Jenna Bush Hager Picks 'Great Circle' | Book Pulse

Jenna Bush Hager selects Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead as the 'Read with Jenna' May Book Club Pick while GMA picks Olympus, Texas by Stacey Swann for their book pick. May's EarlyWord galleychat is today, to avoid conflict with LJ's Day of Dialog happening on Thursday. The 'Now Read This' Book Club is winding down. The Women’s Prize for Fiction announced its shortlist, which includes books by authors Brit Bennett, Susanna Clarke, and Yaa Gyasi. The 2021 Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award longlist has arrived along with the 2021 Australian Book Industry Awards, the Minnesota Book Awards, and the Oregon Book Awards. Ten Speed Press (Random House) has launched a new imprint, 4 Color Books, with Bryant Terry, who edits Black Food: Stories, Art, and Recipes from Across the African Diaspora due out in October. Laura Hankin will adapt and executive produce her forthcoming novel, A Special Place for Women as a TV series, while Scarface and the Untouchable: Al Capone, Eliot Ness, and the Battle for Chicago will get series treatment by Showtime.  Marvel reveals first taste of Eternals, plus a look at its full upcoming movie slate. 

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Book Clubs, Awards & Events

Jenna Bush Hager selects Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead (Knopf; LJ starred review) as the Read with Jenna May Book Club Pick.

Olympus, Texas by Stacey Swann (Doubleday) is the Good Morning America May Book Club pick.

Country Living’s May Front Porch Book Club Pick is The Bookshop of Second Chances by Jackie Fraser (Ballentine). 

The Audacious Book Club is reading Libertie by Kaitlyn Greenidge (Algonquin) this month.

The Now Read This Book Club, a joint venture of The New York Times and PBS NewsHour, is ending. See the announcement on their Facebook page

The Women’s Prize for Fiction announced its shortlist. The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett (Riverhead: Penguin), Piranesi by Susanna Clarke (Bloomsbury USA: Macmillan; LJ starred review), and Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi (Knopf; LJ starred review) all make the cut. A Virtual Shortlist Festival will occur on June 14th and the winners will be announced July 7th.

The 2021 Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award longlist has arrived. The winner will be announced in July.

The 2021 Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIA) are announced. Also, the Minnesota Book Awards winners are announced.

The Oregon Book Awards winners are also announced, including Yellow Bird: Oil, Murder, and a Woman’s Search for Justice in Indian Country by Sierra Crane Murdoch (Random House; LJ starred review) for the Sarah Winnemucca Award for Creative Nonfiction.

Kundiman announced its 2021 Mentorship Lab Fellows and Finalists.

The next EarlyWord galleychat will be held today, from 4 to 5 pm ET (3:30 for virtual cocktails) on Twitter: Hashtag #ewgc. The event is moved from the normal date to avoid conflict with LJ Day of Dialog happening this Thursday, May 6th. Registration is still open for the highly anticipated free virtual conference. Here is the speaker lineup.


The NYT reviews Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest by Suzanne Simard (Knopf: LJ starred review): “This book is a testament to Simard’s skill as a science communicator. Her research is clearly defined, the steps of her experiments articulated, her astonishing results explained and the implications laid bare: We ignore the complexity of forests at our peril.” Also, The Premonition by Michael Lewis (W. W. Norton): “The main question running through ‘The Premonition’ is how, when it came to the initial Covid response, a very rich country that was ranked first globally in pandemic readiness in 2019 managed to incentivize almost all the wrong things.”Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe by Niall Ferguson (Penguin Pr.; LJ starred review): “often insightful, productively provocative and downright brilliant. But it’s also a book very taken with its own polymathic virtuosityEverybody: A Book about Freedom by Olivia Laing (W.W. Norton): “In eight chapters, Laing draws on a wide-ranging cast to explore the many ways the human body is managed by outside forces, and its myriad attempts to escape that management. And, The Secret History of Home Economics: How Trailblazing Women Harnessed the Power of Home and Changed the Way We Live by Danielle Dreilinger (Norton): “A diligent reporter, not an intellectual historian, Dreilinger scants the broader context of the discipline’s evolution, viewing it instead through a contemporary progressive lens.” Plus, The Words That Made Us by Akhil Reed Amar (Basic; LJ starred review): “In addition to educating the Americans engaged in this discussion about their rich constitutional legacy, the book has a generous spirit that can be a much-needed balm in these troubled times.”  Fiction reviews include: Project: Hail Mary by Andy Weir (Ballantine): “For readers who can forgive its shortcomings, the result is an engaging space odyssey.Second Place by Rachel Cusk (Farrar; LJ starred review): “is a transposition, a riff, a gloss, with parallel themes and scenes and even names that, put side by side with its source text, turn surface readings upside down, and help explain those curious gender politics.” Love Like Water, Love Like Fire by Mikhail Iossel (Bellevue Literary Press): “Despite his dark humor, metaphysical asides and absurdist turns — or maybe because of them — his stories are delightfully easy to read; Iossel’s marvelous sense of rhythm dazzles the reader.”

The Washington Post reviews Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead (Knopf; LJ starred review): “Whether you’re planning a trip or settling in for a staycation, ‘Great Circle’ is my top recommendation for this summer.” Also, Popisho by Leone Ross (Farrar LJ starred review): “so overstuffed with characters and plot that readers will either close it in frustration or embrace it for the author’s verbal gusto and brilliant, kaleidoscopic scene-setting.”

Entertainment Weekly posts two short reviews of Hot Stew by Fiona Mozley (Algonquin; LJ starred review) and Secrets of Happiness by Joan Silber (Counterpoint), both of which earn an A-.

Briefly Noted

Ten Speed Press (Random House) has launched a new imprint, 4 Color Books, with Bryant Terry, the James Beard & NAACP Image Award-winning chef, educator, and author: “4 Color collaborates with the most forward-thinking and groundbreaking BIPOC chefs, writers, artists, activists, and innovators to craft visually stunning nonfiction books that inspire readers and give rise to a more healthy, just, and sustainable world for all.” Black Food: Stories, Art, and Recipes from Across the African Diaspora, edited by Terry, will be released on October 19th under the new imprint.

Entertainment Weekly has an interview with Julianna Margulies, who talks about her memoir Sunshine Girl: An Unexpected Life (Ballantine), The Good Wife, and ER. USA Today also chats with Margulies.

USA Today interviews Casey Wilson about her new book of essays, The Wreckage of My Presence (Harper), losing out on SNL, and reading Susan Sarandon’s fan mail.

Time has a feature on Michael Lewis, The Premonition (W. W. Norton), and how he "found the people who should have been in charge during the pandemic.”

The LA Times interviews Ian Manuel, My Time Will Come: A Memoir of Crime, Punishment, Hope, and Redemption (Pantheon), who will be on a free virtual panel with Bryan Stevenson tomorrow night.

The Guardian interviews TJ Newman, author of the forthcoming debut thriller Falling (S. & S.), which sold for seven figures and is described by Don Winslow as “Jaws at 35,000 feet”.

Andrew McCarthy, Brat: An ’80s Story (Grand Central) reveals a hilarious secret from 'Pretty in Pink' to People.

Rhys Bowen, The Venice Sketchbook (Lake Union: Amazon; LJ starred review), offers her favorite international series at CrimeReads.

The NYT has “6 Design Books That Celebrate a World of Artifacts.” and New and Noteworthy suggests titles “From the Brat Pack to a Math Biography.”

Authors on Air

The LA Times speaks with Amy Tan about anti-Asian racism and Unintended Memoir, the new PBS film about her life.

NPR’s Morning Edition has an interview with Anjali Enjeti, The Parted Earth (Hub City Press: Ingram), on the “impact of India’s partition across generations.” Plus, an interview with Elizabeth Warren about Persist (Metropolitan: Macmillan), a book “she has been unwittingly writing her whole life." CBS Sunday Morning also talks with Warren.

Deadline reports that Paramount Television Studios will develop A Special Place for Women by Laura Hankin (Berkley) as a TV series, with Hankin to adapt and executive produce. Also, Scarface and the Untouchable: Al Capone, Eliot Ness, and the Battle for Chicago by Max Allan Collins and A. Brad Schwartz will get series treatment for Showtime. 

Marvel reveals first taste of Eternals, plus a look at its full upcoming movie slate. Variety has the story. Also, filming for Netflix’s All Quiet On The Western Front, based on the novel by Erich Maria Remarque, is underway in Prague.

Elizabeth Olsen will top line HBO Max Limited Series, Love and Death, based on the book Evidence of Love: A True Story of Passion and Death in the Suburbs by John Bloom and Jim Atkinson and a two-part Texas Monthly series by the same authors. The Hollywood Reporter has the story.

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