'World of Wonders' by Aimee Nezhukumatathil Is Barnes & Noble's Book of the Year | Book Pulse

Barnes & Noble booksellers pick World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments by Aimee Nezhukumatathil, illustrated by Fumi Nakamura, as the book of the year. Half Gods by Akil Kumarasamy wins the the Bard Fiction Prize, and Fifth Sun: A New History of the Aztecs by Camilla Townsend wins the Cundill History Prize. Reality TV star Shep Rose of Southern Charm is writing a memoir called Average Expectations: Lessons in Lowering the Bar. Adaptations out this week include Nomadland and The Hardy Boys. Plus, a TV series based on Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart is in the works.

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Big & Buzzy Books

Barnes & Noble picks World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments by Aimee Nezhukumatathil, illustrated by Fumi Nakamura (Milkweed Editions), as its book of the year.

Shondaland selects its best books of 2020.

The Seattle Times picks the 10 best crime novels of the year.

Book Riot picks the best children's books of the year, plus short story collections by Asian writers.

"Scholars Pick Their Favorite Books of 2020" for Smithsonian Magazine.

Bitch Media offers "7 YA Books Feminists Should Read in December."

BookPage selects the top 3 audiobooks of the month.

"December’s Most Anticipated LGBTQ Books" via Lambda Literary.

Publishers Weekly picks the best books out next week.

The NYT recommends 11 new releases, plus some long (500-page+) books.

Fifth Sun: A New History of the Aztecs by Camilla Townsend (Oxford) wins the Cundill History Prize.

Half Gods by Akil Kumarasamy (FSG: Macmillan) wins the the Bard Fiction Prize.

Copper Canyon Press will publish Content Warning: Everything, a debut poetry collection by Akwaeke Emezi, in 2022.

Reality TV star Shep Rose of Southern Charm is writing a memoir. People reports Average Expectations: Lessons in Lowering the Bar (Gallery: S. & S.) is due out March 2021.

Super Mario Manga Mania by Yukio Sawada (VIZ), the first English-language manga featuring the famed videogame characters, comes out next week. Paste has info.

Page to Screen


 Dec. 4

Nomadland, based on the book by Jessica Bruder. VOD. Reviews | Trailer

Captain Underpants Mega Blissmas, based on the series by Dav Pilkey. Netflix. No reviews | Trailer

The Hardy Boys, based on the series by Franklin W. Dixon. Hulu. Reviews | Trailer

Dec. 6

A Little Christmas Charm, based on The Charm Bracelet by Melissa Hill. HMM. No reviews | Trailer

Dec. 7

A Suitable Boy, based on the book by Vikram Seth. Acorn TV. Reviews | Trailer

Dec. 9

Dr. Seuss' The Grinch Musical!, based on the book How The Grinch Stole Christmas. NBC. No reviews | Trailer

Dec. 10

Alice in Borderland, based on the manga series by Haro Aso. Netflix. Reviews | Trailer

Funny Boy, based on the book by Shyam Selvadurai. Netflix. Reviews | Trailer

Reviews

NPR reviews Long Time Coming: Reckoning with Race in America by Michael Eric Dyson (St. Martin’s: Macmillan): "The writing is smart and the research that informs it is great, but what makes this is an important book is Dyson's voice, which is strong but always pregnant with frustration, pain, admiration and, ultimately, hope."

The Washington Post also reviews Long Time Coming: Reckoning with Race in America by Michael Eric Dyson (St. Martin’s: Macmillan): "Dyson’s grander purpose, perhaps, is to bare the deep wounds left by generations of White-authored violence. He wants readers to feel that pain." Plus, Shit, Actually: The Definitive, 100% Objective Guide to Modern Cinema by Lindy West (Hachette): "The problem — and it’s a significant one — is that the movies West focuses on affirm the very White male hegemony she typically critiques." Paper Bullets: Two Artists Who Risked Their Lives to Defy the Nazis by Jeffrey H. Jackson (Algonquin: Workman): "The book, at once tense and tender, is a scrupulously researched account of their lives." Saving Freedom: Truman, the Cold War, and the Fight for Western Civilization by Joe Scarborough (Harper): "...bold and highly readable." His Very Best: Jimmy Carter, a Life by Jonathan Alter (S. & S.; LJ starred review): "Alter’s account is ably sourced and fluidly written, one of the best in a celebrated genre of presidential biography."

The L.A. Times reviews Rest and Be Thankful by Emma Glass (Bloomsbury Circus Macmillan): "...a poetic but disjointed second novel, at times as harshly illuminating as a fluorescent-lighted operating room and at others as confusing as an overwhelmed ER." 

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

Briefly Noted 

Dav Pilkey shares his favorite books of the year with Amazon.

Jane Smiley, Perestroika in Paris (Knopf: Random House), talks about living with and writing about animals with the L.A. Times.

Entertainment Weekly's "What's in a Page" column features Charles YuInterior Chinatown (Pantheon: Random House).

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie answers questions from fellow authors in The Guardian.

Guernica's "Back Draft" series talks to Danez Smith about drafts of a poem from Homie (Graywolf: Macmillan).

Dolly Parton admits in the NYT's "By the Book" column that the last great book she read was Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics (Chronicle).

Maaza Mengiste, The Shadow King (W. W. Norton), is in conversation at Lit Hub with Aminatta Forna, whose book of essays, The Window Seat: Notes from a Life in Motion (Grove: Ingram), is due out May 2021.

Leroy Logan discusses his new memoir, Closing Ranks: My Life as a Cop (SPCK), and what it's like to be portrayed in Steve McQueen's Small Axe: Red, White, and Blue with The Washington Post.

Baby Yoda is on the new ALA READ poster and bookmark.

On Giving Tuesday, Jason Reynolds purchased the stock of all his books at Washington, D.C. bookshops, and told readers to go pick them up for free. WAMU reports.

Funding and book borrowing are on the decline at libraries in the U.K. The Guardian reports.

Lit Hub wonders "What a New Book Expo Could Learn From the Helsinki Book Fair."

Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Alison Lurie has died. There are remembrances in the NYT, The Washington Post, and the Associated Press.

Authors on Air

A TV adaptation of Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart (Grove; LJ starred review) is in the works. So is a series for Apple TV+ based on The Book of Gutsy Women: Favorite Stories of Courage and Resilience by Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chelsea Clinton. Deadline reports.

See the trailer for season 3 of American Gods, based on the book by Neil Gaiman

David Chang, Eat a Peach (Clarkson Potter: Random House), discusses food and depression on the CBC's Sound of Mind. Also, Rupi Kaur, Home Body (Andrews McMeel), confesses to worrying about never publishing again.

Barack Obama, A Promised Land (Crown: Random House), is on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

Jamie Oliver, 7 Ways: Easy Ideas for Every Day of the Week (Flatiron: Macmillan), will be on The Late Late Show with James Corden.

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