Barack, Michelle Obama Read "The Word Collector" for Chicago Public Library | Book Pulse

Barack and Michelle Obama read The Word Collector by Peter H. Reynolds for the Chicago Public Library's "Live From the Library" series and discuss the new branch of the library that will open on the campus of the Obama Presidential Center. Bryan Washington wins the Swansea University Dylan Thomas Prize. The Buzz Book Fall/Winter edition arrives, and a new one on romances is out too. More booklists are here for Spring Books, Beach Reads, and 107 female authors to read. The long-awaited Snowpiercer debuts and Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series is headed to Disney+.

Want to get the latest book news delivered to your inbox each day? Sign up for our daily Book Pulse newsletter.

Page to Screen

This week in adaptations the long awaited Snowpiercer finally arrives and Stargirl debuts.







May 15:

Scoob!, a “Scooby-Doo” spinoff; not based on a book but there are associated titles. Streaming. No reviews | Trailer

Inhuman Resources (Dérapages), loosely based on Cadres noirs by Pierre Lemaitre. Netflix.  No reviews | Trailer

May 17:

Snowpiercer, based on the graphic novel of the same name. TNT. Reviews | Trailer

Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: Heist and Seek, based on the series by Charlaine Harris. HMM.  No reviews | Trailer

May 19:

Stargirl, based on the DC comics characters. CW. Reviews | Trailer

Ovid and the Art of Love, based on the life of Ovid. Streaming. No reviews | Trailer

Sweet Magnolias, based on the series by Sherryl Woods. Netflix. No reviews | Trailer

May 20:

The 100, based on the novel of the same name by Kass Morgan. CW. No reviews | Trailer

At Home With Amy Sedaris, featuring the author. truTV. No reviews | Trailer


The NYT reviews The Chiffon Trenches: A Memoir by André Leon Talley (Ballantine: Random House): “at once a summing-up of his decades-long career and a pointed commentary on how whiteness works.” The paper also features debuts that “deserve your attention.” The Crime column is out. And on that note, the paper offers “much-loved classic crime fiction” on audio.

The Washington Post reviews The Shapeless Unease: A Year of Not Sleeping by Samantha Harvey (Grove) and while having some issues, writes “Harvey conveys the hell of insomnia with the precision and passion.”

Book Marks names “The Best Reviewed Books of the Week.”

Briefly Noted

Barack and Michelle Obama read The Word Collector by Peter H. Reynolds for the Chicago Public Library's "Live From the Library" series. At the same time, they discuss the new branch of the library that will open on the campus of the Obama Presidential Center. Here is the video. People has details. Oprah will also read for the library. USA Today has a story on the library’s plan for celebrity readers.

Bryan Washington wins the Swansea University Dylan Thomas Prize for Lot: Stories (Riverhead: Penguin). The announcement took place online, with the shortlist authors reading from their works.

Bruce Conforth and Gayle Dean Wardlow win the Penderyn Music Book Prize for Up Jumped The Devil: The Real Life of Robert Johnson (Chicago Review Press).

The NYT recommends ten books for the week.

Esquire picks the best books of spring.

Parade picks the best beach reads of the year.

Lit Hub picks “5 Books You May Have Missed in April.”

Stylist offers “The 107 female authors everyone should have on their bookshelf.”

Essence gathers “5 Beauty Books By Black Authors To Read Right Now.”

Vulture profiles Olivia Laing, Funny Weather: Art in an Emergency (W.W. Norton).

Electric Lit interviews Jenny Zhang, My Baby First Birthday (Tin House: W.W. Norton).

Tori Amos answers The Guardian’s “Books that made me” questions.

CBC Books "Why I Write" series features Linwood Barclay, Elevator Pitch (Harper; LJ starred review).

The Washington Post interviews Marlo Thomas and Phil Donahue, What Makes a Marriage Last: 40 Celebrated Couples Share with Us the Secrets to a Happy Life (HarperOne).

Vulture features The Book of Eels: Our Enduring Fascination with the Most Mysterious Creature in the Natural World by Patrik Svensson (Ecco: Harper; LJ starred review).

Curtis Sittenfeld, Rodham (Random House), writes about Hillary Clinton for The Guardian.

In forthcoming book news, Michelle Duster will write Ida B. the Queen, about Ida B. Wells, to publish from Simon & Schuster Feb. 2021. USA Today reports.

The Hollywood Reporter has comic book news, including an expansion of DC’s Death Metal, a follow-up to Eden, Eden II: The Aftermath, a Hulk spinoff, and a trailer for the forthcoming comic Streamliner.

The NYT writes about Afrolit Sans Frontieres, a virtual literary festival focused on African writers.

The Guardian writes about African authors seeking a way to get published locally, rather than via French publishers.

Mental Floss has a video about “Common Misconceptions About Famous Books and Authors.”

People excerpts Survival of the Thickest: Essays by Michelle Buteau (Gallery Books: S. & S.), forthcoming this December. excerpts Hunted by the Sky by Tanaz Bhathena (FSG; SLJ starred review).

Publishers Lunch is holding a Buzz Book Presents via Zoom on May 20. Also, the Buzz Book Fall/Winter excerpt collection is available for download, as is a new Buzz Book offering for romance titles.

The NYPL acquires the Martha Graham archive. The NYT reports. Here is the library's announcement. The paper also reports on a digital exhibition at the New Museum that “features cultural luminaries like David Byrne, Takashi Murakami and Elizabeth Peyton sharing selections from their favorite books.” Here is a link.


COVID-19 Reading and RA/Collection Development Resources

USA Today writes about the virtual PR plans surrounding The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic) and the current state of publishing as well. Related, Shondaland asks YA authors to reflect on the impact of The Hunger Games.

Autostraddle writes “6 Queer Authors on What It’s Like to Launch Their Books in a Pandemic.”

Lit Hub has another round of “Quarantine Book Recommendations.”

Mental Floss suggests “11 Book Series and Collections to Binge Read.”

Electric Lit offers “What We Can Learn About the Pandemic from The Plague.”      

The Atlantic considers “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” and how it has new meaning now.

Min Jin Lee writes an opinion piece for the NYT about work and effort right now.

O: The Oprah Magazine picks up on the Harry Potter digital escape room created by Peters Township Public Library in McMurray, PA.

Memoirist and veteran of the CIA, Ralph W. McGehee has died of Covid-19. The NYT has an obituary.

Authors on Air

Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series is headed to Disney+. Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of "The View" by Ramin Setoodeh is getting turned into a TV miniseries. Variety reports.

NPR’s Fresh Air interviews John Barry, The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History (Penguin).

The CW plans a Superman and Batwoman crossover event. Deadline reports.

The NYT holds a conversation about Sally Rooney’s Normal People and the adaptation.

Want to get the latest book news delivered to your inbox each day? Sign up for our daily Book Pulse newsletter.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.


Get connected. Join our global community of more than 200,000 librarians and educators.

Get access to 8000+ annual reviews of books, ebooks, and more

As low as $13.50/month