Michelle Obama Wins; Bernardine Evaristo & Hilary Mantel on Women's Prize Longlist | Book Pulse

The Women’s Prize for Fiction longlist is announced. The Audie Award winners are named, including the former First Lady. New short fiction arrives from Carmen Maria Machado and Sloane Crosley, based on events “ripped from the headlines.” LJ’s Materials Survey is out. Woody Allen finds a publisher. Shondaland has a guide to Black romance novels.

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The longlist is out for the Women’s Prize for Fiction.

The Audie Awards are announced. Here is the press release.

The Romantic Novel Awards are announced.

The 2020 RBC Taylor Prizes are announced.


NPR reviews The Mirror & The Light by Hilary Mantel (Henry Holt: Macmillan): “marks a triumphant end to a spellbinding story.” Also, The Power Notebooks by Katie Roiphe (Free Press: S. & S.):  “probes questions raised by the turbulence in her private and professional life.”

Entertainment Weekly reviews Writers & Lovers by Lily King (Grove Press; LJ starred review), giving it a B+ and writing “the book occupies a small space, but packs it to the brim with humanity.”

USA Today reviews Eight Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson (William Morrow: Harper), giving it 3 stars and calling it “engagingly original.”

The Washington Post reviews The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich (Harper; LJ starred review): “Expecting to follow the linear trajectory of a mystery, we discover in Erdrich’s fiction something more organic, more humane.” Also, Little Constructions by Anna Burns (Graywolf Press: Macmillan): “just wait till you get caught up in the novel’s plot.” Plus, a look at two books providing “a chilling look at life in Silicon Valley.

The NYT reviews The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich (Harper; LJ starred review): “this banquet of a novel.” Also, Fiebre Tropical by Juli Delgado Lopera (Amethyst Editions): “the prose is as ebullient and assertive.” Actress by Anne Enright (W.W. Norton): “intoxicating.” Separation Anxiety by Laura Zigman (Ecco: Harper): “wistful and somewhat erratic.” Rust: A Memoir of Steel and Grit by Eliese Colette Goldbach (Flatiron: Macmillan): “There were times, while reading ... when I wanted to shout at the author, like a kid at a horror movie, 'No! Don’t open that door!'Thin Places: Essays from In Between by Jordan Kisner (FSG: Macmillan): “Kisner displays an impressive range of narrative modes in this book, bouncing nimbly between gravity … and comic relief.” Somebody’s Gotta Do It: Why Cursing at the News Won’t Save the Nation, But Your Name on a Local Ballot Can by Adrienne Martini (Holt: Macmillan): “50 percent memoir, 50 percent advice manual and 100 percent heart.” Frida in America: The Creative Awakening of a Great Artist by Celia Stahr (St. Martin’s Press: Macmillan): “includes vivid descriptions of the scenes that inspired her, along with many pages in which the narrative is suspended while she details her subject’s use of Mexican motifs, fantastic imagery and arcane formulas.” Dorothy Day: Dissenting Voice of the American Century by John Loughery & Blythe Randolph (S. & S.): “The authors render their subject in precise and meticulous detail, generating a vivid account of her political and religious development.” The Lost Family: How DNA Testing Is Upending Who We Are by Libby Copeland (Abrams): “well-researched exploration of the consequences — intended and otherwise — of Americans’ increasingly common practice of sending saliva samples to companies like 23andMe and AncestryDNA.” Barn 8 by Deb Olin Unferth (Graywolf Press: Macmillan): “Unferth’s gift as a short story writer is evidenced in this novel …Within moments of being introduced to these characters, we know them intimately, care about them deeply.”  The Power Notebooks by Katie Roiphe (Free Press: S. & S.): “searching, pensive.” For the Ride by Alice Notley (Penguin): “The book can be read as a defense of poetry’s nonsense, and One as a stand-in for the frustrated reader, of poetry in general and this book in particular.” The Shortlist looks at debut novels “Wrestling With Prejudice.”

Briefly Noted

More March reading lists are posted from Bustle, Time, and Town & Country.

Shondaland has a guide to black romance novels.

The Atlantic showcases The Mirror & The Light by Hilary Mantel (Henry Holt: Macmillan).

LitHub interviews Lorrie Moore, Collected Stories (Everyman’s Library: Random House).

The Guardian interviews Joanna Trollope, Mum & Dad (Mantle).

Bustle interviews Celeste Ng, Little Fires Everywhere (Penguin; LJ starred review).

Remezcla interviews Natalie Diaz, Postcolonial Love Poem: Poems (Graywolf Press: Macmillan).

Entertainment Weekly features Lily King, Writers & Lovers (Grove Press; LJ starred review). Also, an interview with Louise Erdrich, The Night Watchman (Harper; LJ starred review) and one with Sabaa Tahir about her Ember in the Ashes series. There is also a piece on Carrie Underwood, Find Your Path: Honor Your Body, Fuel Your Soul, and Get Strong with the Fit52 Life (Dey Street Books: Harper).

Book Riot has a reading guide to Ann Patchett.

Woody Allen’s memoir, Apropos of Nothing, will be published on April 17 by Grand Central: Hachette (ISBN 978-1538753545). Entertainment Weekly had details, and notes the irony of the situation.

LJ’s Materials Survey is out.

The Chronicles of Now begins. It is a site for short fiction based on headline making news. It features authors such as Carmen Maria Machado, Sloane Crosley, Colum McCann, and Weike Wang. Here is the editor’s welcome letter.

USA Today features Carrie Underwood, Find Your Path: Honor Your Body, Fuel Your Soul, and Get Strong with the Fit52 Life (Dey Street Books: Harper).

The NYT looks at upcoming book festivals.

Shelf Awareness reports that “Steve Rubin, who stepped down earlier this year as chairman of Henry Holt, is joining Simon & Schuster as a consulting publisher, acquiring fiction and nonfiction all of the adult publishing imprints at S&S.”

Author and businessman Jack Welch has died. The NYT has an obituary.

Author and actor and film expert James Lipton has died. The NYT has an obituary.

Authors on Air

Lionsgate wins the auction for Judy Blume’s Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret. Janet Evanovich gets a huge new book deal. Greg Howard’s Middle School’s A Drag, You Better Werk! is headed to TV. Katie Khan’s novel Hold Back the Stars is set for the movies. Amazon is adapting The Inheritance Games, Jennifer Lynn Barnes’s forthcoming YA novel. Catching the Bullseye Killer by Steve Wilkins and Jonathan Hill is headed to BritBox. Gossip Girl is getting new cast members. Gina Torres is set to star in ABC’s reimagining of  the Dracula story, The Brides. Dan Brown’s Lost Symbol is set for NBC.

NPR’s Fresh Air interviews Jason Hardy, The Second Chance Club: Hardship and Hope After Prison (S. & S.; LJ starred review).

PBS NewsHour features Shane Bauer, American Prison: A Reporter's Undercover Journey into the Business of Punishment (Penguin).

Today features Rust: A Memoir of Steel and Grit by Eliese Colette Goldbach (Flatiron: Macmillan).

Author Chris Matthews retires from Hardball. Deadline has details.

Jenny Offill, Weather (Knopf), will be on with Seth Meyers tonight.

David Plouffe, A Citizen's Guide to Beating Donald Trump (Viking: Penguin), will be on The Daily Show.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, This Fight Is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America's Middle Class (Metropolitan Books: Macmillan), will be on with Ellen.

The AV Club has a list of forthcoming films, many are adaptations.

Artemis Fowl gets a trailer. It will debut on May 29.

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Neal Wyatt


Neal Wyatt is LJ’s readers’ advisory columnist, contributing The Reader’s Shelf, Book Pulse, and Wyatt’s World columns. She is the coauthor of The Readers’ Advisory Guide to Genre Fiction, 3d ed. (ALA Editions, 2019). Contact her at nwyatt@mediasourceinc.com

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