Charlie Jane Anders, Seanan McGuire, Marlon James, & Tamsyn Muir Win Locus Awards| Book Pulse

The Locus Awards are announced. The Dilemma by B.A. Paris leads holds this week. Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia sits atop both the LibraryReads and Indie Next lists. Why Did I Get a B? by Shannon Reed is People’s “Book of the Week.” Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi pick summer reads for Amazon. Antiracist book focus is starting to turn to poetry, both in the U.S. and the UK. Vox has an in-depth report on the romance genre, racism, and the RWA.

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The Locus Awards are announced. The City in the Middle of the Night by Charlie Jane Anders (Tor Books: Macmillan; LJ starred review) wins for SF novel. Middlegame by Seanan McGuire ( Macmillan; LJ starred review) wins for Fantasy novel. Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James (Riverhead: Penguin) wins for Horror novel. Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir (Tor Books: Macmillan; LJ starred review) wins for first novel. The full list of winners and finalists are on the Locus site.

The Winter Sisters by Tim Westover (Qw) wins the Selfies Book Awards U.S., Locus reports.

The book award celebration videos are now online from ALA’s virtual Annual Conference.

Big Books of the Week

The Dilemma by B. A. Paris (St. Martin’s: Macmillan) leads holds this week.

Other titles in demand include:

Home Before Dark by Riley Sager (Dutton: Penguin)

Sex and Vanity by Kevin Kwan (Doubleday: Random House)

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Del Rey: Random House)

Friends and Strangers by J. Courtney Sullivan (Knopf)

Daring and the Duke by Sarah MacLean (Avon: Harper; LJ starred review)

These books and others publishing the week of June 29, 2020, are listed in a downloadable spreadsheet.

Librarians and Booksellers Suggest

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Del Rey: Random House) tops both the LibraryReads and the Indie Next lists:

“A perfect gothic mystery with an updated sensibility that will appeal to the modern reader. Noemí is a Mexico City socialite in the 1950s. When her father receives a disturbing letter from his niece, he sends Noemí to check on her cousin at the remote house where she is living--a grotesque and rotting English-style mansion, built on dirt imported from England by the colonialist eugenicist family she has married into. Lush descriptions and the creepy atmosphere make this a good choice for readers who liked The Witch Elm, The Little Stranger, or The Haunting of Hill House.” —Lorena Neal, Evanston Public Library, Evanston, IL

“Creepy and romantic, Mexican Gothic is easily one of my favorite books of 2020! Upon receiving a strange letter from her cousin, Noemi Taboada goes to investigate the happenings of High Place, a decaying manor filled with secrets, and is plagued by terrifying dreams and visions. Moreno-Garcia delivers a fresh take on a classic gothic novel that will grab your attention from the very first chapter!” —Tyrinne Lewis, Rakestraw Books, Danville, CA

Also on the LibraryReads list are:

Home Before Dark by Riley Sager (Dutton: Penguin)

"Maggie’s father wrote a famous book about the family’s paranormal experiences when she was a child living at Baneberry Hall. Twenty-six years later she returns to the house to finally face what happened long ago. This suspenseful and compelling book keeps you guessing to the very end." —Ashley Borer, Normal Memorial Library, Fayette, OH

The Dilemma by B. A. Paris (St. Martin’s: Macmillan)

"If you knew something that was certain to change everything, would you keep it a secret to hold on to tranquility for one more day? Paris' driving narrative, alternating between the perspectives of a husband and wife, guarantees your book group will be divided over this very question." —Lorri Steinbacher, Ridgewood Public Library, Ridgewood, NJ

The Empire of Gold by S. A. Chakraborty (Harper Voyager; LJ starred review)

This is a story about colonialism and cycles of trauma, giving an in depth look at the politics and psychology of a land warred over by ethnic factions for centuries. Highly recommended to anyone looking for an imaginative fantasy with complex characters, well developed relationships, and insightful social commentary. For readers who enjoy N.K. Jemisin and Tasha Suri.” —Lauren Mitchell, Neenah Public Library, Neenah, WI

There are two more titles on the Indie Next list as well:

Friends and Strangers by J. Courtney Sullivan (Knopf)

“I will be recommending J. Courtney Sullivan’s newest to my friends and even perfect strangers this summer. It’s that good! So many of my best friends are new mothers right now and I can’t wait to get this book in their hands. It’s the perfect grass-is-always-greener story. It’s smart, it’s relevant, and it touches on so many relationships, from motherhood to marriage, from friendship to acquaintanceship. I loved it!” —Tim Ehrenberg, Nantucket Bookworks, Nantucket, MA

Nine Shiny Objects by Brian Castleberry (Custom House: Harper)

“This debut novel is a puzzle worth working out — don’t give up! Castleberry cleverly entwines nine characters over 50 years — a tribute to America as we struggle to ‘become enlightened’ while at the same time understand those who reject new ideas. This book will make you think, work through the characters, and come out with a complex but beautiful story describing the American movement since 1947. Assume nothing about this book — or even its title. It’s beautiful!” —Kappy Kling, HearthFire Books, Evergreen, CO

In the Media

People’s “Book of the Week” is Why Did I Get a B? by Shannon Reed. Also getting attention are Everyone Knows How Much I Love You by Kyle McCarthy (Ballantine: Random House) and Animal Spirit: Stories by Francesca Marciano (Pantheon: Random House). Capricia Penavic Marshall, Protocol: The Power of Diplomacy and How to Make It Work for You (Ecco: Harper), offers a look at how COVID-19 is changing social etiquette. On the “Picks” list are Perry Mason and I’ll Be Gone in the Dark. There are recipes from Flavors of the Southeast Asian Grill: Classic Recipes for Seafood and Meats Cooked over Charcoal by Leela Punyaratabandhu (Ten Speed Press) and Serial Griller: Grillmaster Secrets for Flame-Cooked Perfection by Matt Moore (HMH).


HuffPost picks “12 Books For Adults About Anti-Racism And Activism.”

The Guardian has a feature asking Black British poets about “protest, change and the trailblazers who inspired them.”

NPR’s Code Switch has a report on “A Bittersweet Moment For Black Bookstore Owners.” The piece lists some of the books in high demand, new to that conversation is work by Assata Shakur.

Vox has an in-depth story on the Romance genre, racism, exclusion, and the RWA. The story includes quotes from librarian Robin Bradford.

The Atlantic reprints the poem “Frederick Douglass” by Robert Hayden, which it first published in 1947. Hayden was “was the first black American to be appointed as consultant in poetry to the Library of Congress, a role today known as the poet laureate.”


The L.A. Times reviews Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Del Rey: Random House): “isn't just rattling off genre signifiers … to these she adds a more politically inflected horror, both ancient and timely: A racist will to power.”

USA Today reviews Home Before Dark by Riley Sager (Dutton: Penguin) giving it a perfect four stars and writing it “is packed with the expected horror-trope-tinged suspense, literary jump-scares and more than one twist, but its best moments are the quiet ones.”

The NYT reviews We Are Not from Here by Jenny Torres Sanchez (Philomel Books: Penguin): “This subject matter is a heavy lift for young readers. Parents and educators should be ready to have hard conversations about privilege, racism and xenophobia. And while Sanchez’ book was written for teenagers, adults should read it, too.” Also, We Dream Of Space by Entrada Kelly (Greenwillow: Harper; SLJ starred review): “Kelly has a minimalist’s knack for gesturing beyond what’s on the page.” A Short Move by Katherine Hill (Ig): “This is definitely a good book for football fans. But it’s a great book for fans of men and boys, so many of them caught up in the dark world of dreams come true.” Lastly, a group review of “Psychological Thrillers That Will Mess With Your Head.”

NPR reviews Dark Blood Comes from the Feet by Emma J. Gibbon (Trepidatio Publishing): “an assortment of seventeen scalding, acidic tales that eat away at society's thin veneer of normalcy, convention, and even reality. At the same time, these horrific confections leave a sweet aftertaste of humanity.” Also, Tokyo Ueno Station by Yu Miri (Riverhead: Penguin): “a relatively slim novel that packs an enormous emotional punch, thanks to Yu's gorgeous, haunting writing and Morgan Giles' wonderful translation.”

The Washington Post reviews Sex and Vanity by Kevin Kwan (Doubleday: Random House): “the novel lacks the pizazz that made “Crazy Rich” so successful. Still, come for vacuous entertainment, and “Sex and Vanity” delivers.”

Briefly Noted

USA Today selects five books for the week.

The BBC picks the best books of the year so far.

Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi pick summer reads for Amazon.

Electric Lit gathers “7 Dark Thrillers About Friendships Gone Wrong.”

Amazon has “8 new romances perfect for summer reading.”

Datebook asks Bay Area authors for LGBTQ book recommendations.

Jennifer Egan has reading suggestions. Entertainment Weekly has the list. Egan also talks to EW about how A Visit From the Goon Squad changed her life.

Vox picks Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld (Random House) for its July book club pick.

Bustle showcases Skincare: The ultimate no-nonsense guide by Caroline Hirons (HQ: Harper).

Electric Lit interviews Rishi Reddi, Passage West (Ecco: Harper). Also, a conversation with Vincent Toro, Tertulia (Penguin).

Diksha Basu, Destination Wedding, answers Entertainment Weekly’s “What's in a Page” questions.

The NYT interviews Jim Carrey and Dana Vachon, Memoirs and Misinformation (Knopf).

The Los Angeles Review of Books interviews Rep. Ilhan Omar, This Is What America Looks Like: My Journey from Refugee to Congresswoman (Dey St: HarperCollins).

The NYT features Lacy Crawford, Notes on a Silencing: A Memoir (Little, Brown: Hachette).

The Guardian showcases “Leading crime writers reveal how they came up with their most famous creations, what it’s like to live with them over decades and if they’ll last the distance.”

Laura Hillenbrand has an essay in the NYT about change, grief, peace, birds, and a beloved tree.

The Washington Post has a feature on John Bolton, writing that “his rumble with Trump is extreme – even for him.”

The Lonely Planet has a report on Oslo’s new library.

The NYT has an opinion feature on Michel de Montaigne and the invention of the essay, during a plague.

Author Charles Webb has died. The NYT has an obituary. The paper also has an “Overlooked No More” obituary for Valerie Solanas.

Kenneth Lewes has died of the coronavirus. The NYT has an obituary.

Authors on Air

NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday interviews Arshay Cooper, A Most Beautiful Thing: The True Story of America's First All-Black High School Rowing Team (Flatiron Books: Macmillan). Also, NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday interviews Kevin Kwan, Sex and Vanity (Doubleday: Random House).

PBS News Hour features Together in a Sudden Strangeness: America's Poets Respond to the Pandemic edited by Alice Quinn (Knopf).

Wes Moore, Five Days: The Fiery Reckoning of an American City (One World: Random House; LJ starred review), features on Salon Talks.

Quibi is streaming an “all-star remake of The Princess Bride filmed by actors at home while in quarantine.” It begins today. Mulan will open on August 21 now. The Outpost, an adaptation of Jake Tapper’s book, opens on July 3. Deadline has a Q&A. Vagrant Queen is cancelled. It was based on the comic series. Deadline reports on all.

Graham Swift's Mothering Sunday is headed to the movies with Olivia Colman, Colin Firth, and Josh O'Connor to star and Normal People writer Alice Birch to write the script. Town & Country reports.

Hamilton gets a new Disney+ trailer. It debuts on July 3.

Brave New World gets a trailer. It arrives on July 15.

Fleabag and Normal People join up on a crossover video for charity. Variety reports. Here is the video.

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