Jason Reynolds To Serve Third Term as National Ambassador for Young People's Literature | Book Pulse

Jason Reynolds's term as National Ambassador for Young People's Literature has been extended for an unprecidented third year. The 2021 National Book Festival is underway and runs through September 26th. The German Book Prize releases its 2021 shortlist and the 2021 Neffy Awards winners are announced. Bewilderment by Richard Powers gets critical acclaim. The Book of Form and Emptiness by Ruth Ozeki gets a 4 star review from USA Today. Karl Ove Knausgaard’s newest novel, The Morning Star, gets coverage as well. Interviews arrive with Craig Johnson, Mai Der Vang, and Brandon Taylor. Chuck Palahniuk starts a Substack newsletter and Gen X comes of (middle) age. Plus, an ‘exceptionally rare’ first edition of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein sells for $1.17M. 

Want to get the latest book news delivered to your inbox each day? Sign up for our daily Book Pulse newsletter.

Awards & News & Events

Source: Library of CongressJason Reynolds' term as National Ambassador for Young People's Literature has been extended for an unprecidented third year. LJ reports. Reynolds talked about his plans for the next year on the TED Radio Hour at the 2021 National Book Festival, which runs through September 26th. 

The German Book Prize releases its 2021 shortlistPublishing Perspectives has details. 

The 2021 Neffy Awards winners are announced. Locus has details.


The NYT reviews Bewilderment by Richard Powers (Norton; LJ starred review): “What is the bigger scheme of things, and how do we get — and stay — there? If any writer is capable of invoking such scale, and allowing us to linger there awhile, it is surely Powers, whose capacity for world-envisioning offers rapt readers moment after moment of captivating recalibration.” NPR also reviews: “Powers continues to raise bold questions about the state of our world and the cumulative effects of our mistakes. In Bewilderment, some of these mistakes lead to an upsetting ending. The result is a sobering elegy with an upsetting ending sure to spark discussion.” The Seattle Times also reviews: “After a long hot summer of drought, plague, smoke and fire, this is a book that hymns our planet’s terrible moment — not a wake-up call but the first grim chords of a requiem."

USA Today reviews The Book of Form and Emptiness by Ruth Ozeki (Viking; LJ starred review), giving it 4 out of 4 stars: ”is concerned foremost with the outsiders in our world, the ones who hear voices, who are friendless, who fall into addiction and self-harm. It’s concerned, too, with the ultimate outsiders, the objects that we produce and discard, produce and discard. It is both profound and fun, a loving indictment of our consumer culture.”

NYT reviews: The Wrong End of the Telescope by Rabih Alameddine (Grove; LJ starred review): “Alameddine’s irreverent prose evokes the old master storytellers from my own Middle Eastern home, their observations toothy and full of wit, returning always to human absurdity.” And, You Bet Your Life: From Blood Transfusions to Mass Vaccination, the Long and Risky History of Medical Innovation by Paul A Offit (Basic): “Offit is a good storyteller, and he has some terrific stories to tell. He also draws important lessons. In the domain of medical innovation, tragedies cannot be prevented, no matter how many regulations we put in place.” Plus, short reviews of a trio of historical fiction novels, and three new sci-fi/fantasy titles.

NPR reviews The Fortnight in September by R.C. Sherriff (Scribner): “an absorbing reflection on time and especially how it changes shape in periods like a vacation — or even a pandemic — that aren't bounded by normal routines.”

Briefly Noted

NYT considers Karl Ove Knausgaard’s work and his newest novel, The Morning Star (Penguin Pr.).

LitHub has an interview with Ruth OzekiThe Book of Form and Emptiness (Viking; LJ starred review), about "the best advice she’s ever received."

CrimeReads has a Q&A with Craig Johnson, Daughter of the Morning Star (Viking), about “the plight of missing and murdered indigenous women.”

The Rumpus talks with Mai Der Vang about her newest collection, Yellow Rain (Graywolf), and “the intersection of visual and poetic forms, and the poems we write and rewrite that haunt us.”

BBC talks to Gen X authors who are writing coming-of-middle-age stories.

Entertainment Weekly previews Act II of the Audible original audiobook adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman, due out tomorrow. 

Chuck Palahniuk has started a Substack newsletter. LitHub has details. Salmon Rushdie made news earlier this month by announcing exclusive content to the platform

At CrimeReads, Jesse Kellerman writes about “the discreet charm of the Berkley crime novel,” and why The Burning, written with Jonathan Kellerman (Ballantine), is set there.

Anita Hill pens an article for Time, adapted from her forthcoming book Believing: Our Thirty-Year Journey To End Gender Violence (Viking).

USA Today shares the "5 most shocking stories" from How to Save a Life: The Inside Story of Grey's Anatomy by Lynette Rice (St. Martin's: Macmillan).

OprahDaily has a preview and cover reveal of Pulitzer finalist Hernan Diaz’s forthcoming novel, Trust (Riverhead), due out May 3rd, 2022.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune offers “3 new extra-unusual graphic novels to check out.”

An ‘exceptionally rare’ first edition of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein sells for $1.17M. The Guardian reports.

Authors on Air

NPR’s It’s Been A Minute With Sam Sanders podcast talks with Brandon Taylor, Filthy Animals (Riverhead), about “writing from a Black and queer perspective.”

Esther Freud Reads “Desire” on the New Yorker podcast: The Writer’s Voice: Fiction from the Magazine.

NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour suggests curling up with three audiobooks.

Anderson Cooper, Vanderbilt: The Rise and Fall of an American Dynasty, written with Katherine Howe (HarperCollins), will be on Live with Kelly and Ryan tomorrow. 

Want to get the latest book news delivered to your inbox each day? Sign up for our daily Book Pulse newsletter.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing