Page to Screen, Sept. 27, 2019 | Book Pulse

The Center for Fiction announces the First Novel Prize short list. Changes come to the NYT bestseller lists; the paper will start to include graphic novels and mass market paperbacks again. Joe Hill and David Mitchell both make news. PBS has a book-ish Sunday and more adaptaitons hit screens.

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Page to Screen

Books take over PBS as more adaptations arrive today and through the week.

Sept. 27:

The Laundromat, based on Secrecy World: Inside the Panama Papers Investigation of Illicit Money Networks and the Global Elite by Jake Bernstein (Henry Holt: Macmillan). Reviews | Trailer

Bard of Blood, based on the novel of the same name by Bilal Siddiqi (PRH India). No reviews | Trailer

Van Helsing, based on the comic. No reviews | Trailer

Sept. 29:

The Durrells in Corfu, based on the books by Gerald Durrell. Reviews (scroll down) | Trailer

Poldark, based on the series by Winston Graham. Reviews | Trailer

Oct. 1:

Carmen Sandiego, there are series books as well as Who in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? by Rebecca Tinker (HMH Books for Young Readers). No reviews | Trailer


The NYT reviews The Shadow King by Maaza Mengiste (W.W. Norton; LJ starred review): “lyrical, remarkable … made me feel pity and fear, and more times than is reasonable, gave me goose bumps.” Also, Piety & Power: Mike Pence and the Taking of the White House by Tom LoBianco (Dey Street Books: Harper): “asks all the right questions … [in this] crisp and engaging biography … but the answers remain elusive.”

NPR reviews The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates (One World; LJ starred review): “At its best … a melancholic and suspenseful novel that merges the slavery narrative with the genres of fantasy or quest novels. But moments of great lyricism are matched with clichés and odd narrative gaps, and the mechanics of plot sometimes seem to grind and stall.” Also, Violet by Scott Thomas (Inkshares): “a direct, affecting, and psychologically thrilling slice of Midwestern gothic.”

Briefly Noted

The Center for Fiction announces the First Novel Prize short list. The winner will be announced on Dec. 9. The judges are Maaza Mengiste, Claire Messud, Tommy Orange, Emma Straub, and Monique Truong. Here is the extremely RA-useful longlist.

Changes come to the NYT bestseller lists. The paper will start to include graphic novels and mass market paperbacks on its best sellers lists again, after removing them two years ago. The lists, which will be monthly, will debut on October 2 online and in print on Oct. 20. Additionally, the paper will add two new monthly children’s list, for middle grade paperbacks and YA paperbacks. The paper is cutting the monthly science and sports lists.

Esquire gathers the “The Best Nonfiction Books of 2019.”

The NYT picks “18 New Books to Watch For in October.” lists “All the New Genre-Bending Books Coming out in October.”

The Chicago Tribune has “10 books to read in October, from Zadie Smith to Prince.”

Bustle looks to October with “The 13 Haunted House Books That Every Horror Lover Needs To Read.” Also, for this month “5 Classics Of Latinx Literature & The Modern Books To Read If You Love Them.”

The San Francisco Chronicle picks “Five horror books to amplify the Halloween mood.”

Book Marks names “The Best Reviewed Books of the Week.”

CrimeReads picks September’s “Best New True Crime Books.” Also, “5 Essential Elements of Unforgettable Crime Thrillers.”

In forthcoming book news, Entertainment Weekly reports that Mike Birbiglia is planning a memoir for May 2020. The New One: Painfully True Stories from a Reluctant Dad (Grand Central: Hachette). The Bookseller reports on plans to launch David Mitchell’s Utopia Avenue (Random House) in a “global publishing event” on June 2, 2020. The Guardian has more on Mitchell.

Entertainment Weekly also reports that DC Comics is launching the Hill House Comics line, under the leadership of Joe Hill, including a new work by Carmen Maria Machado, The Low, Low Woods. EW has an except and interview. Machado's memoir, In the Dream House: A Memoir (Graywolf Press: Macmillan) comes out in November. Here is more on the Hill House line.

San Francisco Chronicle has a piece on Joe Hill, Full Throttle: Stories (William Morrow: Harper). Also, one on Annalee Newitz, The Future of Another Timeline (Tor: Macmillan; LJ starred review) and one on Margaret Atwood, The Testaments (Nan A. Talese; LJ starred review).

Oprah interviews Chanel Miller, Know My Name: A Memoir (Viking: Penguin) on her Super Soul Sunday show this weekend. People has an early look. The magazine also has a short piece about the grad students who helped Miller.

Eater interviews Molly Yeh, Priya Krishna, and Von Diaz about how they got their cookbook deals. And on a related not, The Millions has a piece by Jon Sealy entitled “So You Want to Be a Novelist.”

The NYT interviews Laura Cumming, Five Days Gone: The Mystery of My Mother's Disappearance as a Child (Scribner: S. & S.).

NYT Magazine interviews Naomi Oreskes, Why Trust Science? (Princeton).

Electric Lit interviews Maaza Mengiste, The Shadow King (W.W. Norton; LJ starred review).

Time interviews Ann Patchett, The Dutch House (Harper). Christopher Leonard, Kochland: The Secret History of Koch Industries and Corporate Power in America by (S. & S.; LJ starred review), writes an essay for the magazine: “Yes, America Is Rigged. Here is What I Learned from Reporting on Koch Industries.” Also in Time, author Laurie Halse Anderson considers Things We Didn't Talk About When I Was a Girl: A Memoir (Tin House Books: W.W. Norton) by Jeannie Vanasco and Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky (Grand Central: Hachette) gets attention.

Refinery29 excerpts The Other F Word: A Celebration of the Fat & Fierce edited by Angie Manfredi (Amulet Books: Abrams) with an essay by Jes Baker.

The Nation features Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership (Univ. of North Carolina; LJ starred review).

Reese Witherspoon posts about her first Audible Original, The Baddest Bitch in the Room by Sophia Chang. The Daily News has more.

People spotlights "Every Bombshell Confession” in Demi Moore’s Inside Out: A Memoir (Harper).

Paste features High School by Tegan and Sara Quin (S. & S.), in two pieces.

The NYT writes about the PEN America prison book ban report.

LitHub picks September’s best book covers.

The entertainment company A24 is starting a book imprint. IndieWire has details.

Electric Lit looks at Victor Hugo’s home Hauteville House.

Author Alberto Manguel draws and writes about the characters he “can’t forget” for the NYT.

PRH posts a reading of The Whistle-Blower Complaint.

George Lardner Jr. has died. The NYT has an obituary.

Authors on Air

Entertainment Weekly has an update on Hulu’s Little Fires Everywhere. reports that “Pierre Bottero’s Ewilan’s Quest trilogy is being developed as an animated series.”

NPR’s Fresh Air focused on Piety & Power: Mike Pence and the Taking of the White House by Tom LoBianco (Dey Street Books: Harper).

Deadline reports that Caroline Mitchell’s Truth and Lies has been optioned. Screen rights sell for Alex Owumi’s Qaddafi’s Point Guard.

Tegan and Sara Quin, High School (S. & S.), will be on with Stephen Colbert tonight.

Bobby Flay, Bobby at Home: Fearless Flavors from My Kitchen: A Cookbook (Clarkson Potter: Random House), will be on The View today.

The Irishman gets a trailer. Esquire has more.

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Author Image
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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