Stephen King To Testify in Federal Antitrust Case Against the Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster Merger | Book Pulse

Stephen King will testify today for the U.S. government in the antitrust trial to block Penguin Random House’s acquisition of Simon & Schuster. The Mythopoeic Awards winners are announced. Books getting buzz include Jared Kushner's White House memoir, Breaking History, Gabino Iglesias's The Devil Takes You Home, Marianne Wiggins's Properties of Thirst, Kali Fajardo-Anstine's Woman of Light, Julia Shaw's Bi, Kirk Wallace Johnson's The Fishermen and the Dragon, Steven W. Thrasher The Viral Underclass, and Lori Garver's Escaping Gravity.

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Awards & News

Stephen King will testify today for the U.S. government in the antitrust trial to block Penguin Random House’s acquisition of Simon & Schuster. NPR reports. There is more coverage on the trial from Publishing Perspectives, The Guardian, Publishers Weekly, Deadline, and The WSJ.

Nadifa Mohamed wins The Wales Book of the Year Award for The Fortune Men (Knopf). The Bookseller reports.

The Mythopoeic Awards winners are announced. 

According to NPD Books U.S. Print Books Media report, the U.S. book market turned in a very good week last week. Notably, BookTok phenom Colleen Hoover holds five out of the top 10 spots on the Fiction bestsellers lists.   

Publishing Perspectives provides the Association of American Publishers (AAP) May StatShot, stating that "total revenues across all trade categories down 3.3 percent over those of May 2021," and year-to-date trade revenues were down 1.4 percent.

BookRiot reports on a YouGov survey of how reading habits have changed from childhood. 


NYT reviews Putin by Philip Short (Holt; LJ starred review): “But if the story is unavoidably incomplete, Short’s version nonetheless offers a compelling, impressive and methodically researched account of Putin’s life so far.“ And, Cyclorama by Adam Langer (Bloomsbury): “Langer is as good a prop master as the one for Netflix’s Stranger Things, judiciously peppering his pages with relics from the past like Styrofoam containers from McDonald’s, Walkmans, overcooked lamb chops and references to Mariel Hemingway.” And, Delphi by Clare Pollard (Avid Reader Pr.: S. & S.): “While the plot is peppered with a handful of specific events — Zoom school, a holiday trip, a Covid diagnosis, a dalliance with a colleague — the main driver of Delphi is a strange miasmic anxiety shot through with boredom. You’ve probably experienced this feeling at some point in the past two years.” Also, The Rabbit Hutch by Tess Gunty (Knopf; LJ starred review):The Rabbit Hutch’s vibrant, messy sprawl can seem that way too, but its excesses also feel generous: defiant in the face of death, metaphysical exits or whatever comes next.” And, Boulder by Eva Baltasar, trans. by Julia Sanches (And Other Stories): “Baltasar, by way of Sanches’ translation, conjures a version of motherhood that shies away from the word. Instead, it’s an approximation, asking us to lean away from learned language, from the exact.” And, Formidable: American Women and the Fight for Equality: 1920-2020 by Elisabeth Griffith (Pegasus; LJ starred review): “Griffith delivers a multiracial, inclusive timeline of the struggles and triumphs of both Black and white women in America.” And, On Java Road by Lawrence Osborne (Hogarth): “Once again, Osborne skillfully — and with exquisite prose — probes the nexus of community and character, and how where we are shapes who we are.” Also, The Prophet of the Andes: An Unlikely Journey to the Promised Land by Graciela Mochkofsky, trans. by Lisa Dillman (Knopf): “The book depicts a sort of spiritual adolescence, a trying-on of identities: Catholic, Calvinist, Pentecostal, Adventist. At every turn, Villanueva was a thorn in the side of priests and preachers, who were initially impressed then increasingly irritated by his relentless questioning.” And, After the Ivory Tower Falls: How College Broke the American Dream and Blew Up Our Politics—and How to Fix It by Will Bunch (Morrow): “Bunch’s history tracks the missed opportunities to define and finance college as a public good, beginning with the 1944 G.I. Bill’s unexpected success in sending millions of white veterans to college, free of charge.” Plus, The Lost Kings by Tyrell Johnson (Anchor): “traces Jeanie’s inquiry into the night that severed her family, but Johnson’s deeper preoccupation seems to be with childhood: its mysteries, its freedoms, its end. He channels the voice of a young girl with depth and feeling, and an offbeat, appealing specificity.” And, Inventor of the Future: The Visionary Life of Buckminster Fuller by Alec Nevala-Lee (Dey Street) “The strength of this carefully researched and fair-minded biography is that the reader comes away with a greater understanding of a deeply complicated individual who overcame obstacles — many of his own making — to achieve a kind of imperfect greatness.” Finally, short reviews of three new Sci-fi and fantasy titles.

LA Times reviews Mercury Pictures Presents by Anthony Marra (Hogarth): Although “Mercury Pictures Presents is uneven and downright discursive in many places, its cinematic scope ultimately achieves a grandeur beyond its particulars.”NYT also reviews: “The book reflects familiar Marra themes: how extreme times force people into impossible devil’s bargains; how propaganda muddies reality; how hard it is to get to the truth of anything, except perhaps by piecing it together long afterward; how ordinary people can find unexpected reservoirs of heroism.”

Autostraddle reviews Patricia Wants to Cuddle by Samantha Allen (Zando): “That knack of Allen’s for taking incongruous elements and fashioning them into a gorgeous monster yields delightful humor and horror throughout.”

Briefly Noted

NYT features on Gabino Iglesias and his new book, The Devil Takes You Home (Mulholland Books; LJ starred review), a noir exploration of the Texas underworld.

LitHub interviews Marianne Wiggins about completing her novel, Properties of Thirst (S. & S.; LJ starred review), after suffering a massive stroke.

The Rumpus talks with Kali Fajardo-Anstine, author of Woman of Light (One World), about her family stories and influences.

Shondaland interviews Julia Shaw about her new bookBi: The Hidden Culture, History, and Science of Bisexuality (Harry N. Abrams), and her hopes of what “it will bring to the larger conversation about bisexuality.”

People shares an excerpt from Jared Kushner's forthcoming memoir, Breaking History: A White House Memoir (Broadside), describing Kim Kardiashian’s successful campaign to persuade President Trump to pardon Alice Johnson. Vanity Fair also shares details from Kushner's memoir

Britney Spears's forthcoming memoir is finished, but has run into supply-chain problems. Vanity Fair reports. 

CrimeReads has an excerpt from the forthcoming paranormal thriller Sisters of the Lost Nation by Nick Medina (Berkley), due out April 2023. 

ElectricLit has 8 zombie-less zombie stories.

The Root looks at “Iconic Black Sci-Fi Characters Then and Now.”

BookRiot has the August book recommendation horoscope.

Authors On Air

NPR’s Fresh Air talks with Kirk Wallace JohnsonThe Fishermen and the Dragon: Fear, Greed, and a Fight for Justice on the Gulf Coast (Viking), and “how white nationalists in Texas terrorized refugees after the Vietnam War.”

NPR’s It’s Been a Minute talks with journalist Steven W. Thrasher about his new book, The Viral Underclass: The Human Toll When Inequality and Disease Collide (Celadon).

Wired’s Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast talks with Lori Garver about her new memoir, Escaping Gravity: My Quest to Transform NASA and Launch a New Space Age (Diversion).

Salon talks with Paul Sciarrotta about adapting V.C. Andrews for Flowers in the Attic: The Origin, and "why her stories still resonate, the shocking ending of the series, and yes, that swan bed." 


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