'Shuggie Bain' by Douglas Stuart Wins 2020 Booker Prize | Book Pulse

Shuggie Bain, the debut book by Douglas Stuart, wins the 2020 Booker Prize. Everywhere You Don't Belong by Gabriel Bump wins the 2020 Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence. Amazon selects A Knock at Midnight: A Story of Hope, Justice, and Freedom by Brittany K Barnett as the best book of the year, and The New York Times, Time, The Washington Post, and O: The Oprah Magazine have their 2020 best-of lists, as well. Never-before-seen work from J.R.R. Tolkien is coming next year in The Nature of Middle-earth. Plus, Between the World and Me, Hillbilly Elegy, and more new adaptation releases.

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The Booker Prize 

Shuggie Bain, the debut book by Douglas Stuart (Grove; LJ starred review) wins the 2020 Booker Prize by a unanimous vote. The 2020 chair of judges, Margaret Busby, says, "Shuggie Bain is destined to be a classic — a moving, immersive and nuanced portrait of a tight-knit social world, its people and its values."

Watch the virtual event coverage here, which features speakers including last year's dual winners, Margaret Atwood and Bernardine Evaristo, as well as Barack Obama and HRH The Duchess of Cornwall.

The NYT, The Guardian, and NPR have reports. 

Best Books of 2020

The NYT lists the "100 Notable Books of 2020."

Amazon selects A Knock at Midnight: A Story of Hope, Justice, and Freedom by Brittany K Barnett (Crown: Random House) as the best book of the year. See their other favorites by genre here.

Time picks "The 10 Best Fiction Books of 2020," placing The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett (Riverhead: Penguin) at the top.

O: The Oprah Magazine selects the 20 best books of 2020.

The Washington Post narrows the best of the year down to its top 10.

Page to Screen

Nov. 20:

Jiu Jitsu, based on the comic book by Dimitri Logothetis and Jim McGrath. Theatrical Release. Reviews | Trailer

Alien Xmas, based on the book by Stephen Chiodo. Netflix. No reviews | Trailer

Nov. 21:

Between the World and Me, based on the book by Ta-Nehisi Coates. HBO. Reviews | Trailer

A Little Christmas Charm (aka The Charm Bracelet), based on the book by Melissa Hill. HMM. No reviews | No trailer 

Nov. 22:

The Angel Tree, based on the book by Daphne Benedis-Grab. HMM. No reviews | Trailer

Nov. 23:

Black Narcissus, based on the book by Rumer Godden. FX. Reviews | Trailer

Nov. 24: 

Hillbilly Elegy, based on the book by J.D. Vance. Netflix. Reviews | Trailer


The Washington Post reviews Cold Moon: On Life, Love, and Responsibility by Roger Rosenblatt (Turtle Point): "His memories of his life summon ours, without warning or apology. Line by line, he helps us find softer landings." Also, Rome Is Burning: Nero and the Fire That Ended a Dynasty by Anthony A. Barrett (Princeton): "Historically minded visitors to Rome as well as Roman-history enthusiasts will appreciate the erudition and context with which he illuminates one of the great stories — and personalities — of the ancient world." Editing Humanity: The CRISPR Revolution and the New Era of Genome Editing by Kevin Davies (Pegasus: S. & S.): "...lively and enthralling." Invent and Wander: The Collected Writings of Jeff Bezos by Jeff Bezos (Harvard Business Review): " What’s frustrating about even the best parts of this book is the feeling of being confined to the surface; there’s little narrative, tension or challenging introspection." The Last American Hero: The Remarkable Life of John Glenn by Alice L. George (Chicago Review): "Readers also hoping for the promised insight into Glenn’s personality and a look at who he was behind the public image are unlikely to find it in this book."

Briefly Noted

Everywhere You Don't Belong by Gabriel Bump (Algonquin: Workman; LJ starred review) wins the 2020 Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence. The Advocate reports.

Ibram X. Kendi and Tomi Adeyemi are among TIme's 100 Most Influential People of 2020.

The NYT recommends 12 new books.

CrimeReads has 10 new books coming out next week.

BuzzFeed lists 42 YA books to look out for in 2021.

Book Marks’ "Best Reviewed Books of the Week."

Hachette Book Group’s Grand Central Publishing has launched the wellness imprint GCP Balance, bringing Nana K. Twumasi in to lead it. Publishers Weekly has details.

Never-before-seen work from J.R.R. Tolkien is coming in June 2021 in The Nature of Middle-earth (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). Entertainment Weekly reports. Also, an excerpt from EW's former editor Doug Brod's forthcoming book They Just Seem a Little Weird: How KISS, Cheap Trick, Aerosmith, and Starz Remade Rock and Roll (Hachette), and another from Unsettled Ground by Claire Fuller (Tin House: W. W. Norton).

Brandi Carlile announced pre-orders of her first memoir, Broken Horses (Crown: Random House) on Instagram.

Tor.com has an excerpt of Ruinsong by Julia Ember (FSG: Macmillan).

The CBC excerpts Gutter Child by Jael Richardson (HarperAvenue).

The L.A. Times interviews Andrew Gelwicks, The Queer Advantage: Conversations with LGBTQ+ Leaders on the Power of Identity (Hachette Go).

Jean Kyoung Frazier discusses Pizza Girl (Doubleday: Random House) with BOMB.

Entertainment Weekly speaks with Carla Valderrama about This Was Hollywood: Forgotten Stars and Stories (Running Press).

Electric Lit has a Q&A with Danielle Evans, The Office of Historical Corrections: A Novella and Stories (Riverhead: Penguin; LJ starred review).

Rachel Bloom talks about I Want to Be Where the Normal People Are (Grand Central: Hachette) with Bustle

Salon interviews Nikki Giovanni, Make Me Rain: Poems & Prose (William Morrow: Harper).

The Guardian has a profile of our National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, Jason Reynolds.

Inspired by John Darnielle's National Book Awards performance, Lit Hub lists other authors who are also musicians

Did a bot write an Obama biography, which is selling really well on Amazon? Slate looks at an unusual new trend. 

Following an announcement that Poets House would suspend operations, former employees released a letter arguing the move was retaliatory against unionization efforts. Poets House denies it. Publishers Weekly has more.

The CEO of News Corp says he sees antitrust issues if Penguin Random House were to acquire Simon & Schuster. News Corp's Harper Collins and PRH are believed to be the top contenders in the sale of S. & S. Publishers Weekly reports. 

Swedish author Jan Myrdal has died. The NYT has an obituary.

Authors on Air

Ava DuVernay will produce and Rosario Dawson will star in the HBO Max adaptation of the comic book DMZ by Brian Wood and Riccardo Burchielli. Entertainment Weekly reports.

See new trailers for The Underground Railroad, based on the book by Colson Whitehead; Batwoman, which has associated titles; and Chaos Walking, based on the series by Patrick Ness.

The sketch comedy show The G Word with Adam Conover, from the Obama’s Higher Ground Productions and inspired by The Fifth Risk by Michael Lewis, is coming to Netflix. Roadside Attractions picks up U.S. theatrical release rights to the live-action, Roberto Benigni-led Pinocchio, based on the book by Matteo Garrone. Braddock, a feature based on Striking Gridiron by Greg Nichols and starring Joshua Jackson and Kate Bosworth, is in production. Details has the news.

NPR's Fresh Air features Barack Obama, A Promised Land (Crown: Random House).

The Today Show interviews Spike Carlsen, A Walk Around the Block (HarperOne).

Kiese Laymon, How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America (Agate Bolden: Ingram; LJ starred review), is on The Maris Review podcast.

Ayad Akhtar, Homeland Elegies (Little, Brown: Hachette; LJ starred review), talks with Cathy Park Hong, Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning (One World: Random House), on the Bookable podcast.

The Reading Women podcast features Raven Leilani, Luster (FSG: Macmillan).

Michael Eric Dyson, Long Time Coming: Reckoning with Race in America (St. Martin’s: Macmillan), is the featured guest on tonight's Real Time with Bill Maher, alongside panelists Alex Wagner, Futureface: A Family Mystery, an Epic Quest, and the Secret to Belonging (One World: Random House), and Jon Meacham, His Truth Is Marching On: John Lewis and the Power of Hope (Random House; LJ starred review).

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