritzsche (Basic Books: Hachette; LJ starred review): “there’s something particularly clarifying about the hundred-days framing, especially as it’s presented in this elegant and sobering book." Let the People Pick the President: The Case for Abolishing the Electoral College by Jesse Wegman (St. Martin’s: Macmillan): “People have been arguing against the Electoral College from the beginning. But no one, at least in recent years, has laid out the case as comprehensively and as readably as Jesse Wegman does.” Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism by Anne Case, Angus Deaton (Princeton): "[a] highly important book.” Broken Glass: Mies van der Rohe, Edith Farnsworth, and the Fight Over a Modernist Masterpiece by Alex Beam (Random House): “Beam’s thorough and thoughtful account is both a knowing biography of an object — the house — and of its two principals, the well-documented Mies and the widely overlooked Farnsworth.” A Certain Clarity: Selected Poems by Lawrence Joseph (FSG: Macmillan): “a major work of American art.” The Dream Universe: How Fundamental Physics Lost Its Way by David Lindley (Doubleday: Random House): “a polemical argument from a writer who won’t be pulling his punches.” My Meteorite: Or, Without the Random There Can Be No New Thing by Harry Dodge (Penguin): “smothers with overinterpretation the epiphanic randomness that it means to instantiate.” Samsung Rising: The Inside Story of the South Korean Giant That Set Out to Beat Apple and Conquer Tech by Geoffrey Cain (Currency: Random House): “a brisk, balanced telling of the Samsung story.” Sick Souls, Healthy Minds: How William James Can Save Your Life by John Kaag (Princeton): “a new house, a more modest and specific structure than his earlier works.” Suncatcher by Romesh Gunesekera (The New Press): “The writing is most successful when Gunesekera reins in the polemics and refracts through the young Kairo’s eyes the subtle ways in which divisions of class can manifest themselves.” When I Hit You: Or, A Portrait of the Writer as a Young Wife by Meena Kandasamy (Europa): “urgent, searing.” Also, “New & Noteworthy Audiobooks.”

The L.A. Times reviews The Gringa by Andrew Altschul (Melville House: Random House): “his goal is to write a terrorist thriller that isn’t about black hats and patriots but the state of confusion that’s truer to times of political crisis.”

Briefly Noted

The April Library Reads list is out. The number one pick is The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix (Quirk Books: Random House).

Barn 8 by Deb Olin Unferth (Graywolf Press: Macmillan) is BuzzFeed’s Book Club pick for April. They have an excerpt.

Linda Grant wins the Wingate Literary Prize for A Stranger City (Virago). The Bookseller has details.

CrimeReads picks “March’s Best Debut Novels.”

Popsugar picks “25 of the Best New Books to Add to Your Reading List This Spring.” There are also lists about “Remarkable Women in History Ideal For Diving Into This Month” and "’Badass’ Books Should Be on Your Reading List” as picked by Meghan Markle.”

BuzzFeed lists “13 Must-Read Fantasy Books Coming Out This Spring.”

Electric Lit has “14 Highly Anticipated LGBTQ+ Books Coming This Spring.”

Book Marks has “Five Books that Tell the Immigrant Story: Vanessa Hua, the author of Deceit and Other Possibilities, shares five books in her life." Also, “10 Great Irish Novels Not Set in Ireland.” explores “Five SFF Subgenres for Fans of True Crime.”

BookPage highlights “16 women to watch in 2020.”

Bitch Media interviews Stephanie Wrobel, Darling Rose Gold (Berkley: Penguin).

Entertainment Weekly interviews Sinéad Gleeson, Constellations: Reflections from Life (Mariner: HMH).

Popsugar excerpts The Last Flight by Julie Clark (Sourcebooks Landmark).

A new Tump staffer book is on the way, Off the Record: Picking Up the Pieces after Losing My Dream Job at the White House by Madeline Westerhout (Center Street). It arrives in August. People has details.

Hyperallergic has a look at the Divan manuscript about to go on auction. Here is a link to the earlier story we posted about it.

LitHub offers a new RA column, bookrecs.

Amazon bans nearly all copies of Mein Kampf. The Guardian has details.

Authors on Air

PBS NewsHour has an annotated page from Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love by Dani Shapiro (Anchor: Random House).

Refinery29 focuses on Lost Girls, now on HBO, and interviews author Robert Kolker.

The Today show features Dinner in French: My Recipes by Way of France: A Cookbook by Melissa Clark (Clarkson Potter: Random House), Amazon Woman: Facing Fears, Chasing Dreams, and a Quest to Kayak the World's Largest River from Source to Sea by Darcy Gaechter (Pegasus: S. & S.), and The Gift of Forgiveness: Inspiring Stories from Those Who Have Overcome the Unforgivable by Katherine Schwarzenegger (Pamela Dorman Books: Penguin).

Vanity Fair has a first look at Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story.

Niall Ferguson's Networld, based on Niall Ferguson's The Square and the Tower: Networks and Power, from the Freemasons to Facebook, airs tonight on PBS.

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