Not the Booker Shortlist & Sally Rooney's Lips, Aug. 13, 2019 | Book Pulse

Inland by Téa Obreht gets much better reviews. The shortist  for the Not the Booker prize is out and there is other award news as well. A male critic has written about Sally Rooney's lips, starting a social media fire storm.

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Awards and Lists

The Guardian announces three more Not the Booker prize finalists. The shortlist is now complete.

The National Biography Award is announced. It is Australia's "richest prize for biographical writing."

The shortlist is out for the Edge Hill Short Story prize.

B&N picks its titles for the fall 2019 "Discover Great New Writers Selections."

LJ's Prepub Alert gets to Feb. 2020, plus Barbara Hoffert's picks.

The NYT Children’s Books column is out, with “Back-to-School Picture Books to Brighten Any Kid’s First Day.”


After Inland by Téa Obreht (Random House; LJ starred review) weathered a rough review in the NYT by daily book critic , the paper has another go, this time with author Chanelle Benz who writes “Obreht’s simple but rich prose captures and luxuriates in the West’s beauty and sudden menace. Remarkable in a novel with such a sprawling cast, Obreht also has a poetic touch for writing intricate and precise character descriptions.” In an author-filled day of reviewers at the NYT, Ayana Mathis considers gods with a little g by Tupelo Hassman (FSG: Macmillan): “Hassman’s compassion for her characters can come across as wishful thinking.” Kate Bolick reviews two books about “Fighting Harassers and Stalkers on the Web, in Court and in Print.” Lisa Locascio reivews Hard Mouth by Amanda Goldblatt (Counterpoint): “In both plot and style [it] feints and dodges.”

The Washington Post's Ron Charles is also more impressed with Inland. He offers a video review and writes, “At times, it feels as though Obreht has managed to track down Huck Finn years after he lit out for the Territory and found him riding a camel.” The paper also reviews The Chelsea Girls by Fiona Davis (Dutton: Penguin): “a tale that is intricate and subtle, unpredictable and exciting.”

NPR reviews The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa, translated by Stephen Snyder (Pantheon: Random House): “reads… like a surrealist drama. A very quiet drama, at that.” Also, The Mosquito: A Human History of Our Deadliest Predator by Timothy C. Winegard (Dutton: Penguin):  "wildly entertaining.”

Briefly Noted

Kristen Arnett, Mostly Dead Things (Tin House), writes an essay for BuzzFeed, "Queering Barbie."

Randall Munroe, How To: Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems (Riverhead: Penguin) explains “What Makes a Red Sky at Night (and at Morning) ” for the NYT.

Time excerpts Opium: How an Ancient Flower Shaped and Poisoned Our World by John H. Halpern, David Blistein (Hachette).

The NYT features Yoko Ogawa, The Memory Police (Pantheon: Random House).

The Guardian interviews Jia Tolentino, Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion (Random House; LJ starred review). Also, Annie Ernaux (book list here), and Benjamin Myers, The Gallows Pole (Third Man).

Entertainment Weekly quizzes Kira Jane Buxton about the inspirations behind Hollow Kingdom (Grand Central: Hachette). Also, EW interviews Sarah M. Broom, The Yellow House (Grove Press).

The Guardian writes about the uproar over a male critic’s take on Sally Rooney and the resulting social media response.

Lee Bennett Hopkins, who the NYT calls the “Champion of Poetry for Children” has died. The paper has an obituary.

J. Neil Schulman has died. Locus has an obituary.

Author and book critic Elaine Kendall has died. The L.A. Times has an obituary.

Authors on Air

NPR interviews Sister Helen Prejean, River of Fire (Random House). It is soaring on Amazon.

PBS NewsHour features the artist N.C. Wyeth, whose book illustrations influenced George Lucas and George R.R. Martin.

The NYT has a report on The Lightning Thief, the musical based on the Percy Jackson books by Rick Riordan, which is opening on Broadway for a limited run.

Deadline Hollywood reports that Netflix’s Firefly Lane, based on the novel by Kristin Hannah, is casting up. ABC Studios gets TV rights to the Jessica Darling series by Megan McCafferty. Nick Cutter’s The Troop sells film rights. Author Lauren Oliver gets a first-look deal with Amazon Studios.

Henry Winkler will be on with Jimmy Kimmel tonight. Marianne Williamson, A Politics of Love: A Handbook for a New American Revolution (Harper), will be on with Seth Meyers.

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