Supreme Court Justice and Author Sandra Day O’Connor Has Died | Book Pulse

Sandra Day O’Connor, author and the first woman to serve on the Supreme Court, has died. Penguin Random House sues Iowa over book banning. David R. Samson wins the $60K Balsillie Prize for Our Tribal Future: How to Channel Our Foundational Human Instincts into a Force for Good. Amazon's editors recommend the best books of December. Andrew Miller is named president and publisher of Henry Holt. Plus, Page to Screen.

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Awards & News

Sandra Day O’Connor, author and the first woman to serve on the Supreme Court, has died. The NYT reports. 

Penguin Random House, The Iowa State Education Association, and four authors including John Green sue the state of Iowa over book banning. Des Moines Register reports. USA Today, Publishers Weekly, and Publishing Perspectives also have coverage.

Toronto anthropologist David R. Samson wins the $60K Balsillie Prize (for the best public policy book) for Our Tribal Future: How to Channel Our Foundational Human Instincts into a Force for Good (St. Martin’s). CBC has the story. 

Amazon editors recommend the best books of December

ElectricLit releases its list of “Best Short Story Collections of 2023.”

Andrew Miller is named president and publisher of Henry Holt. Publishers Weekly reports.

Pan Macmillan appoints Sara Lloyd to the new position of group communications director and global AI lead. Publishers Lunch reports. 

Tim Dorsey, author of the "Serge Storms" series set in Florida, has died at the age of 62. Dorsey’s most recent novel The Maltese Iguana (Morrow), published in February. Associated Press reports. 

Page to Screen

December 1

The Shepherd based on the book by Frederick Forsyth. Disney+. No Reviews | Trailer

Surprised by Oxford based on the memoir by Carolyn Weber. Samuel Goldwyn Films. Reviews | Trailer

December 4

Midsomer Murders Season 24, based on the characters created by Caroline Graham. Acorn TV. No Reviews | Trailer

December 5

The Canterville Ghost based on a short story by Oscar Wilde. Blue Fox Entertainment. Reviews |Trailer

Pet Sematary: Bloodlines based on the book Pet Sematary by Stephen King. Paramount+. Reviews | Trailer

December 7

Hilda based on the “Hilda” book series created by Luke Pearson. Netflix. No Reviews | Trailer

My Life with the Walter Boys based on the novel by Ali Novak. Netflix. No Reviews | Trailer


NYT reviews Prophet Song by Paul Lynch (Atlantic Monthly Pr.): “This is not a funny book; it’s fairly relentless, even before things go haywire. I wouldn’t have minded a little more acceptable, less intense life.”; The Path to Paradise: A Francis Ford Coppola Story by Sam Wasson (Harper): The Path to Paradise is a marvel of unshowy reportage, with Wasson bringing in Coppola’s coterie of co-conspirators — among them the superhumanly accommodating Eleanor, his filmmaker daughter Sofia, the sound maestro Walter Murch and his protégé-turned-peer George Lucas — for brief hits of comment and context, never slowing the book’s momentum.”; and the audiobook of Jezebel by Megan Barnard, read by Perdita Weeks (Penguin Audio): “Mirroring the scribe Sapphira’s faithful recording of Jezebel’s independence of mind, Weeks, too, offers a mouthpiece for the royal woman’s spirit. This audiobook is a homage to the innate right to be heard.”

NPR reviews Here in the Dark by Alexis Soloski (Flatiron): “Soloski, too, might have played it safe, but, fortunately for us readers she didn't. Instead of writing a coy send-up of a theatrical thriller, she's written a genuinely disturbing suspense tale that explores the theater of cruelty life can sometimes be.” along with The Mystery Guest by Nita Prose (Ballantine.; LJ starred review): “Heartwarming, yes; but the only fluff in The Maid — and in its new sequel, The Mystery Guest — is the kind stuffed into the pillows of the Regency Grand Hotel.”

Washington Post also reviews The Mystery Guest by Nita Prose (Ballantine.; LJ starred review): “Throughout this novel and its predecessor, Prose vividly depicts working people stuck in tight places with no easy exits.”; Starkweather: The Untold Story of the Killing Spree That Changed America by Harry N. MacLean (Counterpoint): “It is a grim statistic in a grim story, and that grimness is the paradoxical joy of reading MacLean — the raw chill creeping through your veins that feels authentic to the place and the crimes, the lean and vivid sentences rivaling Capote’s In Cold Blood and Mailer’s The Executioner’s Song.”

LitHub rounds up "5 Reviews You Need to Read This Week."

Briefly Noted

LA Times talks with Judith Tick about her new book, Becoming Ella Fitzgerald: The Jazz Singer Who Transformed American Song (Norton). 

NYT looks at Taylor Swift inspired college classes around the country, including a new course at Harvard. 

AARP suggests what to read in December.

Shondaland features a new generation of women in the publishing industry.

BBC talks with Sophie Hannah about taking on the task of writing Agatha Christie's most famous detective in the new book, Hercule Poirot's Silent Night (Morrow). 

Book Riot has astrological book recommendations for December and the best 25 Christmas books of all time

ElectricLit shares “7 Books About Authorship Hoaxes,” along with “10 Memoirs and Essay Collections by Black Women.”

NYT recommends 6 new thrillers, 4 new romance books, 9 mysteries, and 6 new paperbacks

The Guardian rounds up the best recent poetry titles

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Hernan Diaz, Trust (Riverhead), discusses the books in his life with The Guardian

CrimeReads considers the 60 year legacy of The Spy Who Came in from the Cold.

ElectricLit has a cover reveal and preview of Karla Cornejo Villavicencio’s forthcoming novel Catalina, due out in June from One World.

Authors On Air

LitHub’s Behind the Mic podcast interviews Helen Laser about her narration of R.F. Kuang’s  Yellowface. 

William B. Eimicke, author of Leveling the Learning Curve, talks "about to how to create a more inclusive and connected university" on the Keen On podcast.

NPR’s Morning Edition highlights humorous titles from this year’s Books We Love feature.


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