N.K. Jemisin, Jacqueline Woodson, & Tressie McMillan Cottom Awarded Genius Grants; National Book Award Finalists Announced | Book Pulse

The National Book Award finalists are announced. The MacArthur “Genius” Grant recipients include a number of authors, including N. K. Jemisin, Jacqueline Woodson, and Tressie McMillan Cottom. More book, and audio, picks arrive. In adaptation news, Barbarian Days by William Finnegan is headed to Amazon and an animated version of The Lumberjanes comic is set for HBO Max.

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The National Book Awards, The "Genius" Grants, and The BBC Short Story Award







The National Book Foundation announces the finalists for the National Book Awards. NPR, NYT, The Washington Post, and PBS NewsHour have reports.

The MacArthur “Genius” Grants are announced. The NYT has a report and additional coverage on the author winners this year, which include N. K. Jemisin, Jacqueline Woodson, Tressie McMillan Cottom, Cristina Rivera Garza, and Larissa FastHorse.

Sarah Hall, Sudden Traveler: Stories (Custom House: Harper) wins the BBC National Short Story Award. The Bookseller reports.


Entertainment Weekly reviews Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam (Ecco: Harper), giving it an A- and writing “A Brooklyn family’s borrowed summer idyll in the Hamptons becomes the setting for more than a modern comedy of manners ... a zingy dystopian exercise whose blooming absurdities (the less about which you know going in, the better) would seem frankly unbelievable if they didn’t ring so true.”

The NYT reviews The 99% Invisible City: A Field Guide to the Hidden World of Everyday Design by Roman Mars, Kurt Kohlstedt (HMH): “introduces us to mysteries that most of us have never considered … a diverse and enlightening book.” Also, The Arsonist: A Mind on Fire by Chloe Hooper (Seven Stories Press): “With propulsive energy [it] follows the case.”  Fauci by Michael Specter (Audible): “Biography might be a generous description of this book … How close to extinction must we come? It’s the question Specter himself has posed in his work, that he poses again here, in telling the story of a celebrated physician and the heroic trait of changing one’s mind.” Tomboy: The Surprising History and Future of Girls Who Dare to Be Different by Lisa Selin Davis (Hachette Go): “brings us up to the current moment and its starkly polarized takes on gender.” “The Shortlist” looks at “Debut Novels About Seamy Underbellies and Dark Turns.”

Briefly Noted

BookPage has suggestions for Romance, Cozies, Audio, and Lifestyle.

CrimeReads offers “5 Psychological Thrillers You Should Read This October.”

Entertainment Weekly picks the best comics of October.

The NYT has “New & Noteworthy Anthologies.”

BuzzFeed selects 13 new releases.

Parade names its “Favorite Audiobooks of 2020.”

The Guardian suggests “Top 10 underrated Agatha Christie novels.”

The Guardian picks A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James (Riverhead: Penguin; LJ starred review) as its October book club title.

The Washington Post highlights recent reissues of cult favorites such as Game of Thrones and Star Wars. Also, a feature on Humans by Brandon Stanton (St. Martin’s Press: Macmillan). People also has coverage of Stanton.

BuzzFeed has a story from The Secret Lives of Church Ladies by Deesha Philyaw (West Virginia UP). It is a National Book Award finalist.

Entertainment Weekly offers audio excerpts of Is this Anything? written and read by Jerry Seinfeld, (S. & S.).

Tor.com excerpts The Bright and Breaking Sea by Chloe Neill (Berkley: Penguin).

People reports on the forthcoming You Love Me by Caroline Kepnes (Random House).

USA Today interviews Lenny Kravitz, Let Love Rule (Henry Holt: Macmillan).

The L.A. Times features What Were We Thinking: A Brief Intellectual History of the Trump Era by Carlos Lozada (S. & S.). Lozada has a piece in The Atlantic.

Vanity Fair interviews Lara Parker, Vagina Problems: Endometriosis, Painful Sex, and Other Taboo Topics (Griffin: St. Martin’s: Macmillan). Bitch Media also has coverage.

The L.A. Times writes about the ever-strong push to adapt books for screen. Also, the paper continues its “United We Read” series.

Sir Roger Penrose, who just won the Nobel Prize in Physics, has a number of books out.

Authors on Air

NPR’s Fresh Air interviews Lenny Kravitz, Let Love Rule (Henry Holt: Macmillan). NPR interviews John O. Brennan, Undaunted: My Fight Against America's Enemies, At Home and Abroad by (Celadon: Macmillan).

Barbarian Days by William Finnegan is headed to Amazon for a film adaptation. The Lumberjanes comics are headed to HBO Max. Co-creator Noelle Stevenson will adapt and executive produce the animated series. Elisabeth Moss will star as author and ex-Congresswoman Katie Hill in an adaptation of Hill’s memoir, She Will Rise. Ken Liu’s “The Cleaners,” is getting adapted for Amazon. It is part of a forthcoming collection of retold fairy tales titled Faraway, due out on December 15 from Amazon Original Stories. Deadline reports.

Vanity Fair has a few first look images of News of the World.

Pete Buttigieg, Trust: America's Best Chance (Liveright: W.W. Norton), will be on with Stephen Colbert tonight.

Ina Garten, Modern Comfort Food: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook (Clarkson Potter: Penguin), will be on with Seth Meyers.

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