President Obama’s Summer Reading List, Brave New World Series, 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:

President Barack Obama has released his summer reading list, which includes The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead, H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald, The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, and Seveneves by Neal Stephenson. (

“There are these sudden mobs of men // These sudden clouds of faces and arms, / An immense suppression, freed, / These voices crying without knowing for what.” At the London Review of Books, David Bromwich reflects on lines from Wallace Stevens’s poem “Sad Strains of a Gay Waltz,” which Bromwich says calls to mind today’s political environment—in particular, Donald Trump supporters.

The Syfy television network recently announced that writers Grant Morrison and Brian Taylor will adapt a series based on Aldous Huxley’s dystopian 1932 novel, Brave New World. (GalleyCat)

“The conventions of journalism and nonfiction publishing in general contribute a further complication—there is rarely any transparency about the fact-checking process and certainly no way of knowing if publishers hold their books to consistent standards.” In response to public questioning of the accuracy of Luke Dittrich’s new book, Patient H. M.—an excerpt of which was recently published in the New York Times Magazine—a writer looks into book publishing’s lack of independent fact checking. (Slate)

Should listening to audiobooks instead of reading be considered “cheating?” Not according to cognitive psychologist Daniel Willingham—though, he notes, there are distinct mental processes involved in each method. (New York Times)

The House on Mango Street novelist Sandra Cisneros talks with NPR’s Rachel Martin about the importance of moving into her first apartment as a Mexican American woman.

A pair of elk antlers stolen by the late Hunter S. Thompson from the home of Ernest Hemingway has been returned to Hemingway’s family. The Nobel laureate’s widow, Anita Thompson, said that Thompson got “caught up in the moment” and took the antlers from Hemingway’s home in Ketchum, Idaho, in 1964. (Guardian)