The Costa Shortlist and Literary Listens | Book Pulse


Book Pulse will not post on Nov. 23 or Nov. 24. We will be back with more book news on Nov. 27. Happy Thanksgiving.

Costa Awards

The shortlist for the Costa Book Awards is out. Now that the Man Booker is open to an international pool of authors, it is the only major literary prize restricted to authors living in the UK and Ireland. Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (Pamela Dorman: Viking) is up for Best First Novel, and Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie (Riverhead) makes the cut for the Costa Novel Award.

The category winners will be announced Jan. 2, 2018. The Book of the Year will be announced Jan. 30, 2018.

Literary Listens

Sending readers off on Thanksgiving travels, the NYT, The Guardian, and the LA Review of Books offer new podcasts. The NYT features Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Caroline Fraser (Metropolitan Books) (LJ stars) and The Dawn of Detroit: A Chronicle of Slavery and Freedom in the City of the Straits by Tiya Miles (The New Press). The Guardian has Jennifer Egan’s Manhattan Beach (Scribner), and the LA Review of Books has poet Natalie J. Graham’s Begin with a Failed Body: Poems (University of Georgia Press).

Speaking of Thanksgiving, the NYT has a story on how much of what we think about the holiday is wrong. The story references Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong by James W. Loewen (The New Press).

Briefly Noted

USA Today reviews The Story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg (Random), giving it 3.5 out of 4 stars and calling it “charming.”

The Washington Post‘s book critic Ron Charles reviews Isabel Allende’s In the Midst of Winter (Atria) under a headline that could model the start of a book talk: “It’s a snowy day in Brooklyn, and there’s love in the air — and a body in the trunk.” In her monthly column, Elizabeth Lund offers her take on three poetry books, including Earthling: Poems by James Longenbach (Norton).

The New York Times appreciates Marguerite Duras, writing “Name a current literary trend, and the French writer Marguerite Duras almost certainly got to it first — and took it further than anyone working today.” Duras is now part of the Everyman’s Library: The Lover, Wartime Notebooks, Practicalities by Marguerite Duras (Everyman’s Library: Random).

The LA Times takes a look at Universe: Exploring the Astronomical World by Phaidon Editors, David Malin, and Paul Murdin (Phaidon), a book that “paints a broad portrait of the ways human beings have studied, interpreted and depicted the universe.”

The Wall Street Journal reviews Who Can You Trust?: How Technology Brought Us Together and Why It Might Drive Us Apart by Rachel Botsman (PublicAffairs: Hachette), writing that “Botsman has found a rich theme here and a fascinating way of interpreting technological change.”

Entertainment Weekly offers “10 books to read if you love Lady Bird.”

Edward Herman, the author of Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media, has died.

Authors on Air:

Luke Harding, Collusion: Secret Meetings, Dirty Money, and How Russia Helped Donald Trump Win (Vintage: Random), was the guest on NPR’s Fresh Air.

All Things Considered interviewed Juli Berwald, Spineless: The Science of Jellyfish and the Art of Growing a Backbone (Riverhead).

Bustle has a list of “17 Movies & TV Shows Based On Books Coming Out In 2018.” Get ready for films based on Jeff VanderMeer’s Annihilation, Jason Matthews’s Red Sparrow (LJ stars), and Castle Rock, based on the worlds of Stephen King, plus more.

My Oxford Year (William Morrow Paperbacks: HarperCollins), the forthcoming debut novel by actress Julia Whelan, will be made into a film starring Sam Heughan (Outlander).

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Neal Wyatt About Neal Wyatt

Neal Wyatt is LJ's reader's advisory columnist. She writes The Reader's Shelf, RA Crossroads, Book Pulse, and Wyatt's World columns. She is currently revising The Readers' Advisory Guide to Genre Fiction, 3d ed. (ALA Editions, 2018). Contact her at

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