Highly Anticipated 2018 Books & LJ’s Best Media of 2017 | Book Pulse

The Year Ahead And The Year That Was

The Millions publishes its “Most Anticipated: The Great 2018 Book Preview,” their pick of books publishing from now until June. Unlike in past years, the litfic-heavy list combines fiction and nonfiction. For another slice at the pie, Book Riot posted a summary through May.

The 2017 “Best Of” season is not over. The RUSA lists will come out at ALA Midwinter and LJ just posted their picks for the Best Media of 2017, including the Best DVDs, Best Music, Best Games, and Best Audiobooks. Related, AudioFile also issued their picks of the 125 best audio titles from 2017.

Briefly Noted

The NYT offers a joint review of Passing by Nella Larsen (Penguin) and Black No More by George S. Schuyler (Penguin), writing, “For their wildly differing approaches, the novels are both curious about what it means to feel, as well as be, truly free, and how freedom and safety might be at odds…. They are unsparing on the madness of racial classification but frank, and very beautiful, on the lure of racial belonging.”

The paper also reviews The Newcomers: Finding Refuge, Friendship, and Hope in an American Classroom by Helen Thorpe, calling it “a delicate and heartbreaking mystery story, as Thorpe slowly uncovers the secret catastrophes in the lives of young immigrants at South High School in Denver.”

In International fiction, the paper circles back to The Ruined House by Ruby Namdar (Harper: LJ stars), calling it “strange and exhilarating … At times dripping in gore and effluvia, steeped in sacred texts and apocalyptic visions, The Ruined House cannot be recommended lightly. But it is a masterpiece of modern religious literature.”

NYT also posts discussion questions for Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward (Scribner), the debut pick in the Now Read This book club, a joint project between the paper and PBS. We reported on the launch on Jan. 4. That post has links and a video introduction to the club.

In response to the lack of available copies of the print edition of Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff (Holt), The Washington Post says the audio version is “excellently produced” and that reader Holter Graham offers a performance full of “poise, subtly picking up the narrative’s mood in slight modulations of tone and unobtrusively freighted pauses.”

The Washington Post also features “The best science fiction and fantasy books to read this month,” including Robots vs. Fairies, edited by Dominik Parisien and Navah Wolfe (Saga: LJ stars). The paper calls it “the creature feature you didn’t know you wanted.”

NYT offers a mix of essay and interview on Black Lightning, the new CW series based on the DC superhero. In other comic news, Entertainment Weekly reports that Valkyrie (from Thor: Ragnarok) will debut in Marvel’s Exiles series and that Vin Diesel is negotiating to play Bloodshot in the planned adaptation of the Valiant comic book series. Also of note, Marvel will publish a free Black Panther sampler comic in advance of the film debut on Feb. 16.

Entertainment Weekly offers “10 books to read if you loved The Post.”

Authors on Air:
The second season of American Crime Story, The Assassination of Gianni Versace, gets some push back from the Versace family. The show has a book connection, drawing in part from Vulgar Favors: Andrew Cunanan, Gianni Versace, and the Largest Failed Manhunt in U.S. History by Maureen Orth (it has been released in the above trade and in mass market tie-ins).

NPR’s All Things Considered interviews Jacqueline Woodson and Gene Luen Yang, the two most recent National Ambassadors for Young People’s Literature. The show also interviews Lea Berman and Jeremy Bernard, Treating People Well: The Extraordinary Power of Civility at Work and in Life (Scribner: LJ stars). Maureen Corrigan reviews The Largesse of the Sea Maiden: Stories by Denis Johnson (Random House: LJ stars) on Fresh Air, saying “Most of these stories are terrific, and two — the first and the last — are out-of-this-world.” Fresh Air also features Patrice Banks, author of Girls Auto Clinic Glove Box Guide (Touchstone), giving it a huge sales boost.

Patrick Melrose gets a trailer. The upcoming Showtime series is based on the work of Edward St. Aubyn.

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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 nwyatt@mediasourceinc.com.

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