The winners of the 2017 Kirkus Prize have been announced: Lesley Nneka Arimah‘s What It Means When a Man Falls From the Sky for fiction; Jack E. Davis‘s The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea for non-fiction; and Cherie Dimaline‘s The Marrow Thieves for young reader’s literature. See also: Arimah’s short story collection was on our 2017 Great Book Preview.
If you're struggling with your writing, turn to biographies of famous authors. This is Tom Perrotta's cure for writer's block. "It’s inspiring to read about a flawed human being who struggled with his or her demons and afflictions, experienced paralyzing episodes of failure or self-doubt, but somehow managed to do the work anyway, and produce something that enriched the world. That’s my version of self-help," he said in a New York Times "By the Book" interview.
Though major publications like The New York Times are still questioning the importance and power of female essayists, Lucy Scholes argues that women are producing "some of the best writing today" and as proof lists several of the best recent essay collections by women in a piece for The Daily Beast. Incidentally, that list includes titles such as The Empathy Exams and The Opposite of Loneliness, both of which were reviewed for The Millions (here and here, respectively).
Recommended Reading: Oliver Burkeman on a new group of optimistic thinkers.