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Top Book Blogs 05/2020

[Guardian Books Blog] I wish more people would read ... HG Wells's Mr Britling Sees It Through
In a series where writers make the case for a book they want you to try, author Adam Roberts champions what was once the world’s bestselling novelLast year I wrote a literary biography of HG Wells, a task that, of course, entailed reading all his novels. I already knew his science fiction and some

[The Millions] Adulting in Motion: The Millions Interviews Emma Straub
Emma Straub is the gift that keeps on giving. She’s the New York Times-bestselling author of Modern Lovers, The Vacationers, Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures, and the short story collection Other People We Married. She and her husband are the owners of the beloved Brooklyn independent bookstore

[Salon Books] "Economic Hit Man" John Perkins on the coronavirus and our global "death economy"
Onetime capitalist executioner warns: Any "return to a state of normal" is "highly unlikely" after this pandemic

[Book Forum] Joy Harjo plans for her second term as US Poet Laureate; Tribune Publishing employees stage a digital protest
Joy Harjo has been named /www.nytimes.com/2020/04/30/books/joy-harjo-poet-laureate-second-term.html> US Poet Laureate for the second time. Harjo plans to spend her second term focusing on creating “a

[The Millions] Simone de Beauvoir’s Abandoned Novel Gets a Second Life
Five years after she wrote The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir began work on a novel inspired by her best friend Zaza. Her longtime partner, Jean-Paul Sartre, didn’t find it interesting, an opinion that Beauvoir seemed to share. But three decades after her death, the novel, titled The

[Book Forum] Pulitzer Prizes Will Be Announced Today; Tana French's New Thriller to Be Released in October
The Pulitzer Prizes--originally scheduled for April 20 but delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic--will be announced today at 3pm /www.pulitzer.org/news/pulitzer-prize-board-postpones-announcement-2020-awards>,

[Book Forum] Pulitzer Prizes will be announced today; New Yorker editor Jessica Winter sells new novel to Harper
The Pulitzer Prizes--originally scheduled for April 20 but delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic--will be announced today /www.pulitzer.org/news/pulitzer-prize-board-postpones-announcement-2020-awards>

[Guardian Books Blog] The Big Book Weekend: a literary festival in your own home
After the cancellation of so many events, a festival that combines some of the best has come to the rescueWould Robert Webb really have ripped open his shirt to show me the scar from his recent open heart surgery had we been, as planned, in a room full of hundreds of people? As with so many

[Guardian Books Blog] I wish more people would read ... Fup by Jim Dodge
Rereading this brilliant novella about grief and consolation under lockdown felt like getting the hugs I’ve been missingJim Dodge first had the idea for his 1983 novella while out digging post-holes for a fence on his Californian ranch on a rainy day. As the holes filled with water, he was

[The Millions] May Preview: The Millions Most Anticipated (This Month)
We wouldn’t dream of abandoning our vast semi–annual Most Anticipated Book Previews, but we thought a monthly reminder would be helpful (and give us a chance to note titles we missed the first time around). Here’s what we’re looking out for this month. Let us know what you’re looking

[Guardian Books Blog] Poem of the week: The Chess Player by Howard Altmann
A peaceful, lightly surreal scene is shadowed with wider forebodingThe Chess PlayerThey’ve left. They’ve all left.The pigeon feeders have left.The old men on the benches have left.The white-gloved ladies with the Great Danes have left.The lovers who thought about coming have left.The man in the

[Guardian Books Blog] Tips, links and suggestions: what are you reading this week?
Your space to discuss the books you are reading and what you think of themAre you on Instagram? Then you can be featured here by tagging your books-related posts with #GuardianBooksScroll down for our favourite literary linksRead more Tips, links and suggestions blogsWelcome to this week’s

[The Millions] Marie Mutsuki Mockett Interprets Bashō with Her Son
For the Paris Review, Marie Mutsuki Mockett reflects on Bashō’s haikus through the eyes of her 10-year-old son, who encounters the poet’s work for the first time in the midst of home quarantine. “All poetry requires interpretation, but it is a characteristic of Bashō’s haiku that

[Book Forum] It Gets Better
Celia Laskey’s new novel, Under the Rainbow, takes place in the fictional town of Big Burr, Kansas, which could easily stand in for any small town in America. Like the town Laskey herself grew up in,

[The Millions] Tuesday New Release Day: Starring McBride, Beha, Straub, and More
Here’s a quick look at some notable books—new titles from the likes of Eimear McBride, Samanta Schweblin, Chris Beha, Emma Straub, and more—that are publishing this week. Want to learn more about upcoming titles? Then go read our most recent book preview. Want to help The

[Guardian Books Blog] Defoe's Plague Year was written in 1722 but speaks clearly to our time
From sluggish bureaucracy to empty streets and paranoia, this account of contagion in London could hardly be more relevantReading A Journal of the Plague Year, the first uneasy jolts of recognition come on page one. The narrator tells us that he and his neighbours heard that the plague was

[Book Forum] Pulitzer Prize winners announced; Percival Everett on the surprises in his new book
The winners of this year’s Pulitzer Prizes were announced /www.nytimes.com/2020/05/04/business/media/pulitzer-prize-winners.html> yesterday. Colson Whitehead’s The Nickel Boys won the prize for fiction,

[Salon Books] The best and boldest new must-read books for May
From poignant novels to eerie speculative fiction, May has it all, even Japanese American Jane Austen short stories

[Guardian Books Blog] I wish more people would read ... Ducks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellmann
Yes, it is very long. But Ellmann’s story mixes profundity with everyday madness in a way that will leave you wanting even moreThere is a particular danger in enthusing over a big book. Namely, of becoming one of those people found on university campuses everywhere, who extol the virtues of David

[The Millions] Must-Read Poetry: May 2020
Here are five notable books of poetry publishing this month.  The World I Leave You: Asian American Poets on Faith and Spirit, edited by Leah Silvieus and Lee Herrick An anthology that should become a mainstay of poetry classrooms. “It is always the right time for faith and the spirit. It is

[Salon Books] Author Mark O'Connell: For the ultra-rich, this pandemic is a trial run for apocalypse
Author of "Notes From an Apocalypse" on how the pandemic reveals "the most horrifying aspects of capitalism"

[Book Forum] Concerns over press freedom and misinformation in France; Susan Choi in conversation with Michael Cunningham
In France, a page on a government website that purportedly pointed out misinformation about coronavirus in the French media was taken down /www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/06/french-government-takes-down-coronavirus-fake-news-web-page>.

[Guardian Books Blog] Can Marian Keyes' Rachel's Holiday sequel equal her original's brilliance?
By continuing her story of romance and recovery, the novelist risks tainting the first book. Can you think of other authors who have finessed the follow-up?The world is as strange as it’s ever been, but Marian Keyes brought a smidgen of comfort today when she told Good Morning Britain that she was

[The Millions] Transcending Annihilation with Madeleine L’Engle
At Vanity Fair, Abigail Santamaria examines how the 1918 flu pandemic and threat of nuclear war influenced Madeleine L’Engle’s writing. In L’Engle’s posthumous collection, The Moment of Tenderness, the story “A Sign for a Sparrow” takes place on a radioactive wasteland.

[Book Forum] Babysitters Club
Institutionalists have been warning about the breakdown of democratic guardrails for quite some time. An optimist might have fretted about these trends but noted that everything would be okay so long

[Guardian Books Blog] My favourite book as a kid ... Moominland Midwinter by Tove Jansson
I found the story of Moomintroll waking up alone in a world transformed deeply unsettling as a child - and still do, writes historian Tom HollandWhen I was a young child and couldn’t get to sleep, I would dare myself to open my favourite book. Tove Jansson’s Moominland Midwinter was not

[The Millions] A Process Not Without Casualty: Amity Gaige in Conversation with Susan Choi
When I received my advance copy of Amity Gaige’s new novel, Sea Wife, something immediately warned me to clear the decks—well, the day’s calendar—before I started it. I don’t know if it was the luminous Caribbean blue of the cover—the color of seductive water concealing great peril—or

[Book Forum] PEN America World Voices Festival moves online; Jennifer Weiner on the books she avoids
The PEN America World Voices festival is moving online /pen.org/2020-world-voices-digital/>. Podcasts, videos, interviews, and other live events on the theme of “These Truths” will be available on the

[Guardian Books Blog] The sound of silence: visiting the library during lockdown
New Yorkers have rushed to stream a new recording of ambient noise at their central library – a peaceful murmur many readers loveThe best arts and entertainment during self-isolationJorge Luis Borges always imagined paradise “will be a kind of library”. For New Yorkers under lockdown, the

[Guardian Books Blog] I wish more people would read … A Scrap of Time by Ida Fink
These tightly focused stories of Jewish life in Nazi-occupied Poland should be be remembered, as vital historical witness and as great literatureEvery Friday, an email titled A Personal Anthology arrives in my inbox. It’s a subscription newsletter devised by the writer Jonathan Gibbs, who invites

[The Millions] A Surreal and Outrageous World: Jessica Anthony in Conversation with Joshua Ferris
Jessica Anthony’s surreal and outrageous Enter the Aardvark published on March 24 into a surreal and outrageous world. In the months leading up to publication, the novel saw an outpouring of love from indie booksellers, and Anthony had a tour planned with events in San Francisco, Washington, D.C.,

[Book Forum] Ed Roberson wins Jackson Poetry Prize; Garth Greenwell on writing about sex
The 2020 Jackson Poetry Prize has been awarded /www.pw.org/about-us/jackson_poetry_prize> to Ed Roberson. “This is an extraordinary time to be awarding this significant prize in poetry, a momentous

[The Millions] The Mad and Feral Works of Shirley Jackson
Shirley Jackson’s works have been adapted and scrutinized for decades but have we always done her work justice? For Jezebel, Emily Alford examines the hazards of loneliness seen in Jackson’s books like The Haunting of Hill House and We Have Always Lived in the Castle, and the ways their

[Book Forum] The PEN Faulkner Awards; Historian Robert Caro closes in on the end of his LBJ opus
Every morning, Robert Caro gets up early, works on the fifth and final volume of his massive Lyndon B. Johnson biography, and walks through Central Park. “He’s in a moment of crisis /

[The Millions] The Millions Top Ten: April 2020
We spend plenty of time here on The Millions telling all of you what we’ve been reading, but we are also quite interested in hearing about what you’ve been reading. By looking at our Amazon stats, we can see what books Millions readers have been buying, and we decided it would be fun to use

[Guardian Books Blog] Poem of the week: Of Bronze — and Blaze (319) by Emily Dickinson
This fizzing response to seeing the Northern Lights steps carefully around cosmic visions319Of Bronze — and Blaze — The North — tonight — So adequate — it forms — So preconcerted with itself — So distant — to alarms — An Unconcern so sovereign To Universe, or me — Infects my

[Guardian Books Blog] I wish more people would read ... The Diary of a Provincial Lady by EM Delafield
The self-effacing diarist anxiously trying to keep up appearances in the Great Depression provides consoling comedy in trying timesRead all the stories in this seriesThe best arts and entertainment during self-isolationNovember 7th. Plant the indoor bulbs. Just as I am in the middle of them, Lady

[Guardian Books Blog] James Patterson joins Guns N’ Roses to write ... a sweet child’s book?
After Bill Clinton, the thriller king has turned to the monsters of rock for his next collaboration. Precedent suggests it might not be that badFresh from writing a thriller with Bill Clinton (The President Is Missing), James Patterson has found an even more unlikely collaborator: the band Guns N’

[Guardian Books Blog] Tips, links and suggestions: what are you reading this week?
Your space to discuss the books you are reading and what you think of themAre you on Instagram? Then you can be featured here by tagging your books-related posts with #GuardianBooksScroll down for our favourite literary linksRead more Tips, links and suggestions blogsWelcome to this week’s

[The Millions] Best Translated Book Awards Names 2020 Finalists
The Best Translated Books Awards today named its 2020 finalists for fiction and poetry. The award, founded by Three Percent at the University of Rochester, comes with $10,000 in prizes from the Amazon Literary Partnership. The prize will be split evenly between the winning authors and translators.

[The Millions] Jericho Brown on the Tyranny of the Blank Page
Recent Pulitzer-winner Jericho Brown reflects on how the prize brings him new attention but the writing process remains the same. With Ashia Ajani at Them, he discusses how the discipline and craft of his poetry can’t be affected by prizes. “What I tell my students is that you either

[Book Forum] “An Exercise in Triage”
In 1959 Otto Kirchheimer described the concept of asylum as “situated at the crossroads of national and international law, compassion and self-interest, raison d’état and human capacity for shame.”

[The Millions] Tuesday New Release Day: Starring Ford, Millet, and More
Here’s a quick look at some notable books—new titles from the likes of Richard Ford, Lydia Millet, Tracy O’Neill, and more—that are publishing this week. Want to learn more about upcoming titles? Then go read our most recent book preview. Want to help The Millions keep churning out

[Guardian Books Blog] A Journal of the Plague Year may be fictional, but it's not untrue
Daniel Defoe clearly relied on his imagination to write his history, but where he invented scenes it was in the spirit of a larger truthBefore we even began reading A Journal of the Plague Year together, it felt like an obvious choice as we try to find our way through this pandemic. That feeling

[Book Forum] Emily Ramshaw on starting The 19th; Lydia Millet on panic
Nieman Lab’s Laura Hazard Owen talks to /www.niemanlab.org/2020/05/retrench-nah-how-women-and-politics-site-the-19th-is-forging-ahead-with-a-launch-in-a-pandemic/> The 19th cofounder Emily Ramshaw

[The Millions] ‘A Children’s Bible’: Featured Fiction from Lydia Millet
In our latest edition of featured fiction—curated by our own Carolyn Quimby—we’re excited present an excerpt from A Children’s Bible by Pulitzer Prize finalist Lydia Millet, out today from Norton. Kirkus called the novel—about a group of friends and their reunion gone wrong at a

[Salon Books] "People think they're grieving wrong": How the anxiety you're feeling right now relates to grief
Author & grief expert Claire Bidwell Smith spoke to Salon about how the pandemic is time to make a space for grief

[Guardian Books Blog] I wish more people would read ... Under the Pendulum Sun by Jeannette Ng
This fantasy novel brings meticulous craft to its gothic story of fairies and God-fearing VictoriansThe elevator pitch can be difficult for any book, but perhaps even more so for fantasy novels. It’s a significant challenge to boil down strange new worlds and intricate magic systems into an

[The Millions] To Be Free of Time: The Millions Interviews Samantha Harvey
Sleep is forever mysterious and mundane, necessary and difficult: endless fodder for writers and artists. In The Shapeless Unease, Samantha Harvey’s mesmerizing new book, she captures what W.B. Yeats calls “the moment of contemplation, the moment when we are both asleep and awake”—in its

[Book Forum] Remembering Carolyn Reidy; Jenny Zhang on commas
Simon & Schuster publisher and CEO Carolyn Reidy died yesterday at the age of seventy-one. Reidy had been with the company for almost twenty years /about.simonandschuster.biz/news/carolyn-reidy-1949-2020/>,


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