Oscar Books It and Authors on Air | Book Pulse


The Oscar nominees were announced earlier this morning. A number of book-based films got nods including Call Me By Your Name, Mudbound, Darkest Hour, The Post, Molly’s Game, and Blade Runner 2049. The full list is now online.

The National Book Critics Circle Awards finalists have been announced. The awards will be presented on March 15. Already announced, John McPhee wins the Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award, Carmen Maria Machado’s Her Body and Other Parties (Graywolf: LJ stars) wins the John Leonard Prize, and Charles Finch wins the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing.

Briefly Noted

Dwight Garner reviews Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmed Saadawi (Penguin) for the NYT calling it an “assured and hallucinatory story … funny and horrifying in a near-perfect admixture … Saadawi’s tone can be sly, but his intentions are deadly serious. He’s written a complex allegory for the tribal cruelties in Iraq in the wake of the American invasion.” The paper also looks at self-help from abroad and books on birds.

USA Today reviews The Girl on the Velvet Swing: Sex, Murder, and Madness at the Dawn of the Twentieth Century by Simon Baatz (Mulholland Books: Hachette), writing “Baatz has resurrected a forgotten saga of lust, lucre and lunacy that would seem improbable if it were merely fiction.” The paper thinks the new Nick Nolte memoir, Rebel: My Life Outside the Lines (William Morrow: Harper), is “somewhat stilted … Much of the book reads like a self-congratulatory Wikipedia page.”

NPR reviews Iron Gold: Book 4 of the Red Rising Saga (Del Rey: Random House), writing it is “mature science fiction existing within the frame of blazing space opera, bouncing back and forth between some of the most cinematically brilliant nonsense you’ll ever read and serious discussions of politics, morality and the cost of violence.”

The Guardian profiles Zadie Smith, with questions from famous fans and everyday readers. On its podcast, the paper also interviews Peter Carey.

A new political book gets some attention, and while it is highly unlikely it will prompt the same frenzy as Fire and Fury, The Washington Post says that Media Madness: Donald Trump, the Press, and the War over the Truth by Howard Kurtz (Regnery) “could do even more damage than Michael Wolff’s.”

Entertainment Weekly also notes a new political title: Chasing Hillary: Ten Years, Two Presidential Campaigns, and One Intact Glass Ceiling by Amy Chozick (Harper).

Out of Sundance, Ophelia gets a solid review in The Hollywood Reporter, which calls it a “vigorous, colorful and clever melodrama [that] smartly rethinks both the play and the character.”

Stephen King manuscripts are lost in a bookstore flood.

Authors on Air:

Fresh Air features Steven Levitsky and Daniel ZiblattHow Democracies Die (Crown).

Jason Reynolds will be on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah tonight.


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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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