'Read with Jenna' Pick is 'Hell of a Book' by Jason Mott | Book Pulse

Hell of a Book by Jason Mott is the Read with Jenna July pick. Plus more book club news from the LA Times, Marie Claire, and Roxane Gay. The 2021 Colorado Book Awards winners have been announced. The 2021 Wellman Award Shortlist is also announced. Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood gets reviewed. Janelle Monáe will publish The Memory Librarian: And Other Stories from Dirty Computer in April 2022. A Most Agreeable Murder, a forthcoming whodunit by first-time novelist Julia Seales, will get big screen treatment. Plus, a reimagined Harry Potter returns to Broadway.


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Book Clubs & Awards

Jenna Bush Hager picks Hell of a Book by Jason Mott (Dutton) for the July Read with Jenna Book Club.

Roxane Gay’s Audacious Book Club at Literati is reading The Five Wounds by Kirstin Valdez Quade (Norton; LJ starred review).

Marie Claire’s virtual book club pick for July is Skye Falling by Mia McKenzie (Random House).

The LA Times Book Club is reading The Beauty in Breaking: A Memoir by Michele Harper (Riverhead). Harper will be in conversation with the Times healthcare reporter tonight at 6p.m. The free virtual event will also livestream on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. Next month’s pick is: A Farewell to Gabo and Mercedes: A Son's Memoir of Gabriel García Márquez and Mercedes Barcha by Rodrigo Garcia (HarperVia).

The 2021 Colorado Book Awards have been announced.

The 2021 Wellman Award Shortlist is announced by the North Caroline Speculative Fiction Foundation. The award was “founded in 2013 to recognize outstanding achievement in science fiction and fantasy novels written by North Carolina authors.”


The Guardian reviews Once Upon a Time in Hollywood by Quentin Tarantino (Harper Perennial: HarperCollins): “The book is a reminder that Tarantino is, in fact, a really good writer, and it should not be so surprising that his brilliance as a screenwriter should be transferable into fiction, in the firework displays of dialogue but also the building blocks of narrative.” NYT also reviews: “Tarantino makes telling a page-turning story seem easy, which is the hardest trick of all.” And The Washington Post: "Absent the voluptuous thrills of the cinematic experience — the operatic splatter, the rambunctious camerawork, the golden needle-drops — “Once Upon a Time” is perhaps less like a trip to the movies than a night in with Tarantino."

NYT reviews The Vixen by Francine Prose (Harper): “The gift of her work to a reader is to create for us what she creates for her protagonist: the subtle unfolding, the moment-by-moment process of discovery as we read and change, from not knowing and even not wanting to know or care, to seeing what we had not seen and finding our way to the light of the ending.” Also, Rock the Boat by Beck Dorey-Stein (Dial): “I need more sophisticated writing, as well as a protagonist more evolved than Kate Campbell, for a novel to land in my beach bag.” And, Something Wild by Hanna Halperin (Viking): “I wish the plot were pure fantasy. But good books sometimes cut to the bone, and this one feels like a scythe.” Miseducated by Brandon P. Fleming (Hachette; LJ starred review): “The narrative of Miseducated is meant to be inspirational rather than inquisitive. And that’s fine.” Pastels and Pedophiles: Inside the Mind of QAnon by Mia Bloom, Sophia Moskalenko (Redwood Press): “a primer on one of the knottiest subjects of our time, and it will surely be helpful to uninitiated readers. But the sticky ball whose roll is shaking America has complex engineering.”

LA Times reviews What's Done in Darkness by Laura McHugh (Random House): “McHugh is tremendously skilled at conveying dire poverty while acknowledging the fears such privation provokes in others — resulting in a punitive lack of empathy among other classes.”

USA Today reviews Survive the Night by Riley Sager (Dutton), giving it 3.5 out of 4 stars: "The novel satisfies like a summer blockbuster, nearly demands you stay until the final scenes and the lights come up."

The Washington Post reviews Freed: Fifty Shades Freed as Told by Christian by E L James (Bloom Books): "In the end, Freed hammers home the point that while women may enjoy submission in the bedroom ... they do not enjoy being controlled and oppressed outside it."

Briefly Noted

HipLatina highlights “7 Must-Read Books Written by Latin-American Immigrants.”

NPR has “July Book-Ahead: What We're Excited To Read Next Month.”

USA Today shares “10 new LGBTQ books to celebrate Pride Month" and “10 notable LGBTQ novels that will educate and entertain.”

The Minnesota Star Tribune recommends “light reads for any time.”

The Chicago Tribune presents “The Biblioracle’s best books of 2021 so far.”

BookRiot shares “7 Crime and Mystery Books by LatinX Authors" and “5 New Books that Will Transport you to the Beach.”

Harper Voyager will publish the speculative book The Memory Librarian: And Other Stories from Dirty Computer by Janelle Monáe in April 2022. Tordotcom has more.

Oprah and Jenna Bush Hager talk book clubs at OprahDaily, which includes a recap of Jenna’s 31 picks.

The Washington Post has a Q&A with Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray about writing The Personal Librarian (Berkley; LJ starred review) together.

The Seattle Times interviews Zoe Hana Mikuta on debut Gearbreakers (Feiwel & Friends: Macmillan), her two-book deal and being optioned for film.

The Rumpus talks with Jonathan Parks-Ramage, about the “dangerous myth of the ‘perfect victim’” and his latest book Yes, Daddy (HMH).

Kate White, The Fiancée (Harper) asks top crime authors what “books they keep revisiting” for CrimeReads. Also Tracy Clark, Runner (Kensington) considers the complexity of writing PI’s of color.

Authors on Air

Dark Pictures has optioned Not Dead & Not for Sale by Scott Weiland with David Ritz (Scribner), a memoir from the late singer of the Stone Temple PilotsVariety has the story.

A Most Agreeable Murder, a forthcoming whodunit by first-time novelist Julia Seales has been optioned by TriStar Pictures.The book is slated to publish in 2023. Deadline reports.

A reimagined Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling will return to Broadway as as a single show instead of a two performance experience. The Hollywood Reporter has more.

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