Sheree Renée Thomas & Jewell Parker Rhodes Win Octavia E. Butler Awards | Book Pulse

Awards announcements include the Center for Black Literature Octavia E. Butler Awards and the Romantic Novel Awards shortlists. Also, the Romantic Novelists Association names A Christmas Celebration by Heidi Swain as the winner of the 2023 Popular Romantic Fiction Award. Starting at the top of the best-seller lists are Never Give an Inch: Fighting for the America I Love by Mike Pompeo and Bill of Obligations: The Ten Habits of Good Citizens by Richard Haass. There are interviews with authors Natasha Lester, Siddharth Kara, Hafizah Geter, Eleanor Shearer, and Annalee Newitz. Toni Collette stars in the new adaptation of Naomi Alderman’s The Power; meanwhile, the adaptation Kindred, based on the work of Octavia Butler, has been canceled after one season.

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Awards & Buzzy Book News

The Center for Black Literature Octavia E. Butler Awards are announced, honoring author and editor Sheree Renée Thomas and writer Jewell Parker Rhodes. PBS NewsHour revisits “how Octavia Butler remembered the fallen Columbia astronauts.”

The Romantic Novelists Association names A Christmas Celebration by Heidi Swain as the winner of the 2023 Popular Romantic Fiction Award. Also, the Romantic Novel Awards shortlists are announced.

A threat of strike has been mitigated by the Writers Guild of America East and HuffPost reaching an agreement on a new three-year contract, according to Deadline.

The Los Angeles Times delves into how “Barnes & Noble saved itself by putting books first.”

New Title Best-sellers

Links for the week: NYT Hardcover Fiction Best-Sellers | NYT Hardcover Nonfiction Best-Sellers 


There are no newly released fiction books on the best-sellers list this week.


Never Give an Inch: Fighting for the America I Love by Mike Pompeo (Broadside) rises to No. 3 on the NYT Hardcover Nonfiction Best-Sellers list.

Bill of Obligations: The Ten Habits of Good Citizens by Richard Haass (Penguin Pr.) debuts at No. 10 on the NYT Hardcover Nonfiction Best-Sellers list.


The Washington Post reviews Victory City, by Salman Rushie (Random House): “It’s impossible not to read parts of this grand fantasy as an allegory of the author’s struggles against sectarian hatred and ignorance. Indeed, given the physical and emotional sacrifices he’s made, some coincidences between this story and his own life are almost too poignant to bear”; and Holding Fire: A Reckoning with the American West, by Bryce Andrews (Mariner): “A memoir is history as the writer recalls it. In this case the memoirist essays to have his past and reject it too.”

Locus Magazine reviews RUIN, by Cara Hoffman (PM: Ingram): “Few books evoke how desperation and resignation feel—really feel, in the gut—and this is something Hoffman has done exceptionally well. It’s a hard collection to get through, but has its rewards for the dedicated.” reviews Hell Bent, by Leigh Bardugo (Flatiron; LJ starred review): “A great ‘hell heist,’ as one of the characters puts it, but it doesn’t have anything meaningful to say about anything. Alex and the others touch on grief and fighting back against one’s abusers, but these are personal demons not systemic oppressions.”

Book Marks shares “5 Book Reviews You Need To Read This Week.”

Briefly Noted

Lit Hub has an interview with the late Toni Morrison about “craft, inspiration, and the time she met Obama”; it’s an excerpt from Between Starshine and Clay: Conversations from the African Diaspora, by Sarah Ladipo Manyika (Footnote Pr.).

CrimeReads speaks to Natasha Lester, The Three Lives of Alix St. Pierre (Forever: Hachette), about “fashion, historical fiction, and female spies.”

Alex Prud’homme, author of Dinner with the President: Food, Politics, and a History of Breaking Bread at the White House (Knopf) answers the NYT’s “By the Book” inquiries.

The Washington Post revisits a newly translated version of Alba de Céspede’s Forbidden Notebook

NYT’s “Inside the Best-Seller List” explores the long friendship between authors Ilyon Woo and Imani Perry, and Woo’s recent bookMaster Slave Husband Wife: An Epic Journey from Slavery to Freedom (S. & S.; LJ starred review).

Oprah Daily shares “12 Surprising Facts” about author Zora Neale Hurston, in celebration of Black History Month. Also, an excerpt from A Heart That Works by Rob Delaney (Spiegel & Grau). has an excerpt of The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi, by Shannon Chakraborty (Harper Voyager).

Book Marks provides “9 Fantastic Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books for February.”

Locus Magazine recommends books from 2022 in the genres of science-fiction, fantasy, horror, etc. has a list of “Women SFF Writers of the 1980s: Dalkey to Devenport.”

The Washington Post shares “10 January books to read now.”

Authors on Air

Terry Gross talks to Siddharth Kara, author of Cobalt Red: How the Blood of the Congo Powers Our Lives (St. Martin’s), on NPR’s Fresh Air about how “‘modern-day slavery’ in the Congo powers the rechargeable battery economy.”

Sabrina Imbler, How Far the Light Reaches: A Life in Ten Sea Creatures (Little, Brown), explores how “natural spaces and queer spaces can coexist” in a conversation on The Maris Review podcast.

Hafizah Geter expounds on the memories and familial influences that inspired her recently released book, The Black Period: On Personhood, Race, and Origin (Random House), on the Thresholds podcast.

Eleanor Shearer discusses how she wrote her post-slavery West Indian novel, River Sing Me Home (Berkley), to celebrate “motherhood and resilience” in a conversation on the Keen On podcast. Also, Annalee Newitz, The Terraformers (Tor; LJ starred review), “imagines the distant future, 60,000 years from now” in another interview on the podcast.

The Booker Prizes shares an interview with Booker winner Ben Okri, author of The Last Gift of the Master Artists (Apollo), on how “he had to create fresh techniques to tell a story rooted in his African childhood.”

Paul Harding imagines an “integrated past” in Maine in his book, This Other Eden (Norton), and in a conversation on the Fiction/Non/Fiction podcast.

Michelle Obama’s book tour for The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times (Crown; LJ starred review) will now become a podcast. More on this story by USA Today.

Toni Collette will star in the new adaptation of Naomi Alderman’s The Power (Little, Brown) for Amazon Prime, according to Lit Hub.

Shadow and Act announces the news that Kindred, the FX/Hulu series based on the work of Octavia Butler, has been canceled after only one season.

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