Judge Blocks Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster Merger | Book Pulse

A U.S. judge has blocked the merger of Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster. The Shirley Jackson Awards winners are announced, with My Heart Is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones winning best novel. The Whiting Creative Nonfiction grantees are also announced. Finalists for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award are out too. B&N’s November book club pick is The Cloisters by Katy Hays. HQN Books relaunches as Canary Street Press. November’s Costco Connection is out with a cover feature on James Patterson, and a special books section. Louise Kennedy, author of Trespasses, appears on B&N’s Poured Over podcast. 

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News & Awards

"Judge Blocks a Merger of Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster." NYT reports. Publishers Weekly has coverage, as does Bloomberg, NPR, and LJ's InfodocketPublishing Perspectives has Marcus Dohle's responsePublisher's Lunch has an e-book covering the trial available through Overdrive

The 2021 Shirley Jackson Awards Winners are announced, with My Heart Is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones (Saga: S. & S.; LJ starred review), winning for best novel. Locus has details. Vulture writes about the gothic horror in Shirley Jackson’s work.

The 2022 Whiting Creative Nonfiction grantees are announced. LitHub has details. 

Finalists for The William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award are announcedThe Bookseller reports. 

B&N’s November book club pick is The Cloisters by Katy Hays (Atria; LJ starred review).

HQN Books Relaunched, Renamed Canary Street Press, reports Shelf Awareness

According to this week's NPD Scan, "The big positive story of the week is Colleen Hoover’s first week print numbers for It Starts With Us, which exceeded 800,000...Year-to-date Colleen Hoover has sold 10.1 million print units via NPD BookScan reporting retailers."  Who holds the record?  E.L. James in 2012 with 14.4 million units sold. 


NYT reviews Before You Knew My Name by Jacqueline Bublitz (Atria/Emily Bestler Books): “Bublitz is fearless in tone, writing with fluency and insight about loneliness, sex, shame and death.” And, Trespasses by Louise Kennedy (Riverhead): “It’s a testament to Kennedy’s talents that we come to love and care so much about her characters. And that reading about a long and difficult period from the recent past feels not like history, but like a warning.” Also, Saha by Cho Nam-Joo, tr. by Jamie Chang (Liveright: Norton): “As a dystopian critique, Town itself might not fully come into focus. But Saha is ultimately an affecting portrait of people doing their best to survive in a world that would rather pretend they didn’t exist.” And, Art Is Life: Icons and Iconoclasts, Visionaries and Vigilantes, and Flashes of Hope in the Night by Jerry Saltz (Riverhead): “Instead of giving us his boldest cultural dissents, Saltz mostly confines this collection to parroting prevailing wisdom.” And, The Island of Extraordinary Captives: A Painter, a Poet, an Heiress, and a Spy in a World War II British Internment Camp by Simon Parkin (Scribner; LJ starred review): “Parkin skillfully draws the reader into the serendipitously rich environment in which Fleischmann, along with a constellation of some of the most brilliant artistic, philosophical and scientific minds of the day, suddenly found themselves.” Plus, Requiem for the Massacre: A Black History on the Conflict, Hope, and Fallout of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre by RJ Young (Counterpoint): “Among the things that Young is furious about is the degree to which memorializing the massacre has become a kind of industry — an unconventional and intriguing view.” Finally, Case Study by Graeme Macrae Burnet (Biblioasis): “is a diverting novel, overflowing with clever plays on and inversions of tropes of English intellectual and social life during the postwar decades.

The Washington Post reviews It's Not TV: The Spectacular Rise, Revolution, and Future of HBO by Felix Gillette and John Koblin (Viking): “In an account as polished, risk-averse and page-turning as the prestige format that HBO gave rise to, Gillette and Koblin flip between the character arcs of writers and programmers who have been slyly guiding our national conversation, and the suits they work for.” And, The Philosophy of Modern Song by Bob Dylan (S. & S.): “Dylan has his nitpicks, but this is mostly a liturgy. Here are 66 instances of beauty, anxiety and deliverance that taken together would make a satisfying last will and testimony, in the unlikely event that Dylan has any designs on dying.” Also, The Singularities by John Banville (Knopf; LJ starred review): “Sometimes it feels like Banville is toying with his characters, or torturing them, as Luis Bunuel or the Coen brothers sometimes do with theirs. For their part, Banville’s characters seem highly self-aware, intuiting the existence of a higher power that is toying with them and wondering what he is up to.” Plus, We Are the Light by Matthew Quick (Avid Reader): “It’s been five years since Quick’s last book, but his skill at crafting an engaging narrative around trauma is as strong as ever. When you read Quick, you don’t feel guilty if your tears are mixed with laughter.” Lastly, A Line in the World: A Year on the North Sea Coast by Dorthe Nors (Graywolf): “In prose that is as sparse and quiet as the marshy Jutland peninsula itself, the book provides a snapshot of life in a location that is full of history and at the same time ever-shifting, its future uncertain.”

LA Times reviews After All is Said and Done: Taping the Grateful Dead, 1965-1995 by Mark Rodriguez (Anthology Editions: Ingram): “Rodriguez, an artist who has built sculptures from recordings of Dead shows, gives readers a kaleidoscope view of the band’s storied tapers.”

Datebook reviews Cleopatra: Her History, Her Myth by Francine Prose (Yale Univ. Pr.): “A gorgeous novelist and prolific biographer who has written about the lives of figures as varied as Anne Frank and Peggy Guggenheim, Prose is here, of necessity, mostly reassembling the research of others. But it’s a short book, and we quickly get to where Prose really sparkles: her critiques of the cultural depictions of Cleopatra.”

Briefly Noted

November’s Costco Connection is out with a cover feature on James Patterson, and special books section featuring Matthew Perry’s memoir, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing (Flatiron). Also featured are The Revolutionary: Samuel Adams by Stacy Schiff (Little, Brown), and Going Rogue by Janet Evanovich (Atria). Plus, a primer on book clubs, BookTok, and the Pokemon craze.

People shares an excerpt from Do Let's Have Another Drink!: The Dry Wit and Fizzy Life of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother by Gareth Russell (Atria), out this week. 

NYT highlights Trespasses by Louise Kennedy (Riverhead), and profiles its author. NYT also explores the work of Katherine Dunn

USA Today follows the clues to Bob Dylan’s life through his new book, The Philosophy of Modern Song (S. & S.), and shares details from Bono’s new memoir, Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story (Knopf; LJ starred review).

B&N editors share their picks for November.

Amazon editors highlight the best of November.

LitHub has 18 books for November

The Millions has notable new releases for the week

Bustle shares 10 must-read books for the week

Book Page offers a lifestyle booklist, plus two killer assassin novels.

Essence has "22 More Books To Immerse Yourself In This Fall."

Authors on Air

Matthew Perry, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing (Flatiron), tells GMA that he hopes his new memoir will help others battling addiction.

Louise Kennedy discusses her book, Trespasses (Riverhead), on B&N’s Poured Over podcast. 


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