This Week In Books

2016 MacArthur Genius Award Winners: This Week in Books

Four Writers Among 2016 MacArthur Winners

The MacArthur Foundation awarded its prestigious fellowships last week (the so-called ‘genius’ awards), and four writers were among the 23 winners.

Gene Yan Lueng, graphic novelist and cartoonist

Claudia Rankine, poet

Maggie Nelson, non-fiction

Brandon Jacobs-Jenkins, playwright

I’ve read at least something by all four of these writers, and from what I have read, all are extraordinarily deserving. Here’s looking forward to what they do next.


Google Play Books Grows Up

Google has been a sleeping giant in the world of ebooks, just by virtue of controlling the operating system on hundreds of millions of smartphones in use right now. To this point, Google Play Books hasn’t been much more than a search-and-find store, but with the launch of Discover, Google is trying to make its ebook store into a recommendation powerhouse.

Using the enormous amount it knows about your reading habits, Google Play Books Discover will recommend both books and news articles and essays based on your reading habits. Read a book recently about baseball? It might then recommend popular baseball-related stories from the web. If it sees that you read a lot online about movies, it might suggest a new book about Hollywood. You get the idea.

It isn’t leaving the recommendations completely up to algorithms, though. Discover will have robust recommendations chosen by editors as well. Not even Google, the masters of machine learning, think human input is out of date.


Bernie Sanders Gets into YA

Bernie Sanders’s Our Revolution, which is scheduled to come out just after the election, is also being adapted for readers ages 12-18. It’s not exactly clear what will change from the version for adults, but it makes sense that Sanders, who was most popular among younger Democratic voters, would be looking toward the next generation of voters. The YA version of Our Revolution will be released November 17.


Book Riot Book Mail

A quick plug for Book Riot’s own Book Mail boxes. Get books and bookish items hand-picked by Book Riot, exclusive content from authors, and first crack at new items in the Book Riot Store. A new Book Mail box will be available every few months, and the contents will be a secret! Find out more here.



This Week in Books is sponsored by Afterward by Jennifer Mathieu:


When Caroline’s little brother is kidnapped, his subsequent rescue leads to the discovery of Ethan, a teenager who has been living with the kidnapper since he was a young child himself. Caroline can’t help but wonder what Ethan knows about everything that happened to her brother, who is not readjusting well to life at home. And although Ethan is desperate for a friend, he can’t see Caroline without experiencing a resurgence of traumatic memories. But after the media circus surrounding the kidnappings departs their small Texas town, both Caroline and Ethan find that they need a friend–and their best option just might be each other.


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