This week! Books!
The blog will be dark next week as I celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, and I hope all who are celebrating have a happy and healthy (well… sort of healthy) time. If all goes to plan I’ll be back the week of November 27.
Where to start with the National Book Awards? Well. How about we start with the winners. Congrats!
- Fiction: Blackouts by Justin Torres
- Nonfiction: The Rediscovery of America: Native Peoples and the Unmaking of U.S. History by Ned Blackhawk
- Poetry: from unincorporated territory [åmot] by Craig Santos Perez
- Translation: The Words That Remain by Stênio Gardel, translated by Bruna Dantas Lobato
- Young People’s Literature: A First Time for Everything by Dan Santat
If you may recall, the National Book Awards ceremony was originally to have been hosted by Drew Barrymore, who was dropped after her scab controversy amid the WGA strike. She was replaced by LeVar Burton, who started off with a, shall we say, edgy joke for a ceremony celebrating free expression (I obviously still love the man). Also controversial was a planned statement from finalists calling for a ceasefire in Gaza (the statement did end up happening), which prompted several sponsors to withdraw from the ceremony.
Got all that? Whew.
If you recall a few weeks back, the institution better known as the 92nd Street Y (currently called 92NY) “postponed” a talk by Viet Thanh Nguyen due to critical remarks Nguyen made about Israel, which led to a wave of resignations and event cancellations and the suspension of its reading series. Mari Cohen at Jewish Currents delves into the controversy, placing it in a continuum of the Y’s longstanding pro-Zionist policy, but concluding that Jewish cultural institutions will be in an untenable position if they attempt to uphold traditional pro-Israel political positions, including recent controversies involving Hillel International.
Speaking of Nguyen, George Packer at The Atlantic uses his work as a jumping off point for an essay on the tension between art and politics. I certainly don’t agree with all of Packer’s opinions and conclusions, but I found it worth grappling with his views.
For Esquire, Kate Dwyer surveys quite a few publishing insiders on what’s in store for the future is publishing, and coalesces into some predictions of where things are headed. At the top of the list? Breaking out fiction is difficult, as previously argued on this blog.
And in very cool news: the musician Pink gave away 2,000 banned books at two Florida concerts.
This week in bestsellers
Here are the top five NY Times bestsellers in a few key categories. (All links are affiliate links):
Adult print and e-book fiction:
- Iron Flame by Rebecca Yarros
- Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros
- Resurrection Walk by Michael Connelly
- The Exchange by John Grisham
- Bookshops & Bonedust by Travis Baldree
Adult print and e-book nonfiction:
- The Woman in Me by Britney Spears
- My Name is Barbra by Barbra Streisand
- Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann
- Prequel by Rachel Maddow
- Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing by Matthew Perry
Young adult hardcover:
- Murtaugh by Christopher Paolini
- Nightbane by Alex Aster
- Powerless by Lauren Roberts
- The Way I Am Now by Amber Smith
- Divine Rivals by Rebecca Ross
Middle grade hardcover:
- The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs by America’s Test Kitchen Kids
- The Harry Potter Wizarding Almanac by J.K. Rowling
- Wings of Fire: A Guide to the Dragon World by Tui T. Sutherland
- The Sun and the Star by Rick Riordan and Mark Oshiro
- Wonder by R.J. Palacio
This week on the blog
In case you missed them, here are this week’s posts:
Don’t forget that you can nominate your first page and query for a free critique on the blog:
And keep up with the discussion in all the places!
And finally finally so we don’t end on that note before the holiday, have humans always been at war? It’s a complicated enough question that it gives hope that we can strive for peace.
Have a great Thanksgiving!
Need help with your book? I’m available for manuscript edits, query critiques, and coaching!
For my best advice, check out my online classes, my guide to writing a novel and my guide to publishing a book.
And if you like this post: subscribe to my newsletter!
Photo: The Huntington, San Marino, CA. Follow me on Instagram!