Authors Talk & More Awards Announced, Oct. 22, 2019 | Book Pulse

Authors feature in interviews of all sorts. New trailers arrive for Star Wars and more. LitHub selects the “10 Best Memoirs of the Decade.” The Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Foundation announce the winners and finalists of the 2019 Legacy Awards. Amazon looks back on the year of SFF awards.

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Author Interviews

The NYT has an annotated graphic interview with Raina Telgemeier about Guts (Graphix).

The Guardian interviews Elizabeth Strout, Olive, Again (Random House; LJ starred review).

Bitch Media interviews Morgan Parker, Who Put This Song On? (Delacorte: Random House).

Electric Lit interviews Gabby Rivera, Juliet Takes a Breath (Dial Books: Penguin; SLJ starred review).

The San Francisco Chronicle interviews Amaryllis Fox, Life Undercover: Coming of Age in the CIA (Knopf).

NPR’s Fresh Air interviews Holly George-Warren, Janis: Her Life and Music (S. & S.; LJ starred review).


NPR reviews Supernova Era by Cixin Liu, translated by Joel Martinsen (Tor Books: Macmillan): “both more satisfying and more frustrating than Remembrance of Earth's Past. What it lacks in sheer intergalactic scope it more than makes up for in winning characterization, stunning concepts, and a contemplative tone that provides vital insight into the formative years of one of the genre's masters.” It Shouldn't Be This Hard to Serve Your Country: Our Broken Government and the Plight of Veterans by David Shulkin (PublicAffaris: Hachette): “by turns disturbing and frustrating.” Targeted: The Cambridge Analytica Whistleblower's Inside Story of How Big Data, Trump, and Facebook Broke Democracy and How It Can Happen Again by Brittany Kaiser (Harper): “by the end of it you get the sense that she's more concerned with her own legacy than reckoning with any wrongdoing of her own part.” Last of Her Name by Mimi Lok (Kaya Press): “a beautiful and perceptive look at the connections we make — and fail to make — with family, friends and strangers.”

The Washington Post reviews The Secret Commonwealth (Book of Dust, Volume 2) by Philip Pullman (Knopf Books for Young Readers): “well worth sinking into. It is perhaps the most overtly philosophical addition to a body of work already brimming with big ideas.” Also, Janis: Her Life and Music by Holly George-Warren (S. & S.; LJ starred review): “George-Warren reminds readers how hard she worked, not only doing take after take in the studio but also doing the kind of behind-the-scenes research associated more with musicologists than whiskey-swigging blues shouters.” The paper also runs a piece on “Four new books to help your kids laugh and learn.”

The NYT reviews All This Could Be Yours by Jami Attenberg (HMH; LJ starred review): “a very good novel about a very bad man.” Also, Divide Me By Zero by Lara Vapnyar (Tin House: W. W. Norton): “a brutally sad romantic comedy.” Celestial Bodies by Jokha Alharthi (Catapult; LJ starred review): “a treasure house: an intricately calibrated chaos of familial orbits and conjunctions, of the gravitational pull of secrets.” A Month in Siena by Hisham Matar (Random House): “exact and graceful.” Still Here: The Madcap, Nervy, Singular Life of Elaine Stritch by Alexandra Jacobs (FSG: Macmillan; LJ starred review): “meticulously researched.” Edison by Edmund Morris (Random House; LJ starred review): “elegant, loosely crafted, idiosyncratic.” The audiobook of Tim O’Brien Dad’s Mabye Book (HMH): "It grabbed me, despite its cobbled-together defects.” The Children’s Books column is out, on the topic of “Rescuing Native Americans From the Imaginative Prison of the Past.” “The Shortlist” considers celebrity memoirs.

USA Today reviews Find Me by André Aciman (FSG; LJ starred review), awarding it 3 stars and giving it the headline “lustful, magical but frustrating.” Also, All This Could Be Yours by Jami Attenberg (HMH; LJ starred review), giving it a perfect 4 stars and writing it is “a novel of one particularly damaged family’s reckoning, though author Jami Attenberg’s wordplay, wit and dark humor makes that a more pleasurable experience than most could manage.” Agent Running in the Field by John Le Carré (Viking: Penguin), giving it 3.5 stars and calling it “a breathing and alive contemporary tale.”

Briefly Noted

Essence picks “15 Books You'll Want To Snuggle Up With This Fall.”

LitHub selects the “10 Best Memoirs of the Decade.”

Barbara Hoffert’s Prepub Alert surveys May 2020. Also in LJ, November’s Mystery & Suspense books.

Books-a-Million announces its next President's Pick, Ann Napolitano's Dear Edward (Dial).

The Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Foundation announce the winners and finalists of the 2019 Legacy Awards.

Amazon looks back on the year of SFF awards.

The Hollywood Reporter features The Hard Tomorrow by Eleanor Davis (Drawn and Quarterly: Macmillan).

Time features André Aciman, Find Me (FSG; LJ starred review).

Book Riot has a reading pathway for Christina Lauren, Twice in a Blue Moon (Gallery Books: S. & S.).

O: The Oprah Magazine excerpts Gracefully You: Finding Beauty and Balance in the Everyday by Jenna Dewan (Gallery Books: S. & S.).

Vulture continues its mystery focus with “Learning to Write Mysteries the Mystic River Way” by Angie Kim.

Nobel prize-winner Olga Tokarczuk plans a foundation “to aid authors and translators of literature.” The First News has details.

In forthcoming book news, People writes that Kristen Doute plans a book with the help of How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days author Michele Alexander. The book will be titled He’s Making You Crazy, and is due out next summer. The Story of Ziggy Stardust is coming out as a graphic novel, BOWIE: Stardust, Rayguns, & Moonage Daydreams by Michael Allred, Steve Horton, Laura Allred (Insight Comics: S. & S.). Open Culture has a report.

The Financial Review reports that Amazon Australia will start selling Ronan Farrow's book, Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators (Little, Brown: Hachette).

Authors on Air

The Hollywood Reporter has news that Amy Poehler will adapt The Mother-in-Law by Sally Hepworth for NBC.

Deadline reports that Game Of Thrones actor Joseph Mawle will now star in Amazon Studios’ Lord of the Rings TV series. Thomas Perry’s The Old Man casts up. HBO Max has ordered a show that will feature a young Mary Shelley, The Shelley Society. Also, The Brides, “a reimagining of the Brides of Dracula.” Maaza Mengiste’s historical novel The Shadow King looks like it is headed to the movies. Deadline has a report on Romance genre podcasts.

The Today show featured Cozy White Cottage: 100 Ways to Love the Feeling of Being Home by Liz Marie Galvan (Thomas Nelson: Harper) and The CF Warrior Project: 65 Stories of Triumph against Cystic Fibrosis by Andy Lipman (Booklogix).

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker gets another trailer.

Bloodshot, based on the comic character, gets a trailer.

The Feed, based on the novel by Nick Clark Windo, gets a trailer.

Newt Gingrich, Trump vs. China: Facing America's Greatest Threat (Center Street: Hachette), will be on The View.

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Neal Wyatt

Neal Wyatt is LJ’s readers’ advisory columnist, contributing The Reader’s Shelf, Book Pulse, and Wyatt’s World columns. She is the coauthor of The Readers’ Advisory Guide to Genre Fiction, 3d ed. (ALA Editions, 2019). Contact her at

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