U.S. Book Show To Replace Book Expo, Offers Library Track | Book Pulse

The U.S. Book Show, a three-day virtual conference will run from May 25-27 and includes a library track. Oprah Winfrey and Keanu Reeves are among speakers. The 2021 Aurora Awards ballot has been announced, with titles nominated by members of the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Billie Eilish get reviewed. Barry Jenkins speaks about directing Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad and Brit Bennett discusses adapting The Vanishing Half for HBO. Plus, Jodi Picoult brings Covid19 to the stage and Michael Lewis’s The Premonition gets big screen treatment.

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Awards & Events

The inaugural U.S. Book Show, a three-day virtual conference will run from May 25-27. Seeking to fill the void left by Book Expo, the conference will "serve the bookselling, library, media and book publishing industry." A Library Track will offer a "broader look at the challenges and opportunities libraries are embracing in 2021." The NYT  highlights a speaker lineup that includes Oprah Winfrey and Keanu Reeves.

The 2021 Aurora Awards ballot has been announced, Locus reports. Titles are nominated by members of the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association.


The NYT reviews Out of the Shadows: Six Visionary Victorian Women in Search of a Public Voice by Emily Midorikawa (Counterpoint): “the author ventures that these six women acquired a ‘voice within a patriarchal society’ and, as such, belong in our accounts of 'the journey toward female empowerment.’”  Also, How Iceland Changed the World: The Big History of a Small Island by Egill Bjarnason (Penguin): “sets out to explain in…his joyously peculiar book, is why it is also so full of farce and drive — why Iceland is a country with the soul of a very small town and yet can sometimes shut down the world." Letters to Camondo by Edmund de Waal (Farrar): “Composed of a series of intimate letters to the long-dead count, the book follows de Waal as he wanders from room to room in the museum, commenting on its treasures and offering quietly profound reflections on French Jewish history, the nature of collecting and the vicissitudes of memory.” Plunder: Napoleon’s Theft of Veronese’s Feast by Cynthia Saltzman (Farrar): “exposes the rich contradictions of the 1796 Italian campaign through the story of a prized Venetian masterpiece.” The Holly: Five Bullets, One Gun, and the Struggle to Save an American Neighborhood by Julian Rubinstein (Farrar): “by exposing the state surveillance, the crooked policing, the structural racism, the broken promises and the poverty that had plagued the Holly for decades, he helps us realize that the problem of violence is far greater than two men and one gun.”  In Fiction, reviews of While Justice Sleeps by Stacey Abrams (Doubleday): “those desirous of perils and surprises will encounter them in abundance. On that score, Abrams has realized what surely was her chief ambition — not to enlighten, but to entertain.” And, Mary Jane by Jessica Anya Blau (Custom House: Morrow; LJ starred review): “Bighearted and retro in its setting and music, this novel has the bouncy rhythm of classic television.” “Books of the Times” examines The Life She Wished to Live: A Biography of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Author of The Yearling by Ann McCutchan (Norton): “McCutchan is a sensitive observer of Rawlings’s work, and of her deeply unconventional life in general.” Also, the NYT’s “Group Text” explores The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz (Celadon): “an addictive Russian nesting doll of a novel where every character’s hand fits neatly into someone else’s pocket.” Finally, “The Shortlist" has beach reads for summer.

The Washington Post reviews Phase Six by Jim Shepard (Knopf): “You can spot strains of Michael Crichton in these thoughtful pages like panther paws grafted onto a lab-created sheep. That could satisfy fans of cinematic thrillers and literary fiction, but I suspect the clash of tones and approaches will, instead, disappoint both audiences.” Also, Billie Eilish by Billie Eilish (Grand Central): “Fans her own age will especially love ‘Billie Eilish,’ a sumptuous book of photographs chronicling her life and career from infancy to the present.”  Let’s Talk about Hard Things by Anna Sale (S. & S.): “This book may be the most useful for the supremely reticent and emotionally risk-averse among us, those who need much persuasion to utter uncomfortable truths.” And, Make Shift: Dispatches from the Post-Pandemic Future by Gideon Lichfield (MIT Press): “is the sixth installment and a particularly strong one, focused on our post-pandemic future. All the stories stress the maxim that our species must adapt or perish.”

NPR reviews Notes on Grief by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Knopf): “Perhaps, in the reading of this book, in this personal lament made universal, so too will the rest of us who have lost so much over this past year of loss and grieving.”

Entertainment Weekly reviews Animal by Lisa Taddeo (Avid Reader: S. & S.): “Animal deals in the ways the system pushes women to the brink; and where Women is in conversation with #MeToo, Animal is in conversation with the anger that follows the reckoning.”

Briefly Noted

According to Business Wire, News Corp "has completed its acquisition of the Books & Media segment of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH Books & Media)."

The LA Times interviews Aminder Dhaliwal, Cyclopedia Exotica (Drawn and Quarterly) about how she launched a graphic novel about anti-Asian hate.

The NYT has a feature on “The Pod Couple”, Abby Wambach and Glennon Doyle, who debuted a new podcast last week and whose book, Untamed (The Dial Press: Random House), is headed for TV. 

Jodi Picoult is bringing Covid19 to the stage. The NYT has more.

USA Today has four ways Stacy Abrams' “newest novel coincides with reality.” Also, a feature on Billie Eilish by Billie Eilish (Grand Central) and her standalone audiobook, Billie Eilish: In Her Own Words (Audible).

LitHub reports  "A police union has gotten a book banned from classrooms for promoting 'anti-police propaganda.'"

Entertainment Weekly has the best comics to read in May.

Oprah Daily has 33 “Beach Reads to Help You Escape.”

Maya Angelou, Sally Ride, and other women will be featured on US Quarters in 2022.

Authors on Air

Variety reports NBC will not air the Golden Globes in 2022 due to continued controversy with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

Barry Jenkins talks to NPR’s Fresh Air about directing Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad (Anchor: Penguin) for Amazon, calling it “an empathy machine.” Thuso Mbedu, the first South African to lead a U.S. TV series, talks to The Hollywood Reporter about her role as Cora.

People talks with Brit Bennett, The Vanishing Half (Riverhead: Penguin) about basing her award winning book on a town near her mother’s home and executive producing its adaptation for HBO. 

Jamie Bell will join Elisabeth Moss in Apple’s series Shining Girls, based on the 2013 book by by Lauren Beukes. Deadline reports. In business news, Kakao Entertainment purchases L.A.-based serialized fiction app Radish for $440 Million.

Variety looks at Netflix’s hit series Shadow and Bone, based on Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse and how it “almost didn’t happen.” Also, Phil Lord and Chris Miller sign on to direct and produce a Universal Pictures adaptation of Michael Lewis’s The Premonition (W. W. Norton). Amy Pascal will produce. Deadline also has details.

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