by Joycelyn McClurg)
Fiction award: Novelist E.L. Doctorow is the winner of the 2014 Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction. "E. L. Doctorow is our very own Charles Dickens, summoning a distinctly American place and time, channeling our myriad voices," Librarian James H. Billington said in making the announcement on Wednesday. Doctorow's many books include Ragtime, Billy Bathgate, The March and, most recently, Andrew's Brain (read USA TODAY's 3 ½ -star review). He'll receive award during the National Book Festival in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 30.
'Real' to reel: USA TODAY's Claudia Puig reviews the movie version of Heaven Is for Real (2 ½ stars), starring Greg Kinnear as author/father Todd Burpo. The film, she says, is "infused with humor." The book, which has been a huge USA TODAY best seller, is about a little boy who says he went to heaven during a near-death experience. It's again climbing our list, and will be at No. 5 on Thursday.
'Bird' buzz: In other movie news, Liev Schreiber (Ray Donovan) and Jaden Smith (The Karate Kid) will star in The Good Lord Bird, an adaptation of James McBride's novel, Deadline.com reports. Smith will play a young slave who hooks up with radical abolitionist John Brown (Schreiber) in 1856 Kansas. The Good Lord Bird won the 2013 National Book Award winner. USA TODAY named it one of "10 Books We Loved Reading in 2013."
New 'Wave': And wait, there's more cinematic buzz…. Chloe Grace Moretz will star as teenage heroine Cassie Sullivan in the Sony Pictures adaptation of The Fifth Wave. USA TODAY's Brian Truitt recently caught up with author Rick Yancey, and we had a first look at the cover of the next book in the dystopian trilogy, The Infinite Sea.
More Pottermore: J.K. Rowling has fresh postings this week on Pottermore, the digital platform for Harry Potter, with a series of "live" reports from the 2014 Quidditch World Cup. One involves Ginny Weasley, now Ginny Potter. She's married to Harry and "enjoying a post-player career as a sports journalist," according to a press release from the site.
Pop candy: Calling fellow Smiths fans! USA TODAY's Whitney Houston chats with Lori Majewski about her new book Mad World: An Oral History of New Wave Artists and Songs That Defined the 1980s. The author says she's been "an obsessive fan of Duran Duran going back to the beginning of MTV."
Pulitzer chat: Donna Tartt may be lots of attention for winning the Pulitzer for fiction for the best-selling The Goldfinch, but let's not forget the non-fiction winner, Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation. At the time of publication last year, USA TODAY's Dan Vergano spoke with author Dan Fagin about his book, which examines the "inexact science that looks for links between cancer and pollution."