American Booksellers Association Apologizes For Anti-Trans Book | Book Pulse

The American Booksellers Association has apologized for including “an anti-trans book” in a recent promotional shipment to members. The 2021 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize longlist is announced, Li Kotomi wins the Akutagawa Prize, and Patricia Highsmith’s diaries will be available to the public, published in November. Interviews abound with: Tiffany McDaniel of Betty, Stephen King of Billy Summers, Kristen Radtke, Seek You: A Journey Through American Loneliness, Savala Nolan of Don’t Let It Get You Down: Essays on Race, Gender, and the Body, Jasmine Guillory of While We Were Dating, and Sophia Benoit of Well, This is Exhausting. Adaptation news for Viet Thanh Nguyen’s The Sympathizer, Vanessa Riley’s Island Queen, She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, Octavia Butler’s Kindred, and Basketful of Heads by Joe Hill.

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Awards & News

 

 

 

 

The 2021 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize longlist is announced.

The American Booksellers Association has apologized for including “an anti-trans book” in a recent promotional shipment to members. Time reports.

Li Kotomi wins the Akutagawa Prize for An island where red spider lily blooms. Kyodo News has the story.

Page to Screen

July 16:

Die in a Gunfight, based on the play Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. Lionsgate. No reviews | Trailer

Fear Street Part Three: 1666, based on the book series by R.L. Stine. Netflix. No reviews | Trailer

July 21:

Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans, with associated titles including graphic novels by Marc Guggenheim and Richard Hamilton. Netflix. No reviews | Trailer

Reviews

NPR Fresh Air reviews Women of Brewster Place by Gloria Naylor (Penguin: Random House): “Deftly, Naylor gathers all these individual stories into one climactic narrative that works through the reader via a word-by-word sense of horror and outrage.” Also, I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump’s Catastrophic Final Year by Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker (Penguin): “This gives the Rucker-Leonnig storytelling a compelling sense of almost novelistic omniscience, as though the authors had been present and taking notes in a host of conversations they never heard. That is the style that has arisen in even the most respectable works of research in political reporting in our time, and these two Pulitzer-certified authors are among its most trustworthy practitioners.” Plus, Sword Stone Table: Old Legends, New Voices edited by Swapna Krishna and Jenn Northington (Vintage; LJ starred review): “For now, the authors of Sword Stone Table give us all the Arthurs we could want — and remind us that any corner of the world can be a Camelot, any stone may conceal a sword, and that the Round Table has enough seats for us all.”

The Washington Post reviews A Woman of Intelligence by Karin Tanabe (St. Martin’s: Macmillan): “Most radically of all, Tanabe writes spot-on about something many men and women are still loath to talk about: that women can love their children but still crave and need a life outside the home.” Also, I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump’s Catastrophic Final Year by Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker (Penguin): “As the authors argue in their introduction, it’s a vital sequel, given the momentous public health, racial and electoral crises that unfolded during Trump’s bid for a second term. Like their first book, this one is filled with vivid, often alarming, occasionally humorous reconstructions of private White House meetings, complete with enough F-bombs to fill an episode of the classic HBO series “Deadwood.”” Plus, A Farewell to Gabo and Mercedes: A Son's Memoir of Gabriel García Márquez and Mercedes Barcha by Rodrigo Garcia (HarperVia): "Just as he did on the occasion of his father’s death, Rodrigo avoids connections between García Márquez and the characters in his father’s complex, endlessly analyzed works. Instead, he has written an intimate and surprisingly relatable chronicle of grief and acceptance, albeit one that also offers a glimpse into one of the most famous literary figures of all time. Though the book is hardly a tell-all, it does offer some intriguing tidbits." And many more reviews posted today.

NYT reviews Landslide: The Final Days of the Trump Presidency by Michael Wolff (Henry Holt and Co.): “Wolff doesn’t have Mark Milley. He’s not so interested in the Covid narrative. He zeros in on the chaos and the kakistocracy, on how nearly everyone with a sense of decency fled Trump in his final months, and how he was left with clapped-out charlatans like Sidney Powell and Giuliani.” Also, I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump’s Catastrophic Final Year by Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker (Penguin): “Perhaps it’s not the authors’ fault that “I Alone Can Fix It” is grueling. It may be that a reader, having survived Covid-19, “stop the steal” and the bear-spray wielders, and feeling a certain amount of relief — relief, John Lanchester has said, is the most powerful emotion — is uneager to rummage so soon through a dense, just-the-facts scrapbook of a dismal year.” Plus, The Turnout by Megan Abbott (Putnam; LJ starred review): "Like a ballet, “The Turnout” revels in its own bigness, its drama, its relish for cataclysmic passion and its appetite for the grotesque, but some of Abbott’s deftest work involves an underlying interplay between strength and fragility." A few more reviews have been posted today.

Oprah Daily reviews The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu by Tom Lin (Little, Brown): “While Lin probes American obsessions with race, guns, and myth-making, he also imbues his gritty with stunning lyricism and a larger spiritual aura, one that has pervaded the world long before the rise of humanity, and will move on once our species falls into oblivion, much like Ming’s victims.”

Los Angeles Times reviews Embassy Wife by Katie Crouch (Farrar): “Come for the romp but stay for the study of human nature and human survival. When you’re out in the wild, Crouch suggests, it’s hunt or be hunted — or find a source of protection. Sometimes that comes in a persona, sometimes a spouse, sometimes in knowing when it’s time to abscond. For a writer setting her sights set on a summer readership, it might mean coating a very bitter pill with some sweet folly. In “Embassy Wife,” Crouch makes tough lessons very easy to swallow.”

Locus Magazine reviews The Album of Dr. Moreau by Daryl Gregory (Tor: Macmillan): “The result is a straight-up detective tale with science fictional tropes about gene splic­ing underpinning the whole world. There are puns a’plenty and colorful characters to keep the tone brisk and engaging.”

AV Club reviews Alone in Space by Tillie Walden (Avery Hill): “This collection, with its peek at Walden’s early work, feels like a short exploration into why Walden is an interesting creator, as well as a promise of what’s to come from one of comics’ most talented and exciting artists.”

Esquire reviews The Power of Strangers: The Benefits of Connecting in a Suspicious World by Joe Keohane(Random): “The Power of Strangers, meticulously researched and buoyantly written, pours through the anthropological record and discovers that long before tribal bands of humans made war, and for much longer a period of time, they made peace—carefully and intentionally--not because it was easy or comfortable but out of self-interest.”

Popsugar reviews She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan (Tor: Macmillan): “There's so much to like about She Who Became the Sun: the exploration of gender and sexuality, the sensuous romance, the vivid world-building, the flashes of tongue-in-cheek humor and human emotion set up against the epic plot.”

Vox reviews We Keep the Dead Close: A Murder at Harvard and a Half Century of Silence by Becky Cooper (Grand Central: Hachette): “We Keep the Dead Close is the rare work that functions as both a really strong example of the genre it exists in and a critique of that genre. It’s a true crime book that isn’t sure of anyone’s need for a true crime book.”

Slate reviews Landslide: The Final Days of the Trump Presidency by Michael Wolff (Henry Holt and Co.): “If Landslide has an argument, it’s that while Trump and a handful of his most demented loyalists—first and foremost, Rudy Giuliani—were fully ready to overturn the election, they were far too isolated in that resolve to accomplish anything beyond spinning their wheels.”

Book Marks has "The Best Reviewed Books of the Week."

Briefly Noted

Tiffany McDaniel, Betty (Knopf) shares what inspires her about her mother with Entertainment Weekly’s What’s In a Page. Also, Stephen King has a conversation about his latest, Billy Summers (Scribner: S. & S.) and how the pandemic is similar to The Stand

Shondaland interviews Kristen Radtke, Seek You: A Journey Through American Loneliness (Pantheon; LJ starred review) about using her own experience to explore the meaning of loneliness. Also, a conversation with Savala Nolan, author of Don’t Let It Get You Down: Essays on Race, Gender, and the Body (S. & S.; LJ starred review) about her book and giving up on dieting. Plus, Jasmine Guillory, While We Were Dating (Berkley) speaks about “taking on the romance trope of the moment: fake relationships.” Lastly, Sophia Benoit talks about her book Well, This is Exhausting (Gallery) and why it is empowering for women to talk openly about sex, relationships, and their desires.

Chris Stuck, Give My Love to the Savages : Stories (Amistad) speaks to Chris Terry about characters who are adrift in the absurdity of racism. Electric Lit has more.

John Farm, The Bright Lands (Hanover Square: HarperCollins) writes about his experience how his rediscovery of Dick Francis novels helped him with a personal crisis and mysterious illness for CrimeReads. Also, author Peter Abrahams writes about “writing a dog mystery and finding the secret to happiness.” Plus, Carolyn Ferrell reflects on her book Dear Miss Metropolitan (Holt; LJ starred review) and "on church, belonging, and holding onto humanity in the face of erasure."

Patricia Highsmith’s diaries will be available to the public, published in November. Lit Hub reports.

People features information contained within Frankly, We Did Win This Election: The Inside Story of How Trump Lost by Michael Bender (Twelve: Hachette) regarding Melania Trump’s refusal to events held at the White House during the pandemic. Also, an interview with Kelly Hyman, author of Build Back Better: The First 100 Days of the Biden Administration, and Beyond about how she entered politics from her past as a child actor.

CrimeReads has an except of The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream: The Hunt for a Victorian Era Serial Killer by Dean Jobb (Algonquin). Tor.com has an excerpt from Andrea Robertson’s Cast in Secrets and Shadow (Philomel: Penguin). Electric Lit has an excerpt of Prepare Her by Genevieve Plunkett (Catapult: Penguin).

The Root has “PageTurners: The Simultaneous Attack and Guidance of Literature” featuring Don’t Let It Get You Down: Essays on Race, Gender, and the Body (S. & S.; LJ starred review), The Right Side of Reckless by Whitney D. Grandison (Inkyard: HarperCollins), and Other People’s Comfort Keeps Me Up at Night by Morgan Parker (Tin House: W. W. Norton).

Tor.com has “Five SF Stories About Automated Art” and “Murder Books 101: Serial Killer POVs From Poe to Big Gurl.”

Lit Hub has "All Our Monstrous Fantasies: A Reading List" with Beth Morgan recommending Patricia Highsmith, Han Kang, and others.

The Washington Post lists “22 books about Manhattan jet-setters that will make you feel like one.”

Book Riot provides “The Best Books of 2021 So Far” and “9 LGBTQ+ Comic Book Characters That Give Us Hope For More Representation.”

Jezebel has “8 Best Science & Tech Books for Summer, As Recommended by Flash Forward’s Rose Eveleth.”

Electric Lit gives “7 Books about the Heartbreak of Losing a Sibling.”

NYT provides “10 New Books We Recommend This Week" and "New in Paperback: 'Burning Down the House' and 'Love After Love.'"

The Millions has “Most Anticipated: The Great Second-Half 2021 Book Preview.”

Authors on Air

NPR Music features an interview with Ted Gioia, author of The History of Jazz (Oxford University Press) about what he’s learned, what has surprised him, and what he thinks is timeless about the music genre.

Robert Downey Jr. is set to co-star in the HBO and A24 adaptation of Viet Thanh Nguyen’s Pulitzer Prize winning The Sympathizer (Grove; LJ Starred Review). Variety reports.

Vanessa Riley’s Island Queen (William Morrow) is set to be adapted by Bridgerton director Julie Anne Robinson and star Adjoa Andoh. Deadline has more information.

She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey (Penguin: Random House), a book about the Harvey Weinstein sexual-assualt story, will be adapted into a film for Universal Pictures starring Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan. Deadline has the news. Also, Octavia Butler’s Kindred (Beacon) will be adapted for a FX series, directed by Janicza Bravo, starring Mallori Johnson

NYT reviews the adaptation of Peter Wohlleben’s The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate-Discoveries from A Secret World (Greystone: Ingram): “What the film successfully imparts is not so much scientific certainty as an affecting sense of curiosity and reverence, which Wohlleben deploys to a pragmatic end: to argue for the ecological management of forests, which would ensure their communal health and longevity, and therefore that of humankind.”

Basketful of Heads by Joe Hill (Hill House: DC; LJ starred review) will be adapted into a television series by writer Rio Youers and artist Tom Fowler. Entertainment Weekly has more.


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