Books & Authors

Four of Our Books Win 2018 Goodreads Choice Awards

Winners of the 2018 Goodreads Choice Awards have been announced and feature 4 books published by Penguin Random House imprints in the Fiction, Romance, Memoir & Autobiography, and Food & Cookbooks categories. Heralded as the only major book prizes determined by readers, the Goodreads Choice Awards are a true reflection of public opinion.  Congratulations to all of our award-winning authors as well as their editors and publishers. 

 Here are our Goodreads Choice Awards 2018 winners, in the following categories: Fiction:
  • STILL ME by Jojo Moyes (Penguin Books)
  Romance:    Memoir & Autobiography:  Food & Cookbooks:  To view the complete list of 2018 Goodreads Choice Awards winners, click here.

Michelle Obama Surprises Children at L.A.'s Para Los Niños Early Education Center as Part of PRH One Million Children's Books Giveaway

On Thursday, November 15, while in Los Angeles for her BECOMING book tour, former First Lady Michelle Obama made a surprise visit to the Para Los Niños Tina and Rick Caruso Early Education Center, located in Skid Row, to spend time and read with a group of four-year-old children from an underserved area of L..A. 

Mrs. Obama’s visit, part of Penguin Random House’s donation of one million children's books in the Obama family’s name, was hosted by Para Los Niños, a leading L.A.-based nonprofit that offers a wide range of of high-quality coordinated student and community services, including three charter schools, six early childhood education centers, mental health and family support services, workforce development, and parent and community engagement to 6,000 children, youth, and adults annually. As part of Mrs. Obama’s visit, she led storytime with the students, reading both THE GRUFFALO by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, and LLAMA LLAMA RED PAJAMA by Anna Dewdney. “As one of the few early childhood centers in Skid Row, we work with some of the most vulnerable children and families in Los Angeles,” says Drew Furedi, Para Los Niños CEO. “A visit from former First Lady Michelle Obama is such an honor for us, and so inspiring for our students to set goals and instill the love of reading for life.” Para Los Niños partners with fellow nonprofit Child360. Child360 works to advance early-childhood education program quality and capacity by supporting the development of the whole child, growing a qualified and diverse workforce, and strengthening family engagement. Child360 is also one of the first recipients to receive books from Penguin Random House’s one million children's book donation in the Obama family’s name to First Book, a longstanding organization dedicated to promoting equal access to education by providing new books, learning materials, and other essentials to children in need. A selection of these books were available for the children to take home.  

Sophie Mackintosh, Michael Ondaatje Among Our 2018 Man Booker Prize Semi-Finalists

The longlist of thirteen semi-finalists for the 2018 Man Booker Prize, one of the most influential annual English-language international literary fiction honors, has been announced from London. They were chosen from more than 170 submitted books being published in the UK between October 1, 2017, and September 30, 2018.

Here are our longlisted titles published by Penguin Random House imprints in the U.S., Canada and the UK:

THE WATER CURE by Sophie Mackintosh US: Doubleday Canada: Hamish Hamilton Canada UK: Hamish Hamilton U.K. WARLIGHT by Michael Ondaatje US: Knopf Canada: McClelland & Stewart UK: Jonathan Cape (Earlier this month, Mr. Ondaatje’s THE ENGLISH PATIENT was awarded the Man Booker Golden Prize, honoring the best work of fiction from the last five decades of the Man Booker Prize, as chosen by five judges, and then voted on by the public.) WASHINGTON BLACK by Esi Edugyan U.S.: Knopf NORMAL PEOPLE by Sally Rooney U.S.: Hogarth (4/16/19) Canada: Knopf Canada (4/16/19) THE LONG TAKE by Robin Robertson U.S. Knopf (1/22/19) FROM A LOW AND QUIET SEA by Donal Ryan U.S.: Penguin Books UK: Doubleday Ireland EVERYTHING UNDER by Daisy Johnson UK: Jonathan Cape THE OVERSTORY by Richard Powers UK: William Heinemann THE MARS ROOM by Rachel Kushner UK: Jonathan Cape SNAP by Belinda Bauer UK: Bantam Press View the complete 2018 Man Booker Prize longlist here. The shortlist for this year’s Man Booker Prize will be announced on September 20, and the winner revealed on October 16. We warmly congratulate our semi-finalists, their editors and publishers.

Dutton and Razorbill Announce New Book, GLIMMER OF HOPE, by March For Our Lives Founders, to be Published in October

The students from Parkland, Florida who founded The March For Our Lives after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, are now adding a book to their movement. GLIMMER OF HOPE: How Tragedy Sparked a Movement will be the official, definitive book from the founders and will document the ongoing fight for sensible gun control legislation and their journey on the road to change. In a rare move, Razorbill, a Penguin Young Readers imprint, and Dutton, an adult imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, have teamed up to sell this single title together and jointly market the book, which will go on sale on October 16.

The announcement was made on Monday by Ben Schrank, President and Publisher of Razorbill, and Christine Ball, Senior Vice President, Publisher of Dutton, who acquired North American rights from Creative Artists Agency (CAA). Razorbill Associate Publisher Casey McIntyre and Dutton Vice President, Executive Editor Jill Schwartzman, are co-editing. The full advance, all author royalties, and the agency’s commission will be donated to the March For Our Lives Foundation. In addition, Penguin Random House will donate a portion of its profits to March for Our Lives Foundation and during the week of on-sale, Penguin Random House will also match all employee donations to March for Our Lives Foundation by its employees. GLIMMER OF HOPE will feature original first-person essays by the founders, including Emma González, Jaclyn Corin, Cameron Kasky, and Matt Deitsch, and include oral histories and other contributions from twenty other founders and members of the group. It will also highlight key policy initiatives that the founders support. Despite still being in high school, the founders of The March for Our Lives have not stopped working since the march. Leading up to the midterms, their work is more important than ever: since the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas in February, there have been eleven more school shootings across the United States. Currently they are on the Road to Change Tour where they are making over 50 planned stops across America to motivate and register young people to vote. Collectively the founders have said: “GLIMMER OF HOPE will be a permanent, tangible way to document the events we’ve endured and the journey we have lying ahead. March For Our Lives began organically, just a couple dozen teenagers on a living room floor, using trial-and-error processing and self-governing tactics. It’s important that we write this book collectively, because we wouldn’t be where we are today if it weren’t for the differing efforts of each and every one of us.” March For Our Lives was created by, inspired by, and led by the students of Parkland, but has since curated student allies of all ethnicities, religions and sexualities across the country. The mission and focus of March For Our Lives is to assure that no special interest group or political agenda is more critical than the timely passage of legislation to effectively address the gun violence issues that are rampant in our country. We demand morally-just leaders to rise up from both parties in order to ensure public safety. The full list of contributors, in alphabetical order, are: Adam Alhanti, Dylan Baierlein, John Barnitt, Alfonso Calderón, Sarah Chadwick, Jaclyn Corin, Matt Deitsch, Ryan Deitsch, Sam Deitsch, Brendan Duff, Emma González, Chris Grady, David Hogg, Cameron Kasky, Jammal Lemy, Kirsten McConnell, Charlie Mirsky, Diego Pfeiffer, Kyrah Simon, Delaney Tarr, Bradley Thornton, Kevin Trejos, Naomi Wadler, Sofie Whitney, Daniel Williams, and Alex Wind.

Two Ten Speed Press Authors Win Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards

Ten Speed Press authors Jim Meehan and Thad Vogler are winners of the 2018 Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards in both book-related categories. The recipients of the 12th Annual Spirited Awards, considered the most prestigious accolades in the spirits world, were announced Saturday evening at the annual Tales of the Cocktail Festival in New Orleans.

Jim Meehan received the Best New Cocktail or Bartending Book award for his book, MEEHAN'S BARTENDER MANUAL. Thad Vogler was named the recipient of the Best New Book on Drinks Culture, History or Spirits for his book, BY THE SMOKE AND THE SMELL. Ten Speed is the publisher of 4 of the 8 finalists in these two categories. Congratulations to Mr. Meehan and Mr. Vogler as well as their editors, publishers and everyone at Ten Speed Press. The Tales of the Cocktail is a non-profit organization that educates, advances, and supports the global hospitality industry, and hosts the world’s premier cocktail festival annually in New Orleans. The Spirited Awards honor the world’s top bars, bartenders, writers, and cocktail experts.
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RHCB Sales Rep Kate Sullivan is NEIBA’s 2018 Gilman Award Winner

The New England Independent Booksellers Association (NEIBA) has announced that Random House Children’s Books Sales Manager Kate Sullivan has won its 2018 Saul Gilman Award, for outstanding service as a sales representative to New England independent bookstores. Congratulations to Kate on this well-deserved honor.

[caption id="attachment_116570" align="alignright" width="280"] Kate Sullivan with Carl Hiaasen[/caption] In tandem with this recognition, the July 11 edition of NEIBA News leads off with a feature article on Kate that reads, in part: “Kate has always loved books, and was known to spend way too much time in the local library as a child; she even became a library volunteer during Junior High. Her first paying job with books was at Barnes & Noble in downtown Boston, where part of her job was to work with publisher reps on backlist orders, and she eventually became one of them as the NE rep for Pocket Books. After a couple of years she moved to Washington, DC to work for Ballantine Books but discovered that the mid-Atlantic states were a little too warm for a northern girl and moved back to New England. Due to some perfect timing (and Chuck Dresner) she became a rep for the Random House Merchandise Division, later renamed Random House Children's Books, and the rest is history, a 31-year history. “When she's not selling, reading, merchandising, gift wrapping, driving, baking and selling some more, Kate can be found in a big old house in the country with her many rescue cats, inevitably doing a little more baking, gardening, home improving, and quilting. And always, more reading.”  

There's a Book for That: The Supreme Court

Given Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy’s decision to retire, President Trump announced this week his nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh. Kavanaugh currently serves on the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He will now make “courtesy calls” with senators though his confirmation hearings are yet to be announced.

The Supreme Court has also entered popular culture this summer with the hit documentary, RBG, about Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. At 85 years-old, Justice Ginsburg is the eldest on the court. As testament to her popularity, FCTRY, a Brooklyn-based product design company, has raised more than $600,000 for a Ruth Bader Ginsburg life-like action figure, exceeding its funding goal of $15,000 by over 4,000%.

With public interest percolating, we’re highlighting books about the highest court in the land – its history, landmark cases, personalities and its crucial role in American democracy.

  Without Precedent by Joel Richard PaulWITHOUT PRECEDENT: CHIEF JUSTICE JOHN MARSHALL AND HIS TIMES by Joel Richard Paul This is the astonishing true story of how a rough-cut frontiersman - born in Virginia in 1755 and with little formal education - invented himself as one of the nation’s preeminent lawyers and politicians who then reinvented the Constitution to forge a stronger nation. Without Precedent is the engrossing account of the life and times of this exceptional man, who with cunning, imagination, and grace shaped America’s future as he held together the Supreme Court, the Constitution, and the country itself.   Dissent and the Supreme Court by Melvin I. UrofskyDISSENT AND THE SUPREME COURT: ITS ROLE IN THE COURT'S HISTORY AND THE NATION'S CONSTITUTIONAL DIALOGUE by Melvin I. Urofsky In Dissent and the Supreme Court, acclaimed historian Melvin Urofsky examines the great dissents throughout the Court’s history. Urofsky looks at the many aspects of American constitutional life that were affected by the Earl Warren Court, the rise of conservatism, and the present age of incivility. Yet within the Marble Palace, the members of the Supreme Court continue to hear arguments, vote, and draft majority opinions, while the minority continues to “respectfully dissent.” The Framers understood that if a constitution doesn’t grow and adapt, it atrophies and dies, and if it does, so does the democratic society it has supported.   The Court and the World by Stephen BreyerTHE COURT AND THE WORLD: AMERICAN LAW AND THE NEW GLOBAL REALITIES by Stephen Breyer A fascinating account of how an increasingly globalized and interdependent world influences the deliberations of America’s highest court, by the sitting justice and author of Making Our Democracy Work and Active Liberty.     Showdown by Wil HaygoodSHOWDOWN: THURGOOD MARSHALL AND THE SUPREME COURT NOMINATION THAT CHANGED AMERICA by Wil Haygood An authoritative biography of the first African American Supreme Court justice—one of the giants of the civil rights movement, and one of the most transforming Supreme Court justices of the twentieth century.     The U.S. Supreme Court Decision on Marriage Equality, Gift Edition by Anthony M. KennedyTHE U.S. SUPREME COURT DECISION ON MARRIAGE EQUALITY, as delivered by Justice Anthony Kennedy A beautifully packaged gift edition of Obergefell et al. v. Hodges, Justice Anthony Kennedy’s landmark Supreme Court decision on marriage equality     Supreme Court Decisions by SUPREME COURT DECISIONS by Richard Beeman, Jay M. Feinman The Supreme Court is one of America's leading expositors of and participants in debates about American values. Legal expert Jay M. Feinman introduces and selects some of the most important Supreme Court Decisions of all time, which touch on the very foundations of American society. These cases cover a vast array of issues, from the powers of government and freedom of speech to freedom of religion and civil liberties. Feinman offers commentary on each case and excerpts from the opinions of the Justices that show the range of debate in the Supreme Court and its importance to civil society.   The Nine by Jeffrey ToobinTHE NINE: INSIDE THE SECRET WORLD OF THE SUPREME COURT by Jeffrey Toobin In this gripping and definitive account of the modern Supreme Court, acclaimed journalist Jeffrey Toobin pulls back the curtain on one of the least well-known - and most important - forces shaping contemporary America.   Coming in September… The Most Dangerous Branch by David A. KaplanTHE MOST DANGEROUS BRANCH: INSIDE THE SUPREME COURT'S ASSAULT ON THE CONSTITUTION by David A. Kaplan In the bestsellling tradition of The Nine and The Brethren, David A. Kaplan, the former legal affairs editor of Newsweek, takes us into the secret world of the Supreme Court. Never before has the Court been more central in American life. It is the nine justices who too often now decide the controversial issues of our time—from abortion and same-sex marriage, to gun control, campaign finance and voting rights. Kaplan shows how too often the nine justices subvert the role of other branches of government—and how we’ve come to accept that at our peril.   For more on these and related titles, visit the collection: Supreme Court
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: 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

How Pantheon’s Lexy Bloom Brought Hanan al-Shaykh’s New Novel to American Readers

THE OCCASIONAL VIRGIN is a frank and fearless novel from acclaimed writer Hanan al-Shaykh, published today by Pantheon. The book’s storyline follows the tumultuous lives and sometimes shocking choices of two women, successful in their careers but unlucky in love.

In this Three Questions for an Editor interview, Lexy Bloom, Senior Editor/Senior Culinary Editor, Knopf, Pantheon, Vintage, Anchor, offers insights into her editorial work with the author, the process of transforming what was originally a short story into THE OCCASIONAL VIRGIN, and the ways in which this book will resonate with American readers. Read on.

When and why did you first begin working with Hanan on THE OCCASIONAL VIRGIN? About five years ago, Hanan and her agent, Binky Urban, sent me the translation of a long story that Hanan had written in Arabic about a decade earlier, entitled “Two Women by the Sea.” It was about two friends -- Lebanese women in their late 30s, both of whom were now living in the West -- who meet for a short vacation on the Italian Riviera. The setting, on a sun-drenched cove by the Mediterranean where “nature has mixed sea and shore together,” was incredibly seductive. It felt unusually intense, and so vividly drawn. It reminded me a little of the moment in Elena Ferrante’s My Brilliant Friend, when Lila and Elena visit the sea for the first time. And I was intrigued by what Hanan was trying to do by telling the intertwined stories of these two women: Huda, who had grown up in a very religious Muslim family in Beirut; and Yvonne, who had grown up in a very strict Christian family in the north of Lebanon. The sea represented something different to both of them, but something fundamental all the same. I encouraged Hanan to keep working on the story. But later she came back to me, explaining that she’d realized she had much more to say, and what would I think if she turned it into a short novel? This was, of course, excellent news. In 2015, she published an Arabic version of this book in Lebanon, entitled The Virgins of Londonistan. Then, along with her British editors, Alexandra Pringle and Faiza Khan of Bloomsbury, I took that novel and helped her work it into something a little different for our English-language publication. How would you describe the editor/author/translator process and your editorial lens involved in bringing this book to its final form? [caption id="attachment_116378" align="alignright" width="225"] Hanan al-Shaykh (left) with Lexy Bloom and Lexy’s daughter Clio, at the author’s home in the South of France.[/caption] As I explain above, the editorial process for this book was a little unusual – so it won’t be surprising that the translation process followed accordingly. I edit a lot of translations and typically, the bulk of my editorial work is with the translator. In this case, although Arabic is Hanan’s first language and the one in which she chooses to write, she is also fluent in English, so there is no need for the translator to act as a go-between. Once Hanan completes a draft, she works directly with her translator, Catherine Cobham, on the English-language version. When Hanan is happy with it, she sends it to me, along with her British editors, and we work on rounds of edits together, in English. In the case of THE OCCASIONAL VIRGIN, we undertook several rounds of edits, and for the first round or so, Hanan went back to Catherine for translation help. But at a certain point, we began to work on our edits directly. Ultimately we came to see the book as a diptych – two works that connected into one larger story, with a conversation ongoing between each half. The first, with Huda and Yvonne by the sea in Italy, is the set-up – the way we begin to understand how their childhood experiences affected who they are today. The second, which takes place in London, is the response. A chance encounter at Speaker’s Corner makes each of them do very shocking things, and the second half deals with this encounter, and the events that unfold. The primary characters, with their unorthodox personal choices and entanglements, straddle different cultures and conflicting worlds. What aspects of this novel do you feel will resonate most strongly with readers and why? At its heart, this is a story about two friends. I always come back to the short story that was the germ for the novel – a story about two women by the sea. These women, Huda and Yvonne, chose to leave behind their families and make new lives for themselves elsewhere, in other parts of the world, in other languages. We meet them when they are in their late 30s, at the top of their careers – Huda is a theater director in Toronto and Yvonne is an advertising executive in London. But they have both been unlucky in love. Huda can’t commit to being in a relationship, and it is her natural instinct to play tricks on the men she’s involved with, which, as you might imagine, gets her in all sorts of trouble. Yvonne, on the other hand, is desperate to have a baby, and this desire is so strong that it has become blinding. As a result, she’s making terrible choices when it comes to men, and nothing is working out. The scenario I’ve just described is pretty universal: two women sorting out the balance between work and love, particularly as they reach their late 30s and the pressure of their biological clocks makes their choices carry much more weight. I think this will resonate with anyone who reads it. Where THE OCCASIONAL VIRGIN is distinct, however, is in the characters’ back stories – the strict childhoods that Huda and Yvonne had in Lebanon, the families and cultures they’ve chosen to leave behind, and how that break will never be clean. Just as the book’s structure has two distinct parts, it is the dichotomy that makes this story unique – but also what I think will make it resonate with American readers most of all.

Featured Author Event: Cristina Alger (NYC)

G.P. Putnam’s Sons author Cristina Alger will be presenting her thrilling new novel, THE BANKER’S WIFE, at the 86th Street and Lexington Avenue Barnes & Noble in Manhattan on Tuesday, July 10. The event will feature Christina in conversation with Lee Childs, author of twenty-two New York Times bestselling JACK REACHER thrillers.

THE BANKER’S WIFE plunges resders into the gripping world of financial intrigue. The mysterious disappearance of Matthew Werner, a banking insider at Swiss United, a powerful offshore bank, leaves Annabel widowed. She is determined to demystify the secrets he left in his wake, including a suspicious list of clients and an encrypted laptop. Annabel soon discovers that Matthew’s death was no accident, and her search for answers has entangled her in the crosshairs of his powerful enemies. Meanwhile, Marina Tourneau, an ambitious society journalist, is on the cusp of joining the very same high society she writes about. With her engagement to Grant Ellis, Marina decides to trade in her pen and paper for the upper echelons of New York’s social scene, but not before digging into one last story—the final investigation her mentor was working on before his sudden and untimely death. While looking into Swiss United, Marina uncovers information that implicates some of the most powerful figures in the financial world, including a few who are too close to home. This story can also be the answer to Annabel’s desperate search for answers, but only if Marina chooses to publish it. Cristina Alger is also the author of THE DARLINGS and THIS WAS NOT THE PLAN. She graduated from Harvard College and NYU Law School. Before becoming a writer, she worked as a financial analyst and a corporate attorney. Cristina lives in New York with her husband and children.

Penguin Random House Ireland Partners with Fighting Words Charity to Release Student Anthology

Penguin Random House Ireland partnered with the Fighting Words charity, an organization in Dublin dedicated to helping youth and young adults discover and cultivate their passions for creative writing. The charity recently launched its latest anthology, BEYOND BOUNDARIES, an inspired collection of short stories written by fourth year students at the Manor House School and edited by the PRH Ireland editorial team. The anthology features a written introduction by Penguin Ireland author, Sinéad Moriarty, in which she writes: In a year where women have stood up, spoken out and no longer been afraid to call out bad behaviour, it’s lovely to see a short story compilation from a group of young, fresh-faced and talented girls. The stories cover a wide range of subject matters and plots that will make you sit up and pay attention. Some will move you to tears, others will make you laugh and some will make you gasp out loud.

Fighting Words is a charity working throughout Ireland to help children, young people and adults discover and harness the power of their own imagination and creative writing skills. Fighting Words volunteers provide free tutoring and mentoring in creative writing and related arts. Each year, an anthology of students’ work is published, with the students at the center of the project drafting and editing the stories, choosing the title of the book and working with a designer on the cover. PRH Ireland editors devote their time to editing the stories in the anthology and support the efforts by talking to the students about the process of publishing a book. Penguin Ireland author, Sinéad Moriarty wrote the introduction for this year’s anthology and also helped launch the book with the students. Vintage author, Roddy Doyle, is a member of the board and actively supports and promotes the work of Fighting Words.