'We Were Never There' by Andrea Bartz & 'The Turnout' by Megan Abbott Are August Book Club Picks | Book Pulse

Reese Witherspoon picks We Were Never Here by Andrea Bartz and Jenna Bush Hager picks The Turnout by Megan Abbott for August book clubs. The 2021 Mythopoeic Awards Finalists are announced. Read-alikes, reviews, and interviews roll in for the buzziest book of the week, Billy Summers by Stephen King. Interviews arrive with Cecily Strong, Tracey Lange, Deborah Copaken, Halimah Marcus, Charlotte McConaghy, Nneka M. Okonaabout, Naomi Hirahara, Melissa Shapiro, Anna Qu, James Lapine, and Sarah Ferguson. Stephenie Meyer’s Midnight Sun and Twilight saga books will be reissued with new covers in 2022. Plus, Mercedes Lackey’s ‘Valdemar Universe’ fantasy series will be adapted for TV.

 

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Book Clubs & Awards

Reese Witherspoon picks We Were Never Here by Andrea Bartz (Ballantine) for her August book club.

Jenna Bush Hager picks The Turnout by Megan Abbott (Putnam; LJ starred review) for the August #Read with Jenna book club.

OprahDaily lists “All 91 Books in Oprah's Book Club.”

The 2021 Mythopoeic Awards Finalists are announced.

Newberry Library Announces a $25,000 Chicago-Specific Book Award. Publishing Perspectives has more. 

Awkwafina will host the 2021 PEN America Literary Gala. LitHub has details. 

National Book Foundation (NBF) launches Science + Literature grant-funded initiative to "celebrate diverse voices in science & technology writing."

Reviews

NPR reviews The Sweetness of Water by Nathan Harris (Little, Brown): “taps into America's longstanding and profound thirst for fantasies of racial reconciliation — stories in which Black people and white people find salvation together, bonding in the face of the egregious extreme racism of others.”

Entertainment Weekly reviews The Turnout by Megan Abbott (Putnam; LJ starred review), giving it a B+: “Abbott is a master of atmosphere, and in the blood, sweat, tears, bruises, ripped toenails, broken bones, rivalries, desires, and tutu-pink dreams that fill the studio throughout Nutcracker season, she creates a world of almost unbearable tension, pirouetting ever further into darkness.”

The Guardian reviews Billy Summers by Stephen King (Scribner: S. & S.): “It meanders, it pays only the scantest regard to the rules of narrative structure, it indulges gladly in both casual stereotyping and naked political point-scoring. And it’s his best book in years.” And, Her Heart for a Compass by Sarah Ferguson (Morrow): "Lady Margaret Montagu Douglas Scott, bears no small resemblance to its author, in both looks and life story." 

The Washington Post reviews Horse Girls: Recovering, Aspiring, and Devoted Riders Redefine the Iconic Bond edited by Halimah Marcus (Harper Perennial): “Anyone looking to connect with the fire in the belly of their girlhood, or anyone simply drawn to books about people and their passions, will find something to love about Horse Girls.”

NYT reviews Samuelson Friedman: The Battle Over the Free Market by Nicholas Wapshott (Norton): “by all means you should read Wapshott’s history of the disputes that roiled economics over much of the second half of the 20th century. But you should also ask a question I don’t think the book answers: Was all of this just a grand, ideologically driven detour away from sensible economic theory and policy? And why did that happen?”

Briefly Noted

LibraryReads and Library Journal offer read-alikes for the buzziest book of the weekBilly Summers, by Stephen King (Scribner).

LJ releases pre-pub alerts for February 2022.

The NYT features ‘SNL’ star Cecily Strong and her new memoir This Will All Be Over Soon (S. & S.).

Entertainment Weekly talks with Tracey Lange about her novel We Are the Brennans (Celadon: Macmillan) and “how her upbringing contributed to the story.”

Esquire chats with Stephen King about the process of writing Billy Summers, (Scribner).

The Washington Post has a Q&A with Deborah Copaken about Ladyparts (Random), “a characteristically incisive takedown of the impact of misogyny on health care, divorce, solo motherhood, middle-aged dating, housing and employment.”

ElectricLit talks with anthology editor Halimah MarcusHorse Girls: Recovering, Aspiring, and Devoted Riders Redefine the Iconic Bond (Harper Perennial), “on disentangling the stereotype from gender, race, and privilege.” Also, an interview with Charlotte McConaghy Once There Were Wolves (Flatiron; LJ starred review) “on the role of the arts in affecting change.”

Shondaland talks with Nneka M. Okonaabout her new book, Self-Care for Grief : 100 Practices for Healing During Times of Loss (Adams Media).

LA Times interviews Naomi Hirahara about Clark and Division (Soho Crime; LJ starred review).

People talks with Melissa Shapiro about hope and perseverance in Piglet: The Unexpected Story of a Deaf, Blind, Pink Puppy and His Family (Atria).

The Rumpus has a conversation with Anna Qu about her new book, Made in China: A Memoir of Love and Labor (Catapult).

NYT suggests recent titles of note and “4 Visual Books to Read This Week.”

Entertainment Weekly has the best comics from July.

Shondaland has “The Best Books for August 2021.”

CrimeReads has “11 books you should read this August.”

OprahDaily suggests “25 Best Thanksgiving Books to Celebrate the Holiday.”

CBC suggests “12 Canadian books about love and romance to read in summer 2021.”

Stephenie Meyer’s Midnight Sun and Twilight saga books will be reissued with new covers in 2022USA Today has more, plus cover reveals.

“Paula Caplan, psychologist who challenged sexism in her profession, dies at 74.” The Washington Post has an obituary.

Authors on Air

NPR’s Fresh Air talks with James Lapine about his new book Putting It Together: How Stephen Sondheim and I Created Sunday in the Park with George (Farrar).

Good Morning America has an interview with Sarah Ferguson about writing her first novel, Her Heart for a Compass (Morrow), and being a grandmother.

FoxNews features a man in Scotland who built a hobbit house workshop, based on the Tolkein books, in his backyard. 

Abby Wambach recommends books on sports and leadership on NPR’s Morning Edition.

Mercedes Lackey’s ‘Valdemar Universe’ fantasy series will be adapted for TV, reports Deadline. Tordotcom has more. Also, Mark Lawrence’s ‘One Word Kill’ fantasy trilogy will get series treatment.

The HBO Film Days of Abandonment based on the novel by Elena Ferrante will not move forward after Natalie Portman steps down. THR has the story.

BBC explores “Britain's most scandalous family”, the inspiration behind The Pursuit of Love, based on the book by Nancy Mitford.

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