Read an Excerpt from Barack Obama's 'A Promised Land' | Book Pulse

Read an excerpt from President Barack Obama's memoir, A Promised Land, coming Nov. 17. Raven Leilani's Luster, Bryan Washington's Memorial, and Isabel Wilkerson's Caste are among ALA's longlist for the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction. The shortlist for the British Fantasy Awards 2020 includes The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow and The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Oprah selects seven "Books That Help Me Through" for the upcoming month.

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Buzzy Book News

Luster by Raven Leilani (FSG: Macmillan), Memorial by Bryan Washington (Riverhead: Penguin), and Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson (Random House; LJ starred review) are among ALA's 46-book longlist for the 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction.

The shortlist for the British Fantasy Awards 2020 includes The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E Harrow (Redhook: Hachette), The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates (One World; LJ starred review), and The Institute by Stephen King (Scribner: S. & S.).

Locus reports that Neil Gaiman has won the Forry Award.

The New Yorker has an excerpt from A Promised Land by Barack Obama (Crown: Random House), out Nov. 17.

Rather than just one this month, Oprah picks seven "Books That Help Me Through."

Barnes & Noble lists its "Most Anticipated New Book Releases of November 2020."

The NYT suggests “New & Noteworthy, From Joe Biden to a Rock Novel in Verse."

The BBC offers the "best books of the year so far."

PopSugar picks "21 Best New Books of November."

Electric Lit looks at "7 Books About the Making and Unmaking of Women Politicians."

Book Riot picks the 16 best horror books of the year.


The NYT reviews Martin Amis, Inside Story (Knopf): "Martin Amis is my favorite living writer and 'Inside Story' is his most beautiful book." Also, Jess Walter, The Cold Millions (Harper): "But there’s also a strong invitation, as Rye navigates his way through conspiracies and bloodshed, to link the historical events of his time to the present day, and to ask what Walter means to say about capital-H history by inventing one of its walk-on characters." Bryan Washington, Memorial (Riverhead: Penguin): "In plain, confident prose, Washington deftly records the way the forces of loyalty pull the heartstrings in different directions. The tone and dialogue are cool, almost jaded, gesturing obliquely at the emotions roiling beneath the surface." Jonathan Daniel Wells, The Kidnapping Club: Wall Street, Slavery, and Resistance on the Eve of the Civil War (Bold Type: Hachette): "Wells writes, one senses, not to memorialize the missing, but to reopen their cases — to make a larger argument about recompense." Christie Tate, Group: How One Therapist and a Circle of Strangers Saved My Life (Avid Reader Press: S. & S): This book "is one of those rare memoirs that can be accurately described as honest and raw, and I don’t entirely mean that as a compliment." Elizabeth Berg, I’ll Be Seeing You (Random House): "Let’s face it: You don’t read a memoir about aging parents with health issues for the suspense. Or even the instruction …. Then one year, two years, eight years, pass. So much for zeal. You need company. [This] is a good place to start." Amy Bruni with Julie Tremaine, Life with the Afterlife: 13 Truths I Learned about Ghosts: "...the questions Bruni asks bear relevance to all of us, haunted or not: What does it mean to live with ghosts? When we think or talk about ghosts, it’s never about the ghost, really."

The Washington Post reviews Bryan Washington's Memorial: "In fact, no other novel I've read this year captures so gracefully the full palette of America. The range of cultures, races, generations and sexual identities contending with each other in these pages is not a woke argument; it's the nature of modern family life fully realized."

NPR reviews American Utopia by David Byrne and Maira Kalman (Bloomsbury: Macmillan): "it can be a source of both aesthetic pleasure — those illustrations! — and some solace."

Briefly Noted

The National Book Critics Circle asks its members to pledge "30% of assignments to coverage of books by BIPOC authors." Publishers Weekly reports.

The NYT speaks with Jona Frank about her memoir Cherry Hill: A Childhood Reimagined (The Monacelli Press: Random House).

Gizmodo interviews Ian Shive, Refuge: America’s Wildest Places (Earth Aware Editions, S. & S.).

Lit Hub talks with Pamela Sneed, Funeral Diva (City Lights Publishers: Consortium).

Lecrae shares his favorite books of the year with Amazon.

Bryan Washington discusses his influences with Entertainment Weekly.

Hilary Mantel offers writing wisdom on Lit Hub.

Amazon interviews Shea McGee, Make Life Beautiful (Harper Horizon).

The AP reports Harper will publish Here, Right Matters: An American Story by Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman next spring.

Lemonheads frontman Evan Dando's memoir, Rumours of My Demise, co-written by Jim Ruland, is coming in 2022. The Bookseller reports. has an excerpt from Unchosen by Katharyn Blair (Katherine Tegen: HarperCollins) out Jan. 26, 2021.

Virginia Mollenkott has died. The NYT has an obituary. 

SF Chronicle remembers poet Diane di Prima.

Authors on Air

Adam Sandler will play the lead in the Netflix adaptation of Jaroslav Kalfar’s The Spaceman of Bohemia. Adam Cohen’s Supreme Inequality: The Supreme Court’s 50-Year Battle for a More Unjust America and CJ Tudor's The Chalk Man are being adapteded for TV. Deadline reports on all.

NPR's Fresh Air interviews Marcus Samuelsson, The Rise: Black Cooks and the Soul of American Food (Voracious: Hachette).

Netflix has a teaser for the final season of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, based on the Archie comic, out Dec. 31.

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