Best Books of the Year, Black Male Writers of Our Time, and More


Every day Poets & Writers Magazine scans the headlines—from publishing reports to academic announcements to literary dispatches—for all the news that creative writers need to know. Here are today’s stories.

Michelle Obama’s Becoming is officially the best-selling hardcover book of 2018. According to a statement released today by Penguin Random House, the former first lady’s new memoir has sold more than 2 million copies in its first 15 days of publication and is already in its sixth printing. (Washington Post)

At T Magazine, Ayana Mathis highlights thirty-two Black American male writers of our time, including Major Jackson, Kevin Young, Gregory Pardlo, and Jamel Brinkley, who are producing literature “that is essential to how we understand our country and its place in the world right now.”

It’s end-of-the-year book list season, and the New York Times has announced its ten Best Books of 2018, including The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai and There There by Tommy Orange.

Read excerpts of Orange’s There There and Jamel Brinkley’s A Lucky Man, and hear both authors read from their debut books, which were featured in Poets & Writers’ First Fiction 2018.

If you’re planning to give books as gifts this holiday season, Maris Kreizman recommends the best books to buy for every type of friend—from the one who’s mastered the binge-watch to the one who’s seriously done with men. (Cut)

Meanwhile, in the tradition of U.S. presidents sharing their own year-end reading lists, Donald Trump has made his book recommendations via Twitter. In what is perhaps no surprise, they’re all about him. (Vulture)

“Not enjoying that book you’re reading? Quit. It’s okay. You’re allowed to do it.” At the Guardian, James Colley writes about the joy of not finishing a book.

From Instapoets to Instainfluencers, Forbes sheds some light on how to get a book deal from your Instagram account.

Read about some successful Insta–book deals in “Instapoets Prove Powerful in Print” by Maggie Millner. (Poets & Writers)