Laura Jean McKay Wins Arthur C. Clarke Award for 'The Animals in That Country' | Book Pulse 

The Animals in That Country by Laura Jean McKay wins the Arthur C. Clarke Award for the SF book of the year. Phyllis Webstad, Joan Sorley, and Bridget George win the First Nation Communities Read Awards for best Indigenous literature. Banned Books Week continues. Anita Hill gets coverage for her new book, Believing. Cassandra Peterson's memoir continues to create buzz. Plus, interviews arrive with Kristin Henning, Anna Qu, Nina Kraus, and Kevin Young. 

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The Animals in That Country by Laura Jean McKay (Scribe US) wins the Arthur C. Clarke Award. Other finalists included The Infinite  by Patience Agbabi (Canongate), The Vanished Birds by Simon Jimenez (Del Rey: Ballantine), Vagabonds by Hao Jingfang (Gallery/Saga Press), Edge of Heaven by R.B. Kelly (NewCon) and Chilling Effect by  Valerie Valdes (Harper Voyager). Locus has detailsThe Guardian also has coverage, as does Tordotcom.

Phyllis Webstad, Joan Sorley, and Bridget George win the First Nation Communities Read Awards for best Indigenous literature. CBC has details. 

The Polaris Music Prize finalists recommend 10 great books at CBC.


The NYT reviews The Morning Star by Karl Ove Knausgaard (Penguin Pr.): “a hybrid of a Stephen King novel, multi-perspective realist drama, true-crime thriller and theological/spiritual treatise. It’s also a shade apocalyptic, which seems less like a notably alt-world feature than a dictate of realism.” And, Chronicles from the Land of the Happiest People on Earth by Wole Soyinka (Pantheon): “But for all its sarcastic undertones, for all its puns and plays on names, Chronicles From the Land of the Happiest People on Earth is a pessimistic novel, the work of a man with none of the illusions suggested, in full irony, by the title.” Also, Robert E. Lee: A Life by Allen C. Guelzo (Knopf: LJ starred review): “Allen C. Guelzo’s fine biography is an important contribution to reconciling the myths with the facts." And, Stones by Kevin Young (Knopf): “Young is an expansive, almost relaxed writer; blistering intensity isn’t his signature. But he can throw salt in the pot when it’s needed.” Plus, two books by Stanislaw Lem: The Truth and Other Stories trans. by Antonia Lloyd-Jones (MIT Press), and Dialogues, trans. by Peter Butko (MIT Press): “are welcome additions to the libraries of those who might dream of totally understanding Lem’s mind and work, they aren’t the best place to start for readers who simply want to enjoy his brilliance.” Lastly, Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr (Scribner; LJ starred review): "It’s a humane and uplifting book for adults that’s infused with the magic of childhood reading experiences. Cloud Cuckoo Land is ultimately a celebration of books, the power and possibilities of reading." 

NPR reviews Believing: Our Thirty-Year Journey To End Gender Violence by Anita Hill (Viking): "Though it brings together plenty of history and legal decisions, Believing is not a dense or legalistic tome. Its just-over-300-pages are straightforwardly written. In fact, over and over again, the book blows your hair back with its blunt assertions about the problem of misogyny in America."

The Washington Post reviews A Calling for Charlie Barnes by Joshua Ferris (Little, Brown): "All fictional narrators are unreliable to an extent. But Ferris’s novel positively wallows in unreliability, especially in the way families deploy alternative facts to undermine some relatives and elevate others." And,  Lean Fall Stand by Jon McGregor (Catapult): “With its punctuationless title, Lean Fall Stand is a book about the slipperiness of language, that flexible and fallible vehicle for consciousness and communication on which we are so dependent.” Plus, Yours Cruelly, Elvira: Memoirs of the Mistress of the Dark by Cassandra Peterson (Hachette): "As for Cassandra Peterson, the woman beneath the beehive, she has lost none of her showbiz instincts. The recent news that, for the last 19 years, she has been romantically involved with a woman doesn’t just animate the LGBT section of her fan base. It also helps broaden the audience for her new memoir, Yours Cruelly, Elvira, which is the same kind of engrossing oddity that her career has been."  Lastly, Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr (Scribner; LJ starred review): "Yes, libraries are awesome, and we all love books. But the artificial convolutedness of Cloud Cuckoo Land is not enough to confer any additional depth on Doerr’s simple, belabored theme, a theme that thumps through the novel insisting that every character kneel in reverent submission."

Briefly Noted

LA Times has an interview with Kristin Henning about her new book, The Rage of Innocence: How America Criminalizes Black Youth (Pantheon), and the “worst of the outrages and the glimmers of hope.”

ElectricLit asks Anna Qu, Made in China: A Memoir of Love and Labor (Catapult), ten questions about teaching writing

People highlights Anita Hill’s new book, Believing: Our Thirty-Year Journey To End Gender Violence (Viking), and her take on “waiting for Biden’s apology.” The Seattle Times has "Anita Hill still waits for change, 30 years after testimony."

James Han Mattson, Reprieve  (Morrow), writes about a life-changing party he attended after coming out for Esquire

The Millions reads from The William Trevor Reader, starting with “A Meeting in Middle Age.”

Dungeons & Dragons' 5th Edition will get a revision as rules expansion arrives in 2022. Gizmodo reports.

Wired considers how Frank Herbert’s Dune “Foresaw—and Influenced—Half a Century of Global Conflict.”

The Atlantic considers "What Simone de Beauvoir Understood About Happiness."

Gizmodo excerpts The Odyssey of Star Wars: An Epic Poem by Jack Mitchell (Abrams Image), which recounts the events of Rogue One through Return of the Jedi in the style of epic poetry. 

Parade has “The Latinx Culture Guide: 25 TV Shows, Documentaries, Movies, TED Talks and Books to Check Out for Hispanic Heritage Month." 

CrimeReads has “The Year’s Best SciFi Noir (So Far).”

Parade answers “All Your Elin Hilderbrand Questions.”

ElectricLit has “7 Indian Women Writers You Should Be Reading.”

BookRiot offers a “A Fill-In-The-Blanks Template for Recommending Books.” And writes about “Covid-19 and Library Late Fees.”

Banned Books Week continues through October 2nd with events around this year's theme: ""Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us." USA Today defends 30 challenged books for Banned Books Week and Buzzfeed has a “Banned Book Quiz.”

“Charles W. Mills, Philosopher of Race and Liberalism, Dies at 70.” The NYT has an obituary.

Authors On Air

NPR’s All Things Considered has an interview with neuroscientist Nina Kraus about Of Sound Mind: How Our Brain Constructs a Meaningful Sonic World (MIT Press).

NPR’s Morning Edition talks with Kevin Young about his latest poetry collection, Stones (Knopf).

Essence shares "21 Black Podcasts We're Listening To This Fall," including Black Chick Lit, which focuses on books written by and for Black women.

Anita Hill, Believing: Our Thirty-Year Journey To End Gender Violence (Viking), will be on with Stephen Colbert tomorrow night.

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