More "Best Of" Lists, Dec. 3, 2019 | Book Pulse

Many more "Best Of" lists arrive. YA, romance, and Chinese SF get features. There is new trouble for the Nobel prize for literature. In adaptation news, new trailers arrive and Greta Gerwig’s Little Women gets more coverage.

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More Best-Of Lists







The New Yorker names its best books of 2019.

The NYT selects “The 25 Best Children’s Books of 2019.”

The Chicago Tribune picks the 10 best books of 2019.

Shelf Awareness names its Best Books of 2019.

Refinery29 picks the best books of December.

The Guardian names the best thrillers of the year.

Gizmodo gathers the SFF books of December.

Popsugar selects the “18 Must-Read New Books” of the month. Also, the site announces its 2020 reading challenge.

Paste picks “The Best Young Adult Novels of December 2019.”

LitHub chooses “26 Books From the Last Decade That If You Haven’t Read—You Should.”

Book Marks gathers “10 Sci-Fi and Fantasy Must-Reads From the 2010s.”

The AV Club collects its “Best of the Decade” coverage. Scroll down for books and comics.


The NYT reviews Supreme Ambition: Brett Kavanaugh and the Conservative Takeover by Ruth Marcus (S. & S.): “impressively reported, highly insightful and a rollicking good read. It also adds another dispiriting data point — as if one more were needed — that the American Republic is seriously ailing.” Also, Dead Astronauts by Jeff VanderMeer (MCD: Macmillan): “terrifying and so compelling.” The Sacrament by Olaf Olafsson (Ecco: Harper): “ostensibly a novel about a woman with secrets, it is more profoundly a consideration of silence.” Life isn't everything: Mike Nichols, as remembered by 150 of his closest friends by Ash Carter, Sam Kashner (Henry Holt: Macmillan): “have skillfully handled things in 14 chapters and a coda. They have drawn on 150 respondents, friendly and mostly jovial, along with a good many quotations from Nichols himself.” Nietzsche and the Burbs by Lars Iyer (Meville House: Random House): “Iyer’s literary talents can occasionally match his philosophical ones.” One Long River of Song: Notes on Wonder by Brian Doyle (Little, Brown: Hachette): “here is how you will read Brian Doyle’s posthumous collection of essays: by underlining sentences and double-underlining other sentences.” Life in a Cold Climate: Nancy Mitford The Biography by Laura Thompson (Pegasus: W.W. Norton): “A stylish and well-informed writer, Thompson brings a snobbishness of her own to her sympathetic account of Mitford’s life.” The Revisionaries by A. R. Moxon (Melville House: Random House): “In a novel of expertly rendered horrors, the relative shallowness also disturbs, and thereby detracts.” The paper also gathers “New & Noteworthy Audiobooks.”

USA Today reviews Dead Astronauts by Jeff VanderMeer (MCD: Macmillan), giving it 2.5 stars and calling it “deeply weird.”

Briefly Noted

BuzzFeed picks “15 Queer Books You Might Have Missed This Year.”

Bustle selects “5 Books From African Authors & Publishers To Read During #ReadAfricaWeek.”

Barbara Hoffert looks at June fiction and nonfiction in LJ’s "Prepub Alert."

10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World by Elif Shafak (Bloomsbury: Macmillan) wins Blackwell’s Book of the Year. The Bookseller reports. Also from The Bookseller, Alasdair Gray wins the inaugural Saltire Society Lifetime Achievement Award.” The Guardian reports that one of the least desired book awards, the one for bad sex writing, has been awarded to two authors.

The Society of Authors’ Awards for translation, seven for this year, are announced. Publishing Perspectives has the lists.

Hudson Booksellers picks On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong (Penguin: LJ starred review) as its Book of the Year.

The Millions offers a “Year in Reading” feature. Shea Serrano, Movies (And Other Things) (Twelve: Hachette; LJ starred review), has the most recent.

Glamour asks “Romance Is a Billion-Dollar Literary Industry. So Why Is It Still So Overlooked?

The NYT has a feature on Ken Liu, “Why is Chinese Sci-Fi Everywhere Now?

Datebook writes “The young adult book genre has become a literary juggernaut.”

Kevin Young considers Ralph Ellison in The New Yorker.

Bustle features Nicole Weisensee Egan, Chasing Cosby: The Downfall of America's Dad (Seal Press: Hachette).

Time features Anne Boleyn: 500 Years of Lies by Hayley Nolan (Little A: Amazon).

The Cut showcases Meredith Erickson, Alpine Cooking: Recipes and Stories from Europe's Grand Mountaintops [A Cookbook] (Ten Speed Press: Random House).

USA Today reports on Mixtape Potluck Cookbook: A Dinner Party for Friends, Their Recipes, and the Songs They Inspire by Quest Love Food (Abrams). Questlove has another project to hand as well, his directorial debut with Black Woodstock. Shadow And Act reports.

In forthcoming book news, The Bookseller has news that The Seed of Compassion: Lessons from the Life and Teachings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama by His Holiness The Dalai Lama, illustrated by Bao Luu (Kokila: Penguin) will debut in March 2020. Ebony has a piece on All the Days Past, All the Days to Come by Mildred D. Taylor (Viking Books for Young Readers: Penguin), coming Jan. 7, 2020.

There is more trouble for the Nobel prize for literature. The Guardian reports that “Two members of the committee set up to oversee reforms to the scandal-rocked award announce they are leaving.” One is leaving because reforms are too slow. Also, news that the Swedish Academy sent out letters trying to justify Mr. Handke’s win.

The Guardian reports on letters by Evelyn Waugh, soon to be auctioned, that “shed light on his abandoned first novel.”’s word of the year is “existential.”

The NYT has a piece from Alix E. Harrow as part of its “An Op-Ed from the Future” series. In this one, Harrow imagines a world with no books, but filled with VR stories.

Robert K. Massie has died. The NYT has an obituary as does USA Today.

Authors on Air

HuffPost has a story on Greta Gerwig’s Little Women.

NPR’s Fresh Air remembers cartoonist Gahan Wilson.

The Guardian Books podcast considers SF.

Deadline reports that The G.I. Joe film Snake Eyes, set to open Oct. 16, 2020, casts up. Also, Babette’s Feast, based on a story by Karen Blixen, is getting remade. reports that Nevernight by Jay Kristoff is now a YouTube mini-series.

Open Culture writes about a hand-drawn animation of “The Mushroom Hunters” by Neil Gaiman, read by Amanda Palmer.

The Today show features Instant Loss: Eat Real, Lose Weight : How I Lost 125 Pounds--Includes 100+ Recipes by Brittany Williams (HMH), My Book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak (Dial Books: Penguin), Late Migrations: A Natural History of Love and Loss by Margaret Renkl (Milkweed Editions), and The Broken Road: George Wallace and a Daughter’s Journey to Reconciliation by Peggy Wallace Kennedy (Bloomsbury: Macmillan).

Doctor Who gets a trailer. It will debut on Jan. 1, 2020.

Just Mercy gets a trailer. It will debut on Jan. 10, 2020.

The Magicians gets a trailer. It will debut on Jan. 15, 2020.

Tomi Adeyemi, Children of Virtue and Vengeance (Henry Holt: Macmillan), will be on Jimmy Fallon tonight. Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me (Spiegel & Grau: Random House; LJ starred review), will be on The Daily Show.

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