Mary Beard & Louisa May Alcott | Book Pulse

Telling Women’s Stories

The Washington Post has professor and author Elaine Showalter review Women & Power: A Manifesto by Mary Beard (Liveright: W.W. Norton). She deems it “fun to read” and “elegant, well-illustrated.” The NYT features Beard in the Book Review podcast.

The new Masterpiece/BBC adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women gets its trailer; it will debut on May 13 in the U.S. and span three episodes.

Briefly Noted

The New York Times reviews The Senator’s Children by Nicholas Montemarano (Tin House Books: W. W. Norton), comparing it to Curtis Sittenfeld’s American Wife, and writing that it humanizes the John Edwards political scandal story. Reviewed as well are God: A Human History by Reza Aslan (Random House) and Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts: Twelve Journeys into the Medieval World by Christopher de Hamel (Penguin). That later review opens with the great line: “[it is] one of the least likely and most wonderful books I have ever read.” The paper also briefly mentions Distillery Cats: Profiles in Courage of the World’s Most Spirited Mousers by Brad Thomas Parsons (Ten Speed Press: Random House), writing it would make a great gift: “Stuff it into a stocking or gift it with a bottle of whiskey.”

The Washington Post reviews The Illustrated Dust Jacket, 1920-1970 by Martin Salisbury (Thames & Hudson: W.W. Norton), calling it a “splendid survey.”

Entertainment Weekly counts the 10 best romance novels of 2017 and offers excepts of two forthcoming novels, Lauren Weisberger’s When Life Gives You Lululemons (Simon & Schuster), which follows “Miranda Priestly’s other assistant, Emily Charlton” and Paul Tremblay’s The Cabin at the End of the World (William Morrow: HarperCollins). They also feature Ed Piskor’s X-Men: Grand Design (Marvel: Hachette), a new comic that expands and seeks to “harmonize” the “sprawling mythology” of X-Men.

Slate counts the “8 Best Audiobooks of 2017,” leading with La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman, narrated by Michael Sheen (Listening Library). Getting very granular, and in a list that makes one want to go grab the sources, Slate also judges the “19 Best Sentences of 2017.”

Vogue has its list of best books out as well, in a second swing after their earlier critics’ picks.

LitHub names its favorites too.

Kristen Roupenian gets a book deal in the UK after her New Yorker short story “Cat Person” became the literary story of the moment. In the U.S., the LA Times reports her short story collection You Know You Want This is “reportedly the subject of a bidding war, with 11 publishers jockeying.” Elle has the story too.

Worried about the literary invasion of AI? The Guardian has a short piece on what happened when Botnik, a predictive keyboard writing tool, took on Harry Potter. They call it “the funniest thing on the internet” and say it “veers from almost genuine to gloriously bonkers.”

On the topic of AI, BuzzFeed‘s series of writers addressing contemporary issues continues with Ted Chiang looking “at capitalism, Silicon Valley, and its fear of superintelligent AI.”

Authors on Air:
Deadline Hollywood reports that CBS will adapt Thomas Mallon’s 2012 novel Watergate (Pantheon: Random House) for a limited TV series, calling the topic the “hottest” in TV right now. Proving that point, this new series will be the third show on the political crime, including one at Netflix “with George Clooney and Bridge of Spies writer Matt Charman.”

Jennifer Egan, Manhattan Beach (Scribner: Simon & Schuster), was on NPR’s Fresh Air yesterday. All Things Considered talks poetry.

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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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