At Electric Literature, Jennifer Baker recommends twelve mystery novels starring diverse sleuths. Her list includes Blanche Passes Go, the final book in Barbara Neely’s groundbreaking series, as well as Nancy Jooyoun Kim’s The Last Story of Mina Lee and David Heska Wanbli Weiden’s Winter Counts, which were featured in our Most Anticipated: The Great Second-Half 2020 Book Preview. “When BIPOC characters are the stars of mystery and crime novels, there’s no doubt we’ll be privy to the complexity of how race affects their quest for a solution,” Baker writes. “The layers of this make for stories of power, inequity, and frustrations ready to boil over.”
Heidi Julavits credits her habit of keeping a diary with convincing her that writing might be a viable career path. In her new book, The Folded Clock, she returns to the format of her childhood, crafting a lengthy diary meant to stand on its own as a narrative. In the Times, Eula Biss reads the book and reflects on our notions of the self. Related: Rachel Signer on the Julavits/Sheila Heti/Leanne Shapton project Women in Clothes.
Stephen Colbert is keeping his promise to Maurice Sendak. The comedian will publish his children’s book I Am a Pole (And So Can You!) this spring. “I hope the minutes you and your loved ones spend reading it are as fulfilling as the minutes I spent writing it,” Colbert told The Hollywood Reporter. (See also: Colbert’s equally literary meeting with Ann Patchett)
Casting for Josh Boone’s movie adaptation of John Green’s The Fault In Our Stars is coming together nicely. This past week, it was announced that Laura Dern has joined the cast as the mother of Hazel Grace Lancaster (Shailene Woodley). Production is set to begin next month. A few months back, our own Janet Potter wrote that, “besides a small infinity of other things, [this book] will make you cry.”