Books Club Picks and More Best of the Month | Book Pulse

Reese Witherspoon names her newest book club pick and a few more best books lists for April arrive. Authors Charlie Jane Anders and Annalee Newitz have a new SF podcast and Roxane Gay has a pop-up magazine. Kenneth Branagh will star in the adaptation of A Gentleman in Moscow.


Books Club Picks and More Best of the Month

Reese Witherspoon’s book club pick is Happiness: A Memoir: The Crooked Little Road to Semi-Ever After by Heather Harpham (Holt: Macmillan). It went soaring on Amazon.

Emma Roberts picks Laura & Emma by Kate Greathead (S. & S.) as the Belletrist monthly selection.


More best books lists for April: Elle, Shondaland,, and Vulture.

Bustle has a list for this week.


The NYT reviews Two Sisters: A Father, His Daughters, and Their Journey into the Syrian Jihad by Åsne Seierstad, translated by Seán Kinsella (FSG: Macmillan), finding some of it hazy in its reporting but writing “Seierstad is at her best when she pans out to consider the variety of reasons Western women join ISIS.” NPR’s All Things Considered has an interview with Seierstad. The paper also circles back to The Food Explorer: The True Adventures of the Globe-Trotting Botanist Who Transformed What America Eats by Daniel Stone (Dutton: Penguin; LJ starred review), writing “This isn’t another chapter in that old story about how we ate badly until fill-in-the-blank came along and revolutionized American dining. This is a story …  about a strange and meager period in our past in which no one had eaten a zucchini.” Also Blue Dreams: The Science and the Story of the Drugs that Changed Our Minds by Lauren Slater (Little, Brown): “her experience makes her a convincing travel guide into the history, creation and future of psychotropics.”

The Washington Post reviews Something Wonderful: Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Broadway Revolution by Todd S. Purdum (Holt: Macmillan), calling it “a great introduction for newbies and enough fresh insights to engage readers familiar with the story.” Of The Overstory by Richard Powers (W.W. Norton) the paper says, “This ambitious novel … remakes the landscape of environmental fiction.”

USA Today reviews Varina by Charles Frazier (Ecco: Harper; LJ starred review), giving it three stars and writing “So ably does Frazier bring indomitable Varina Howell Davis to life that I couldn’t help but imagine her reaction if she’d been around to see her husband’s bronze likeness ignominiously hauled away. She’d consider it justice, probably.” Of The Recovering: Intoxication and Its Aftermath by Leslie Jamison (Little, Brown: Hachette), the paper gives it 3.5 stars, and calls it “wonderful.” Laura Miller, at Slate, weighs in as well and Elle has an interview.

NPR reviews Look Alive Out There: Essays by Sloane Crosley (MCD: Macmillan), writing that she “wields … self-deprecation, with the skill of a practiced EMT.” LitHub has an interview with Crosley. NPR calls Meg Wolitzer’s The Female Persuasion (Riverhead: Penguin: LJ starred review), “a wonderfully solid book, luxuriously long and varied in an almost 19th century kind of way.” Bitch Media has a feature on Wolitzer.

Briefly Noted

Time interviews Bill Gates on why he thinks Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World–and Why Things Are Better Than You Think by Hans Rosling, Anna Rosling Rönnlund, and Ola Rosling (Flatiron: Mamillan) is “one of the most important books” he has ever read and one of the two best he has read this year. The coverage has sent the book soaring.

Meanwhile Melinda Gates is writing her own book.

The NYT interviews Mary H.K. Choi, Emergency Contact (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; SLJ starred review).

Vogue features Elaine Castillo, America Is Not the Heart (Viking: Penguin).

Bustle features Meredith Goldstein, Can’t Help Myself: Lessons & Confessions from a Modern Advice Columnist (Grand Central: Hachette).

BuzzFeed excerpts Sharp: The Women Who Made an Art of Having an Opinion by Michelle Dean (Grove Press), asking “How Joan Didion Became Joan Didion?

Entertainment Weekly offers whole collection RA, pairing The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer (Riverhead: Penguin: LJ starred review) with Cecile Richards’s Make Trouble: Standing Up, Speaking Out, and Finding the Courage to Lead—My Life Story (Touchstone: S. & S).

Entertainment Weekly interviews Alex Ross, co-author of the forthcoming Marvelocity: The Marvel Comics Art of Alex Ross by Alex Ross and Charles Kidd, (Pantheon: Random House).

Authors Charlie Jane Anders and Annalee Newitz have a new SF podcast, Our Opinions Are Correct.

Roxane Gay has a pop-up magazine. The Hollywood Reporter interviews her on the project.

BookRiot has two lists to get ready for Avengers: Infinity War.

Bustle reports on B&N’s new book finding app, Browsery.

The Booker Prize has reversed itself on naming.

Two pieces about libraries.

Authors on Air

There is a bevy of adaptation news:

Kenneth Branagh will star in the TV adaptation of A Gentleman in Moscow, based on the bestselling novel by Amor Towles. No word on when it will air.

Neil Gaiman is working to adapt Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast series.

Stephen King’s The Stand is getting turned into a miniseries by CBS.

Iain Reid’s Foe sells screen rights ahead of pub. date. Reid’s I’m Thinking Of Ending Things is already with Netflix.

Hugh Laurie will star in George Clooney’s adaptation of Catch-22.

HBO has given a pilot order for Mrs. Fletcher by Tom Perrotta.

Julian Lennon’s trilogy Touch The Earth is set to become an animated TV series.

NPR’s Fresh Air interviews Madeleine Albright, Fascism: A Warning (Harper), giving the book a boost.

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