Jay-Z Launches Roc Lit 101 Imprint at Random House | Book Pulse

Jay-Z's Roc Nation is partnering with Random House on the new imprint Roc Lit 101, and the first releases will be memoirs by former Yankee CC Sabathia and music journalist Danyel Smith. The January Library Reads list is out, with The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins as the number one pick. More lists of the best books of 2020 arrive from the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, The A.V. Club, Slate, Vox, and more. MLA gives its 2020 First Book award to The Practice of Citizenship: Black Politics and Print Culture in the Early United States by Derrick R. Spires. Plus, news on adaptations of Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo, Life After Life by Kate Atkinson, Burn-In: A Novel of the Real Robotic Revolution by P. W. Singer and August Cole, and more.

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

Forthcoming Book News

Jay-Z's Roc Nation is partnering with Random House on the new imprint Roc Lit 101. First up in summer 2021 are memoirs by former Yankee CC Sabathia and music journalist Danyel Smith. Publishers Lunch has details.

Titan Books will publish When Things Get Dark: Stories Inspired by Shirley Jackson, featuring work by Joyce Carol Oates, Josh Malerman, Paul Tremblay, and more, next fall. The Bookseller has the news.

Entertainment Weekly has a cover reveal for While We Were Dating by Jasmine Guillory (Berkley: Penguin), due out July 2021, plus a Q&A with the author. Also, DC will publish a monthly series featuring The Joker starting in March

In other comic news, Deadpool creator Rob Liefeld will bring a reimagined Mighty Crusaders to Archie Comics in a four-issue series next year. Deadline reports.

Tor.com excerpts Persephone Station by Stina Leicht (Saga: S. & S.), due out Jan. 5. Also, news that MIRA will publish Vampire Weekend and an as-yet untitled book by Mike Chen, due out in 2023 and 2024, respectively.

io9 has an excerpt from Midnight, Water City by Chris Mckinney (Soho Crime). It's due out July 2021.

Reviews 

NPR reviews I Came as a Shadow: An Autobiography by John Thompson with Jesse Washington (Henry Holt: Macmillan): "The writing is good although, at times, the prose doesn't sparkle. What drives you forward as a reader are the experiences."

The Washington Post reviews The Berlin Girl by Mandy Robotham (Avon: HarperCollins): "...deeply researched and heartfelt." 

The NYT reviews The Ancient Hours by Michael Bible (Melville House): "At just over 100 pages, 'The Ancient Hours' may seem a slender meditation on a life that jumps the guardrails of right-and-wrong, but it packs a wallop." Also, A Bite of the Apple: A Life with Books, Writers and Virago by Lennie Goodings (Oxford): "It’s a memoir that doesn’t merely look backward, but in its form, in all its limitations, gestures at the work to be done." Wild Minds: The Artists and Rivalries That Inspired the Golden Age of Animation by Reid Mitenbuler (Atlantic Monthly): "...lively history of the first half-century of animation."

Book Marks rounds up "The Best Reviewed Books of 2020: Nonfiction."

Briefly Noted

The January Library Reads list is out. The number one pick is The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins (St. Martin's: Macmillan).

The Asian American Writers’ Workshop select the best books of the year.

The A.V. Club picks the top 15 books of 2020.

Slate lists the best audiobooks of the year.

Vox offers "The 15 best books our book critic read this year."

The New Yorker picks the best cookbooks of 2020.

CrimeReads selects the year's best debut novels, and the best gothic fiction.

Tor.com's Liz Bourke shares the best books she read this year (see also: the best books she didn't get around to yet).

The unemployed and underemployed booksellers of The Bookstore at the End of the World pick the best books of the year for Lit Hub.

The Chicago Tribune's John Warner shares his nonfiction "Biblioracle Book Awards."

Entertainment Weekly rounds up "The most millennial books of 2020."

Readers of The Guardian share their favorite books of the year.

At Shondaland, "22 Authors on the Books That Gave Them Hope in 2020."

Amazon has ideas for book club selections

Wired recommends new books about artificial intelligence.

Electric Lit has "9 New Poetry Collections that Highlight the Diversity of Latinx Identity."

The Booklist Reader picks the best new books of the week.

The NYT has "New & Noteworthy Visual Books, From Boxing to Hollywood Candids."

Former Mets captain David Wright shares his favorite books of the year with Amazon.

MLA has awarded its 2020 prizes, including the First Book award which goes to The Practice of Citizenship: Black Politics and Print Culture in the Early United States by Derrick R. Spires (Univ. of Penn.).

The L.A. Times looks into the new series The Library of Esoterica, edited by Jessica Hundley (Taschen), which "speaks the universal language of symbolism."

The NYT revisits the work of James Beard, who died in 1985—a chef, author, and subject of the recent biography The Man Who Ate Too Much by John Birdsall (W.W. Norton; LJ starred review). 

Bon Appétit editor in chief Dawn Davis interviews Bryan Washington, Memorial (Riverhead: Penguin), for its new Instagram series, with highlights on its website.

Entertainment Weekly has a conversation with Barack Obama, A Promised Land (Crown: Random House).

The Believer interviews Aaron Benanav, Automation and the Future of Work (Verso: Random House).

Salar Abdoh, Out of Mesopotamia (Akashic; LJ starred review), discusses the book, Iran, American presidencies, and more with BOMB.

Hannah Abigail Clarke discusses the first in their series, The Scapegracers (Erewhon: Workman), with Lambda Literary.

Kate Soper, Post-Growth Living: For an Alternative Hedonism (Verso: Random House), talks about consumerism during capitalism in a Q&A at Lit Hub.

Karla Cornejo Villavicencio and Marcelo Hernandez Castillo took part in the L.A. Times Book Club, and a recording is available.

In the NYT, Nikki Giovanni recommends you "not pay attention" to what foolish people think.

Authors on Air

Made Up Stories picked up the rights to Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo (Quill Tree: HarperCollins) with plans for a TV series. Netflix is developing a documentary series based on Sharing the Wisdom of Time by Pope Francis. Bad Robot is adapting Burn by Patrick Ness (Quill Tree: HarperCollins), for TV. A four-part BBC series based on Life After Life by Kate Atkinson is in the works. CBS has the creator of Elementary at work on an adaptation of Burn-In: A Novel of the Real Robotic Revolution by P. W. Singer and August Cole (HMH). Pictou Twist Pictures has optioned the film and TV rights to Blood in the Water by Silver Donald Cameron, "the true story of the murder at sea of Philip Boudreau." Deadline reports on all.

Ahead of the premier of The Stand, Stephen King talks with the NYT about other adaptations of his work.

Matthew McConaughey, Greenlights (Crown: Random House), is on The Talk today.

Michelle Buteau, Survival of the Thickest: Essays (Gallery: S. & S.) is on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen.

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.


RELATED 

ALREADY A SUBSCRIBER?

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

ALREADY A SUBSCRIBER?