James McBride’s ‘The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store’ Is Barnes & Noble Book of the Year | Book Pulse

James McBride’s The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store is named the 2023 Barnes & Noble Book of the Year. B&N’s Author of the Year is David Grann. The Edge by David Baldacci leads holds this week; titles by Martha Wells, Mitch Albom, Michael Cunningham, and Jonathan Karl are also in demand. Six LibraryReads and six Indie Next picks publish this week. People’s book of the week is So Late in the Day: Stories of Women and Men by Claire Keegan. Plus, the singer Pink announces she will distribute banned books at her Florida concerts.

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B&N’s Book and Author of the Year, Awards & News 

James McBride’s The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store (Riverhead; LJ starred review) is the 2023 Barnes & Noble Book of the YearB&N’s Author of the Year is David Grann

Scottish poet and novelist John Burnside wins the David Cohen Prize for his body of work. The Guardian has coverage

The 2023 National Translation Award winners are announcedLitHub has coverage.

The shortlist is announced for the Warwick Prize for Women in Translation

Mexican novelist Valeria Luiselli will be the next writer to contribute a manuscript to the Future Library, which locks the unpublished manuscripts away until 2114, The Guardian reports. 

More than 2,000 poets and writers are boycotting the Poetry Foundation, LitHub reports.

Palestinian novelist Adania Shibli speaks to The Guardian about the cancellation of her award ceremony at the Frankfurt book fair

Pink announces she will give away 2,000 banned books about race and sexuality at upcoming Florida concertsPeople reports. LA Times also has coverage.

USA Today investigates how much of U.S. tax dollars is going toward banning books.

A judge has dismissed a portion of lawsuit over AI, filed by a group of authorsPublishers Weekly reports.

Big Books of the Week

The Edge by David Baldacci (Grand Central) leads holds this week.

Other titles in demand include:

System Collapse by Martha Wells (Tor.com)

The Little Liar by Mitch Albom (Harper)

Day by Michael Cunningham (Random)

Tired of Winning: Donald Trump and the End of the Grand Old Party by Jonathan Karl (Dutton)

These books and others publishing the week of November 13, 2023, are listed in a downloadable spreadsheet.

Librarians and Booksellers Suggest

Six LibraryReads and six Indie Next picks publish this week:

Hall of Fame pick System Collapse by Martha Wells (Tor.com) is also an Indie Next pick:

“I’m a bit of a Murderbot purist—All Systems Red made me reevaluate who I am, and that’s a tough act to follow. Here comes System Collapse hitting my trauma and making me Feel. Rude. Martha Wells taps in to the hardest parts of learning to be a person.”—Meg Wasmer, Copper Dog Books, Beverly, MA

Do Your Worst by Rosie Danan (Berkley) is also a Hall of Fame pick.

Bonus pick Calamity by Constance Fay (Bramble; LJ starred review) is also an Indie Next pick:

“A great debut that will appeal to a large audience. The characters feel real, and it’s great to read sci-fi with romance that doesn’t feel forced. I’ll recommend this to fantasy romance readers who are looking to branch out.”—Scott Patnesky, Tattered Cover Book Store, Denver, CO

Plot Twist by Erin La Rosa (Canary Street)

“Romance writer Sophie has the hots for her landlord, former indie movie star Dash. He’s stand-offish, but that's because he's harboring a secret crush on her. Their paths collide when, hungover, she barfs on him. Readers will be charmed by this sexy, low-stakes romance as the the relatable characters slowly build themselves up to reach for each other.”—Jennifer Rusche, William Jeanes Memorial Library, PA

It is also an Indie Next pick:

“A great friends-to-lovers romance, with a realistic representation of sobriety/alcoholism that doesn’t gloss over the reality of addiction. Sophie figures out what went wrong, and Dash accepts that even in recovery, he is worthy of love.”—Stephanie Rivera, Chapter Two…a Bookstore, Lompoc, CA

Good Girls Don’t Die by Christina Henry (Berkley)

“Celia finds herself trapped in someone else’s life. Allie’s birthday trip turns into a slasher fest in a cabin in the woods. Maggie is kidnapped and made to play a dangerous dystopian maze game. All three women find themselves in situations reminiscent of their favorite horror fiction, and are fighting to survive. What is really happening, and is it possible to make it out alive? A thrilling page turner”—Candice Machata, North Kingstown Free Library, RI

Day by Michael Cunningham (Random)

“This intimate and almost claustrophobic book follows a family on the same day in three different years: April 5th of 2019, 2020, and 2021. The story is about endings, beginnings, aging, relationships, and the impact of COVID-19. A lyrical novel, with deft prose and a focus on the internal lives of the characters. Cunningham has a gift of providing just enough detail to engage readers without weighing the prose down.”—Chad Cunningham, Monroe County Library System, NY

It is also an Indie Next pick:

“This story takes place on the same day, but during three consecutive years. A family—father, mother, mother’s brother, and two children—is breaking apart. Their nuanced, subtle interior lives are remarkably portrayed. This one is a gem.”—Jude Sales, Readers’ Books, Sonoma, CA

Three additional Indie Next picks publish this week:

So Late in the Day: Stories of Women and Men by Claire Keegan (Grove)

“Simply perfect, as to be expected from Claire Keegan. She has a way of dropping you right into the middle of a piece of everyday life and tearing out your heart. With perfectly drawn characters, she always leaves you wanting more of the story.”—Lori Virelli, Harvey’s Tales, Geneva, IL

Other Minds and Other Stories by Bennett Sims (Two Dollar Radio)

“A perfectly unsettling collection about memory, perception, self-doubt, Hegel, and amateur chicken butchering that goes horrifically wrong. Sims masterfully explores the horror in mundane situations. Highly recommended!”—Caitlin Baker, Island Books, Mercer Island, WA

Cacophony of Bone: The Circle of a Year by Kerri ní Dochartaigh (Milkweed Editions)

“A gorgeous, elegiac meditation on time, the natural world, and all the aspects of life that we can only understand through our mind’s eye. Kerri ní Dochartaigh is a gifted writer and Cacophony of Bone is a joy to read.”—Debra Ginsberg, DIESEL, A Bookstore, Santa Monica, CA

In the Media

People’s book of the week is So Late in the Day: Stories of Women and Men by Claire Keegan (Grove). Also getting attention are The Madstone by Elizabeth Crook (Little, Brown) and The Vulnerables by Sigrid Nunez (Riverhead). A “New in Nonfiction” section highlights In the Pines: A Lynching, a Lie, a Reckoning by Grace Elizabeth Hale (Little, Brown), Hidden Potential: The Science of Achieving Greater Things by Adam Grant (Viking), and The World in a Wineglass: The Insider’s Guide to Artisanal, Sustainable, Extraordinary Wines To Drink Now by Ray Isle (Scribner). 

There is a feature on Barbra Streisand, My Name Is Barbra (Viking), in her own words. Plus, recipes from Jessie James Decker, Just Eat: More Than 100 Easy and Delicious Recipes That Taste Just Like Home (Dey Street); Jurgen Krauss, The German Baking Book: Cakes, Tarts, Breads, and More from the Black Forest and Beyond (Weldon Owen); and Yossy Arefi, Snacking Bakes: Simple Recipes for Cookies, Bars, Brownies, Cakes, and More (Clarkson Potter; LJ starred review).


NYT reviews Day by Michael Cunningham (Random): “But if the kindness between Cunningham’s characters stretches beyond strict verisimilitude, it’s part of their charm.” LA Times also reviews: “Cunningham beautifully pries apart the notion of what it means to have outgrown something, to be living in the liminal space between an earlier self and a future self, to be unable ‘to reenter the orderly passage of time.’

NYT also reviews Eyeliner: A Cultural History by Zahra Hankir (Penguin Bks.; LJ starred review): “Hankir doesn’t take her subject too seriously; her history lessons are peppered with cultural references and good humor”; “Debut Novels About Women Longing in Obsessive, Sometimes Uncanny Ways”; and the audiobook of The Glow by Jessie Gaynor (Books on Tape). 

Washington Post reviews Gun Country: Gun Capitalism, Culture, and Control in Cold War America by Andrew C. McKevitt (Univ. of North Carolina): “Sharp, fascinating, devastating, exhaustively researched and often wryly funny, this indispensable book—one of the best works of nonfiction this year—details how America came to be not just a gun country but the gun country”; and Chasing Bright Medusas: A Life of Willa Cather by Benjamin Taylor (Viking): “Should appeal to anyone—novice or expert—ready to explore Cather’s life and work in the company of a critic so alert to the shimmering subtlety of her style and the hard years of effort that went into crystallizing it.”

NPR reviews So Late in the Day: Stories of Women and Men by Claire Keegan (Grove): It’s evident from the arrangement of this collection that Keegan's nuanced, suggestive style is one she's achieved over the years.”

LA Times reviews Again and Again by Jonathan Evison (Dutton): “There is a long Western tradition of nested stories told to keep the world at bay…. Very much in that tradition, Again and Again is a novel mirroring the experience of lockdown.”

Briefly Noted

LitHub highlights 24 new releases for the week.

CrimeReads suggests 10 new books for the week.

Washington Post shares “the 10 best graphic novels of 2023” and “the 10 best feel-good books of 2023.”

Vulture selects “the best books of 2023 (so far).” 

LA Times has a feature on Justin Torres, author of Blackouts (Farrar).

Annie Ernaux, author of The Young Man, tr. by Alison Strayer (Seven Stories), answers NYT’s “By the Book” questionnaire

Washington Post interviews Stephanie Land, author of Class: A Memoir of Motherhood, Hunger, and Higher Education (One Signal: Atria). 

LitHub has a Q&A with Reese Hogan, author of My Heart Is Human: A Post-Apocalyptic Tale of Trans Identity (Space Wizard Science Fantasy).

Tor.com rounds up five Norse-inspired graphic novels and comic omnibuses.

CrimeReads publishes an essay investigating “why privilege has always been at the heart of the whodunnit.” 

Linda R. Hirshman, a law and philosophy professor and author of the controversial feminist polemic Get to Work:…And Get a Life, Before It’s Too Late, has died at age 79. NYT has an obituary

NYT shares archival photos of children’s reading rooms at the New York Public Library over the years

Authors on Air 

USA Today rounds up all the news about the new Hunger Games movie.

Ben Austen, author of Correction: Parole, Prison, and the Possibility of Change (Flatiron), is interviewed on LitHub’s Keen On podcast, as is Lisa Gornick, author of Ana Turns (Keylight); and The Maris Review talks to Stephanie Land, author of Class: A Memoir of Motherhood, Hunger, and Higher Education (One Signal: Atria).


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