Margaret Atwood & Bernardine Evaristo Win the Booker Prize, Oct. 15, 2019 | Book Pulse

Margaret Atwood and Bernardine Evaristo both win the Booker Prize. Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators by Ronan Farrow continues its buzzy reign across print and broadcast media, coverage is wide-spread and seemingly everywhere. Lists for “The 40 Best Novels of the 2010s" and “The 10 Best Poetry Collections of the Decade" come out. Zoë Kravitz is set to play Catwoman in the new Batman movie.

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The Booker Prize

In a break with the rules and recent tradition, there are two winners of the 2019 Booker Prize: Margaret Atwood and Bernardine Evaristo. Atwood wins for The Testaments: The Sequel to The Handmaid's Tale (Nan A. Talese; LJ starred review) and Evaristo wins for Girl, Woman, Other (Grove Press, Black Cat). Evaristo is the first black woman ever to win the award. The NYT, The Washington Post, PBS NewsHour, Time, USA Today, and The Guardian have reports. The Guardian also has a response to the dual winners idea and its Books podcast also covers the award. The divided win is not getting universal praise, with many on social media, especially in the UK, upset that Evaristo's win is a dual prize rather than a single honor.

Reviews

Diane Ackerman reviews Erosion: Essays of Undoing by Terry Tempest Williams (Sarah Crichton Books: Macmillan) for the NYT, writing “Williams has woven together several kinds of trauma, evoking the precise weft many of us are living under these days.” Francine Prose reviews Girl by Edna O'Brien (FSG: Macmillan; LJ starred review): “Let’s give O’Brien credit for her energy and passion, for reminding us that at every moment girls are being abused and exploited with unconscionable cruelty and malice.” The paper also has a review of Exposure: Poisoned Water, Corporate Greed, and One Lawyer's Twenty-Year Battle against DuPont by Robert Bilott (Atria: S. & S.): “The naïve corporate defense attorney we meet at the book’s start is gone by the end, and he seems no longer surprised when he realizes that regulators, including the Environmental Protection Agency, are in DuPont’s pocket.” The Man Who Saw Everything by Deborah Levy (Bloomsbury: Macmillan): “The book is constructed like a cat’s cradle, a chronological double helix.” No Stopping Us Now: The Adventures of Older Women in American History by Gail Collins (Little, Brown: Hachette): “It’s eye-opening, brimming with new information and, as you’d expect from Collins, a lot of fun.” Wild Game: My Mother, Her Lover, and Me by Adrienne Brodeur (HMH; LJ starred review): “exquisite and harrowing.” The Less People Know About Us: A Mystery of Betrayal, Family Secrets, and Stolen Identity by Axton Betz-Hamilton (Grand Central: Hachette): “reads like a grim folk tale.” The First Cell: And the Human Costs of Pursuing Cancer to the Last by Azra Raza (Basic Books: Hachette; LJ starred review): “raises many profound questions but fails to provide clear answers. What is abundantly clear is how deeply Raza cares for her patients.” Felon: Poems by Reginald Dwayne Betts (W.W. Norton): “searing.” Rusty Brown (Pantheon: Random House; LJ starred review): “Ware’s true gift is not the density of his books but in how he compels us to feel amid such bounty.” “The Shortlist” gathers short fiction.

NPR reviews How We Fight for Our Lives: A Memoir by Saeed Jones (S. & S.; LJ starred review): “Extremely personal, emotionally gritty, and unabashedly honest, How We Fight for Our Lives is an outstanding memoir that somehow manages a perfect balance between love and violence, hope and hostility, transformation and resentment.”

Entertainment Weekly gives Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout (Random House; LJ starred review), an A, headlining the review that it is “even better than the original.”

USA Today reviews The Body: A Guide for Occupants by Bill Bryson (Doubleday: Random House), giving it 3.5 stars and writing “Bryson launches himself into the wilderness of the human anatomy armed with his characteristic thoroughness and wit.”

The Washington Post reviews Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators by Ronan Farrow (Little, Brown: Hachette): “Farrow’s dark memoir of the era in which he helped unearth the abuses of Harvey Weinstein unfolds like a classic noir.” Also, How to Catch a Mole: Wisdom from a Life Lived in Nature by Marc Hamer (Greystone Books): “a beautiful, elegiac ode to a remarkable creature.” Dear Girls: Intimate Tales, Untold Secrets & Advice for Living Your Best Life by Ali Wong (Random House): “can be crude and flippant, LOL-dense and breezy .... But as with her stage comedy, she is also sneakily thoughtful about the public roles she occupies.”

Briefly Noted

Paste picks “The 40 Best Novels of the 2010s.”

LitHub picks “The 10 Best Poetry Collections of the Decade.”

Stylist selects “The best horror stories by women.”

The NYT offers “Recent poetry books of note.”

Barbara Hoffert offers more picks for April 2020 in LJ’s "Prepub Alert".

Steph Cha, Your House Will Pay (Ecco: Harper; LJ starred review), picks “Five Great American Social Crime Novels” for LitHub.

Book Riot has a reading pathway for Bill Bryson.

Entertainment Weekly interviews Ronan Farrow, calling his book Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators (Little, Brown: Hachette) the “best (and most horrifying) spy thriller of the year.” USA Today has a detailed story on the book and Farrow. As does the L.A. Times. HuffPost reports on NBC News President’s response.

The Atlantic features Edison by Edmund Morris (Random House; LJ starred review).

Entertainment Weekly has an audio excerpt of Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years written and read by Julie Andrews (Hachette).

The New York Times Magazine has an adapted excerpt of John Hodgman’s Medallion Status: True Stories from Secret Rooms (Viking: Penguin).

The L.A. Times features Elton John, Me (Henry Holt: Macmillan).

Time features Ali Wong, Dear Girls: Intimate Tales, Untold Secrets & Advice for Living Your Best Life (Random House). Also, a piece by David Abulafia, The Boundless Sea: A Human History of the Oceans (Oxford).

USA Today showcases Free Cyntoia: My Search for Redemption in the American Prison System by Cyntoia Brown-Long (Atria: S. & S.). Also, “ 5 Things we learned … from Julie Andrews’ new book.”

The Cut features Naomi Klein in their “How I Get It Done” column. She is the author of the bestselling On Fire: The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal (S. & S.; LJ starred reviewed).

The Washington Post’s “Book Party” column spotlights Self-Portrait in Black and White: Unlearning Race by Thomas Chatterton Williams (W.W. Norton).

BuzzFeed excerpts David Yoon’s Frankly in Love (G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers: Penguin; SLJ starred review).

The NYT writes about Vicky Bennison and her YouTube hit, Pasta Grannies. There is now a cookbook, Pasta Grannies: The Official Cookbook: The Secrets of Italy's Best Home Cooks (Hardie Grant: Chronicle).

Vulture has writing advice by, and for, mystery authors.

The NYT considers “'virkelighetslitteratur,’ or “reality fiction,” that has been roiling the Norwegian literature world recently.”

The James Tiptree, Jr. Award will become the Otherwise Award. Tor.com has a report.

Time goes to the Rihanna book party.

Literary critic and author Harold Bloom has died. The NYT has an obituary.

Authors on Air

PBS NewsHour interviews Ronan Farrow, Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators (Little, Brown: Hachette).

NPR’s Fresh Air interviews Elton John, Me (Henry Holt: Macmillan). Also, an interview with Julie Andrews, Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years (Hachette; LJ starred review).

Deadline reports that Zoë Kravitz is set to play Catwoman in the new Batman movie.

The Hollywood Reporter writes that Kali Wallace's Salvation Day is headed to the movies.

The Guardian has a story about Sanditon and why Jane Austen fans are “enraged by Andrew Davies’ ending.”

Time offers “10 Upcoming Movies Based on Books.”

The Today Show featured Me by Elton John (Henry Holt: Macmillan) and Wild Game: My Mother, Her Lover, and Me by Adrienne Brodeur (HMH; LJ starred review).

Elton John, Me (Henry Holt: Macmillan), will be on with Jimmy Kimmel tonight. Lupita Nyong'o, Sulwe (S. & S. Books for Young Readers), will be on Live with Kelly and Ryan.

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