Ali Smith Wins 2021 Pleasure of Reading Prize | Book Pulse

Ali Smith wins the 2021 Pleasure of Reading Prize, and more winners for the 2021 Baen Fantasy Adventure Award Finalists and the 2021 CWA Dagger Award. Interviews with: Jasmine Guillory of While We Were Dating, T.J. Newman of Falling, Ashley C. Ford of Somebody's Daughter, Carolina De Robertis of The President and the Frog. New books coming out for Chrishell Stause with Under Construction: Because Living My Best Life Took a Little Work, Zosia Mamet for My First Popsicle, an anthology of stories about food to publish in Fall 2022 and the second book, scheduled for Fall 2023 to be a personal essay collection, and Jennifer Egan with The Candy House. Adaptation news for The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren, Let the Record Show: A Political History of ACT UP New York, 1987-1993 by Sarah Schulman and City on Fire by Garth Risk Hallberg.

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Awards & News







Ali Smith wins the 2021 Pleasure of Reading Prize

The 2021 CWA Dagger Winners are announced.

The 2021 Baen Fantasy Adventure Award Finalists are announced.

Andrea Constand, author of forthcoming The Moment (Penguin: Random House) speaks with NYT about Bill Cosby's recent release

Big Library Read, the world's largest digital book club, announced via press release that it has chosen The Quiet Girl by S. F. Kosa (Sourcebooks) as the next pick, available from June 28-July 12.

Page to Screen

July 2:

The Boss Baby: Family Business, based on The Boss Baby and The Bossier Baby by Marla Frazee. Universal Pictures. No reviews | Trailer

Fear Street Part 1: 1994, based on the book series by R. L. Stine. Netflix. No reviews | Trailer

July 5:

The Beast Must Die, based on the book by Nicholas Blake. AMC+. Reviews | Trailer

July 7:

Major Grom: Plague Doctor, based on the comic book series by Artyom Gabrelyanov. Netflix. No reviews | Trailer

Younger, based on the book by Pamela Redmond Satran. TV Land. Reviews | Trailer

July 8:

Gossip Girl, based on the book series by Cecily von Ziegesar. HBO Max. No reviews | Trailer

Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness, based on associated titles. Netflix. No reviews | Trailer


NYT reviews Brainscapes: The Warped, Wondrous Maps Written in Your Brain - and How They Guide You by Rebecca Schwarzlose (Houghton Harcourt): “Schwarzlose, a neuroscientist at Washington University in St. Louis, writes with the zeal of an enthusiastic teacher yearning to share her passion with her students. For the most part she succeeds. Her prose is lively. She jettisons scientific jargon.”

Electric Lit reviews Objects of Desire by Clare Sestanovich (Knopf): “These stories know how we shape ourselves through brief encounters, befuddled recoiling, and endless lonely mulling. Her characters always seem poised at the brink of some great, terrifying, wondrous unraveling.”

Popsugar reviews Falling by T.J. Newman (Avid Reader; LJ starred review): “There are two types of people: people who can read about plane crashes on a plane, and people who can't. If you're in the first group, this is a great, fast-paced thriller to make in-flight hours zoom by. If you're in the second group, save it for a lazy day at the beach.”

Locus Mag reviews Miss Bennet’s Dragon by M Verant (Acerbic Press): “There’s something about Jane Austen, particularly her Pride and Prejudice, that other authors can’t resist playing with. M Verant shows a great love for the work and period in this charming retelling, while adding dragons and somewhat modernizing the actual writing.”

The Washington Post reviews When the Stars Begin to Fall: Overcoming Racism and Renewing the Promise of America by Theodore R. Johnson (Atlantic Monthly): "In Johnson’s telling, racism is fundamentally a matter of denying Black humanity, and while we have moved past slavery and Jim Crow, our institutions, policies and habits continue to echo America’s more sordid and shameful history." Also, War on the Border: Villa, Pershing, the Texas Rangers, and an American Invasion by Jeff Guinn (S. & S.): "Guinn argues that this period of violence solidified a framework of relations between the two nations that endures today. Many in Mexico continue to view the United States as a hypocritical, imperialistic bully, while many Americans see Mexico as a security threat rooted in gang violence and undocumented border crossings." Plus, Unwell Women: Misdiagnosis and Myth in a Man-Made World by Elinor Cleghorn (Dutton): "The scope and detail of “Unwell Women” are vast and, at times, overwhelming. Its most striking lesson is that, when it comes to women’s diseases and their treatment, false beliefs and sexist attitudes have a life of their own. At a moment when the pandemic has illuminated health disparities and when women’s reproductive rights are again threatened, the book is a call to arms for any woman who feels that doctors have not adequately addressed her illness or pain." And a few more reviews posted today.

Book Marks has "The Best Reviewed Books of June."

Briefly Noted

Jasmine Guillory, While We Were Dating (Berkley) talks about the books that have changed her life with Entertainment Weekly. T.J. Newman, author of Falling (Avid Reader; LJ starred review) speaks with The Los Angeles Times about what flight attendants really do and how someone can prepare for takeoff. Ashley C. Ford, Somebody's Daughter (Flatiron: An Oprah Book) has a conversation with The Rumpus about the relationship between parents and children and growing into a generosity with our families. Judith Heumann and Kristen Joiner, co-authors of Rolling Warrior: The Incredible, Sometimes Awkward, True Story of a Rebel Girl on Wheels Who Helped Spark a Revolution (Beacon: Random House) write about the historical protest when disability activists and the Black Panthers joined together for a 25-Day Sit-in.

A doctor speaks about the importance of chronic pain memoirs like The Lady’s Handbook for Her Mysterious Illness by Sarah Ramey (Doubleday) to better inform care. Electric Lit has more. Also, a conversation with Rivka Galchen, Everyone Knows Your Mother Is a Witch (Farrar) about “the particular horrors of actual witch hunts.” Gizmodo features a piece about how “X-Factor’s Final Issue Was an Ugly Low Point for Marvel’s Queer Representation.” 

The Millions profiles Carolina De Robertis, author of The President and the Frog (Knopf: Random House), including an exploration of her earlier works and a conversation with the author. features Nghi Vo, author of The Chosen and the Beautiful (; LJ starred review) speaking about her book and the magical history of papercutting. Brett Biebel explores "writing place in fiction" with a study of Patricia Lockwood's No One is Talking About This (Riverhead: Penguin). Lit Hub has more. Tyler J. Kelley, Holding Back the River: the Struggle Against Nature on America's Waterways (Avid Reader) speaks in an interview about "living in a changed climate" of natural disasters with the Los Angeles Review of Books.

Chrishell Stause will be coming out with her first book titled Under Construction: Because Living My Best Life Took a Little Work, published by S. & S. imprint Gallery Books, to come out in February 2022. People has the exclusive. Viking Penguin has signed Zosia Mamet for her first two books, My First Popsicle, an anthology of stories about food to publish in Fall 2022 and the second book, scheduled for Fall 2023 to be a personal essay collection. Deadline has more. Jennifer Egan will be publishing The Candy House (Scribner: S. & S.) as a “sibling sequel” to A Visit from the Goon Squad. Lit Hub reports. Alex Segura’s latest book Secret Identity (Flatiron: Macmillan) brings a mystery thriller to the comic world. Gizmodo has the first peek.

Ayad Akhtar, Homeland Elegies (Back Bay Books; LJ starred review) takes Elle’s literary survey on Shelf Life has an excerpt of Sword Stone Table: Old Legends, New Voices edited by Swapna Krishna and Jenn Northington (Vintage; LJ starred review).

Time has more on the story of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s viral self-published essay.

Lit Hub celebrates "The Century of Captain America: A Brief History of a Beloved Comic."

Oprah Daily has “The Obamas, Candace Bushnell, and More Authors Share What Summer Reading Means to Them.”

CBC lists “35 Canadian books to check out in summer 2021.”

Parade helps readers get into “a summer state of mind” with Kristy Woodson Harvey, Slightly South of Simple (Gallery: S. & S.) and Riley Sager, Survive the Night by Riley Sager (Dutton) “picks the best thrillers of the summer 2021.”

Book Riot gives “18 of the Best Trans Fantasy and Sci-Fi Books,” “July 2021 Horoscopes and Book Recommendations,” “10 of the Best Revenge Novels,” and “In Defense of Messy Queer Book: Because ‘Good Representation’ is Exhausting.”

Lit Hub has "What to Read This Month, Based on Your Sign," provides “6 Stories That Find Drama in Utopian Settings.”

AV Club has “5 new books to read in July” and “51 New Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books to Add to Your Reading List in July.”

Popsugar lists “54 Best Books That Need to Be on Your Radar This July,” “11 Heart-Stopping Mystery and Thriller Books Coming This July,” and “12 Swoon-Worthy Romance Books to Read in 1 Sitting This July.”

Bustle gives “The 43 Most Anticipated New Books of July 2021.”

Good Morning America lists “33 books to heat up your July.”

NYT has “New in Paperback” and “10 New Books We Recommend This Week.”

Authors on Air

Unlikeable Female Characters podcast interviews Heather Levy, Walking Through Needles (Polis: Ingram) about “sex, drugs, chronic pain, and her new novel.”

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren (Gallery: S. & S.) will be adapted by BCDF Pictures. Deadline reports. Also, Let the Record Show : A Political History of ACT UP New York, 1987-1993 by Sarah Schulman (Farrar, Straus and Girou; LJ starred review) will be adapted into a television series by Andrew Haigh with Concordia Studio and Killer Films. Plus, City on Fire by Garth Risk Hallberg (Vintage: Random House) has been purchased by Apple for a series adaptation.

Gabrielle Mathiue, The Wolf and the Woodsman (Harper Voyager) speaks on the New Books Network about the inspiration she drew from the concept of original sin and Roman cults

Jason Karlawish, The Problem of Alzheimer's: How Science, Culture, and Politics Turned a Rare Disease Into a Crisis and What We Can Do About It (St. Martin's; LJ starred review) discusses the "shocking approval of anti-Alzheimer's drug Aducanumab" with Radio Open Source podcast.

Elisa Gabbert, author of The Unreality of Memory: And Other Essays (FSG Original: Macmillan) has a conversation with the Keen On podcast host about exisiting "in a time of eternal apocalypse."

NYT profiles Malcolm Gladwell and his podcast Revisionist History.

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Book Pulse Will Be on Summer Vacation Next Week; Look For New Posts July 12
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