2021 Dragon Award Finalists Are Announced | Book Pulse

Award finalists announcements are made for the 2021 WSFA Small Press Award and the 2021 Dragon Award. There are first looks for Harvey Fierstein’s I Was Better Last Night and Samantha M. Bailey’s newest Watch Out For Her. Interviews abound featuring Steph Cha of Your House Will Pay, Nawaaz Ahmed of Radiant Fugitives, Azareen Van Der Vliet Oloomi of Savage Tongues, LaTanya McQueen of When the Reckoning Comes, Joe Keohane of The Power of Strangers: The Benefits of Connecting in a Suspicious World, Michael LaPointe of The Creep, Cecily Strong of This Will All Be Over Soon, and Mikaella Clements and Onjuli Datta of The View Was Exhausting. Adaptation news for Uzma Jalaluddin’s Hana Khan Carries On, Carol Leonnig’s Zero Fail: The Rise and Fall of the Secret Service, and Kent Babb’s Across the River: Life, Death, and Football in an American City is shared.

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Award News







The 2021 Dragon Award Finalists are announced. Tor.com has the news.

The 2021 WSFA Small Press Award Finalists are announced.

Page to Screen

August 13:

Naked Singularity, based on the book by Sergio De La Pava. Screen Media Films. Reviews | Trailer

Brand New Cherry Flavor, based on the book by Todd Grimson. Netflix. No reviews | Trailer

Modern Love, based on the weekly column from The New York Times. Prime Video. No reviews | Trailer

Valeria, based on the book series En los zapatos de Valeria by Elísabet Benavent. Netflix. Reviews | Trailer

August 15:

Chesapeake Shores, based on the book series by Sherryl Woods. Hallmark. No reviews | Trailer

August 18:

Nine Perfect Strangers, based on the book by Liane Moriarty. Hulu. Reviews | Trailer

August 19:

Coroner, based on the Jenny Cooper book series by M.R. Hall. CW. No reviews | Trailer


NPR reviews White Malice: The CIA and the Covert Recolonization of Africa by Susan Williams (Hachette): “It seems to me, in fact, that attempting to use two nations' histories to make a continent-wide argument dooms Williams' project to partial failure. Still, although White Malice is framed far too expansively, it overflows with fascinating information, original research, and bold ideas.” Also, Power Play: Tesla, Elon Musk, and the Bet of the Century by Tim Higgins (Doubleday): “The latest take on the Tesla saga, from Wall Street Journal reporter Tim Higgins, eschews sensationalism for a high-resolution portrait of how exactly an unusual man and an unusual company managed a meteoric rise.”

NYT gives a graphic review of Always Coming Home by Ursula K. Le Guin (Library of America: Random House).

The Washington Post reviews Two Spies in Caracas by Moisés Naím (Amazon): “The most skilled writers of thrillers have a common talent: They write thrilling scenes. They keep our attention by describing places and action in detail, making us see, smell and feel the danger and emotion. But this sluggish thriller published by Amazon Crossing gives us flat summaries instead: “The mood turned aggressive.”” Also, Hell of a Book by Jason Mott (Dutton): "Jason Mott’s “Hell of a Book” is a novel that confounds the normal parameters of storytelling. What starts out as a relatively straightforward tale about a Black author’s cross-country tour for his novel, also called “Hell of a Book,” soon meanders into a broader meditation on imaginary friends, mental illness, alcoholism and deep, deep grief." Plus, Against White Feminism: Notes on Disruption by Rafia Zakaria (Norton): "“Against White Feminism” at times feels too sweeping in its critique to be constructive, but the heart of what this book demands — a feminism that is less self-satisfied and secure in its power, more curious about the differences in women’s experiences, and more generous and expansive in its reach — is worth fighting for." Many more reviews posted this morning.

Vox reviews Mrs. March by Virginia Feito (Liveright: Norton): “Feito’s prose never falters, but she also doesn’t seem inclined to take advantage of the artistic possibilities the novel can offer that television can’t: psychology expressed through text rather than images, for instance.” Vogue also reviews Mrs. March by Virginia Feito (Liveright: Norton): “The pleasure of the book is in watching all that psychotic menace come out into the open, and in trying to figure how much of it is actually real.”

The Seattle Times reviews Afterparties by Anthony Veasna So (Ecco): “As you read his stories, you live them, and at their best, you forget who wrote them and why.”

The Atlantic reviews Radiant Fugitives by Nawaaz Ahmed (Counterpoint): “Radiant Fugitives is a systems novel, not a domestic one; Ahmed cares more about reflecting life in a society than life in a contained set of familial relationships. His quick point-of-view switches and brusque manner of delivering backstory swiftly make it clear that he is less invested in any one character than in the larger questions he examines through them. Chief among these questions is the validity of caring about politics.”

Tor.com reviews The Justice in Revenge by Ryan Van Loan (Tor.com): “While I have made this sound like it is solely a novel of memory, information control, mistaken assumptions and recollection, and the mistakes we make when we have very much have the situation wrong, the novel has action beats in spades.”

Book Marks has "The Best Reviewed Books of the Week."

Briefly Noted

Entertainment Weekly gives a first look at Harvey Fierstein’s I Was Better Last Night (Knopf: Random House) to be published in March 2022. Also, a new DC Batman comic Dark Knights of Steel by Tom Taylor will be written in the line of Game of Thrones. CBC gives a first at Samantha M. Bailey’s newest Watch Out For Her (S. & S.).

Steph Cha, Your House Will Pay (Ecco: HarperCollins), talks “routine, craft, and looking forward to lunch” in an interview with CrimeReads. Also, a piece on “the beautifully skewed insights of protagonists with uncertain inner lives.” Plus, a discussion with Naomi Hirahana about her new book Clark and Division (Soho Crime; LJ starred review) and "writing a new historical mystery about post-internment life for Japanese-Americans."

Michael LaPointe speaks to CBC about how his book The Creep (Random House Canada) is about “lies, truth and medical science gone awry.” Bustle interviews Cecily Strong about writing her new book, This Will All Be Over Soon (S. & S.) helped her process grief. Vogue interviews Mikaella Clements and Onjuli Datta, authors of The View Was Exhausting (Hachette) about “the Summer of Bennifer” and why their book was the appropriate read-along.

Nawaaz Ahmed, Radiant Fugitives (Counterpoint), discusses “the expectations placed upon immigrant writers” with Electric Lit. Azareen Van Der Vliet Oloomi, Savage Tongues (Mariner Books), talks about “pleasure, self-preservation and survival, and literature that is “raw and ruthless” with the Paris Review. Shondaland interviews LaTanya McQueen about her new book When the Reckoning Comes (HarperCollins) and about “the concept of denied birthrights, Southern legacies of horror, and plantation weddings.” Joe Keohane, author of The Power of Strangers: The Benefits of Connecting in a Suspicious World (Random) chats about “why ‘stranger danger’ is a sham” with Lifehacker.

Willa C. Richards writes a piece about "fictionalizing a dark chapter in the history of Milwaukee policing" and her book The Comfort of Monsters (HarperCollins) for Lit Hub. Also, Mike Gayle, author of All the Lonely People (Grand Central: Hachette) shares his search "to find community in a solitary profession." Plus, Maurice Carlos Ruffin, The Ones Who Don’t Say They Love You (One World: Random House), writes about being a "conductor" and "understanding voice in fiction" in inspire his characters and book.

NYT profiles author Lale Gule and "her journey to secularism with no inhibitions" and provides links to the original essayists of the Modern Love column.

The Chicago Tribune features two books about student loan debt, Indentured Students: How Government Guaranteed Loans Left Generations Drowning in College Debt by Elizabeth Tandy Shermer (Belknap: Harvard University Press) and The Debt Trap: How Student Loans Became a National Catastrophe by Josh Mitchell (S. & S.).

Angela Haupt discusses the ending of The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave (S. & S.) for The Washington Post.

The Los Angeles Times shares an excerpt of All In by Billie Jean King (Knopf: Random House; LJ starred review).

CrimeReads lists “The Perfect Beers to Pair With Your Favorite Crime Novels.”

Tor.com has “Murder Books 101: The Rise of True Crime, From Highbrow to Cash Cow.”

NYPL blog provides “Beyond Crystal Lake: Horror Books for Summer Reading.”

Book Riot lists “10 Books on Disability Justice,” “20 Must-Read Southern Gothic Novels,” and “World War II Books for Your Book Club.”

CBC has “18 Canadian mysteries & thrillers to read in summer 2021.”

Electric Lit provides “8 Books That Illuminate the Hidden Histories of Hollywood.”

The Root’s It’s Lit! Lists “PageTurners: These Authors Are Taking You Back to School” profiling In the Country of Others by Leila Slimani (Penguin),The Republic of False Truths by Alaa Al Aswany (Knopf), among others.

Popsugar provides “30 Steamy Romance Novels You Need to Read Right Now” and “15 Books Like The Kissing Booth That Are Sure to Make You Swoon.”

Lit Hub shares "The Enduring Appeal of Fictional Sisters: A Reading List."

The Millions has “Top Ten: July 2021.”

Vogue lists “The Best Books to Read This Fall."

NYT shares “Newly Published, From Skateboarding to ‘Hamlet’ in New York," “13 New Books We Recommend This Week,” “New Books That Look at the Pandemic and Its Consequences,” and "New in Paperback: 'Chasing Chopin' and 'V2'." 

Authors on Air

Uzma Jalaluddin’s Hana Khan Carries On (Berkley; LJ starred review) will be adapted by Mindy Kaling for Amazon Studios. CBC has the news.

Carol Leonnig’s Zero Fail: The Rise and Fall of the Secret Service (Random House) will be adapted for television and backed by Thomas Tull. The Hollywood Reporter has more.

Kent Babb’s Across the River: Life, Death, and Football in an American City (HarperCollins) will be adapted for Smokehouse Pictures, owned by George Clooney and Grant Heslov. Deadline has the news.

Jo Ann Beard, Festival Days (Little, Brown & Co.: Hachette), discusses her ““rigorous refusal” to waste reader’s time" with the Book Dreams podcast.

The Root Presents: It’s Lit! Podcast revisits an interview with Salamishah Tillet, author of In Search of The Color Purple: The Story of an American Masterpiece (Abrams). 

The Art and Soul of Dune by Tanya Lapointe (Insight: S. & S.) will have a score by Hans Zimmer. Gizmodo has more.

The Keen On podcast features Lauren Etter, The Devil's Playbook: Big Tobacco, Juul, and the Addiction of a New Generation (Crown), discussing "how the vaping generation was born."

Emma Sloley, Disaster's Children (Amazon), speaks about "exploring fear and violence in intimate relationships" on The Common podcast.

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