'How to Pronounce Knife' by Souvankham Thammavongsa Wins 2020 Scotiabank Giller Prize| Book Pulse

The short stories collection How to Pronounce Knife by Souvankham Thammavongsa wins the $100,000 2020 Scotiabank Giller Prize. Blue Ivy Carter, daughter of Beyoncé and Jay-Z, narrates the audiobook Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry, which is also headed to HBO Max as a series. The Con Queen of Hollywood, based on a Hollywood Reporter article by Scott Johnson, has been picked up by HarperCollins. Plus, print books sales were up for the last week of October, compared to the same week last year, with the newest Wimpy Kid title leading the rise.

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Reviews

NPR reviews Particulate Matter by Felicia Luna Lemus (Akashic: Ingram): "...a moving example of how to write about climate change, not didactically, but with the deep impact of both personal loss and literary elegance." Also, We Keep the Dead Close: A Murder at Harvard and a Half Century of Silence by Becky Cooper (Grand Central: Hachette): "Even when this book threatens to buckle under the weight of detail, Cooper's resolve to excavate the truth about Britton's murder will keep a reader engaged enough to want to follow this case to its unexpected conclusion." Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times by Katherine May (Riverhead: Penguin): "Wintering is refreshingly free of self-pitying navel-gazing and trite exhortations to buck up."

The NYT reviews At Night All Blood Is Black by David Diop (FSG: Macmillan): "...a spare yet extraordinary novel." Also, Metropolis: A History of the City, Humankind's Greatest Invention by Ben Wilson (Doubleday: Random House): "'Metropolis' is a bold undertaking that makes for gripping reading…" Cobble Hill by Cecily von Ziegesar (Atria: S. & S.): "To say this novel is niche would be an understatement, to call it wacky would be apropos — but much like the neighborhood it’s named for, 'Cobble Hill; may delight readers of a certain age and income bracket." Pappyland: A Story of Family, Fine Bourbon, and the Things That Last by Wright Thompson (Penguin): "The book is a soulful journey that blends together biography, autobiography, philosophy, Kentucky history, the story of bourbon’s origins and an insider’s look at how the Van Winkle whiskey is made and marketed." Kraft by Jonas Lüscher (FSG: Macmillan): "...a digestible treatise on Europe’s economic and political history of the last few decades." The Fabric of Civilization: How Textiles Made the World by Virginia Postrel (Basic: Hachette): "Postrel specializes in sharp, informed commentary on broad subjects. So it’s a surprise to find very little opinion in 'The Fabric of Civilization.'Loved and Wanted: A Memoir of Choice, Children, and Womanhood by Christa Parravani (Henry Holt: Macmillan): "It’s a crisis, not just for Parravani but for all of us. Frustratingly, the book feels as if it was rushed through in the midst of one." First Principles: What America’s Founders Learned From the Greeks and Romans and How That Shaped Our Country by Thomas E. Ricks (Harper; LJ starred review): "In this instructive new book, he offers a judicious account of the equivocal inheritance left to modern Americans by their 18th-century forebears."

The Washington Post reviews The Kingdom by Jo Nesbo (Knopf: Random House): "Not at all disappointing is the great bulk of this generally mesmerizing novel, including its occasional wit." Also, The Arrest by Jonathan Lethem (Ecco: Harper): "It’s clever but not funny; a satire that never pricks its target."

The Atlantic reviews Earthlings by Sayaka Murata, translated by Ginny Tapley Takemori (Grove): "Her matter-of-fact rendering of wild events is as disorienting as it is intriguing."

Briefly Noted

How to Pronounce Knife: Stories by Souvankham Thammavongsa (Little, Brown: Hachette; LJ starred review) wins the 2020 Scotiabank Giller Prize. See the awards presentation, and a discussion with the five finalists

The Millions lists notable books released today.

Amazon rounds up "The best biographies and memoirs of November."

BookPage looks at November's new mysteries and thrillers.

Megan Rapinoe, One Life (Penguin), shares her favorite books of the year with Amazon.

The Associated Press has a look at forthcoming books related to the Trump administration.

The Con Queen of Hollywood: The Epic Hunt for the Impersonator Who Stole Identities, Money, and Desires from Hollywood Royalty and Dreamers Alike, based on a 2018 Hollywood Reporter story by Scott Johnson, has been picked up by HarperCollins.

Entertainment Weekly has a preview of photos included in Barack Before Obama: Life Before the Presidency by David Katz (Ecco: HarperCollins), out Dec. 1.

Blue Ivy Carter, daughter of Beyoncé and Jay-Z, narrates the audiobook Hair Love (Audible), author Matthew A. Cherry announced. Entertainment Weekly notes the book is also being adapted into a series by HBO Max.

Halsey, I Would Leave Me If I Could: A Collection of Poetry (S. & S.), sits for a rare interview with Vogue.

Lit Hub profiles Jonathan Lethem, The Arrest (Ecco: Harper), and asks 5 bonus questions. 7 questions go to Danielle Evans, Éireann Lorsung, Kao Kalia Yang, Christa Parravani, and Jess Walter. Plus, a Q&A with Jericho Brown.

The NYT's "Group Text" book club guide covers Lightning Flowers: My Journey to Uncover the Cost of Saving a Life by Katherine E. Standefer (Little, Brown: Hachette). Its "Shortlist" features short stories.

Jennifer Moffett, Those Who Prey (Atheneum Books for Young Readers: S. & S.), talks cults with Shondaland.

Sejal Shah, This Is One Way to Dance (University of Georgia), discusses identity culture and more with Guernica.

Print books sales were up 9.5% in the week ending Oct. 31, compared to the same week last year, with the newest Wimpy Kid title leading the rise. Publishers Weekly has details.

In a temporarily relocated public library in Carmel, IN, biographies are in the freezer aisle. I Love Libraries reports.

The Common's 2020 Author Postcard Auction, a fundraiser for The Common Foundation where fans can bid on personalized postcards from a range of authors, is up through Dec. 1.

Authors on Air

NPR's Fresh Air features Megan Rapinoe, One Life (Penguin).

Talia Lavin talks with NPR's It's Been a Minute about Culture Warlords: My Journey Into the Dark Web of White Supremacy (Hachette).

Following Johnny Depp's departure from filming, Fantastic Beasts 3, which has related titles, will be out on July 15, 2022. Also, former UFC champ Michael Bisping will helm The Journeyman, adapted from Journeymen by Mark Turley. A German production of All Russians Love Birch Trees, adapted from the book by Olga Grjasnowa, is currently underway. Deadline reports on all.

The Today Show features College Admissions During Covid: How to Navigate the New Challenges in Admissions, Testing, Financial Aid, and More by Robert Franek (Princeton Review) and The Greatest Beer Run Ever: A Memoir of Friendship, Loyalty, and War by John "Chick" Donohue and J. T. Molloy (William Morrow: HarperCollins).

Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Water Dancer (One World; LJ starred review), will be on Late Night with Seth Meyers tonight.

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