Mid-fall roundup: Reviews, media attention, and author events

The Secret Lives of Church Ladies has been named one of five finalists for the National Book Award in fiction, as reported in the New York Times, the Washington Post, National Public Radio, and elsewhere. The inclusion of a title from a smaller publisher is notable, with Vox reporting “we get the unusual sight of a small university press book in the fiction finals.”

Deesha Philyaw’s book is also covered in Vanity Fair (where it’s recommended by Roxane Gay) and public radio stations WESA in Pittsburgh and WYPR in Baltimore. It makes the Buzzfeed list “38 Great Books to Read This Fall,” and is called “an unforgettable look inside the hearts of Black women” in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Congratulations to author Deesha Philyaw!

Anthony Harkins and Meredith McCarroll’s Appalachian Reckoning is winner of the Walter and Lillian Lowenfels Criticism Award from the American Book Awards, as reported in LitHub and elsewhere. The release of the Hillbilly Elegy movie trailer sparks attention for our book in Columbus Alive and the Hill.

And rounding out awards news, the Wisconsin Library Association names Krista Eastman’s book The Painted Forest winner of their Outstanding Achievement Award.

Kevin Gannon, author of Radical Hope, appears at CNN.com, and his book is the subject of a roundtable in Contingent Magazine, where it is called “a full-throated defense of the humanities, a liberal education, and the power of education as a transformational force.”

Thomas Tobin and Jenae Cohn, authors in our series Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, are quoted in a Washington Post piece on remote learning.

In Faculty Focus, Sarah Rose Cavanagh and Joshua Eyler, also higher education series authors, discuss emotions in online teaching. They appear as well on the Tea for Teaching podcast.

Charles Keeney’s “fascinating” The Road to Blair Mountain is called “suspenseful to the very end” in the Daily Yonder.

Library Journal judges Bluegrass Ambassadors “an excellent effort brimming with infectious joy.”

Our edition of Muriel Rukeyser’s The Book of the Dead is discussed on Interchange from WHFB community radio.

Europe Now selects William Hal Gorby’s Wheeling’s Polonia as an Editor’s Pick for October.

Gwen Goodkin’s A Place Remote is featured in the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Louisville’s free weekly LEO says the “fresh approach” of Hillbilly Hustle “will stay with you.”

In Anthropology Book Forum, Imre Szeman’s On Petrocultures is deemed “a valuable contribution to the establishment of a ‘critical theory of energy’ and a call for a more interdisciplinary approach to the study, deconstruction, and the critique of energy systems.”

I’m Afraid of That Water is reviewed in American Anthropologist: “Few works on collaborative ethnography provide readers with this sort of a window into how collaboration happens.”

H-Net praises Capitalist Pigs: “What stands out most . . . is its ability to convey how entwined humans and pigs have been within the United States and in expanding its boundaries.”

Beyond Populism is called “informative and insightful” in the Shepherdstown Observer.

Our updated calendar includes new author events hosted by bookstores in Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle, and more—and since they’re all virtual, you can attend from anywhere. Hope to see you there!

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