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Friday Reads: Caribbean Lit

Did you know that June is Caribbean-American Heritage Month? This year marks the fourteenth celebration since President George W. Bush’s proclamation in 2006. In commemoration of the rich literary history of the Caribbean, we present the following exemplary books by writers from the region:

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Paul Mendez to Discuss His Debut Novel RAINBOW MILK via Zoom

Paul Mendez, author of RAINBOW MILK (Doubleday), will discuss his debut novel with Jeremy Atherton Lin at a virtual event hosted by Green Apple Books (San Francisco) via Zoom on Saturday, June 12 at 3:00 pm (ET).

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There's a Book for That: National Oceans Month

Welcome National Oceans Month! In 2016, President Barack Obama proclaimed June as National Oceans Month, stating, “This month, let us continue the work of ensuring the well-being of these grand bodies of water and the communities that depend on them. As we celebrate the immense beauty and power of our oceans, we are reminded of our shared responsibility to protect them -- now and for generations to come.” To help us all be great stewards of the sea, we invite you to wade into the following oceanic titles for all ages;

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Riverhead Author Akwaeke Emezi on Cover of TIME’s Next Generation Leaders Issue

Akwaeke Emezi, the New York Times bestselling author of The Death of Vivek Oji and their nonfiction debut DEAR SENTHURAN: A Black Spirit Memoir (Riverhead Books, on sale June 8), graces the cover of TIME Magazine’s annual Next Generation Leaders issue. This special double-issue hit newsstands all over the globe this month and focuses on an exclusive group of young artists, athletes and activists who are changing the world.

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Oliver Boydell, 11-Year-Old Chess Champion, to Publish Book of Tips With RHCB This Fall

Random House Children’s Books will publish HOW A KING PLAYS, a book of chess tips and strategies by eleven-year-old chess champion Oliver Boydell this fall, it was announced by Tom Russell, Vice President & Publisher of Reference and Workbooks at RHCB. The book will be published on November 9, 2021. Russell acquired world rights and will edit the project alongside Brett J. Wright, Senior Editor.

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Knopf Books for Young Readers to Publish New Novel by R. J. Palacio This Fall

PONY, the highly anticipated new novel by R. J. Palacio—author of Wonder, now the longest-running title on the New York Times middle-grade hardcover bestseller list—will be published on September 28, 2021, it was announced by Barbara Marcus, President and Publisher, Random House Children’s Books. With a first printing of 500,000 copies, the novel will be edited by Palacio’s longtime editor Erin Clarke, Editorial Director, Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers. PONY will release simultaneously in the UK from Penguin Random House Children’s.

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Scholastic’s Dick Robinson: Honoring the Memory of a Towering Children’s Publishing Champion

Penguin Random House joins the worldwide publishing and literary community in mourning the sudden passing of M. Richard “Dick” Robinson Jr., at 84, on Saturday, June 5. One of the book world’s most admired and successful chief executives, Robinson was the long-standing chairman and president of Scholastic, whose near-five decades of leadership drove the company ever forward as a great, defining children’s publisher, and thus a great, worthy competitor of ours.

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Vintage Books Acquires THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT Author Walter Tevis’s Catalog

Vintage Books has made a deal to publish Walter Tevis’s entire adult backlist, including a never-before-published collection of short fiction. In addition to the original story collection, The King is Dead, the deal includes The Man Who Fell to Earth (1963), currently in production as a series at Showtime; The Hustler (1959); Mockingbird (1980); The Steps of the Sun (1983); and The Color of Money (1984). The deal was made by Vintage Books Executive Editor Edward Kastenmeier, working with the Susan Schulman Literary Agency. The books will be published in 2022 and will mark the first time that all Tevis’s adult work has been in print at the same time.

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Friday Reads: Lambda Awards

Pride Month began in style as Lambda, the nation’s premier LGBTQ literary organization, held its 33rd Lambda Literary Awards (a.k.a. the “Lammys”) this week via a live Zoom ceremony hosted by Rakesh Satyal. Novelist Torrey Peters, author of DETRANSITION, BABY, kicked off the festivities speaking of her joy to be presenting for “an organization for which trans writing and trans authors aren’t an afterthought.” You can watch the ceremony and find the complete list of winners here. Congratulations to our two winners and numerous finalists as follows:

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Barack Obama to Headline ALA Annual Conference & Exhibition Closing Session

Former President of the United States Barack Obama will headline the upcoming ALA Annual Conference & Exhibition (Virtual) Closing Session. He will appear on Tuesday, June 29, 12:00 noon – 1 p.m. (CT), in conversation with Lonnie G. Bunch III, the 14th secretary of the Smithsonian and first African American appointed to the role. They will be introduced by Julius C. Jefferson, Jr., president of the American Library Association.

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ICYMI: Ta-Nehisi Coates’ “Voices for Justice” Virtual Event

Penguin Random House sponsored Voices for Justice, a free virtual speaker series that supports diversity, equity and inclusion work at the Cambridge Public Library. Random House author Isabel Wilkerson (The Warmth of Other Suns and Caste) and One World author Ta-Nehisi Coates (Between the World and Me and The Water Dancer) were among the featured authors. Last week, the final event in the three-part series featured a robust and motivating conversation between Mr. Coates and award-winning journalist Callie Crossley.

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Taylor Jenkins Reid’s MALIBU RISING is June #ReadWithJenna Book Club Pick

Taylor Jenkins Reid’s MALIBU RISING, published by Ballantine, is our new Igloo Book Buzz selection, and was named the June #ReadWithJenna Book Club Pick on NBC’s Today Show (to watch video of this segment, click here). MALIBU RISING is a story about one unforgettable night in the life of a family: the night they each have to choose what they will keep from the people who made them . . . and what they will leave behind.

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Knopf/Vintage Author Valeria Luiselli Wins the 2021 Dublin Literary Award

Valeria Luiselli has won the 2021 Dublin Literary Award for her novel, LOST CHILDREN ARCHIVE, published by Alfred A. Knopf and Vintage. Sponsored by the Dublin City Council to honor a single work of fiction published in English, this annual award bestows €100,000 (about $117,965) to the winner from among six finalists nominated by librarians worldwide.

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Friday Reads: Memorial Day

On Monday, May 31st, we pay tribute to the American men and women who have died in service to our country. To honor the occasion, we have curated the following titles, for adults and young readers, in commemoration of the service and sacrifice of our nation’s military:

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Eric Carle, 1929 – 2021

Eric Carle, 1929 – 2021, photo credit: Jim Gipe

Eric Carle, beloved artist, illustrator, and writer, passed away peacefully and surrounded by family members on May 23, 2021 at his summer studio in Northampton, Massachusetts. Eric was 91.

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There's a Book for That: Jewish-American Heritage Month

In May we celebrate centuries of Jewish contributions to American culture and society. From music to food, science to literature, law to sports, business and entertainment, individuals whose achievements shaped Jewish American culture—and the American culture in general—are far too many to enumerate. The following titles, including those about beloved icons, highlight different facets of Jewish-American heritage and are sure to enlighten and delight readers!

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Reserve Your Free Ticket for the n+1 Writers Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, May 26

This spring, n+1 established the Anthony Veasna So Fiction Prize, an annual $5,000 award granted to an outstanding fiction writer whose work has appeared in n+1 magazine. On Wednesday, May 26 at 7:30 pm (ET), n+1 will host their virtual Writers Awards ceremony to celebrate Trevor Shikaze, the inaugural prize winner, and Christina Nichol, recipient of the annual n+1 Writers’ Fellowship.

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How Nancy Naigle Turned Personal Loss Into a Story of Enduring Gifts

Nancy Naigle’s THE SHELL COLLECTOR, published by WaterBrook, celebrates the value of friendship across generations, and lessons on how thoughtful gifts can change a life for good. Becky Nesbitt, Executive Editor, WaterBrook and Convergent, shares, “I knew The Shell Collector was special the minute I read the proposal for it. The story was born out of loss and pain, but the message is so beautiful: that even the smallest, unexpected gifts—a text, a thoughtful note, a heart’s connection with a new friend—can have a profound impact on someone’s life. Due to how personal this story was for her, Nancy waited some time before penning it to paper, but the result is inspiring and heartfelt, and it has already been a source of encouragement to so many readers.”

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Seth Rogen Narrates His YEARBOOK Audio With a Cast of 80+ Voices

Beloved and prolific multi-hyphenate Seth Rogen leads a full cast of more than 80 narrators for the audiobook of his debut collection of hilarious and insightful personal essays, YEARBOOK, from Random House Audio, an imprint of the Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group (published in hardcover and eBook formats by Crown). The 83 total voices that can be heard on YEARBOOK puts this production in the company of PRH Audio’s Beastie Boys Book (44 voices), Four Hundred Souls (87 voices) and Lincoln in the Bardo (166 voices).

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Viking to Publish John le Carré’s SILVERVIEW in October

John le Carré, credit_ Nadav Kander

In the year that marks the 60th anniversary of the publication of John le Carré’s first novel, Call for the Dead, Viking has announced the publication of his twenty-sixth novel, SILVERVIEW, on October 12, 2021, in the week that would have marked le Carré’s 90th birthday. Set in modern Britain, this brilliantly conceived novel captures the tension between personal and political loyalty, and interrogates the concept of moral goodness in the face of public duty.

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