'The Vanishing Half' by Brit Bennett Tops NYPL 2020 Checkouts | Book Pulse

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett leads 2020 checkouts at the New York Public Library. Toaster Oven Perfection by America's Test Kitchen tops library holds lists this week. The January issue of Entertainment Weekly is out, featuring reviews of The Push by Ashley Audrain and Girl A by Abigail Dean. Above the Ether by Eric Barnes wins the best novel category for the 2020 Darrell Awards. Sarah Polley will direct and Frances McDormand will produce and star in the film adaptation of Women Talking by Miriam Toews.

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Big Books of the Week

Toaster Oven Perfection: A Smarter Way to Cook on a Smaller Scale by America's Test Kitchen (America's Test Kitchen: Random House) leads holds this week.

Other titles in demand include:

What Color Is Your Parachute? 2021: Your Guide to a Lifetime of Meaningful Work and Career Success by Richard N. Bolles with Katharine Brooks (Ten Speed: Random House)

Complete Container Herb Gardening: Design and Grow Beautiful, Bountiful Herb-Filled Pots by Sue Goetz (Cool Springs)

In Case You Get Hit by a Bus: How to Organize Your Life Now for When You're Not Around Later by Abby Schneiderman and Adam Seifer, with Gene Newman (Workman)

These books and others publishing the week of Dec. 21, 2020, are listed in a downloadable spreadsheet. 

Note: There are no LibraryReads or Indie Next selections arriving this week.

In the Media

The January issue of Entertainment Weekly is out. The book review section covers The Push by Ashley Audrain (Pamela Dorman: Penguin), which earns a B, and Girl A by Abigail Dean (Viking: Penguin), getting a B+. Also featured are The Cousins by Karen M. McManus (Delacorte: Random House), The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins (St. Martin's: Macmillan), and The Captive by Fiona King Foster (Ecco: HarperCollins). There are interviews with Sarah Gailey, The Echo Wife (Tor: Macmillan), Michael Farris Smith, Nick (Little, Brown: Hachette), Robert Jones, Jr., The Prophets (G.P. Putnam's Sons: Penguin; LJ starred review), and Barack Obama, A Promised Land (Crown: Random House; LJ starred review).  Also in Books, Brandon Taylor, Real Life (Riverhead: Penguin), recommends Edith Wharton. On the January "Must List" are Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters (One World: Random House) and Aftershocks by Nadia Owusu (S. & S.). With her own picks, actress Tessa Thompson recommends Heads of the Colored People by Nafissa Thompson-Spires (S. & S.). 

"The Best and Worst of 2020" gets coverage. The books selections are already available online. Movie adaptations include Nomadland on the best side, and Hillbilly Elegy and The Witches on the worst side. The best of TV includes The Plot Against America and The Queen's Gambit. Additional TV coverage takes a look at The Stand. Lastly, the "Entertainers of the Year" feature includes Brit Bennett, The Vanishing Half (Riverhead: Penguin), and an annual memorial section spotlights Alex Trebek. 

In this week's People, the "Picks" section takes a look at coffee-table books, including Good Dog: A Collection of Portraits by Randal Ford (Rizzoli), Designing History: The Extraordinary Art & Style of the Obama White House by Michael S. Smith (Rizzoli), Glory: Magical Visions of Black Beauty by Kahran and Regis Bethencourt (St. Martin's: Macmillan), Chinatown Pretty: Fashion and Wisdom from Chinatown's Most Stylish Seniors by Andria Lo and Valerie Luu (Chronicle), and Flower: Exploring the World in Bloom by Phaidon Editors (Phaidon). There is a feature on Hillbilly Elegy. Melissa Clark, Kid in the Kitchen: 100 Recipes and Tips for Young Home Cooks (Clarkson Potter) shares a pho recipe.


Entertainment Weekly reviews The Prophets by Robert Jones, Jr. (G.P. Putnam's Sons: Penguin; LJ starred review), which earns an A-: "...a grand achievement that pits love against cruelty and spares no detail in its brutal telling of the American past."

The Guardian reviews Kindred: Neanderthal Life, Love, Death and Art by Rebecca Wragg Sykes (Bloomsbury Sigma: Macmillan): "With a sketch and a short piece of fiction at the start of each chapter, Wragg Sykes paints a vivid picture of life as lived by a Neanderthal parent, hunter or child. She doesn’t just want us to see Neanderthals for who they (probably) really were; she wants us to see their world through their eyes."

Book Marks selects the best book reviews of the year.

Booklist Reader shares 5 reviews for the week.

Briefly Noted

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett (Riverhead: Penguin) tops 2020 checkouts at the New York Public Library

Kirkus selects the best indie books of the year.

Lambda Literary staff lists the books that helped them manage 2020.

The Chicago Tribune's "Biblioracle picks his favorite fiction of 2020."

Rumaan Alam, Denise Williams, Suzie Yang, and more authors share their favorite books of the year with the Avalon Free Public Library.

Zeyn Joukhadar, The Thirty Names of Night (Atria: S. & S.; LJ starred review), talks with NYPL about the books he's read this year.

The Washington Post recommends "science fiction, fantasy and genre-bending tales for the chilly days ahead."

BuzzFeed shares Libro.fm's 23 audiobook best-sellers of 2020

The NYT looks at "Three New Cinderella-Inspired Romance Novels."

Kristin Cavallari lists the best books she read this year for Amazon.

Shelf Awareness previews new books out next week.

Time looks looks ahead at "The 21 Most Anticipated Books of 2021."

Writers suggest books that Joe Biden should read for the NYT.

Above the Ether by Eric Barnes (Arcade: S. & S.) wins the best novel category for the 2020 Darrell Awards. Locus reports on all the winners.

For The Rumpus, Kristen Millares Young, Subduction (Red Hen), lists "What to Read When You Don’t Know if You Can Go Home Again."

Beginning in the new year, contributors to Elsevier's Cell Press journals will have the option to have their work publish with open access. The Bookseller reports.

The Atlantic features Sylvia Pankhurst: Natural Born Rebel by Rachel Holmes (Bloomsbury: Macmillan) and Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All by Martha S. Jones (Basica: Hachette; LJ starred review).

A $264 fountain pen, sourdough starter, and other things Neil Gaiman can't live without, via The Strategist.

The NYT has an “Overlooked No More” obituary for Clarice Lispector.

Authors on Air

Sarah Polley will direct and Frances McDormand will produce and star in the film adaptation of Women Talking by Miriam Toews (Bloomsbury: Macmillan). Variety has details.

Anna Chazelle is directing the feature adaptation of The Trespassers by Elmore Leonard. Millie Bobby Brown will star in the adaptation of the graphic novel The Electric State by Simon Stålenhag. Deadline reports.

Bustle looks into the real-life inspiration for Roald & Beatrix: The Tail of A Curious Mouse.

Ling Ma discusses some inspirations behind this month's book club selection, Severance (FSG: Macmillan), with PBS NewsHour.

CBS Sunday Morning recommends 6 books from the past year.

The Today Show features The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison (Vintage: Penguin) and The Times Machine!: Learn Multiplication and Division...Like, Yesterday! by Danica McKellar (Crown Books for Young Readers). 

NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday has "four recommendations for scary, wintertime reads."

The CBC's The Current interviews Claudia Rankine, Just Us: An American Conversation (Graywolf Press: Macmillan; LJ starred review). Also, the CBC's Day 6 talks about Nancy Drew on the 90th anniversary of the first book's publication.

Danielle Evans, The Office of Historical Corrections: A Novella and Stories (Riverhead: Penguin; LJ starred review), appears on the First Draft podcast.

On Wired's Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast, a discussion of a podcast that's devoted to author Arthur C. Clarke.

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