Marlon James Wins The Day, Feb. 6, 2019 | Book Pulse

Marlon James wins the day, with Jasmine Guillory and Angie Thomas having great days as well. Zaitoun by Yasmin Khan is proving to be a cookbook with buzz.

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Marlon James Catches the Buzz Wave

Marlon James, Black Leopard, Red Wolf (Riverhead: Penguin), gets focused coverage. Time has a feature. Vulture has a conversation between James and Victor LaValle. Entertainment Weekly has an interview as does NPR (here). Book Marks considers James's new novel in relation to his previous work, in a new essay series entitled "In Context."

James is not alone in getting buzzy attention today. Also in the spotlight are Jasmine Guillory, The Proposal (Berkley: Penguin), and Angie Thomas, On the Come Up (Balzer + Bray: Harper). Time has a feature on Guillory and Entertainment Weekly has an interview. Thomas has an interview in Time and suggest books for O magazine.


The NYT reviews Same Same by Peter Mendelsund (Vintage: Random House): "manages to be breezy and profound in equal measure ... a clever metafictional sendup of artists’ retreats and tech-industry think tanks." Also, The Unwinding of the Miracle: A Memoir of Life, Death, and Everything That Comes After by Julie Yip-Williams (Random House): "eloquent, gutting and at times disarmingly funny." Nobody's Looking at You: Essays by Janet Malcolm (FSG: Macmillan): "her new book proves, there is no story — there is no hero — without, first, a worthy antagonist."

The Washington Post reviews I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella (Dial: Random House): "A humorous exploration of family life, finding love and the difficulties of coming into one’s own ... Her trademark Brit wit shines through."

NPR reviews Jill Abramson's Merchants of Truth: The Business of News and the Fight for Facts (S. & S): "The gossip is great, but Abramson also conducts deeply sourced and sensitive analysis of everything from the way that BuzzFeed exploits psychology to get clicks to the Times' ongoing struggle to maintain integrity and solvency at the same time." Also, Bowlaway by Elizabeth McCracken (Ecco: Harper; LJ starred review): "wildly entertaining." Where Reasons End by Yiyun Li (Random House; LJ starred review): "It's hard to adequately describe how devastating, and how brilliant, Where Reasons End is."

Briefly Noted

Vulture picks "7 New Books You Should Read This February."

BuzzFeed has "20 Young Adult Books That Should Be On Your Reading List This Winter."

Crime Reads his "5 Essential True Crime Books for February."

The L.A. Times writes about book publishing and the 2020 election.

Vanity Fair interviews Brian Rea, Death Wins a Goldfish: Reflections from a Grim Reaper's Yearlong Sabbatical (Chronicle Books).

Entertainment Weekly interviews with Randall Munroe, who has a new book out this September. EW also has an interview with David Koepp and a cover reveal of Cold Storage (Ecco: Harper), out in September.

In more forthcoming book news, USA Today reports on Malcolm Gladwell's new book, Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don't Know (Little, Brown: Hachette).

Elle spotlights Yasmin Khan, Zaitoun: Recipes from the Palestinian Kitchen (W.W. Norton).

Paste excerpts The Last Voyage of Poe Blythe by Ally Condie (Dutton Books for Young Readers: Penguin) and features Golden State by Ben Winters (Mulholland: Hachette; LJ starred review).

The L.A. Times features James Oseland, Jimmy Neurosis: A Memoir (Ecco: Harper).

USA Today digs into the character Eleven on Stranger Minds, via Stranger Things: Suspicious Minds: The first official Stranger Things novel by Gwenda Bond (Del Rey: Random House).

Apartment Therapy tours poet Morgan Parker's LA apartment. Magical Negro (Tin House: W.W. Norton) is her newest book.

Author C.Y. Lee has died, he was 102. USA Today has an obituary.

Authors on Air

NPR interviews Benjamin Dreyer, Dreyer's English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style (Random House).

Polly Shulman’s series The Grimm Legacy might be headed to Disney+. Claire McFall’s Ferryman is headed to the big screen. Christopher Golden's Ararat is getting developed for a TV series. Capital In The 21st Century by Thomas Piketty is set to be turned into a documentary. Netflix announces new book and comic-based projects, all set for 2020. In more news from Netflix, they are making Karin Slaughter's Pieces of Her into an 8-part series. Deadline Hollywood has details on all.

Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists gets a trailer.

Jill Abramson, Merchants of Truth: The Business of News and the Fight for Facts (S. & S), will be on The View today.

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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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