Mohamed Mbougar Sarr Wins the Prix Goncourt | Book Pulse

Mohamed Mbougar Sarr wins the Prix Goncourt for The Most Secret Memory of Men. PW picks the best books of the year. Interviews mine the thoughts of Kal Penn of You Can't Be Serious, Paul McCartney of The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present, Katherine Blake of The Uninnocent: Notes on Violence and Mercy, Rax King of Tacky: Love Letters to the Worst Culture We Have to Offer, Will Smith of Will, and Karen Walrond of The Lightmaker’s Manifesto: How to Work for Change Without Losing Your Joy. Adaptation news for Taika Waititi directing an adaptation of The Incal by Alejandro Jodorowsky and David Drayer’s novella Attachment to be adapted by John Hyams.

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Awards & News







Mohamed Mbougar Sarr wins the Prix Goncourt prize for The Most Secret Memory of Men. The Guardian reports.

Publishers Weekly picks the "Best Books 2021."

Page to Screen

November 5:

Eternals, based on associated titles. Marvel Studios. Reviews | Trailer

We Couldn’t Become Adults, based on the book by Cinder. Netflix. No reviews | Trailer

November 6:

A Mrs. Miracle Christmas, based on the book by Debbie Macomber. HMM. No reviews | Trailer

November 7:

Dexter: New Blood, based on the series by Jeff Lindsay. Showtime. Reviews | Trailer

November 10:

Clifford the Big Red Dog, based on the book series by Norman Bridwell. Paramount Pictures. No reviews | Trailer

Passing, based on the book by Nella Larsen. Netflix. Reviews | Trailer


NPR reviews Five Tuesdays in Winter by Lily King (Grove; LJ starred review): “Long form or short, this is a writer who has mastered the art of conveying depths of human feeling in one beautiful sentence after another.” Also, From Warsaw With Love: Polish Spies, the CIA, and the Forging of an Unlikely Alliance by John Pomfret (Holt): “Either way, though, his book is well worth picking up — an engaging story of how spies on opposite sides of the Cold War came together, with plenty of riveting detail from participants in the events.”

The Seattle Times reviews My Body by Emily Ratajkowski (Metropolitan: Macmillan): “Supplying an eager public with vulnerability and insisting on the feminist value inherent in the act have proved successful for many at Ratajkowski’s level of fame, but to readers whose analytical impulses extend past “Yas Queen!,” these confessionals can come across as opportunistic and hollow.”

The Washington Post reviews Fallen Idols: Twelve Statues That Made History by Alex von Tunzelmann (Harper): "Surveying centuries of high-profile statue topplings on five continents, she makes a compelling case that scrutinizing monumental statuary is an integral part of what open societies do as they reassess past values and seek new ones to guide their futures." Also, The Book of Hope: A Survival Guide for Trying Times by Jane Goodall and Douglas Abrams with Gail Hudson (Celadon: Macmillan): "Goodall does indeed lay out the facts, and they are grim, but she also tells numerous stories of resilience and ingenuity, and she steadfastly believes in the power of the young." Plus, Blown to Hell: America's Deadly Betrayal of the Marshall Islanders by Walter Pincus (Diversion: Ingram): "Elegantly written and meticulously researched, Pincus’s book contains a wealth of novelistic detail." And, a couple more reviews posted today.

NYT shares three short reviews for My Body by Emily Ratajkowski (Metropolitan: Macmillan): “It offers a lucid examination of the mirrors in which its author has seen herself, and her indoctrination into the cult of beauty as defined by powerful men" and Toufah: The Woman Who Inspired an African #MeToo Movement by Toufah Jallow with Kim Pittaway (Truth to Power: Steerforth): "The tale of Jallow’s escape is harrowing and propulsive. While her trauma is extreme, the real story takes place in its aftermath, in the ways it defined the victim’s life," and Flesh & Blood: Reflections on Infertility, Family, and Creating a Bountiful Life by N. West Moss (Algonquin): "It is an intimate and ruminative portrait of life in an aging body, the hardships of navigating medical crises and the importance of loving care."

Slate reviews Our Country Friends by Gary Shteyngart (Random; LJ starred review): “Our Country Friends implies a parallel between Chekhov’s thwarted souls and Shteyngart’s multiracial ensemble of educated artsy types holed up together during the pandemic. That raises a provocative question: Are Shteyngart’s characters and their kind as doomed to irrelevance and futility as Chekhov’s are?”

Entertainment Weekly shares two short reviews on Still Life by Sarah Winman (Putnam): “Character and coincidence easily trump plot, but bright Life still pulses from the page. B+” and Five Tuesdays in Winter by Lily King (Grove; LJ starred review): “Beyond the tenderhearted midlife romance of the title story, Tuesdays' outcomes tend to lean more bitter than sweet. B+

Locus Magazine reviews The Escapement by Lavie Tidhar (Tachyon: Baker & Taylor): “And in the case of The Escapement, what binds it all to­gether, what makes it more than just a very clever, literate novel, is that it’s also a quietly tragic and touching story about parental love, the inarticulate fear of losing a child, and the impossible lengths a father will go to save his son.”

Book Marks lists "The Best Reviewed Books of the Week."

Briefly Noted

Kal Penn, You Can't Be Serious (Gallery), says “he and his fiancé currently have two different ideas for how they’d like to celebrate” their wedding. People has the story. Also, Paul McCartney, The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present (Liverlight: Norton), talks about “he reconnected with John Lennon after the Beatles’ bitter split.”

Shondaland interviews Katherine Blake, The Uninnocent: Notes on Violence and Mercy (FSG Originals), about “a tragic event [that] leads to deeper insight on heartbreak.”

Bustle chats with Rax King, author of Tacky: Love Letters to the Worst Culture We Have to Offer (Vintage: Penguin Random House), about “the lowest of the lowbrow.”

NPR features Nick Offerman’s Where the Deer and the Antelope Play: The Pastoral Observations of One Ignorant American Who Loves To Walk Outside (Dutton) as a Book of the Day that “ponders nature’s patterns and chaos in Central Park.”

HipLatina shares an excerpt of Wild Tongues Can't Be Tamed: 15 Voices from the Latinx Diaspora (Flatiron: Macmillan). has a cover reveal for Our Wives Under the Sea by Julia Armfield (Flatiron: Macmillan). 

Book Riot lists “20 Must-Read Genre-Blending Romance Books to Satisfy Your Needs” and “10 Books to Read if You Loved Squid Game.”

Lit Hub shares "252 books by Native and Indigenous writer that Elissa Washuta thinks you should read" and news about a parent wanting to prosecute librarians for "sharing a book about a genderqueer kid."

Electric Lit provides “9 Short Story Collections About the Uncanny.”

Good Morning America shares “15 books to curl up with this November.” lists “All the New Horror and Genre-Bending Books Arriving in November!” and “Eight SFF Books That Echo Famous Works of Art.”

NYT has “13 New Books We Recommend This Week" and "New in Paperback."

Authors on Air

Brené Brown interviews Karen Walrond, author of The Lightmaker’s Manifesto: How to Work for Change Without Losing Your Joy (Broadleaf: 1517 Media), about “life, light, and activism and how those three things are completely interconnected.”

Fox News features E.R. Nurses by James Patterson and Matt Eversmann with Chris Mooney (Little, Brown, & Co.) as a book that “celebrates unsung bravery of ER nurses.”

Taika Waititi will direct a film adaptation of The Incal by Alejandro Jodorowsky (Humanoids: S. & S.). Variety has more. Deadline also covers this story.

David Drayer’s novella Attachment will be adapted by John Hyams for Paperclip. Deadline reports.

Will Smith interviews with Oprah Winfrey on his book Will (Penguin Random House) and explores how “he has a ‘sense of failing every woman [he] interact[s] with.”

Kal Penn, You Can't Be Serious (Gallery), will appear on The Talk today.

The Drew Barrymore show will interview Billy Porter, author of Unprotected (Abrams; LJ starred review) today.

Bustle shares spoilers about the adaptation of P.D. James’ Dalgleish series.

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