National Book Awards Eve, Nov. 19, 2019 | Book Pulse

The National Book Awards will be announced tomorrow. Events begin today. Entertainment Weekly decides that “the unreliable narrator is the biggest book trend of the decade.” Kirkus announces its picks for the Best Picture Books of 2019. Random House has a new publisher.

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The National Book Awards







The National Book Awards will be announced tomorrow. Here is the list of finalists.

The awards will air live starting at 7:15 p.m.

To kick off the awards, the Teen Press Conference will air live today at 10:30 a.m. and the award finalists reading will begin at 7 p.m. tonight.

In advance of the announcements, Vox has thoughts on all the finalists.


The Washington Post reviews The Cheffe: A Cook's Novel by Marie NDiaye, translated by Jordan Stump (Knopf): “luminous.” Also, This Is Happiness by Niall Williams (Bloomsbury: Hachette): “unforgettable … rewards the kind of attention and patience that’s increasingly scarce.”

The NYT reviews Serotonin by Michel Houellebecq, translated by Shaun Whiteside (FSG: Macmillan): “an exhausted and exhausting book. It makes you wonder if he has played out his string as a fiction writer.” Also, Mary Toft; or, The Rabbit Queen by Dexter Palmer (Pantheon: Random House): “spins a cracking tale that, despite its disconcerting subject, is piquantly cheerful and compassionate.” Broke: Hardship and Resilience in a City of Broken Promises by Jodie Adams Kirshner (St. Martin’s Press: Macmillan): “affirms why it’s worth solving the hardest problems in our most challenging cities in the first place.” The Second Sleep by Robert Harris (Knopf): “there is a surprising lack of narrative tension, the internal inconsistencies are confounding and we have guessed the denouement long before it arrives.” Family Papers: A Sephardic Journey Through the Twentieth Century by Sarah Abrevaya Stein (FSG: Macmillan; LJ starred review): “Stein, a U.C.L.A. historian, has ferocious research talents … with great effort and a keen eye, [she] illustrate history by zooming in as tightly." In “New & Noteworthy,” a focus on visual books. There is also a group review about books about dance, a dual review about books about Roy DeCarava, and a dual review about books about the human body.

Briefly Noted

Entertainment Weekly decides that “The unreliable narrator is the biggest book trend of the decade.”

USA Today picks five books for the week.

LJ's Best Books of 2019 came out yesterday. Here is a landing page you can share with patrons.

Kirkus announces its picks for the Best Picture Books of 2019.

The December LibraryReads list is out. Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid (G.P. Putnam's Sons: Penguin; LJ starred review) is the top pick. LibraryReads has not had a December list since 2013, focusing on yearly favorites instead.

Barbara Hoffert’s “Prepub Alert” now has coverage for June 2020.

Largehearted Boy has updated his “Best Books of 2019” list. Remember it gets updated daily as new lists arrive.

LitHub interviews Nina MacLaughlin, Wake, Siren: Ovid Resung (FSG Originals: Macmillan), who offers five books that deal with nature in a sensual way.

Bustle excerpts The Down Days by Ilze Hugo (Gallery Books: S. & S.), calling it “your next literary science-fiction read.”

Entertainment Weekly interviews Isa Mazzei, Camgirl (Rare Bird Books).

Bustle talks with N.K. Jemisin about Green Lantern.

The NYPL has a “Where to Start” reading guide on Margaret Atwood. The Walrus has a piece on “The Making of Margaret Atwood.” picks, from a vast galaxy of choices, “9 Canonical Star Wars Books for Every Fandom Need.”

Refinery29 selects books about sex and sexuality.

Electric Lit has a list of “Novels to Read in Every Life Crisis.”

Stephen King gets his own Funko figure. Entertainment Weekly has details.

The Brontë Society wins the auction for Charlotte Brontë's tiny book. The Guardian has a report.

Random House has a new publisher. The NYT reports that “Andy Ward, who has edited books by writers such as David Mitchell, George Saunders and Imbolo Mbue, will become the executive vice president and publisher of Random House.” The story also includes coverage of the churn and change in the publishing industry.

The New York Review of Books has “The Secret Feminist History of Shakespeare and Company.”

Authors on Air

NPR interviews Jenny Slate, Little Weirds (Little, Brown: Hachette).  Also, an interview with Pete Townshend, The Age of Anxiety (Hachette). There is also a story about the Stephen Miller and the White Nationalists novel he references.

Off the Shelf has reading suggestions centered on Tom Hanks’s film A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.

Entertainment Weekly has more on the Daisy Jones and the Six adaptation, starring Elvis Presley’s granddaughter.

Candice Carty-Williams's Queenie is getting adapted for Channel 4. Bustle has details.

The Hollywood Reporter writes that Anyone by Charles Soule has been optioned for TV.

Deadline reports that Amazon has already ordered season two of its Lord of the Rings adaptation, even before season 1 airs. It will mean, hopefully, a shorter break between the first two seasons. On the other hand, Marvel’s Runaways will end with season 3. Nicole Kidman talks about a Big Little Lies, season 3 possibility. Jamie Foxx talks about Just Mercy. The Robber Baron’s Daughter by Jamila Gavin and Unnatural Causes, the memoir by Dr Richard Shepherd, are getting adapted. Text Me When You Get Home by Kayleen Schaefer is headed to ABC. The Crown is getting a podcast.

The Today show featured Full Circle: From Hollywood to Real Life and Back Again by Andrea Barber (Citadel: Random House).

PBS NewsHour talks writing with Richard Powers, The Overstory (W.W. Norton).

The Expanse, season 4 gets a trailer.

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