National Book Awards Finalists Are Announced; Book Clubs Make October Picks | Book Pulse

The 2021 National Book Awards Finalists are announced. The 2021 Nobel Prize in Literature will be awarded tomorrow, and all bets are off. Sankofa by Chibundu Onuzo is Reese Witherspoon’s book club pick. We Are Not Like Them by Christine Pride and Jo Piazza is GMA's pick, and The Between by Tananarive Due is the pick for Emma Roberts's Belletrist book club. More reviews are in for The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles. Q&A's arrive with Ron Howard & Clint Howard, David Sedaris, Stanley Tucci, Catherine Baab-Muguira, Dave Grohl, Jocelyn Nicole Johnson, Keyshawn Johnson, Scott Gottlieb, David Wessel, and Miriam Toews. Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Dispossessed is being adapted for television and the Game of Thrones prequel, House of the Dragon, gets a trailer. 


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Awards & Book Clubs

The 2021 National Book Awards Finalists are announced with coverage from The NYT, LA Times, The Guardian, and NPRPublishing Perspectives also has a write-up. Winners will be announced on November 17th. Plus, Nancy Pearl will receive the Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community and Karen Tei Yamashita will receive the National Book Foundation’s Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters

The 2021 Nobel Prize in Literature will be awarded tomorrow, October 7th. LitHub shares the bookies’ odds for who will win. 

PEN America will host its first pandemic indoor gathering. USA Today has the story. 

Sankofa by Chibundu Onuzo (Catapult) is Reese Witherspoon’s pick for her October book club.

We Are Not Like Them by Christine Pride and Jo Piazza (Atria) is Good Morning America's book club selection for this month.  

Emma Roberts picks The Between by Tananarive Due (Harper Perennial), for her Belletrist book club, just in time for the spooky season. Entertainment Weekly has the exclusive and video announcement.


The Washington Post reviews The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles (Viking): “is a long and winding road, but one Towles’s motley crew navigates with brains, heart and courage. The novel embraces the contradictions of our character with a skillful hand, guiding the reader forward with ‘a sensation of floating – like one who’s being carried down a wide river on a warm summer day’.”  The LA Times also reviews: “Anyone who follows “The Lincoln Highway” will relish the trip, bearing in mind that there are roads not taken, whether by choice or for the absence of one.” NPR also weighs in: “Like his first two novels, 'The Lincoln Highway' is elegantly constructed and compulsively readable.”

The Washington Post reviews Crossroads by Jonathan Franzen (Farrar; LJ starred review): “Crossroads is distinctly Franzenesque, but it represents a marked evolution, a new level of discipline and even a deeper sense of mercy.” And, The Man Who Died Twice: A Thursday Murder Club Mystery by Richard Osman (Pamela Dorman Books): "Veteran mystery readers will doubtless recognize one or two red herrings, but other clues will only be remembered in retrospect. Osman keeps you guessing, which is just as it should be. This is, in short, a wildly entertaining book — even for people a long way from their 70s."

NYT reviews The Trouble with White Women: A Counterhistory of Feminism by Kyla Schuller (Bold Type; LJ starred review): “a welcome addition to the feminist canon. Undertaking the kind of critical labor necessary for engendering a truly liberatory feminism, Kyla Schuller is doing the work.” Also, The Pessimists by Bethany Ball (Grove): “Ball is a pleasure to read. Her sentences are brisk twists of the knife; every satirical dart is a bull’s-eye. She makes a meal out of her space-cadet suburbanites, with their expensive German cars and organic apple juice, but allows their concerns to be widely applicable."

LA Times reviews Fight Night by Miriam Toews (Bloomsbury): "Toews’ greatest talent lies in creating messy and lovable characters — the kind of people you’d want on your team (or coaching your team) if you were in a fight. Not because they are the strongest, but because somewhere inside themselves they’ve found the energy to keep moving forward."

Briefly Noted

NYT talks with Ron Howard & Clint Howard about The Boys: A Memoir of Hollywood and Family (Morrow; LJ starred review), and how writing the memoir together “helped reconnect them to each other and to their family history.”

The Washington Post has a Q&A with David Sedaris about his new book, A Carnival of Snackery: Diaries (2003–2020) (Little, Brown; LJ starred review).

Entertainment Weekly talks with Stanley Tucci, Taste: My Life Through Food (Gallery Books), about “his most memorable meals and more.”

The Millions interviews Catherine Baab-Muguira, Poe for Your Problems: Uncommon Advice from History's Least Likely Self-Help Guru (Running Press Adult), on how to live your worst life.

Parade has a Q&A with Dave Grohl about his new memoir, The Storyteller (Dey St.; LJ starred review), Foo Fighters, family, and the pandemic. The Seattle Times also shares “10 surprising Seattle stories from the musician’s new memoir.”  Plus, Entertainment Weekly debuts an exclusive audio excerpt, about the time he worked with Joan Jett.

LA Times has an interview with by Jocelyn Nicole Johnson about her new collection, My Monticello (Henry Holt: Macmillan), whose titular story is a response to the 2017 “Unite the Right” riot in Charlottesville, VA.

T&C features all the news about Clanlands Almanac: Season Stories from Scotland by Sam Heughan and Graham McTavish (Mobius), which publishes November 9th.

The Chicago Tribune considers a new wave of serialization, and asks “Will an old way of reading become new again?”

Vogue argues: “No One From the Trump Administration Deserves a Book Deal.”

NYT asks "What Do Marvel Characters Eat?"

The Atlantic writes “Adults Need Picture Books Too.” 

BBC explores satire in literature

Latinx writers “recommend their favorite books by other Latinx authors” at Entertainment Weekly. CrimeReads explores Latinx crime fiction anthologies

USA Today has new rom-com reads for the rest of 2021.

AARP lists "9 New Music Memoirs and Biographies for Rock and Blues Fans."

Shondaland has “the best books for October 2021.”

The Washington Post lists “23 adult books for teens who are ready to read beyond the YA shelf."

PopSugar shares a crib sheet for Frank Herbert's Dune.

Authors On Air

NPR’s Fresh Air talks with Stanley Tucci, Taste: My Life Through Food (Gallery Books), about his passion for food and the cancer that almost took it away.

NPR’s Book of the Day talks with Keyshawn Johnson about his new book, The Forgotten First: Kenny Washington, Woody Strode, Marion Motley, Bill Willis, and the Breaking of the NFL Color Barrier, written with Bob Glauber (Grand Central), about the legacy of the men who broke the NFL's color barrier.

NPR has an interview with Scott Gottlieb, Uncontrolled Spread (HarperCollins), about “the science, the policies, the successes, and notable failures in our country's pandemic preparation.”

NPR's Morning Edition talks with David WesselOnly the Rich Can Play: How Washington Works in the New Gilded Age (PublicAffairs; LJ starred review), about "Opportunity Zones."

CBC’s The Next Chapter talks with Miriam Toews about her new book, Fight Night (Bloomsbury), and why she chose a 9-year old narrator.

Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Dispossessed (Harper Perennial) is being adapted for television. Tor has the story. 

Bustle recaps the plot of Close to Me by Amanda Reynolds (Quercus), whose adaptation comes to British television later this fall. 

The Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon gets a trailer

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