'The Husbands' by Chandler Baker & 'The Guilt Trip' by Sandie Jones Are August Book Club Picks | Book Pulse

B&N's August book club pick is Sandie Jones's The Guilt Trip while Good Morning America picks The Husbands by Chandler Baker. The August 2021 Earphones Award Winners arrive at Audiofile. The 2021 Vivian Award winners were announced, courting controversy. The 2021 New England Book Award (NEIBA) announces finalists. Damnation Spring by Ash Davidson, Something New Under the Sun by Alexandra Kleeman, and Here, Right Matters: An American Story by Alexander Vindman get reviewed. Profiles and reviews of the late Anthony Veasna So continue. Interviews arrive with Chandler Baker, Dolly Alderton, Alexander Vindman, and Sara Kamali. Plus, Reese Witherspoon's company Hello Sunshine sells for $900 million. 


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Book Clubs, Awards & News

Good Morning America selects The Husbands by Chandler Baker (Flatiron) for its August book club. 

Barnes & Noble selects The Guilt Trip by Sandie Jones (Minotaur). 

The August 2021 Earphones Award Winners arrive at Audiofile.

The 2021 Vivian Award winners were announced. Following controversy over one of the winning titles, Romance Writers of America (RWA) released this statement. Details here.

The 2021 New England Book Award (NEIBA) announces finalists. 

Reese Witherspoon’s company, Hello Sunshine, has sold for $900 Million, Variety reports.


NYT reviews Damnation Spring by Ash Davidson (Scribner; LJ starred review): “a glorious book — an assured novel that’s gorgeously told.” The Washington Post also reviews: “offers that rare opportunity to become part of a small community and move among its members until their hopes and fears seem as real as our own. By the end, I felt both grateful to have known these people and bereft at the prospect of leaving them behind."

NYT also reviews Something New Under the Sun by Alexandra Kleeman (Hogarth: Crown): “It is a ghost story not of the past but of the near future, a ghost story as alarm bell, one hard to leave in the realm of fiction.” The LA Times reviews as well: “Kleeman mixes in alluring tinctures of other genres — a sharp send-up of the Hollywood we love to hate, the inspiring transformation of Cassidy from fake hero to real. But the novel’s true genius lies in Patrick’s realizations about family, ambition and storytelling, epiphanies that arrive tragically late.”

The NYT has a lot more: We Are the Brennans by Tracey Lange (Celadon: Macmillan): “When we leave the Brennans, they are perhaps more flawed than they were at the start. But that, to my mind, is what makes them feel human, and what makes the book feel real.” And, Here, Right Matters : An American Story by Alexander Vindman (Harper): “the story of an ordinary man placed in extraordinary circumstances who did the right thing.”  The Washington Post also reviews: “While Vindman reminds us of what genuine patriotism can look like, his fate doesn’t inspire much confidence in the state of our democracy.” Also, Leave Society by Tao Lin (Vintage): “the novel has a vision, however cracked, an idea connected to its form, which is more than I can say for most books.” And, Agatha of Little Neon by Claire Luchette (FSG): “The power and pleasure of this novel lie in the slow blooming of desire from tiny seeds of doubt."  And, Billy Summers by Stephen King (Scribner: S. & S.): “His eye for detail, especially at the dreckier end of roadside culture, is sharp enough to keep the long car rides that crisscross the novel lively and vivid.” And, Ladyparts by Deborah Copaken (Random): “It’s a clever organizing principle. But to corral all the aspects of a life into anatomical categories can feel jolting.” Plus, Breathe by Joyce Carol Oates (Ecco): “a moving meditation on grief time, where there is no beginning, no end, and ‘each hour, each day, passes with excruciating slowness yet it is all happening very quickly’.” The President and the Frog by Carolina De Robertis (Knopf: Random House): “this is a moving, deeply felt novel, especially in the president’s excruciating (and sometimes humorous) encounters with his strangely healing frog.” And, Paris Is a Party, Paris Is a Ghost by David Hoon Kim (FSG): “Imperfect and meandering, but full of meticulously rendered thinking.”  Also, Once There Were Wolves by Charlotte McConaghy (Flatiron; LJ starred review): “This is a heartfelt and earnest novel — in every chapter, there’s evidence of a writer straining for the cathedral cadence, that elegiac note of aching significance.” And, The Luminous Novel  by Mario Levrero, translated by Annie McDermott (And Other Stories): “it becomes possible to believe that people can be defined by their attempts at self-sabotage, just as a novel can be defined by a record of its failure — while finding a luminous beauty in the patient presentation of its own mutilation.” And, The Debt Trap : How Student Loans Became a National Catastrophe by Josh Mitchell (S. & S.): “necessary reading for any politician or activist who wants to change the way we make college education available to all, without tripping into the sinkholes of previous generations.”  Also, The Rise and Fall of Osama bin Laden by Peter L. Bergen (S. & S.): “a page-turner that weaves back and forth between the man and the terrorist, providing poignant glimpses of key figures and carefully chronicling all the missed opportunities, ignored warnings and strategic blunders of the United States.” Plus, Songs for the Flames by Juan Gabriel Vasquez (Riverhead): “a book about secrets and lies, which is to say speech acts: their tremendous power, but also the limits of that power and the wretched ecstasy of revelation." Finally, paired reviews of Made in China: A Memoir of Love and Labor by Anna Qu (Catapult) and House of Sticks by Ly Tran (Scribner): memoirs that “tell the stories of Asian-born girls who immigrate to New York and are exposed early on to sweatshop conditions in Queens.”

The Washington Post reviews Afterparties by Anthony Veasna So (Ecco): “insists on a prismatic understanding of Cambodian American diaspora through stories that burst with as much compassion as comedy, making us laugh just when we’re on the verge of crying.” NPR also reviews: “The idea of renewal, through something as prosaic as doing chores, or as cosmic as reincarnation, or via bold realignment of iconic works in American literature, represents the vital core of So's fiction.”

USA Today reviews Her Heart for a Compass by Sarah Ferguson (Morrow): “Ferguson’s strategy of pulling from her own experiences makes for an intriguing coming-of-age story fans of historical drama are sure to enjoy.”

Briefly Noted

Cormac McCarthy twitter account with 48,000+ followers is fakeUSA Today has details.

Entertainment Weekly has a pop culture Q&A with Chandler Baker, The Husbands (Flatiron). EW also has an interview with Dolly Alderton about her new book, Ghosts (Knopf).

Vulture has a profile of Anthony Veasna So, Afterparties (Ecco). SoftPunk has a previously unreleased interview with So. The Atlantic also considers the posthumous collection

Salon talks with Sara Kamali about Homegrown Hate: Why White Nationalists and Militant Islamists Are Waging War against the United States (Univ. of California Pr.) about "the nightmarish fantasies shared by white nationalists and Islamic extremists."

Sally Rooney will publish a new novel, Bustle reports. 

Neil Gaiman lands on the Chinese best seller fiction charts. Publishing Perspectives has more. 

Tordotcom pairs tabletop games with horror books. 

Megan Abbott, The Turnout (Putnam; LJ starred review), writes about photographers who inspire her at CrimeReads

Chandler Baker, The Husbands (Flatiron), recommends 9 audiobooks at OprahDaily.

The Washington Post has the “3 best new audiobooks to listen to in August.”

Good Morning America has “15 books to add to your summer reading list.”

BookPage suggests “6 debut novelists for the last days of summer.”

Bitch has "13 Books Feminists Should Read in August."

Bustle has "10 great new books to read this week."

“Roberto Calasso, Italian writer of dazzling erudition, dies 80.” The Washington Post has an obituary.

Authors on Air

CBS Sunday Morning has an interview with Alexander Vindman, Here, Right Matters: An American Story (Harper).Vindman will appear on The View tomorrow. Also, Sunday Morning has The Book Report: Reviews from Washington Post critic Ron Charles.

Amazon’s Lord of the Rings teases release date and new image. Vanity Fair has details.

Primates of Park Avenue by Wedesday Martin will be adapted for televisionDeadline has the news. 

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