Jenna Bush Hager Picks 'The Lincoln Highway' for Her Book Club; NYC Libraries Go Fine-Free | Book Pulse

Jenna Bush Hager picks The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles for her book club while B&N selects The Death of Jane Lawrence by Caitlin Starling (St. Martin’s). The 2021 Scotiabank Giller Prize reveals its shortlist today. Locus gives World Fantasy Convention updates. Bryant Terry, who created the new imprint 4 Color Books, gets featured. There is a profile of Kelefa Sanneh and his book, Major Labels: A History of Popular Music in Seven Genres. Interviews arrive with Christine Pride and Jo Piazza, Dave Eggers, Mattie Jackson Selecman, Anthony Doerr, and Fiona Hill. Washington Black by Esi Edugyan, is coming to Hulu for a 9-episode limited series and Jackie Collins' Lovers & Gamblers gets adapted for TV. Plus, the NYC libraries go fine-free.

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Book Clubs, News & Events

Jenna Bush Hager picks The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles (Viking) for the Read With Jenna book club.

B&N selects The Death of Jane Lawrence by Caitlin Starling (St. Martin’s) for its October book club

The 2021 Scotiabank Giller Prize reveals its shortlist today.

Locus gives World Fantasy Convention updates.

The NYC libraries eliminate fines.  


USA Today reviews Crossroads by Jonathan Franzen (Farrar; LJ starred review), giving it 4 out of 4 stars: “So rather than a familiar trope, Crossroads is a hefty experiment: How far can you get exploring American ordinariness with a Tolstoyan depth?” And, A Tale of Two Omars: A Memoir of Family, Revolution, and Coming Out During the Arab Spring by Omar Sharif (Counterpoint), giving it 2.5 out of 4 stars: "He posits a strong point, suggesting the world can't subsist on all-or-nothing ultimatums. But it comes across slightly tone-deaf, in spite of his obvious heroism, given the centuries advocates have spent fighting for equality to receive nothing in return."

NPR reviews I’ll Take Your Questions Now: What I Saw at the Trump White House by Stephanie Grisham (HarperCollins): “for someone who worked so closely with the Trumps, Grisham's account is striking in how distant it seems to be from its subjects."  And, There Is Nothing for You Here: Finding Opportunity in the Twenty-First Century by Fiona Hill (Mariner): “Hill came from a place where people felt left behind as economic opportunities moved elsewhere. Where people felt forgotten by politicians and their policies. And she sees that happening in America, where the haves and have-nots ‘essentially lived in and experienced two different countries’.” Plus, I Love You but I've Chosen Darkness by Claire Vaye Watkins (Riverhead): "This surreal odyssey, propelled by maternal rage, may at times be alienating even to female readers, but it is unequivocally triumphant to witness Watkins writing for herself."

NYT reviews The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles (Viking): “Towles has snipped off a minuscule strand of existence — 10 wayward days — and when we look through his lens we see that this brief interstice teems with stories, grand as legends.”  And, We Are Not Like Them by Christine Pride and Jo Piazza (Atria): “The characters dispense the usual talking points, and the dialogue yields evidence of a divided America for any reader who isn’t yet convinced.”  And, Sankofa by Chibundu Onuzo (Catapult): “With her anagrammatic take on the experience of the African diaspora, Onuzo’s sneakily breezy, highly entertaining novel leaves the reader rethinking familiar narratives of colonization, inheritance and liberation.” Also, The Every by Dave Eggers (McSweeney’s): “Nothing is left to the imagination in “The Every,” which moves relentlessly from one mocking sendup of tech culture to the next, taking trends like athleisure and public shaming to their fullest, worst extent.” And, Crossroads by Jonathan Franzen (Farrar; LJ starred review): “without overdoing things, he has nicely textured the last, confused years of the Age of Aquarius.”  And, I Love You but I've Chosen Darkness by Claire Vaye Watkins (Riverhead): “this is indeed a novel, and it’s an intense, intelligent and bristly one about a young writer who abruptly abandons her husband, their months-old baby and ‘the house-proud resource-hoarding’ life she’s been living in Ann Arbor.” And, A Time Outside This Time by Amitava Kumar (Knopf): “The book reads like a mash-up of two genres: autofiction and the post-apocalyptic novel. Except that the apocalypse here is just the news, which Satya follows online from the safety of the villa, and later, when lockdowns are enforced everywhere, from his house in upstate New York.”  Oldladyvoice by Elisa Victoria, trans. by Charlotte Whittle (And Other Stories): “Relying on short, declarative sentences, Victoria has a knack for bringing characters to life in few words.” Also, The Taking of Jemima Boone: Colonial Settlers, Tribal Nations, and the Kidnap That Shaped a Nation by Matthew Pearl (Harper): “presents a fascinating picture of frontier Kentucky in which, contemporaneously with incidents of violence and atrocities, Native Americans and settlers intermarried, raised interracial offspring, traded, shared survival skills and changed alliances, as all struggled to survive.”  And, Taste: My Life Through Food by Stanley Tucci (Gallery Books): “Tucci at one point apologizes for his high-level name-dropping, but he needn’t. It’s a spice that most of the ‘What I Ate’books don’t have.” And, The Mirror and the Palette: Rebellion, Revolution, and Resilience: Five Hundred Years of Women's Self Portraits by Jennifer Higgie (Pegasus): “The stark message is that women need to suffer in order to make great paintings, and that trauma is the alchemical ingredient necessary for transforming talent into genius.” Plus, A Carnival of Snackery: Diaries (2003–2020) by David Sedaris (Little, Brown; LJ starred review): “What he does in his exquisitely crafted essays is reconstruct his life as a funny story, the kind you’d hear at a dinner party if you were very lucky in your friendships.”  Lastly, paired reviews of Walk with Me: A Biography of Fannie Lou Hamer by Kate Clifford Larson (Oxford Univ.; LJ starred review), and Until I Am Free: Fannie Lou Hamer’s Enduring Message to America by Keisha N. Blain (Beacon): “Blain and Lawson remind us that the past offers encouraging lessons for the present and that Hamer’s legacy must not be ignored.”

The Washington Post reviews The War for Gloria by Atticus Lish (Knopf): “is almost an unintentional satire of Great Men narratives, in which determined men move from strength to strength and climb a ladder to attainment.”

The Guardian reviews A Carnival of Snackery: Diaries (2003–2020) by David Sedaris (Little, Brown; LJ starred review): “Best, then, not to read this book cover to cover, like a novel, but to use it as suggested by the title (which is taken from an Indian restaurant menu): to keep the appetite for delight and absurdity satisfied until the next Sedaris book comes along.”

Briefly Noted

Entertainment Weekly interviews Christine Pride and Jo Piazza, We Are Not Like Them (Atria), about writing the “interracial friendship they wanted to read.”

LA Times talks with Dave Eggers, The Every (McSweeney’s), who compares technology to “an obsessive boyfriend.”

Parade has a Q& A with Anthony Doerr, about the "uplifting messages" in Cloud Cuckoo Land (Scribner; LJ starred review).

ElectricLit talks with Claire Vaye Watkins, I Love You but I've Chosen Darkness (Riverhead), about the "cultural expectations that come along with motherhood."

Alan Jackson’s daughter Mattie Jackson Selecman talks with People about her forthcoming bookLemons on Friday: Trusting God Through My Greatest Heartbreak (Thomas Nelson), about trusting God after the loss of her husband.

NYT features James Beard & NAACP Image Award-winning chef, educator, and author Bryant Terry, who launches a new imprint, 4 Color Books, this month.

NYT profiles Kelefa Sanneh and his book, Major Labels: A History of Popular Music in Seven Genres (Penguin Pr; LJ starred review).

Stanley Tucci, Taste: My Life Through Food (Gallery Books), pens "How Julia Child Changed My Life” for Time.

People recounts details from My Body by Emily Ratajkowski (Metropolitan), about the author’s experience on ‘Blurred Lines’ video set.

The Atlantic asks "Who Has the Right to Tell the Stories of Germany's Jews?"

Sam Heughan and Graham McTavish record the audiobook for Clanlands Almanac: Season Stories from Scotland (Mobius). Parade has the details. 

NYT’s Group Text recommends The Neighbor's Secret by L. Alison Heller (Flatiron), and offers discussion questions for book clubs.

BookRiot suggests "20 Best Book Club Books for 2021."

Lisa Unger, Last Girl Ghosted (Park Row; LJ starred review), explores “5 books about loving someone dangerous” at CrimeReads.

USA Today offers a “Fall reading guide: 20 books we can’t wait to read.”

Vulture has “The Best Books of the Year (So Far).”

The Guardian has the best recent thrillers.

CBC has "36 Canadian books coming out in October."

“Guggenheim Gets New Chairman, and Second Ever Black Female Trustee.” NYT reports.

Authors On Air

NPR’s Book of the Day discusses Cloud Cuckoo Land (Scribner; LJ starred review) with author Anthony Doerr.

NPR’s Morning Edition talks with Fiona Hill about her new book, There Is Nothing for You Here: Finding Opportunity in the Twenty-First Century (Mariner).

Washington Black by Esi Edugyan (Knopf; LJ starred review) is coming to Hulu for a 9-episode limited seriesLitHub has the story.

Lovers & Gamblers by Jackie Collins (Grand Central) is being adapted for televisionDeadline reports.

The ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ musical, based on the book by Matthew Quick, heads to Broadway. The Hollywood Reporter has the exclusive. 

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