October Picks, Oct. 1, 2019 | Book Pulse

More October booklists arrive, as do lists for fall and winter. The Giller Prize shortlist is announced. Rachel Maddow gets some buzz. Stylist is getting Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chelsea Clinton to guest edit their October issue. Quentin Tarantino is writing a novel.


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October Booklists

Another set of booklists for the month:







Amazon | BBC | Bustle | CrimeReads| InsideHook | Stylist


The NYT reviews Pet by Akwaeke Emezi (Make Me a World: Random House; SLJ starred review): “a love letter to artists and the childlike imagination with which they are in constant dialogue. “Pet” is a nesting doll of creative possibilities, very much like children themselves, the angels among us.” Also, This Mortal Boy by Fiona Kidman (Aardvark Bureau): “Kidman’s focus is on frailty: the weaknesses of youth and the cracks in society that let fear, panic and punishment thrive.” Things We Didn't Talk About When I Was a Girl: A Memoir by Jeannie Vanasco (Tin House: W.W. Norton): “about violence and forgiveness, about friendship and the unwanted title of victim, about digging deeper and deeper to seek answers — from yourself and from your bogeyman. But in this memoir, questions beget more questions, and few are sufficiently answered. Trauma cannot be tied with a tidy bow.” The Liar by Ayelet Gundar-Goshen (Little, Brown: Hachette): “For the most part, the Israeli novelist Ayelet Gundar-Goshen writes sensitively of inner turmoil and loneliness, but she intermittently sabotages her own work with a made-for-Netflix plot ricochet or line of cheesy dialogue.” Right after the Weather by Carol Anshaw (Atria Books: S. & S): “does a very good — which is to say very uncomfortable — job of exploring the way our desire for connection and approval swims against the tide of our propensity to judge and feel judged by those who are close to us.” Plagued by Fire: The Dreams and Furies of Frank Lloyd Wright by Paul Hendrickson (Knopf): “would be simply forgettable if Hendrickson weren’t perpetuating a romantic mythology of artistic genius that is at once tiresome, simplistic, long past its expiration date and wrong.” Frankissstein by Jeanette Winterson (Grove Press; LJ starred review): “Frankissstein is not a particularly good novel, if we limit our definition of a good novel to one that, at minimum, has characters and/or a plot in which one feels invested. Winterson seems to know she’s boxed herself into a facile and jokey situation, and she’s decided to shoot herself out of the corner. This novel is talky, smart, anarchic and quite sexy. You begin to linger on those three s’s when you speak the title aloud.” The paper runs its “New & Noteworthy” column, offers a list of books that “describe the architecture of (near) impossibility, both real and imagined,” and in “The Shortlist” column, love and war in European fiction.

The Washington Post reviews Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo (Flatiron: Macmillan; LJ starred review): “wry, uncanny, original and, above all, an engrossing, unnerving thriller.” Also If I Don't Make It, I Love You: Survivors in the Aftermath of School Shootings edited by Amye Archer and Loren Kleinman (Skyhorse: S. & S.): “In these pages, hope comes in tiny measures, and suffering overwhelms. It would be a gross understatement to say that opening a chest of horrors like this one is difficult. Open it anyway.” Lastly, a consideration of the ending and meaning of Fleishman Is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner (Random House).

NPR reviews Big Wonderful Thing: A History of Texas by Stephen Harrigan (Univ. Texas; LJ starred review): “Harrigan, essentially, is to Texas literature what Willie Nelson is to Texas music. And his latest book might just be the one he was born to write.”

Briefly Noted

The Giller Prize shortlist is announced.

LitHub picks “The 10 Best Debut Novels of the Decade” (with books that caused arguments and honorable mentions as well).

In Costco Connection, influential book buyer Pennie Clark Ianniciello picks A Well-Behaved Woman: A Novel of the Vanderbilts by Therese Anne Fowler (St. Martin's: Macmillan). There is also a focus on Cilka's Journey by Heather Morris (St. Martin’s Press: Macmillan).

Books-A-Million picks its October Book Club titles.

Entertainment Weekly runs their September romance column.

Paste gathers its choices for “Best Books of September.”

Bustle picks “7 Memoirs by Women Who Know Their Way Around Politics.”

Stylist has a guide to 2020’s “best nonfiction books.” (Note: It is a UK site so not all of the books will publish in the same timeframe in the US).

In LJ, Stacey Hayman showcases “Festive Fiction: 27 Titles for Holiday Reading.” Barbara Hoffert looks at April 2020 (here too).

BookRiot jumps into lists with 50 Crime novels coming out in fall and winter and YA books releasing now through to December.

HuffPost features Know My Name: A Memoir (LJ starred review) by Chanel Miller (Viking: Penguin).

LitHub offers “Ocean Vuong: The 10 Books I Needed to Write My Novel” and “Five Books that Made Me a Feminist” from Alix Kates Shulman.

BookRiot has a “Where to Start” reading guide to Alyssa Cole. And on that note, The Hollywood Reporter has more on the Audible Original from Cole.

Stylist is getting Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chelsea Clinton, The Book of Gutsy Women: Favorite Stories of Courage and Resilience (S. & S.), to guest edit their October issue.

Bustle has another in its “I’s So Jealous” series. This time, K.W. Colyard suggests Amatka by Karin Tidbeck (Vintage: Penguin).

The NYT Magazine features Rachel Maddow, Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth (Crown: Random House; LJ starred review).

The Atlantic spotlights Tegan and Sara Quin, High School (S. & S.).

The San Francisco Chronicle showcases Queen Meryl: The Iconic Roles, Heroic Deeds, and Legendary Life of Meryl Streep by Erin Carlson (Hachette).

Deadline features Bob Iger, The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company (Random House).

Entertainment Weekly excerpts Chosen Ones by Veronica Roth (John Joseph Adams/HMH) and has a look at the new J.J. Abrams and son Spider-Man comic.

Bustle excerpts Harrow the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir (Tor.com: Macmillan), forthcoming in June 2020.

In more early buzz, Quentin Tarantino is writing a novel. Vice has the few details.

The New Yorker writes about “reality literature” and Will and Testament by Vigdis Hjorth, translated by Charlotte Barslund (Verso: Random House).

Electric Lit has a conversation with Edwidge Danticat.

The Guardian interviews Philip Pullman. So does The New Yorker.

The Hollywood Reporter interviews Salman Rushdie, Quichotte (Random House; LJ starred review).

The NYT looks at the pay, or lack thereof, of cookbook authors.

The L.A. Times reports that a piece of the city’s library history has been found in Arizona.

Open Culture showcases Japanese fairy tales.

The Conversation looks at Jane Eyre, culture, and translation.

The bookstore Shakespeare and Company gets translated into book art by Karine Diot.

Authors on Air

PBS NewsHour interviews Sally Rooney, Conversations with Friends (Hogarth: Random House; LJ starred review) as she answers readers’ questions.

The New PBS NewsHour-NYT book club title for October is We the Corporations: How American Businesses Won Their Civil Rights by Adam Winkler (Liveright: W.W. Norton; LJ starred review).

Stranger Things is getting a fourth season. There is a teaser trailer out.

Deadline reports that Chelsea Handler’s memoir Life Will Be the Death of Me is getting adapted for TV. The world of Alex Rider is set for the small screen too, in an eight-part series. Most Guys are Losers by Mark Berzins is getting adapted for a movie.

Chris Colfer, A Tale of Magic... (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: Hachette), will be on with Jimmy Fallon tonight. Rachel Maddow, Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth (Crown: Random House; LJ starred review), will be on with Stephen Colbert. Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Water Dancer (One World; LJ starred review), will be on with Seth Meyers. Tegan and Sara Quin, High School (S. & S.), will be on with Lilly Singh.

Mrs Fletcher gets a trailer. It is an adaptation of the Tom Perrotta novel.

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