SEA MONSTERS Wins the PEN/Faulkner; Did J.K. Rowling Have Coronavirus? | Book Pulse

The PEN/Faulkner award for 2020 goes to Sea Monsters by Chloe Aridjis. Also in award news, The Kitschies are announced. Pennie Clark Ianniciello picks The Yellow Bird Sings by Jennifer Rosner. J.K. Rowling tweets she has experienced coronavirus symptoms. Authors writing about their bucolic quarantine experience are experiencing backlash.

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The PEN/Faulkner award for 2020 goes to Sea Monsters by Chloe Aridjis (Catapult; LJ starred review).

The Kitschies are announced. has the list of winners.

The longlist for the Desmond Elliott Prize is announced as is the Glass Bell Award longlist. The Bookseller reports on both.

The League of Canadian Poets awards issues its longlist. CBC reports.


The Washington Post reviews How Much of These Hills Is Gold by C Pam Zhang (Riverhead: Penguin; LJ starred review): “outstanding.” Also, Redhead by the Side of the Road by Anne Tyler (Knopf): “Slight and slightly charming, it’s like the cherry Jell-O that Mom serves when you’re feeling under the weather. Not much of a meal, perhaps, but who could handle more now?” Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family by Robert Kolker (Doubleday: Random House; LJ starred review): “at once deeply compassionate and chilling.”

The NYT reviews Redhead by the Side of the Road by Anne Tyler (Knopf): “Tyler has every gift a great novelist needs: intent observation, empathy and language both direct and surprising. She has unembarrassed goodness as well. In this time of snark, preening, sub-tweeting and the showy torment of characters, we could use more Tyler.” Also, How Much of These Hills Is Gold by C Pam Zhang (Riverhead: Penguin; LJ starred review): “She dismantles the myth of the American West, or, rather, builds it up by adding faces and stories that have often been missing from the picture.” Death in Mud Lick: A Coal Country Fight against the Drug Companies That Delivered the Opioid Epidemic by Eric Eyre (Scribner: S. & S.; LJ starred review): “I expect it will be taught to aspiring reporters for many years to come ... demonstrates why local journalism matters, more than ever.” Breasts and Eggs by Mieko Kawakami, translated by Sam Bett and David Boyd (Europa Editions): “Kawakami writes with unsettling precision about the body — its discomforts, its appetites, its smells and secretions. And she is especially good at capturing its longings, those in this novel being at once obsessive and inchoate, and in one way or another about transformation.” The Ancestor by Danielle Trussoni (William Morrow: Harper): “ingenious and entertaining neo-Gothic novel.” Coffeeland: One Man’s Dark Empire and the Making of Our Favorite Drug by Augustine Sedgewick (Penguin): “Sedgewick’s satisfying brew made me thirstier for an even bolder blend.” And Their Children After Them by Nicolas Mathieu, translated by William Rodarmor (Other Press): “I couldn’t put the book down. I didn’t want it to end. What, exactly, is fiction for? I found myself wrestling with this question throughout.” Square Haunting: Five Writers in London Between the Wars by Francesca Wade (Tim Duggan: Crown): “vividly written.” Europe Against the Jews, 1880-1945 by Götz Aly (Metropolitan Books: Macmillan): “his acknowledgment that comparisons between now and then — once the province of the ill-informed — deserve more serious attention from historians and others is just one of many reminders as to how far we’ve stumbled into an age of troubled sleep.” Ordinary Insanity: Fear and the Silent Crisis of Motherhood in America by Sarah Menkedick (Pantheon: Random House): “a skilled storyteller and her accounts of women from varied socioeconomic and racial backgrounds drive home how little society has to offer mothers.” The Silver Swan: In Search of Doris Duke by Sallie Bingham (FSG: Macmillan): “a more sober assessment.”

USA Today reviews The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix (Quirk Books: Random House), giving it 3.5 stars and writing “It feels weird to call a blood-soaked horror novel writhing with creepy-crawlies a delight, but these are strange times, and indie horror writer Grady Hendrix ("My Best Friend’s Exorcism”) is the patron saint of strange.” Also, Me & Patsy Kickin’ Up Dust: My Friendship with Patsy Cline by Loretta Lynn & Patsy Lynn Grand Central: Hachette; LJ starred review), giving it three stars and calling it “a heartfelt appreciation of how one great singing star lent her hard-won wisdom to another.”

NPR reviews Redhead by the Side of the Road by Anne Tyler (Knopf): “heartwarming balm for jangled nerves.”

Briefly Noted

In Costco Connection, Pennie Clark Ianniciello picks The Yellow Bird Sings by Jennifer Rosner (Flatiron: Macmillan; LJ starred review) as her book of the month. The Buyers pick is Revenge by James Patterson, Andrew Holmes (Grand Central: Hachette). There is also a story on Veronica Roth, Chosen Ones (John Joseph Adams/HMH).

LJ has a list of books out this week, all available as ebooks.

The NYT offers its “New & Noteworthy” column.

The L.A. Times features Chelsea Bieker, Godshot (Catapult; LJ starred review).

The NYT spotlights The Dairy Restaurant by Ben Katchor (Schocken: Random House).

Shondaland features Still: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Motherhood by Emma Hansen (Greystone Books).

The NYT showcases French author Annie Ernaux, A Girl's Story (Seven Stories Press).

Entertainment Weekly has Don Winslow survey his new Broken (William Morrow: Harper). Also, Winslow is writing a week’s worth of pieces for Deadline Hollywood. The first is “The Time I Almost Made A Movie With Elmore Leonard.”

Deadline interviews William J. Mann, Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine, and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood (Harper).

The Guardian picks Reasons to Be Cheerful by Nina Stibbe (Little, Brown: Hachette) as their book club title for April.

Bustle has a list of “14 Sports Novels To Fill The Olympics-Sized Hole In Your Heart.” There is also a list of books that showcase how “Ahead Of The 2020 Election, YA Novels Are More Political Than Ever.”

O: The Oprah Magazine gathers “The Best Divorce Books to Help You Heal During Every Stage of the Process.”

LitHub has an essay by Sara Martin about “Falling Love With (and In) the Library.” Also, “A Feminist Critique of Murakami Novels, With Murakami Himself” from Mieko Kawakami, Breasts and Eggs (Europa Editions).

The Atlantic has a short story by Daniel Mason, “For the Union Dead.” There is also an interview with Mason.

Electric Lit has a short story by Avee Chaudhuri, "The Last Argonaut.”

Shondaland writes about “Finding Sisterhood and Safe Spaces in Book Clubs.”

The Atlantic writes about “The Secret Cruelty of T.S. Eliot.”

Coronavirus Reading and RA/Collection Development Resources

J.K. Rowling tweets she has experienced coronavirus symptoms (but has not been tested). She is fully recovered. Entertainment Weekly reports.

Maggie O’Farrell, Hamnet (Knopf), writes about “how disease has shaped life as we know it” for The Guardian.

Roxane Gay writes about “Power in a Pandemic.”

The L.A. Time has “21 new and classic books to keep you in touch with the natural world.”

Douglas Preston writes “The Pandemic Is Not an Excuse to Exploit Writers” in the NYT. The opinion piece is about the National Emergency Library.

Authors Leïla Slimani and Marie Darrieussecq, who escaped the city to their country homes, have gotten a strong backlash after writing about their bucolic quarantine experience. The Guardian has details.

The NYT has a report on “The Rise of the D.I.Y. Haggadah.”

The NYT has a piece by Glynnis MacNicol, No One Tells You This (S. & S.), about what it means to be alone.

Author Judith Tarr writes about “Cooperation, Social Distancing, and Other Lessons I’ve Learned From My Horse” in

The Washington Post reflects upon Thoreau’s Walden.

The NYT has a story about books featuring young people stuck inside.

Verified Strangers by Lena Dunham reaches chapter 11.

BookCon is hosting a virtual Read-a-Thon on Saturday. Publishers Weekly has details.

Ingram will not attend BookExpo. Publishers Weekly reports.

The Guardian plays a lockdown game, “judging famous people by their bookshelves.”

Authors on Air

Veronica Roth’s Chosen Ones sells film rights. The Hollywood Reporter has the news.

Tracy Wolff’s Crave goes to Universal. Timothée Chalamet, Armie Hammer, and Michael Stuhlbarg will return to the big screen for Find Me, the sequel to Call Me By Your Name. Deadline reports.

LitHub considers  James Patterson’s old book commercials “pure comic genius.”

The Hollywood Reporter writes about the new short form streamer Quibi. Including the book based Survive.

NPR’s All Things Considered interviews Chelsea Bieker, Godshot (Catapult; LJ starred review).

PBS NewsHour interviews Steven Levy, Facebook: The Inside Story (Blue Rider Press: Penguin).

NPR suggests book-based TV shows and books to help you escape.

The Guardian Books podcast considers the idea of contagion with author Adam Kucharski, The Rules of Contagion: Why Things Spread--And Why They Stop (Basic Books).

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