books and authors

Our ALA Midwinter Award Recipients, Part One: Odyssey, RUSA Listen Audio Winners

Each year, the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting brings forth a cascade of awards and honors accorded distinguished Children’s and Adults books and audios, published (mostly) in the past year.

We’ll be reporting on all our winners ahead.

First up, our Penguin Random House Audio recognitions.

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Two of our Listening Library productions were each recognized with an Odyssey Honor, as outstanding presentations: THE BOOK OF DUST by Philip Pullman, narrated by Michael Sheen. Produced in the U.S. by Orli Moscowitz in collaboration with PRH Audio UK A BOY CALLED CHRISTMAS by Matt Haig, narrated by Stephen Fry. Produced in the U.S. by Dan Zitt. To date, Listening Library titles have been bestowed with 14 Odyssey Honors and 4 Odyssey Prize Awards, the highest Audio accolades from the Library community. RUSA Listen List Awards For Adults: THE BOOK OF POLLY: A Novel by Kathy Hepinstall. Narrated by Jenna Lamia. THE CHILBURY LADIES’ CHOIR: A Novel by Jennifer Ryan. Narrated by Gabrielle Glaister, Laura Kirman, Imogen Wilde, Adjoa Andoh, Tom Clegg, Mike Grady. ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE by Gail Honeyman. Narrated by Cathleen McCarron. LINCOLN IN THE BARDO: A Novel by George Saunders. Narrated by Nick Offerman, David Sedaris, George Saunders, Carrie Brownstein, Miranda July, Lena Dunham, and a full cast. STRANGER IN THE WOODS: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit by Michael Finkel. Narrated by Mark Bramhall. DAYS WITHOUT END by Sebastian Barry. Listen Alikes: SPOONBENDERS: A Novel by Daryl Gregory. Narrated by Ari Fliakos. BELIEVE ME: A Memoir of Love, Death and Jazz Chickens by Eddie Izzard. Narrated by Eddie Izzard. YES, CHEF: A Memoir by Marcus Samuelsson. Narrated by Marcus Samuelsson. THE GUERNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY by Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows. Narrated by Paul Boehmer, Susan Duerden, Rosalyn Landor, John Lee, Juliet Mills. THE CHAPERONE by Laura Moriarty. Narrated by Elizabeth McGovern. THE ENGAGEMENTS by J. Courtney Sullivan. Narrated by Kimberly Farr. THE SWANS OF FIFTH AVENUE: A Novel by Melanie Benjamin. Narrated by Cassandra Campbell, Paul Boehmer. AS I LAY DYING by William Faulkner. Narrated by Marc Cashman, Robertson Dean, Lina Patel, Lorna Raver. THE CITY BAKER’S GUIDE TO COUNTRY LIVING by Louise Miller. Narrated by Jorjeana Marie. KITCHENS OF THE GREAT MIDWEST: A Novel by J. Ryan Stradal. Narrated by Amy Ryan, Michael Stuhlbarg. BORN TO RUN: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall. Narrated by Fred Sanders. THE MARSH KING’S DAUGHTER by Karen Dionne. Narrated by Emily Rankin. IF I EVER GET OUT OF HERE by Eric Gansworth. Narrated by Eric Gansworth. I’M FINE…AND OTHER LIES by Whitney Cummings. Narrated by Whitney Cummings. More ALA Awards news to come.

Our 5 NYTBR “10 Best Books of 2017”

Selected by editors of the New York Times Book Review, here are the 5 fiction and nonfiction books published by our imprints, among their presentation of “The 10 Best Books of 2017.”

The full list is published online, and will appear in the publication’s December 10 print edition.

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  • AUTUMN by Ali Smith (Pantheon Books) The extraordinary friendship of an elderly songwriter and the precocious child of his single-parent neighbor is at the heart of this novel that darts back and forth through the decades, from the 1960s to the era of Brexit. The first in a projected four-volume series, it’s a moving exploration of the intricacies of the imagination, a sly teasing-out of a host of big ideas and small revelations, all hovering around a timeless quandary: how to observe, how to be. Read NYT review of “Autumn”
 
  • EXIT WEST by Mohsin Hamid (Riverhead Books) A deceptively simple conceit turns a timely novel about a couple fleeing a civil war into a profound meditation on the psychology of exile. Magic doors separate the known calamities of the old world from the unknown perils of the new, as the migrants learn how to adjust to an improvisatory existence. Hamid has written a novel that fuses the real with the surreal — perhaps the most faithful way to convey the tremulous political fault lines of our interconnected planet. Read NYT review of “Exit West”
 
  • THE EVOLUTION OF BEAUTY: How Darwin’s Forgotten Theory of Mate Choice Shapes the Animal World — and Us by Richard O. Prum (Doubleday) If a science book can be subversive and feminist and change the way we look at our own bodies — but also be mostly about birds — this is it. Prum, an ornithologist, mounts a defense of Darwin’s second, largely overlooked theory of sexual selection. Darwin believed, in addition to evolving to adapt to the environment, some other force must be at work shaping the species: the aesthetic mating choices made largely by females. Prum wants subjectivity and the desire for beauty to be part of our understanding of how evolution works. A passionate plea that begins with birds and ends with humans and will help you finally understand, how in the world we have an animal like the peacock. Read NYT review of “The Evolution of Beauty”
 
  • GRANT by Ron Chernow (Penguin Press) Even those who think they are familiar with Ulysses S. Grant’s career will learn something from Chernow’s fascinating and comprehensive biography, especially about Grant’s often overlooked achievements as president. What is more, at a time of economic inequality reflecting the 19th century’s Gilded Age and a renewed threat from white-supremacy groups, Chernow reminds us that Grant’s courageous example is more valuable than ever, and in this sense, “Grant” is as much a mirror on our own time as a history lesson. Read NYT review of “Grant”
 
  • PRIESTDADDY by Patricia Lockwood (Riverhead Books) In this affectionate and very funny memoir, Lockwood weaves the story of her family — including her Roman Catholic priest father, who received a special dispensation from the Vatican — with her own coming-of-age, and the crisis that later led her and her husband to live temporarily under her parents’ rectory roof. She also brings to bear her gifts as a poet, mixing the sacred and profane in a voice that’s wonderfully grounded and authentic. This book proves Lockwood to be a formidably gifted writer who can do pretty much anything she pleases. Read NYT review of “Priestdaddy”
 

Our 7 NYTBR "Notable Children's Books of 2017"

The New York Times Book Review children’s books editor has selected seven titles published by our Penguin Young Readers and Random House Children’s Books imprints among the “Notable Children’s Books of 2017” in the picture books, middle grade, young adult fiction and nonfiction categories.

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All three complete lists are online and will appear in in their entirety the Book Review’s December 3 print edition. Middle Grade ALL’S FAIRE IN MIDDLE SCHOOL written and illustrated by Victoria Jamieson. (Dial) “I dub thee brilliant,” our reviewer, Marjorie Ingall, said of this graphic novel about a girl just starting middle school, whose family works at a Renaissance faire. THE STARS BENEATH OUR FEET by David Barclay Moore. (Knopf) This sparkling debut is about a grieving Harlem boy who’s lost his older brother and finds in friendship and competitive Lego building a path away from the lure of gangs. TUMBLE & BLUE by Cassie Beasley. (Dial) A boy and his new friend head out on a quest to escape a family curse that runs through generations in this exuberant, heartfelt fantasy set mostly in an alligator-filled Georgia swamp. Young Adult AKATA WARRIOR by Nnedi Okorafor. (Viking) This enthralling second book about Sunny, an albino Nigerian girl who can do magic, has her mastering her powers to save the world from apocolyptic doom. LA BELLE SAUVAGE by Philip Pullman (Knopf) Pullman’s long-awaited prequel to the “His Dark Materials” trilogy pulls you back into the fascinating alternate universe of the original series, exploring the nature of the powerful substance called Dust and following the heroine, Lyra Belacqua, from babyhood. I AM NOT YOUR PERFECT MEXICAN DAUGHTER by Erika L. Sánchez. (Knopf) This gripping debut finds humor as well as pathos in 15-year-old Julia’s quest to uncover her Mexican-American family’s secrets after the death of her seemingly dutiful sister. TURTLES ALL THE WAY DOWN by John Green. (Dutton) Green’s chronicle of a teenager’s struggle to live and love—and solve a mystery—despite her debilitating obsessive-compulsive disorder is simply “astonishing,” said our reviewer, Jennifer Senior.

Fisher’s ‘THE PRINCESS DIARIST’ Grammy® Spoken Word Nominee

Carrie Fisher’s THE PRINCESS DIARIST is nominated for a Best Spoken Word Album GRAMMY® Award.  Read by its author, along with her daughter Billie Lourd, the Penguin Random House Audio release is one of five finalists in this category announced this morning.

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The Penguin Audio was produced by our multi-GRAMMY® nominated Audio colleague Dan Zitt.  It is also available in Blue Rider Press print and e-book editions. Congratulations to all. Penguin Random House Audio titles have previously received 14 GRAMMY® Awards, including last year’s Best Spoken Word Album winner, Carol Burnett’s In Such Good Company, and 42 additional GRAMMY® nominations. Fingers crossed for us at the 60th Annual GRAMMY® Awards, which will be presented Sunday, January 28, 2018, at Madison Square Garden.

Riverhead’s Masha Gessen 2017 NBA Nonfiction Winner; Our NBA Winners, 2013-17

Masha Gessen, author of THE FUTURE IS HISTORY, was honored Wednesday night at a ceremony in Manhattan with the National Book Award for Nonfiction, continuing a cherished, time-honored connection for Penguin Random House authors with one of America’s most coveted literary prizes.

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This is the fifth consecutive year in which our authors have won at least one National Book Award, preceded by many NBA long-  and short-listers, as recognized by the respective panels of judges in each of the four categories.

THE FUTURE IS HISTORY: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia by Masha Gessen(Riverhead Books Hardcover & E-book; Penguin Audio)

In THE FUTURE IS HISTORY, visionary journalist and bestselling biographer of Vladimir Putin Masha Gessen reveals how, in the space of a generation, Russia surrendered to a more virulent and invincible new strain of autocracy. Hailed for her “fearless indictment of the most powerful man in Russia” (The Wall Street Journal), Gessen is unparalleled in her understanding of the events and forces that have wracked her native country in recent times. She follows the lives of four people born at what promised to be the dawn of democracy. Gessen charts their paths against the machinations of the regime that would crush them all, and against the war it waged on understanding itself, which ensured the unobstructed reemergence of the old Soviet order in the form of today’s terrifying and seemingly unstoppable mafia state. “A remarkable portrait of an ever-shifting era…Gessen weaves her characters’ stories into a seamless, poignant whole. Her analysis of Putin’s malevolent administration is just as effective…a harrowing, compassionate and important book,” San Francisco Chronicle. In accepting her Award, a beaming Masha Gessen spoke without prepared notes—because she “didn’t think this was going to happen.” She told the audience of 750 attendees that her final work ended up a much longer and different book on Russia than originally planned, thanking her publisher, Riverhead, “for sticking with me,” and especially her long time editor Becky Saletan. In congratulating Masha Gessen, Becky Saletan, and the Riverhead/Penguin Publishing Group and Penguin Random House Audio publishing teams, we also celebrate their counterparts behind our six NBA semi-finalists and five finalists for this year’s National Book Awards. The complete list of Penguin Random House National Book Award winners, 2013-2017:
  • Fiction: 2016: THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD by Colson Whitehead (Doubleday) 2015: FORTUNE SMILES: Stories by Adam Johnson (Random House) 2014: REDEPLOYMENT by Phil Klay (Penguin Press) 2013: THE GOOD LORD BIRD by James McBride (Riverhead)
  • Nonfiction: 2017: THE FUTURE IS HISTORY: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia by Masha Gessen(Riverhead Books) 2015: BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME by Ta-Nehisi Coates (Spiegel & Grau)
  • Poetry: 2015: VOYAGE OF THE SABLE VENUS by Robin Coste Lewis (Knopf)
  • Young People’s Literature: 2014: BROWN GIRL DREAMING by Jacqueline Woodson (Nancy Paulsen Books)
  With this Nonfiction National Book Award, we continue a 2017 of extraordinary achievement, in which the highest literary honors have been bestowed upon our Penguin Random House North America authors and their work: The Newbery Medal for LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET by Matt de la Pena, illustrated by Christian Robinson; Grammy® for IN SUCH GOOD COMPANY by Carol Burnett (Best Spoken Word); National Book Critics Circle Awards for EVICTED by Matthew Desmond (Nonfiction); LAB GIRL by Hope Jahren (Autobiography).  Pulitzer Prizes for THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD by Colson Whitehead (Fiction); EVICTED by Matthew Desmond (General Nonfiction); BLOOD IN THE WATER by Heather Ann Thompson (History); THE RETURN by Hisham Matar (Biography).  The Man Booker Prize for LINCOLN IN THE BARDO by George Saunders.  The Nobel Prize for Literature for Kazuo Ishiguro. We all share our publishing colleagues’ pride and thrill in our authors’ achievements.  What a privilege to be in such company and for all of us to contribute to building their readership.
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RH’s LINCOLN IN THE BARDO by George Saunders 2017 Man Booker Winner

“The form and style of this utterly original novel, reveals a witty, intelligent, and deeply moving narrative,”  Lola, Baroness Young, Chair of Judges, is describing the rapturously reviewed and New York Times number one bestselling LINCOLN IN THE BARDO by George Saunders which has won the 2017 Man Booker Prize for Fiction, one of the most renowned annual international literary honors.  First awarded in 1969, the Prize is open for writers of any nationality, writing in English, and published in the U.K.

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LINCOLN IN THE BARDO is published in the U.S. as a Random House hardcover and e-book, and a Random House Audio.  Penguin Random House Canada distributes the Random House edition. Writing in the New York Times Book Review, Colson Whitehead said of the novel: “A luminous feat of generosity and humanism.  Here is a crucible for heroic American identity; fearful but unflagging; hopeful even in tragedy; staggering, however tentatively, toward a better world.” Congratulation to George Saunders, his editor Andy Ward, the Random House and Random House Audio publication teams, and all our 2017 Man Booker short and long listed authors published across our imprints. As their publisher, we are humbled by the recognition bestowed in 2017 upon Nobel Literature Laureate Kazuo Ishiguro, our four Pulitzer Prize winners, and now George Saunders as recipients of this year’s highest literary honors

There's a Book for That: Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The National Coalition against Domestic Violence created and observed the first Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October 1987 and Congress designated it as such in 1989.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month events promote awareness, encourage reporting, provide safety for victims, encourage people to look out for one another, and ensure treatment is provided and administrative action taken when needed. It’s a painful reality that deserves attention and gets better with education and compassion. It is our hope the following books will help:

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  FEATURED TITLES   WHY DOES HE DO THAT? By Lundy Bancroft In this groundbreaking bestseller, Lundy Bancroft—a counselor who specializes in working with abusive men—uses his knowledge about how abusers think to help women recognize when they are being controlled or devalued in a relationship, and to find ways to get free of abuse.   INVINCIBLE: THE 10 LIES YOU LEARN GROWING UP WITH DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, AND THE TRUTHS TO SET YOU FREE by Brian F. Martin Through powerful first-person stories, including the author’s own experiences, as well as insightful commentary based on the most recent social science and psychology research, Invincible not only offers a deeper understanding of the concerns and challenges of those who grew up with domestic violence, but also provides proven strategies everyone can use to reclaim their lives and futures. The author is donating all net royalties to the Childhood Domestic Violence Association.   ANGER: HOW TO LIVE WITH AND WITHOUT IT by Albert Ellis, Foreword by Raymond A. DiGiuseppe Anger. It’s one of our most basic, and often most destructive, human emotions. And in today’s world, it’s a constant, escalating force, from road rage to domestic abuse, from teen violence to acts of terrorism. More than ever we need effective ways to live with it, understand it—and learn to deal with it.   Children Who See Too Much by Betsy Mcalister GrovesCHILDREN WHO SEE TOO MUCH: LESSONS FROM THE CHILD WITNESS TO VIOLENCE PROJECT by Betsy McAlister Groves Groves makes the powerful case that traumatic events carried out by family members carry the most severe psychological risks for very young children. She uses clinical case studies to show that being young does not protect against the lasting effects of witnessing violence, and she offers ways adults can help.   The Gift of Fear by Gavin De BeckerTHE GIFT OF FEAR: AND OTHER SURVIVAL SIGNALS THAT PROTECT US FROM VIOLENCE by Gavin De Becker A date won't take "no" for an answer. The new nanny gives a mother an uneasy feeling. A stranger in a deserted parking lot offers unsolicited help. The threat of violence surrounds us every day. But we can protect ourselves, by learning to trust—and act on—our gut instincts.   When Things Fall Apart by Pema ChödrönWHEN THINGS FALL APART: HEART ADVICE FOR DIFFICULT TIMES (20th Anniversary Edition) by Pema Chodron Pema Chödrön’s perennially best-selling classic on overcoming life’s difficulties draws from traditional Buddhist wisdom to offer life-changing tools for transforming suffering and negative patterns into habitual ease and boundless joy.   When Dad Hurts Mom by Lundy BancroftWHEN DAD HURTS MOM: HELPING YOUR CHILDREN HEAL THE WOUNDS OF WITNESSING ABUSE by Lundy Bancroft Written by a therapist who specializes in abusive men, this guide reveals how abusers interact with and manipulate children—and how mothers can help their children recover from the trauma of witnessing abuse.   For more on these and related titles visit, Domestic Violence Awareness Month  

There’s a Book for That! is brought to you by Penguin Random House’s Sales department. Please follow our Tumblr by clicking here—and share this link with your accounts: theresabookforthat.tumblr.com. Thank you! Did you see something on the news or read about something on your commute? Perhaps you noticed something trending on Twitter? Did you think: “There’s a book for that!”? Then please, send it our way at theresabookforthat@penguinrandomhouse.com  

Readerlink Awards Penguin Random House Childrens Publisher of the Year

Our highly respected distribution customer partner, Readerlink, the largest full-service book distributor in North America, held their annual National Awards Dinner on August 30, and Penguin Random House was honored as Readerlink Children’s Publisher of the Year.

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We also were Finalists for the Premiere Publisher Partner Award, and our colleagues Erin Reilly and Jessica Wells were nominees for Sales Partner of the Year. Finalist nominations in the seven Publisher Award categories  were determined by such criteria as overall sales evaluation; operations performance; and retailer-promotion support and collaboration. Readerlink supplies our Adult and Children’s fronlist and backlist hardcover, trade, and paperbacks to leading non-trade channel mass merchants, warehouse clubs, department stores, and drug stores, among them Target, Walmart, Costco, and Toys R Us. We join Readerlink in congratulating our colleagues companywide—in particular our Mass Merchandise Sales, Random House Children’s and Penguin Young Readers Groups, and Erin and Jessica—for their commitment and excellence in achievement.  

Penguin Random House India’s “Book Fairies” Work Their Magic

Do you believe in fairies? How about Book Fairies? Penguin Random House India recently collaborated with The Book Fairies as several of our colleagues  in India went on a special journey to Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore.

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Their mission was to hide 30 copies of the Penguin 30 special edition throughout these cities as part of the ongoing celebration of Penguin Random House India’s 30th anniversary.  Participating book lovers then went on a quest to find the books using clues from the magical “The Book Fairies” portal on Instagram. The most adept book seekers posted photos of themselves and their finds.  View a selection: @penguinindia. A similar initiative, “Books on the Delhi Metro” (@booksonthedelhimetro), took place in early August. The Penguin 30 special edition was published at the beginning of this year and features 30 bestsellers by Indian authors written during the past 30 years, among them Nehru’s autobiography as well as such novels as Vikram Seth’s The Golden Gate, Amitav Ghosh’s Sea of Poppies, and Jhumpa Lahiri’s Unaccustomed Earth. “The Book Fairies” is a worldwide initiative with the goal of sharing books with others through finding hiding places for them in public spaces.

Three Crown Titles Barnes & Noble Discover Fall 2017 Selections

Barnes & Noble has announced their selections for Discover’s Fall 2017 season and they have chosen three forethcoming Crown titles. The B&N Discover Great New Writers program connects readers with books from up-and-coming authors from around the world.

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Fall 2017 Discover Great New Writers Selections

BarnesandNoble AMERICAN WOLF by Nate Blakeslee (Crown, October 17) THE FAR AWAY BROTHERS by Lauren Markham (Crown, September 12) FIRE ON THE TRACK by Roseanne Montillo (Crown, October 17)