The Tournament of Books Begins | Book Pulse

This year’s Tournament of Books has begun, Oprah’s Book Club pick continues to buzz, and the Republic of Consciousness Prize for Small Presses announced its longlist. Author John Jakes has died at the age of 90. Leigh Bardugo inks a blockbuster deal with Macmillan, and Vulture profiles Kelly Link, whose new collection White Cat, Black Dog, publishes March 28. Oscar Isaac will play Kurt Vonnegut in a new crime series. 

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Awards & News

This year’s Tournament of Books has begun. Find the brackets here

Oprah's selection of Ann Napolitano's Hello Beautiful (Dial) for her book club continues to get buzz from NYT, CBS, and USA TodayOprahDaily provides a list of all 100 book club picksNapolitano discusses “writer’s block,loving basketball, and bad advice,” at LitHub.

T&C has a guide to the International Booker Longlist. 

The Republic of Consciousness Prize for Small Presses announced its longlist. LitHub has coverage.

ALA launches FY2024 #FundLibraries campaign.

Leigh Bardugo inks blockbuster deal with Macmillan, in an “eight-figure agreement for a dozen books across several imprints.” AP reports. 

The Washington Post offers a guide to the work of Nobel laureate Kenzaburo Oe.

“John Jakes, Whose Historical Novels Hit the Jackpot, Dies at 90.” NYT has an obituary. 

“Amy Schwartz, Who Captured Life as Viewed by a Child, Dies at 68.” NYT has an obituary. 


The Washington Post reviews The Dog of the North by Elizabeth McKenzie (Penguin Pr.): "A hum of erratic absurdity runs beneath these pages like a loose wire behind the walls, continually shorting out and making the lights flicker."The Great New York Fire of 1776: A Lost Story of the American Revolution by Benjamin L. Carp (Yale Univ. Pr.): "Carp’s latest work is not just informative. It gives the reader a chance to watch a talented historian build a powerful case for a bold interpretation of an important event that other historians have interpreted differently. "Don't Think, Dear : On Loving and Leaving Ballet by Alice Robb (Mariner): "Lovers of classical ballet who don’t want to see the sausage being made might do well to avoid Don’t Think, Dear. But I found myself feeling something like gratitude: For maybe the first time ever, I was glad I had missed out on all ballet had to offer me." Plus, there are paired reviews of two books by elite women runners: Good for a Girl: A Woman Running in a Man’s World  by Lauren Fleshman (Penguin Pr.), and The Longest Race: Inside the Secret World of Abuse, Doping, and Deception on Nike's Elite Running Team by Kara Goucher,  written with Mary Pilon (Gallery).

NYT reviews Birchers: How the John Birch Society Radicalized the American Right by Matthew Dallek (Basic Books): “One of Dallek’s main arguments is that the Bircher takeover of American conservatism wasn’t inevitable — it was ‘halting’ and ‘contingent,’ and required the acquiescence of a Republican establishment that should have known better than to risk giving its insurgent right flank any power.”

NPR reviews Birnam Wood by Eleanor Catton (Farrar): “We live at a time when many environmentalists feel helpless next to mega-rich forces who seem able to despoil the planet as they wish and to avoid any governmental attempts to check them. In Birnam Wood, we see the consequences of this gap in power, and the results are not pretty.” NPR also reviews 3 new fantasy novels, that "spin inventive narratives from old folklore."

LA Times reviews Take What You Need by Idra Novey (Viking): “Rather than present this choice as an empty intellectual exercise about ‘tolerance,’ Novey takes readers to the limbic level, that instinctual site of emotions and stress hormones.”

Briefly Noted

LibraryReads and Library Journal offer read-alikes for I Will Find You by Harlan Coben (Grand Central), the top holds title of the week. 

LJ’s Barbara Hoffert has new September prepub alerts for historical fiction, and STEM

Paris Hilton, Paris: The Memoir (Dey Street), opens up to Vogue about motherhood and her new memoir. People shares details about Hilton’s memoir. Hilton also gives an interview on GMA

Jenny Odell, Saving Time: Discovering a Life Beyond the Clock (Random), discusses collective burnout and productivity culture at Wired

Que Mai Phan Nguyen, Dust Child (Algonquin; LJ starred review), answers 10 questions at Poets & Writers

Rebecca Makkai, I Have Some Questions for You (Viking; LJ starred review), chats with Bustle about “being mistaken for her protagonists, her Zillow habits, and how she handles real-world parallels to her books.”

Chrissy King, The Body Liberation Project: How Understanding Racism and Diet Culture Helps Cultivate Joy and Build Collective Freedom (Tiny Reparations), pens an essay for PopSugar on the body liberation journey

Vulture has a feature profile of Kelly Link, whose new collection White Cat, Black Dog (Random), publishes March 28.

J.A. Jance, Collateral Damage (Gallery), writes about creating believable characters for CrimeReads

Author Jonathan Escoffery leads a literary tour of Miami at NYT

Jack Carr announces a new nonfiction series, focused on terror events, on FoxNews

The Atlantic shares “Ten Poetry Collections to Read Again and Again.”

People previews “Celebrity Cookbooks Being Released in 2023.”

Entertainment Weekly highlights 8 detective stories that would make good adaptations.

NYT recommends newly published books for the week

BuzzFeed suggests 30 books for spring.  

Authors on Air

NPR’s All Things Considered talks with Nita A. Farahany about her new book, The Battle for Your Brain: Defending the Right to Think Freely in the Age of Neurotechnology (St. Martin’s). There is a summary here

NPR’s Morning Edition chats with Tracy Kidder about his latest book, Rough Sleepers: Dr. Jim O'Connell's Urgent Mission To Bring Healing to Homeless People (Random). 

Oscar Isaac will play Kurt Vonnegut in a new crime series. LitHub reports. 

Dev Patel is set to executive produce and star in an adaptation of The Key Man: The True Story of How the Global Elite Was Duped by a Capitalist Fairy Tale by Simon Clark and Will Louch (Harper Business). Deadline reports. 


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