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Sylvia Plath’s Tarot Cards Sold for $207K: Today in Books

New Amanda Gorman Book CALL US WHAT THEY CARRY Coming Out Dec 7

Penguin Random House announced earlier today that Amanda Gorman’s upcoming collection of poetry will be entitled Call Us What They Carry, and it will be out on December 7th of this year. Gorman’s collection will include  “The Hill We Climb,” her breakout poem that she read at the inauguration of President Joe Biden, and new works. In a statement, statement, Gorman said, “I wrote Call Us What We Carry as a lyric of hope and healing. I wanted to pen a reckoning with the communal grief wrought by the pandemic. It’s been the hardest thing I’ve ever written, but I knew it had to be. For me, this book is a receptacle, a time capsule both made by and for its era. What is poetry if not a mirror for our present and a message for our future?”

Christian Robinson Announces Collaboration with Target

On Monday, children’s author and illustrator Christian Robinson tweeted about his collaboration with Target, just in time for back-to-school: “Today, every molecule that I am made of is buzzing with excitement! Y’all… @Target and I have collaborated on a limited edition collection of 70 items across home and apparel for kids and baby! Available in all Target stores and online August 15th!” The items Robinson is creating for Target range from clothing for toddlers and babies to bedding, backpacks, and home decor. You can get a first look at some of the items from the collection on Essence‘s website.

Sylvia Plath’s Tarot Cards Sold for $270K

Sylvia Plath’s tarot cards just went for £151,200 (or $270,000) in an auction at Sotheby’s. The cards were a 24th birthday present from her husband, poet Ted Hughes, and they were a major influence on Plath’s poems in Ariel. The cards ended up selling for about £100,000 more than their valuation.

2021 Booker Prize Longlist Announced

The 2021 Booker Prize longlist has been announced! The longlist is comprised of 13 novels, chosen from 158 novels that span the globe from South Africa to Sri Lanka.

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Amazon Orders Series Adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s ANANSI BOYS: Today in Books

Scarlett St. Clair Launches New Dark Fantasy Series with Bloom Books

Bloom Books, Sourcebooks’ new imprint for entrepreneurial women authors, is launching a new dark fantasy series from author Scarlett St. Clair. The publisher will release St. Clair’s new novel King of Battle and Blood in November 2021. The story will follow a woman who is forced to marry a powerful vampire king. St. Clair’s previous series—which includes the novels A Touch of Darkness, A Touch of Ruin, A Touch of Malice, and A Game of Fate—were originally self-published, but these books will now be available from Sourcebooks as well. When asked how she feels about joining Bloom Books, St. Clair said she is “ecstatic,” adding, “Readers and fans always ask me, ‘How can I get your books?’ Joining Bloom means that all readers and booksellers will have access—something that is very important to me not only as a writer but as a former librarian.”

Amazon Orders Series Adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Anansi Boys

Amazon has ordered a six-episode series adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Anansi Boys. Gaiman himself will pen the script with the help of British actor, comedian, singer, television presenter and writer Sir Lenny Henry. Anansi Boys is the story of Charlie Nancy, who discovers a surprising secret about his family after the death of his father: his father was the trickster god Anansi, and Charlie has a brother named Spider. While Mr. Nancy does appear in American Gods, Gaiman’s Anansi Boys is a standalone story. Of the upcoming series, Gaiman said, “Anansi Boys as a TV series has been a long time coming…We needed Amazon Prime to come on board and embrace our vision, we needed a lead director with the craft and vision of Hanelle Culpepper, we needed the creative and  technical wizardry of Douglas Mackinnon, who worked out how we could push the bounds of the possible to shoot a story set all over the world in a huge studio outside Edinburgh, and we needed the rest of the amazing talents that nobody knows about yet.”

Avon x Mushens Entertainment Prize Longlist Announced

Avon and Mushens Entertainment have have announced the 12 nominees who have made their longlist for inaugural Avon x Mushens Entertainment Prize. The prize is for writers from Black, Asian, and minority ethnic backgrounds who are writing commercial novels. Launched on January 11th of this year, the competition accepted submissions from unpublished writers of color in the UK. The winner will receive a two-book deal with HarperCollins, a grant to support their writing career, and representation from Mushens Entertainment. Included in the longlist are: Spaghetti by Tamara Bugembe, Little White Lies by Farah Faqir, The Radiant Dark by Cheyanne-Joni Morris, Just So You Know by Betty-Maxine Onwuteaka and The Element of Trouble by Ivy Ngeow. Also featured is Double Blind by Perween Richards, The Country Ain’t Built for Us by Ayo Okoya, Bully by Dee Spencer, House of Olympus by Ingrid Banerjee Marvin, alongside Almost Strangers by Farrah Yusuf, How to Divorce a Psychopath by Angelina Melwani, and Ben & Gia by Ipsita Deb. A winner will be announced this fall.

Pandemic Reading Habits Survey Results

Two weeks ago, we asked readers to answer questions about how the pandemic had (or had not) changed reading habits. Here are the results of that survey.

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Winnie-the-Pooh Gets a Prequel: Today in Books

Winnie-the-Pooh Goes To Harrods In New Authorised AA Milne Prequel

If you always wondered how Winnie-the-Pooh came to live with Christopher Robin, then you’re in luck: An authorized prequel to AA Milne’s beloved series of books about the animals of the Hundred Acre Wood will release this fall. Winnie-the-Pooh: Once There Was a Bear will be written by Jane Riordan and illustrated by Mark Burgess, and will follow the iconic bear’s origin stories, based on the real-life inspiration of Milne’s own son and his beloved bear.

Apple Taps ‘CODA’s Siân Heder To Helm & Write Judy Heumann’s Memoir ‘Being Heumann’

Being Heumann: An Unrepentant Memoir of a Disability Rights Advocate by Judy Heumann is in production at AppleTV. Siân Heder is adapting the memoir with the intent to direct the film, and Apple is in talks with Ali Stroker, the first actress to use a wheelchair and perform on Broadway, to star in the film.

Michael B. Jordan Is Bringing Black Superman Val-Zod to HBO Max

Michael B. Jordan’s production company is looking at bringing a limited run series about Val-Zod, a Black Superman, to HBO Max. This would be a new take on a Superman project (author Ta-Nehisi Coates and J.J. Abrams are currently looking at bringing a Black reimagining of Clark Kent to the big screen), and would star a character from one fo the many iterations of the Superman multiverse. Val-Zod takes up the mantle of Superman in Earth 2 after his version of Kal-El is killed.

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Bruce Springsteen and Barack Obama are Publishing a Book: Today in Books

Shailene Woodley to Star in Upcoming Showtime Series Based on the Book Three Women

Shailene Woodley will star in Showtime’s upcoming series, based on the book Three Women by Lisa Taddeo. Woodley will play a character based on Taddeo herself, who spent several years reporting on three women who were scrutinized for their sexual desires. The drama series has been given a straight-to-series order, and it is set to begin production in the fall.

Bruce Springsteen and Barack Obama are Publishing a Book

Bruce Springsteen and former president Barack Obama recently started a podcast together, and now they’re turning that podcast into a book. The book is entitled Renegades: Born in the USA, and it’ll be out on October 26 globally from Penguin Random House in partnership with Higher Ground. The 320-page oversized, illustrated book will include hand-written Bruce Springsteen lyrics and Obama speeches, among other archival materials. Obama writes in the book’s opening pages: “Over the years, what we’ve found is that we’ve got a shared sensibility. About work, about family, and about America. In our own ways, Bruce and I have been on parallel journeys trying to understand this country that’s given us both so much. Trying to chronicle the stories of its people. Looking for a way to connect our own individual searches for meaning and truth and community with the larger story of America.”

Marvel Launches New Origin Series with Black Panther Legends

Black Panther is getting a new origin story this fall when Marvel Comics launches Black Panther Legends. The four-issue series will tell the story of T’Challa of Wakanda and how he became the Black Panther. Black Panther Legends is written by Tochi Onyebuchi, author of Riot Baby, and drawn by Setor Fiadzigbey (Bunheads). The first issue will be out in October. This is just the beginning for Marvel and their origin story Legends line. More details forthcoming, but Marvel Senior Editor Lauren Bisom teased, “Let’s just say we are very excited to (re)introduce readers to Marvel’s strongest Avenger.”

8 Notable Queer Contemporary Books by Asian Writers

You’re going to want to add all of these eight notable queer contemporary novels by Asian writers to your TBR, ASAP!

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Regé-Jean Page of BRIDGERTON Joins Cast of THE SANDMAN on Audible: Today in Books

Leslie Grace Lands Role in New Batgirl Film

It looks like DC Films has found their new Batgirl! Leslie Grace (In the Heights) has been cast to play Barbara Gordon in the upcoming Warner Bros/DC Batgirl film. The film will be one of the first major DC properties to debut exclusively on HBO Max. Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah are directing the movie, and the script was written by Christina Hodson. Kristin Burr is producing. Details about the film’s plot are still under wraps, but the story will follow Barbara Gordon, Commissioner Gordon’s daughter, behind the Batgirl costume.

Five Members of Hong Kong Union Arrested for Sedition Over Children’s Book About Sheep

Five members of a Hong Kong union behind a children’s book series have been arrest for sedition. The books follow the story of a group of sheep holding back wolves from invading their village. The story is an attempt to explain Hong Kong’s democracy movement to children. Police said on Thursday that the two men and three women who were arrested “conspired to publish, distribute, exhibit or copy seditious publications.”

Regé-Jean Page of Bridgerton Joins Cast of The Sandman on Audible

Bridgerton’s Regé-Jean Page is joining the cast of Audible’s The Sandman, along with Emma Corrin (The Crown) and David Tennant. The audio drama series is based on the best-selling graphic novel series The Sandman by Neil Gaiman, published by DC. The first series is Audible’s best-selling original title in its entire history. This second series will be an adaptation of volumes four and five of the graphic novel. Page shared the big news on Instagram, writing, “A literal dream come true. And in my wildest, I never dared imagine being in THE SANDMAN, playing one of my favourite characters, amongst as ridiculously powerful a cast as we have here… and yet! Here it is, and here we are. To sleep, perchance to Fiddler’s Green… I genuinely cannot wait to listen along with everyone.”

What Are the Fastest Selling Books in U.S. Publishing History?

You might be able to guess some of the best-selling books. But can you name any of the fastest-selling books of all time in the U.S.? Let’s dig into what books make the cut, and the numbers behind them.

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BLACK PANTHER Sequel Casts Michaela Coel: Today in Books

Announcing the 2021 World Fantasy Awards Finalists

The finalists for the 2021 World Fantasy Awards have been announced. All nominees had to have been published in 2020. Nominees were chosen from two sources: votes from current and previous members of the convention and this year’s panel of judges—Tobias Buckell, Siobhan Carroll, Cecilia Dart-Thornton, Brian Evenson, and Patrick Swenson. The finalists for best novel are: Piranesi by Susanna Clarke, Trouble the Saints by Alaya Dawn Johnson, The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones, Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, and The Midnight Bargain by C. L. Polk. You can see the full list of nominees at the World Fantasy website. Winners will be announced at the 2021 World Fantasy Convention, which takes place November 4 – 7.

Black Panther Sequel Casts Michaela Coel

Michaela Coel has joined the cast of the Black Panther sequel. No details have been announced about Coel’s character, but insiders say Coel joined director Ryan Coogler at Atlanta’s Pinewood Studios, where production on Black Panther: Wakanda Forever began last month. Coel is best-known for her critically-acclaimed HBO series I May Destroy You, for which she’s received four Emmy nominations. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is set for wide release on July 8, 2022.

Woke Baby Book Fair Coming to the Lincoln Center at the End of July

On the last Saturday of this month, Poet-in-Residence Mahogany L. Browne presents the Woke Baby Book Fair at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York. The Woke Baby Book Fair is described as “a family-friendly celebration of justice-oriented children’s books curated by Mahogany L. Browne.” The day’s events include readings and signings by guest poets and authors, games and crafts, baby movement classes led by Paris Alexandrea of BK Yoga Club, live kids’ music, and a fresh produce giveaway sponsored by Seeds in the Middle. Everything kicks off on Saturday, July 31 at 1pm. Admission is free and open to the public.

8 Books About Japanese Culture to Read Before the Tokyo Olympics

Getting excited about the Tokyo Olympics? Before they get started, check out these fiction and nonfiction books about Japanese culture, recommended by a Japanese American who lived in Tokyo for 15+ years.

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Charlize Theron & the Muschettis Adapting Grady Hendrix’s THE FINAL GIRL SUPPORT GROUP: Today in Books

See the First Look of Ocean Vuong’s Upcoming Poetry Collection

Fans of On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, you’ll be pleased to know Ocean Vuong has a new poetry collection coming out next year! Penguin Press is publishing Vuong’s next poetry collection Time is a Mother on April 5, 2022. The U.K. edition will be out from Jonathan Cape on April 7. According to the publisher, Vuong’s upcoming collection will explore “personal loss, the meaning of family, and the cost of being the product of an American war in America.” Entertainment Weekly has revealed the first look at the book’s cover, designed by Darren Haggar, VP, Director of Art for Penguin Press.

Peacock Releases One of Us is Lying Teaser Trailer

Peacock has released the teaser trailer for their upcoming series adaptation of Karen M. McManus’ best-selling teen mystery One of Us is Lying. Described as a cross between Pretty Little Liars and The Breakfast Club, One of Us is Lying is the story of five high schoolers who go into detention, but only four make it out alive. The series will star Marianly Tejada (The Purge), Cooper van Grootel (Mystery Road), Annalisa Cochrane (Cobra Kai), Chibuikem Uche (The Tomorrow War), Jessica McLeod, Barrett Carnahan, Melissa Collazo and Mark McKenna. Darío Madrona (Elite) will serve as showrunner and executive producer, Erica Saleh (Evil) wrote the pilot and will executive produce. No release date has been announced yet.

Charlize Theron & the Muschettis Adapting Grady Hendrix’s The Final Girl Support Group

Charlize Theron and Andy & Barbara Muschietti are developing The Final Girl for HBO Max. The project is a series adaptation of Grady Hendrix’s horror novel The Final Girl Support Group. The novel plays tribute to slasher films such as Scream, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and more. Charlize Theron is producing The Final Girl through her Denver & Delilah Films banner. Barbara and Andy Muschietti are producing through Double Dream, and Andy Muschietti will also direct the pilot.

5 Author Pseudonyms That Have Never Been Revealed

Who are these authors really, and will we ever find out? Here’s a look at five author pseudonyms whose true identities have never been revealed.

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Prince Harry is Publishing a Memoir: Today in Books

Stacey Abrams Picture Book to be Published in December

Politician and author Stacey Abrams’ debut picture book, Stacey’s Extraordinary Words, will be published December 28th. The book is based on Abrams’ own childhood competing in spelling bees against the elementary school bully Jake. Abrams said in a statement, “Words have always been important to me. I loved competing in spelling bees as a young girl. With this book, I want to inspire children to speak up for themselves and for others—and to keep trying if they don’t succeed the first time around.” The book is illustrated by Lucian American artist Kitt Thomas, also making their picture book debut.

Byung-hun Lee to Produce and Star in I Believe In A Thing Called Love

South Korean actor and singer Byung-hun Lee is set to star and produce in the upcoming Netflix adaptation of Maureen Goos’ young adult romance I Believe In A Thing Called Love. Lee will play the father of the protagonist Desi, an overachieving high school student who turns to K-pop romances to get guidance for finding her own romance. Yulin Kuang (The Healing Powers of Dude) will write the adaptation. Netflix has also acquired the rights to Goo’s Somewhere Only We Know, which will be adapted into a feature film.

Prince Harry is Publishing a Memoir

Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, is publishing a memoir in late 2022. The memoir’s publisher Penguin Random House announced on Monday that Prince Harry will be sharing “the definitive account of the experiences, adventures, losses, and life lessons that have helped shape him” for the first time. “I’m writing this not as the prince I was born but as the man I have become,” Prince Harry wrote in a statement Monday. “I’m deeply grateful for the opportunity to share what I’ve learned over the course of my life so far and excited for people to read a firsthand account of my life that’s accurate and wholly truthful.”

Jack of Hearts (And Other Parts) Under Fire by Christian Right Group in Irving, TX

A Christian Right group has challenged L.C. Rosen’s Jack of Hearts (And Other Parts) in a series of complaints against LGBTQ content in the Irving Public Library.

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Emily St. John Mandel Wrote A New Novel Over Quarantine: Today in Books

Author Atul Gawande Nominated by Joe Biden for Health Post

President Joe Biden has nominated author Atul Gawande for the position of assistant administrator of the Bureau for Global Health, United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Gawande, doctor, journalist, and author known for his books Complications, Better, and Being Mortal, was previously a senior advisor at the Department of Health and Human Services under the Bill Clinton administration, He was also a member of Biden’s COVID-19 advisory board. Gawande posted about the nomination on Twitter, writing, “I’m honored to be nominated to lead global health development at @USAID, including for COVID. With more COVID deaths worldwide in the first half of 2021 than in all of 2020, I’m grateful for the chance to help end this crisis and to re-strengthen public health systems worldwide.”

Emily St. John Mandel Wrote A New Novel Over Quarantine & Here’s A First Look!

Some of us baked a lot of banana bread over quarantine, while others made their way through the entire Netflix catalogue. Meanwhile, Emily St. John Mandel—author of Station Eleven and The Glass Hotelwas busy writing a new novel. “I spent the entirety of 2020 in New York City,” Mandel said in a statement. “This is the kind of book that happens when you’re working in a soundscape of constant ambulance sirens.” Mandel’s new novel The Sea of Tranquility will hit shelves on April 19, 2022. In the meantime, you can get a first look at the novel and its beautiful cover over at Entertainment Weekly.

Fear Street Films Get Vinyl Release with Cover Art Inspired by the Books

If you loved the music in Netflix’s Fear Street trilogy, then get excited. Fear Street‘s soundtrack is getting a vinyl release from Waxwork Records. Even better? The album art will feature artwork inspired by R.L. Stine’s Fear Street books. Waxwork Records tweeted, “When we got to work on FEAR STREET, we wanted to pay homage to the classic R.L. Stine teen-horror book covers. Enter the mighty @samgilbey. Like a man possessed, Sam created album art that nailed the vibe of the original novels!” You can preorder all three albums now on the Waxwork Records website.

2021 Must-Read Beach Reads

With summer days heating up, it’s time to get into the hottest books of the season. Here are the 2021 beach reads you won’t want to miss.

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Patricia Highsmith’s Diaries to Be Published for the First Time: Today in Books

Prentice Penny & Mozhan Marnò Developing Series Adaptation Of Marjan Kamali’s ‘The Stationery Shop’ For HBO

The Stationery Shop by Marjan Kamali is the story of two lovers who are separated on the eve of their marriage in Tehran, following the coup d’etat in 1953, only to find themselves reuniting sixty years later. The book will be adapted into a TV series for HBO.

For The First Time, Patricia Highsmith’s Diaries Will Be Available To The Public

Patricia Highsmith’s diaries, first discovered after her death, will be published this fall. The volume, Patricia Highsmith: Her Diaries and Notebooks, will weigh in at nearly 1,009 pages, and is a whittled down collection from over 8,000 pages in material, edited by her long-time editor Anna von Planta. The edition spans her entire adult life.

‘Kindred’: Janicza Bravo To Direct, Newcomer Mallori Johnson To Star In FX Pilot Based On Octavia E. Butler Novel

Kindred is one of Octavia Butler’s most well-known novels, and it’s now getting its own adaptation. Janicza Bravo will direct the pilot, and Mallori Johnson will star as Dana, the young Black woman who finds herself yanked to the past, in the era of slavery in the American South, whenever a white slaveholder’s life is in danger so that she can save him. Production will begin this fall.