Best Lists Continue, Dec. 10, 2019 | Book Pulse

More best lists are out. Lois McMaster Bujold becomes the 36th Damon Knight Grand Master, named by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. Jacqueline Woodson writes “Africa, America and Slavery’s Fierce Undertow” for the NYT. More on the Golden Globes.

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The Season of Lists Continues On







The Goodreads Choice Awards are announced.

Kirkus names the best nonfiction of 2019, across ten categories, from types of books to types of issues.

Powells books picks its “Best of 2019: Fiction.” The store has also made lists for Nonfiction, SFF, Horror, and Graphic Novels as well as Kids’ and YA.

Book Marks has “The Best Reviewed Books of 2019: Poetry.”

The Washington Post names “11 cookbooks that inspired us in 2019.”

Town & Country picks is best books of 2019.

Paste selects “The 19 Best Audiobooks of 2019.”

Popsugar offers “18 New, Must-Read Books Coming Out in December.”

BuzzFeed names “Four Books We Couldn’t Put Down Last Month.”

Electric Lit gathers “20 Most Anticipated Debuts of Early 2020.”

Outside magazine has “The Contemporary Adventure Canon.” It is from earlier in the year, but well worth noting now.


The NYT reviews Of Morsels and Marvels by Maryse Condé (Seagull Books: Univ. Chicago): “asserts food writing’s rightful place among the literary arts. Both the genre and its readers are all the richer for it.” Also two memoirs by food writers: Serious Eater: A Food Lover’s Perilous Quest for Pizza and Redemption by Ed Levine (Portfolio: Penguin) and The Book of Eating: Adventures in Professional Gluttony by Adam Platt (Ecco: Harper). The Shadow of Vesuvius: A Life of Pliny by Daisy Dunn (Liveright: W.W. Norton): “a good writer, with some of the easy erudition of Mary Beard.” There is a list of new poetry titles of note and “The Shortlist” has books on movies and Hollywood.

The Washington Post reviews three poetry collections: Felon: Poems by Reginald Dwayne Betts (W.W. Norton), Arias by Sharon Olds (Knopf), and Pagan Virtues: Poems Stephen Dunn (W.W. Norton).

Briefly Noted

Jacqueline Woodson has a featured piece in the NYT titled “Africa, America and Slavery’s Fierce Undertow.”

Lois McMaster Bujold becomes the 36th Damon Knight Grand Master, named by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. has a report.

The shortlist for the Portico Prize is out. The Bookseller has details.

NPR's December romance column is out.

In forthcoming book news, Esmé Weijun Wang, The Collected Schizophrenias: Essays (Graywolf Press: Macmillan), gets a two-book deal with Riverhead: Penguin. One will be a novel, the other nonfiction. Entertainment Weekly had details. Also, Alix E. Harrow will publish two fractured fairytale novellas with suggests “Eight Ways to Approach the Work of K.J. Parker.”

The New Yorker profiles William Gibson.

Time has an adapted excerpt of Good Economics for Hard Times: Better Answers to Our Biggest Problems by Abhijit V. Banerjee, Esther Duflo (PublicAffairs: Hachette).

Sarah Dessen, The Rest of the Story (Balzer + Bray: Harper), talks with Abigail Hing Wen, Loveboat, Taipei (HarperTeen), for Entertainment Weekly.

The Guardian reports more award troubles, this time it is the Saltire Scottish fiction book of the year. One of the jurors alleges other jurors did not finish reading the shortlist.

Merriam-Webster picks “They” as the word of the year, along with quid pro quo and eight more.

Kate Figes has died. The Guardian has an obituary.

Andrew Weiner has died. Locus has an obituary.

Authors on Air

The Irishman, based on a book, shines with Golden Globes nominations. GOT and Watchmen got snubbed. Other book-based nods include Joker, JoJo Rabbit, Little Women, Where’d You Go, Bernadette, Motherless Brooklyn, Cats, Frozen 2, How to Train Your Dragon, The Hidden World, Big Little Lies, The Morning Show, Catch-22, and Fosse/Verdon. The NYT has a full report on all the nominees. Esquire has a report entitled “The 2020 Golden Globes Nominations Are Even More Baffling and Frustrating Than Usual.” The Washington Post writes “The Golden Globes didn’t nominate any women for best director. Or screenplay. Or motion picture.”

LitHub picks “The 10 Best Literary TV Adaptations of the Decade” (plus the ones they could not agree upon).

Deadline reports that Lily James will star in the adaptation of Nancy Mitford’s The Pursuit of Love.

Creators for Change With Michelle Obama: Girls’ Education will feature on youtube March 2020. Essence has details.

PBS NewsHour posts discussion questions for Circe by Madeline Miller (Little, Brown: Hachette).

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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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