RITA Awards Are Canceled For 2020, Jan. 7, 2020| Book Pulse

The RWA cancels the RITA awards for 2020. Lee Child will be a judge for the 2020 Booker Prize. LJ posts its findings from the Generational Reading Survey. There are updates to the page-to-screen calendar. The Witcher keeps getting buzz and The New Mutants gets a trailer.

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The RITAs Are Canceled for 2020 and Other Award News

The RWA cancels the RITA awards for 2020, due to the number of judges and entrants who have canceled their participation over the uproar of recent weeks (here too). Just like the Nobel was forced to do, the plan is to give the 2020 awards along with the 2021 awards next year. Entertainment Weekly has the story.

The Costa Awards announce the category winners. Middle England by Jonathan Coe (Knopf) wins the novel award. The Book of the Year will be announced on Jan. 28.

Lee Child will be a judge for the 2020 Booker Prize. Margaret Busby will chair. The full slate of judges is also announced. The Bookseller has details.

The Writers Guild Awards announces its 2020 nominees. Deadline reports that “the Adapted Screenplay race is among TriStar’s A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Netflix’s The Irishman, Fox Searchlight’s Jojo Rabbit, Warner Bros’ Joker and Sony’s Little Women.”

The BAFTA Film Award nominations are out. Book-related titles making the cut include Joker, The Irishman, Jojo Rabbit, and Little Women. Controversy about the nominees' lack of diversity is also growing.


The Washington Post reviews Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid (G.P. Putnam’s Sons: Penguin; LJ starred review): “From this simple premise Reid constructs a plot so beautifully intricate and real and fascinating that readers will forget it’s also full of tough questions about race, class and identity.” Also, Cleanness by Garth Greenwell (FSG: Macmillan): “… almost all of them are extraordinary. Although the form is smaller, the scope is broader, and the overall effect even more impressive than his novel.”

USA Today reviews House on Endless Waters by Emuna Elon (Atria: S. & S.), giving it 3.5 stars and writing it is “a deeply immersive achievement that brings to life stories that must never be forgotten.” Also, The Age of Illusions: How America Squandered Its Cold War Victory by Andrew J. Bacevich (Metropolitan Books: Macmillan), giving it 4 stars and writing he “skewers pols and their policies left, right and center with potent laser-guided prose.”

NPR reviews The Heap by Sean Adams (William Morrow: Harper): “engrossing … sharp, acidic, and sweet.”

The NYT reviews Creatures by Crissy Van Meter (Algonquin: Workman) : “… vivid and moving debut, is a novel powered by atmosphere.” Also, The American People: Volume 2: The Brutality of Fact by Larry Kramer (FSG: Macmillan): “It’s a mess, a folly covered in mirrored tiles, but somehow it’s a beautiful and humane one. It’s the journal of a plague century. I can’t say I liked it. Yet, on a certain level, I loved it.” Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano (The Dial Press: Random House): “a haunting novel that’s a masterful study in suspense, grief and survival.” Topics of Conversation by Miranda Popkey (Knopf): “Popkey’s sentences careen breathlessly as her halting, staccato prose mirrors the “churning” within the narrator’s mind — the pulsing interior dialogue, the em-dash-laden reasoning back and forth with herself.” Why We Can't Sleep: Women's New Midlife Crisis by Ada Calhoun (Grove Press; LJ starred review): “Calhoun’s essential premise is highly persuasive.” SAM: One Robot, a Dozen Engineers, and the Race To Revolutionize the Way We Build by Jonathan Waldman (Avid Reader: S. & S.; LJ starred review): “ Waldman seems determined to write an epic entrepreneurship tale — and it blinds him to the reality of poor SAM, while rendering Scott Peters nearly mute.” The Black Cathedral by Marcial Gala, translated by Anna Kushner (FSG: Macmillan): “The novel’s form isn’t its only radical quality.” Summer Snow: New Poems by Robert Hass (Ecco: Harper) : “a book that looks meaningfully back on the long life it took to write it.” There is also a group review on the topic of “ How Humans Can Coexist With Other Animals.”

Briefly Noted

Entertainment Weekly offers a “winter thriller preview.”

Paste names its most anticipated nonfiction of the year.

Salon has “7 must-read novels to kick off 2020 right.”

The Millions selects “Must-Read Poetry” for January.

The AV club makes a list of “5 new books to read in January.”

LitHub also offers reading for January.

In The Washington Post Silvia Moreno-Garcia and Lavie Tidhar have a conversation “about how science fiction has dealt with environmental change. It’s not all depressing.”

USA Today features Consider This: Moments in My Writing Life after Which Everything Was Different by Chuck Palahniuk (Grand Central: Hachette).

The NYT features Olivia Gatwood, Life of the Party: Poems (Dial Press: Random House).

The NYT highlights a print-on-demand cookbook that left the reviewer “dazzled.” It is Usha’s Pickle Digest by Usha Prabakaran and is a 20-year-old discovery and now cult classic in India. It is currently in huge demand on Amazon.

The Guardian writes that “Publishing’s long established boys’ club in espionage fiction is having its cover blown by a new school led by Stella Rimington, Manda Scott and Charlotte Philby.”

Stock your RA back pocket with these “12 Excellent SFF Books You Might Have Missed in 2019” as selected by Tor.com as well as “5 Books About Finding Hope at the End of the World.”

The NYT creates a book discussion feature around Long Bright River by Liz Moore (Riverhead: Penguin; LJ starred review). There is also an excerpt.

In forthcoming book news, Subterranean Press is issuing new editions of works by Octavia Butler and Neal Stephenson.

In forthcoming audiobook news, Ethan Hawke will narrate The Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac for PRH. It is due out Feb. 4 (here is the bib. record). The Hollywood Reporter has details. Related, the BBC has a piece about the artform of audio.

Time interviews Peggy Orenstein, Boys & Sex: Young Men on Hookups, Love, Porn, Consent, and Navigating the New Masculinity (Harper).

In book cover news, The Mirror & The Light by Hilary Mantel (Henry Holt: Macmillan) gets its U.S. cover. Tor.com wants to bring back 19th and 20th century book cover trends and nods to the results of last spring’s #BookCoverChallenge.

LJ posts its findings from the Generational Reading Survey. All the findings offer valuable insight, including the RA data about book discovery, such as: “Recommendations from friends and family are the top method all generations use to find out about books they might want to read … There are generational differences for the second-place method. Generation Z (43 percent) looks to social media; Millennials (40 percent) and Generation X (38 percent) browse on Amazon, and Baby Boomers and Silent Generation (both 32 percent) rely on bestseller lists.”

The NYT reports a new book in France has led to an investigation of author Gabriel Matzneff.

Page to Screen Updates

A new round of release dates came with the New Year. Below are the updates for forthcoming adaptations. For the full calendar, see LJ's 2020 Page to Screen feature and continue to check Book Pulse for the most current news.

Jan. 10:

Lincoln Rhyme: Hunt for the Bone Collector, based on the series by Jeffery Deaver. NBC.

Jan. 14:

Arrow, as part four of “Crisis on Infinite Earths” (Jan. 21 for the rest of the season). Based on the DC comic character. The CW.

Jan: 15

The Magicians, based on the book by Lev Grossman. SyFy.

Nancy Drew, based on the character created by Edward Stratemeyer. The CW.

Jan. 16:

Legacies, based on the characters created by L. J. Smith. The CW.

Jan. 19:

Batwoman, based on the DC comic character. The CW.

Supergirl, based on the DC comic character. The CW.

Jan. 20:

Black Lightning, based on the DC comic character. The CW.

Jan. 22:

Riverdale, based on the Archie comics. The CW.

Jan. 24:

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, based on the comics character created by George Gladir and Dan DeCarlo. Netflix.

Shrill, based on the book by Lindy West. Hulu.

Jan. 28:

Miracle Workers, based on What in God’s Name by Simon Rich. TBS.

Feb. 4:

The Flash, based on the DC comic character. The CW.

Feb. 6:

The Sinner, based the book by Petra Hammesfahr. USA.

Briarpatch, based on the novel by Ross Thomas. USA Network.

Feb. 7:

Locke and Key, based on comic by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodríguez. Netflix.

Feb. 14:

High Fidelity, based on the book by Nick Hornby. Hulu.

Feb. 23:

The Walking Dead, based on the comic by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard. AMC.

Feb. 28:

All the Bright Places, based on the book by Jennifer Niven. Netflix.

March 18:

Little Fires Everywhere, based on the book by Celeste Ng. Hulu.

March 20:

Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker, inspired by On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C. J. Walker by A’Lelia Bundles. Netflix.

Nov. 20:

Godzilla vs. Kong, not based on a book but there are associated titles. (Moved from March). Theatrical Release.

Authors on Air

B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy blog digs into The Witcher. So does Forbes.

Robert B. Parker's Wonderland, Spenser Confidential is headed to Netflix, with Winston Duke to star. Shadow and Act has the story.

Deadline reports that Ales Kot’s graphic novel The New World is headed to the movies, with a script by Jeremy O. Harris.

The Guardian’s “Books podcast” features Eoin Colfer, Highfire (Harper).

PBS NewsHour has discussion questions for its book club title, Heart Berries: A Memoir by Terese Marie Mailhot (Counterpoint).

Entertainment Weekly has a conversation about the forthcoming The Walking Dead movies.

NPR interviews Ada Calhoun, Why We Can't Sleep: Women's New Midlife Crisis (Grove Press; LJ starred review).

The New Mutants gets a trailer. It is set to premiere April 3, 2020.

Jamie Oliver, Ultimate Veg  Easy & Delicious Meals for Everyone (Flatiron: Macmillan; LJ starred review), will be on with Stephen Colbert tonight.

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