Sally Rooney Declines Rights To Israeli Publisher | Book Pulse

Sally Rooney declines rights to Israeli publisher, courting controversy. The October 2021 Earphones Winners are posted at Audiofile. The November 2021 Loan Stars list is out as well, featuring top pick Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone by Diana Gabaldon. USA Today gives On Animals by Susan Orlean a 4 star review. State of Terror by Louise Penny and Hillary Rodham Clinton continues to buzz. Silverview by the late John le Carré gets put into context. Akwaeke Emezi tackles the romance genre.

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News & Notes

“Sally Rooney Declines to Sell Translation Rights to Israeli Publisher.” The NYT reports. USA Today covers the story, as does The Washington Post and The LA TimesLitHub summarizes the controversy and Time explains “Why Sally Rooney Turned Down an Offer From an Israeli Publisher to Translate Her New Novel.”

The October 2021 Earphones Winners are posted at Audiofile.

The November 2021 Loan Stars list is out, featuring top pick Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone by Diana Gabaldon (Delacorte).


USA Today reviews On Animals by Susan Orlean (Avid Reader), giving it 4 out of 4 stars: "is not so ambitious, though it tends to build, novelistically, through its individual pieces into a broad meditation on how the connections we make, or fail to make, with animals mark us profoundly along our human journey. "  And, The Best American Mystery and Suspense 2021 edited by Steph Cha & Alafair Burke (Mariner), giving it 3.5 our of 4 stars: “To Cha’s great credit, along with her guest editor, novelist Alafair Burke, this year’s edition…not only features many women and writers of color, but also pairs household names like Alex Segura, Lisa Unger and Laura Lippman … with top up-and-comers to paint a clear picture of the genre in 2021.” 

NPR reviews Dear Memory: Letters on Writing, Silence, and Grief by Victoria Chang (Milkweed Editions): “One of Chang's recurring concerns is transgenerational trauma — the idea that her parents' imperfect assimilation has been passed down to subsequent generations as a psychological defect, with unforeseen manifestations due to its unstable relationship to memory.”

NYT reviews One Friday in April: A Story of Suicide and Suvival by Donald Antrim (W. W. Norton & Co.): “Throughout this engrossing, necessary book — part memoir, part philosophical treatise — he argues that suicide is ‘a disease process, not an act or a choice’.” And, Oscar Wilde: A Life by Matthew Sturgis (Knopf): “He prefers instead to do what Wilde used to call 'grubbing up a lot of musty facts.’ The purpose of Sturgis’ exhaustive scholarship is that the prosaic may better inform the poetic.” Plus, Speak, Silence: In Search of W. G. Sebald by Carole Angier (Bloomsbury Circus): “If future biographies will surely have more to say, Angier has persisted, and written an intelligent and intuitive book about a writer who, like certain mountains, has his own weather, and whose career remains a contested site.”

LA Times reviews State of Terror by Louise Penny and Hillary Rodham Clinton (S. & S.: St. Martin’s): “Possessed of both head and heart, State of Terror’s layering of ethical trade-offs, political intrigue, high-level espionage and pure evil perfectly melds Clinton’s intimate knowledge of the State Department and foreign policy with Penny’s mastery of genre mechanics. And, On Animals by Susan Orlean (Avid Reader): “Orlean balances these hard truths with deep affection in On Animals, a companionable collection of her writing over the last two-decades-plus for the New Yorker, the Atlantic and other outlets on all manner of beasts.” Also, Sankofa by Chibundu Onuzo (Catapult): “If Africa contains multitudes, so do we all — and, in Sankofa, Onuzo hints that the answers to our problems lie neither behind nor ahead of us, but within.”

The Washington Post reviews King of the Blues: The Rise and Reign of B. B. King by Daniel De Visé (Grove; LJ starred review): "This thoroughly researched but flawed biography is yet more evidence that there needs to be a serious reckoning at publishing houses regarding who gets significant, career-sustaining deals to write about African American music. Until this occurs, retailers, librarians, educators, consumers and the press have to ask whether they want to support a system that does not provide significant opportunities for Black people to write about their own music." And, Silverview by John le Carré (Viking): "In an era when the failures and misdeeds of intelligence services around the world can shock and alarm, reading Philip’s remarks feels like a clarion call that slices straight to the bone, and hurts. John le Carré did not just leave the world an engaging novel, he also left us with a warning."

Briefly Noted

USA Today has a piece on State of Terror by Louise Penny and Hillary Rodham Clinton (S. & S.: St. Martin’s), about the buzzy novel and what critics’ are saying. CBC also has a writeup on the new release.  

NYT has an interview with Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield about his new book, The Apollo Murders (Mulholland; LJ starred review).

ElectricLit speaks with Albert Samaha, Concepcion: An Immigrant Family’s Fortunes (Riverhead), about “privilege, sacrifice, and colonialism’s legacy” in his new memoir.

The Rumpus talks with Nneka M. Okona, author of Self-Care for Grief: 100 Practices for Healing During Times of Loss (Adams Media), about “the radical roots of self-care and generational healing.” Also, three poets share their creative rituals and writing processes.

Shondaland talks with Sutton Foster about her new memoir, Hooked: How Crafting Saved My Life (Grand Central), and “and the joy of returning to live theater.”

The Washington Post has a Q&A with Star Trek alum Brent Spiner about his new book, Fan Fiction: A Mem-Noir: Inspired by True Events written with Jeanne Darst (St. Martin’s). 

Donald Antrim, One Friday in April: A Story of Suicide and Suvival (W. W. Norton & Co.), takes the LitHub questionnaire.

Time places John le Carré’s Silverview (Viking), into the context of his legacy. 

Entertainment Weekly has a preview and cover reveal for the forthcoming (May 2022) You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty by Akwaeke Emezi (Atria), which marks Emezi’s foray into the romance genre.

Hanif Abdurraqib, author of A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance (Random House), writes a letter to McSweeney’s about his time as a retail bookseller. LitHub has the excerpt. 

NYT recommends 4 new illustrated books and 4 newly published books.

The Millions looks at new releases for the week

AARP ranks the best John le Carré novels. 

ElectricLit lists "The Weirdest Schools in Literature." And, "10 New Books by Native Writers."

The Seattle Times suggests “6 haunted house thrillers to read for Halloween.”

Esquire has 10 smart and scary books about ghosts, and “The 14 Best Horror Books For Reveling in Spooky Season.”

CrimeReads recommends masterpieces of 20th century gothic fiction, and “five great mystery novels set at carnivals and fairs.” Plus, Patricia Raybon, All That Is Secret (Tyndale), asks “What Can Sherlock Holmes Teach A Young Black Sleuth?”

BookRiot considers “How To Read More Diversely.”

‘Into the Wild’ bus is on display, reports The Seattle Times.

“Martin Sherwin, Prize-winning Biographer of Oppenheimer, Dies at 84.” The NYT has an obituary.

Authors on Air

NPR’s Morning Edition talks with Victoria Chang about her new book, Dear Memory: Letters on Writing, Silence, and Grief (Milkweed Editions), and “the shame accompanying immigrant silence.” Morning Edition also considers “why a literary magazine at the nation's oldest public hospital matters more than ever.”

NPR’s Book of the Day talks with Percival Everett about his new humorous detective novel, The Trees (Graywolf).

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