'A Sky Beyond the Storm' by Sabaa Tahir Leads Holds | Book Pulse

A Sky Beyond the Storm by Sabaa Tahir leads library holds lists this week. The top LibraryReads pick of the month, How to Fail at Flirting by Denise Williams, comes out this week. Rhythm of War by Brandon Sanderson and A Promised Land by Barack Obama top the bestseller lists. Catch up on analysis of the sale of Simon & Schuster to Penguin Random House. Plus, interest in chess books and chess sets has spiked following the recent premier of The Queen's Gambit.

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Big Books of the Week

A Sky Beyond the Storm by Sabaa Tahir (Razorbill: Penguin) leads holds this week.

Other titles in high demand include:

Cat Kid Comic Club: From the Creator of Dog Man by Dav Pilkey (Graphix: Scholastic)

This Time Next Year by Sophie Cousens (G.P. Putnam's Sons: Penguin)

Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America by Ijeoma Oluo (Seal: Hachette: LJ starred review)

Perestroika in Paris by Jane Smiley (Knopf: Random House)

These books and others publishing the week of Nov. 30, 2020, are listed in a downloadable spreadsheet.

Librarians and Booksellers Suggest

There are 6 LibraryReads selections arriving this week:

How to Fail at Flirting by Denise Williams (Berkley: Penguin), which is the top pick of the month:

"Naya, a straight-laced professor, meets charismatic Jake at a bar. He might check off one item on Naya's boundary-pushing to-do list—if only he wasn't in charge of defunding her department at the university. How can they balance a relationship and a professional career? For fans of The Kiss Quotient, The Wedding Date, and The Hating Game." —Kari Bingham-Gutierrez, Olathe Public Library, Olathe, KS

It is also an Indie Next choice:

"A sweet romance about a professor who decides to take a chance when she finds herself out at a bar by herself seated next to an attractive man in town on business. Naya never would have imagined that their one-night stand would turn into a week-long fling with the potential for even more. And because of her toxic past relationships, she is hesitant to trust Jake. I loved reading about a professor as a romance leading lady!" —Kate Storhoff, Bookmarks, Winston-Salem, NC

The Arctic Fury by Greer Macallister (Sourcebooks Landmark)

"Virginia Reeve is a take-no-prisoners adventurer and trail guide when she's asked by a mysterious benefactor to lead a group of 12 women to find the lost captain of the shipwrecked vessel 'The Franklin.' Not for the squeamish or easily offended, this thrilling read is recommended for those who enjoyed Into the Wild and In the Kingdom of Ice." —Joy Matteson, Downers Grove Public Library, Downers Grove, IL

It is also an Indie Next choice:

"Greer Macallister has a proven track record for writing excellent historical fiction. She is at the top of her game in The Arctic Fury, in which a dozen women are recruited to journey to the frozen tundra in hopes of finding a lost expedition. Facing a brutal climate, clashing wills, misogyny, and death, these women rise to accept a challenge that no male explorer has been able to accomplish. Macallister has created strong, memorable characters facing unfathomable conditions and choices. Alternating between the arctic journey and a riveting courtroom drama, The Arctic Fury is a non-stop thrill." —Pamela Klinger-Horn, Excelsior Bay Books, Excelsior, MN

How to Catch a Queen: Runaway Royals by Alyssa Cole (Avon: HarperCollins; LJ starred review)

"Shanti and Sanyu are in an arranged marriage, thrown together as his father the King lays dying. As they begin to work together to better the kingdom, they grow closer. Cole weaves humor into the storyline in a way that does not undercut the themes of political action, equity, and adaptation. And as always, Cole's female characters are driven, smart, sexy, and savvy. For fans of Talia Hibbert and Alexa Martin." —Sarah Skrobis, Staunton Public Library, Staunton, VA

It is also an Indie Next choice:

"In a time when Black kings and queens are a much-needed balm to a seeming overflow of anti-Black sentiment, I fell in love with Shanti and Sanyu. Bogged down by tradition, ritual, and grief, Sanyu is trapped in a well of unrealistic expectations. Shanti, a queen searching for her kingdom, is the self-assured heroine we all look for and want to be. This story of their partnership turned love affair is filled with forbidden heat and flames, as well as the promise of a better tomorrow. Complex characters for complex times. I loved it." —Keiana Mayfield, East City Bookshop, Washington, DC

Perestroika in Paris by Jane Smiley (Knopf: Random House)

"Smiley writes the perfect book to help you escape: Like Charlotte’s Web for grown-ups (but no spiders die!). Lovable, charming animals—an adventurous racehorse, a lonely dog, a know-it-all raven, a pair of ducks—interact with one another and with the compassionate humans they encounter in the City of Lights." —Nancy Wiseman, Carmel Clay Public Library, Carmel, IN

Ten Things I Hate About the Duke: A Difficult Dukes Novel by Loretta Chase (Avon: HarperCollins)

"In the second book of the Difficult Dukes series, Cassandra Pomfret has a reputation for having strong opinions and not keeping them to herself. Lucius, the Duke of Ashmont, is a devastatingly handsome trouble maker. Let the battle of wills begin. For readers who enjoyed The Rules of Scoundrels series or the Bow Street Bachelors series." —Jessica McGee, Red Wing Public Library, Red Wing, MN

This Time Next Year by Sophie Cousens (G.P. Putnam's Sons: Penguin) 

"Minnie Cooper and Quinn Hamilton were born in the same hospital on January 1, 1990. After a series of missed connections, they are about to meet again on New Year’s Day 2020. This Time Next Year hits the perfect note for readers who enjoyed Bridget Jones' Diary and the original Shopaholic." —Janet Schneider, Peninsula Public Library, Lawrence, NY

There are 4 additional titles on the Indie Next list coming out this week:

Big Girl, Small Town by Michelle Gallen (Algonquin: Workman; LJ starred review)

"You might fall in love with this rough, bawdy, funny, and heart-wrenching novel because of the skill with which Michelle Gallen gives you the cadences and nuances of English as spoken in small-town Northern Ireland. You might fall in love because Gallen is showing you a working-class setting seldom depicted on either side of the pond, an atmosphere of sweat, grease, and labor, of Friday night pubs and Saturday hangovers, of people bursting with shattered dreams and electric intelligence. But you’ll most fall in love with Majella O’Neill, the narrator. She is unapologetically and completely herself, and unlike anyone I’ve met in fiction before. Through O’Neill, Gallen offers an outlook and experience that I’d happily share with other readers." —Robert McDonald, The Book Stall, Winnetka, IL

The Chicken Sisters by KJ Dell'Antonia (G.P. Putnam's Sons: Penguin)

"I am charmed by The Chicken Sisters! Family fights, fried chicken, a dog and her puppies, mental illness, a shaky marriage, a potential romance, and a reality show taping all combine for a great small-town story. Generations of feuding sisters with competing chicken shack restaurants hash it out for the cameras, their loved ones, and themselves. The Chicken Sisters is a delightful read." —Susan Williams, M. Judson Booksellers & Storytellers, Greenville, SC

Dancing in the Mosque: An Afghan Mother's Letter to Her Son by Homeira Qaderi (Harper)

"This was a very touching, unique read. It’s incredible that this story is true, and reading it reminded me of how vastly different my life is from those of women raised in Afghanistan. I feel so privileged to have been given such a great education and to have been allowed and encouraged to educate myself. I am very appreciative of Homeira Qaderi for having the courage and motivation to persist in publishing her work so that we may be graced with it. Very inspiring." —Allie Blake, BookPeople, Austin, TX

Shed No Tears by Caz Frear (Harper)

"Caz Frear’s third installment of Cat Kinsella mysteries doesn’t disappoint! Kinsella is whip smart, takes no nonsense, and is a wry-one-liner machine. In their newest case, Kinsella and her partner, Luigi Parnell, find a connection to a serial killer. Christopher Masters was arrested for the kidnapping and murder of four women six years ago. His final victim wasn’t found until now, so Kinsella may finally have the evidence to close the case once and for all. But as they dive back into a cold case, they find some troubling issues. As they dig deeper, they head into a rabbit hole they may never be able to get out of. Wonderfully twisty and satisfyingly puzzling, the newest mystery by Frear is a must for all thriller fans." —Scott Lange, The Bookman, Grand Haven, MI

New Title Bestsellers

Links for the week: NYT Hardcover Fiction Best Sellers | NYT Paperback Trade Fiction | NYT Hardcover Nonfiction Best Sellers | NYT Paperback Nonfiction | USA Today Best-Selling Books

Fiction

Rhythm of War by Brandon Sanderson (Tor: Macmillan) marches in at No. 1 on the NYT Hardcover Fiction Best Sellers list and No. 2 on the USA Today Best-Selling Books list.

Home Body by Rupi Kaur (Andrews McMeel) launches at No. 1 on the NYT Paperback Fiction Best Sellers list and No. 7 on the USA Today Best-Selling Books list.

Daylight by David Baldacci (Grand Central: Hachette) breaks in at No. 2 on the NYT Hardcover Fiction Best Sellers list and No. 3 on the USA Today Best-Selling Books list.

All That Glitters by Danielle Steel (Delacorte: Random House) shines at No. 6 on the NYT Hardcover Fiction Best Sellers list and No. 13 on the USA Today Best-Selling Books list.

Keeper of the Lost Cities: Unlocked Book 8.5 by Shannon Messenger (Aladdin: S. & S.) opens at No. 8 on the USA Today Best-Selling Books list.

Tom Clancy Shadow of the Dragon by Marc Cameron (G.P. Putnam's Sons: Penguin) debuts at No. 9 on the NYT Hardcover Fiction Best Sellers list.

Piece of My Heart by Mary Higgins Clark (S. & S.) starts at No. 10 on the NYT Hardcover Fiction Best Sellers list.

A Wealth of Pigeons: A Cartoon Collection by Steve Martin and Harry Bliss (Bloomsbury: Macmillan) flies in at No. 14 on the USA Today Best-Selling Books list.

Nonfiction

A Promised Land by Barack Obama (Crown: Random House) takes No. 1 on both the NYT Hardcover Nonfiction Best Sellers list and the USA Today Best-Selling Books list.

Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics by Dolly Parton (Chronicle) takes the stage at No. 2 on the NYT Hardcover Nonfiction Best Sellers list and No. 10 on the USA Today Best-Selling Books list.

No One Asked for This by Cazzie David (Mariner: HMH) starts at No. 2 on the NYT Paperback Nonfiction Best Sellers list.

No Time Like the Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality by Michael J. Fox (Flatiron: Macmillan) is No. 4 on the NYT Hardcover Nonfiction Best Sellers list.

Frontier Follies: Adventures in Marriage and Motherhood in the Middle of Nowhere by Ree Drummond (William Morrow: HarperCollins) comes in at No. 5 on the NYT Hardcover Nonfiction Best Sellers list.

Tasha's Cauldron of Everything (Dungeons & Dragons) by Wizards RPG Team (Wizards of the Coast: Random House) casts a spell at No. 5 on the USA Today Best-Selling Books list.

Forgiving What You Can't Forget: Discover How to Move On, Make Peace with Painful Memories, and Create a Life That’s Beautiful Again by Lysa TerKeurst (Thomas Nelson: HarperCollins Christian) is at No. 9 on the USA Today Best-Selling Books list.

HRH: So Many Thoughts on Royal Style by Elizabeth Holmes (Celadon: Macmillan; LJ starred review) is crowned No. 10 on the NYT Hardcover Nonfiction Best Sellers list.

Antiracist Bestsellers

Links for the week: NYT Hardcover Nonfiction Best Sellers | NYT Paperback Nonfiction Best Sellers list

White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People To Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo (Beacon): No. 5 on the NYT Paperback Nonfiction Best Sellers list.

Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson (Random House; LJ starred review): No. 7 on the NYT Hardcover Nonfiction Best Sellers list.

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson (Random House): No. 8 on the NYT Paperback Nonfiction Best Sellers list.

Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man by Emmanuel Acho (Flatiron, An Oprah Book: Macmillan): No. 11 on the NYT Hardcover Nonfiction Best Sellers list.

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah (One World: Random House): No. 11 on the NYT Paperback Nonfiction Best Sellers list.

So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo (Seal: Hachette; LJ starred review): No. 12 on the NYT Paperback Nonfiction Best Sellers list.

The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein (Liveright: W. W. Norton; LJ starred review): No. 14 on the NYT Paperback Nonfiction Best Sellers list.

In the Media

People’s "Book of the Week" is Dancing in the Mosque: An Afghan Mother's Letter to Her Son by Homeira Qaderi (Harper). Other books highlighted include Here Is The Beehive by Sarah Crossan (Little, Brown: Hachette), Frontier Follies: Adventures in Marriage and Motherhood in the Middle of Nowhere by Ree Drummond (William Morrow: HarperCollins), Shuggie Bain, the debut book by Douglas Stuart (Grove; LJ starred review), Inside Out: A Memoir by Demi Moore (Harper), and A Song for You: My Life with Whitney Houston by Robyn Crawford (Dutton: Penguin). People “Picks” include Dash & Lily and Black Beauty. Barack Obama, A Promised Land (Crown: Random House), is the cover story, and there is a profile of Ruby Bridges, This Is Your Time (Delacorte Books for Young Readers: Random House). Marcus Samuelsson, The Rise: Black Cooks and the Soul of American Food (Voracious: Hachette; LJ starred review), offers gift ideas for foodies. Plus, cookie recipes from Christina Tosi, Milk Bar: Kids Only (Clarkson Potter: Crown) and Bobbie Lloyd, The Magnolia Bakery Handbook: A Complete Guide for the Home Baker (Harper Design).

Reviews

USA Today reviews Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline (Ballantine: Random House), which earns two stars: "It feels more like geekery gatekeeping than a showing off of knowledge, and attempts to display diversity in the race and gender identity of the characters rings hollow, almost offensive."

NPR reviews reviews Ghostways: Two Journeys in Unquiet Places by Robert Macfarlane (W. W. Norton): "Unlike some of Macfarlane's other works (many of which deal with nature as a factor of both people and time), this is not a history; you might well be spurred to further research, but Ghostways is designed to evoke more than inform, and often echoes what you bring to it." Also, brief reviews of three recent translated novels: Ramifications by Daniel Saldaña París and translated by Christina MacSweeney (Coffee House), The Discomfort of Evening by Marieke Lucas Rijneveld and translated by Michele Hutchison (Graywolf: Macmillan), and At Night All Blood Is Black, by David Diop and translated by Anna Moschovakis (FSG: Macmillan). 

The L.A. Times reviews The River Within by Karen Powell (Europa: Ingram): "'The River Within' contains multitudes; it's a fresh look at the pressures our caste systems place upon all of us, no matter where we come from."

The Washington Post reviews Finding Latinx: In Search of the Voices Redefining Latino Identity by Paola Ramos (Vintage: Random House): "There’s no doubt that 'Finding Latinx' artfully accomplishes its goal of defining Latinidad as a chance to create political and cultural coalitions in a way that recognizes common struggles, and the growing importance of the way those struggles thrive in that intersection." Also, Fevers, Feuds, and Diamonds: Ebola and the Ravages of History by Paul Farmer (FSG: Macmillan): "...a 500-page cry of anger at the centuries of shocking abuse and the hypocrisy of emerging democracies in the United States, Britain and France that valued liberté, egalité and fraternité, except when it came to enslaved Blacks." Morality: Restoring the Common Good in Divided Times by Jonathan Sacks (Basic: Hachette): "...a comprehensive, erudite survey of moral philosophy and a plea for a renewed commitment to a communal moral code." Eddie's Boy by Thomas Perry (Mysterious: Grove/Atlantic): "This dark but illuminating return to his fictional roots is Perry at his representative best." Catching the Wind: Edward Kennedy and the Liberal Hour, 1932-1975 by Neal Gabler (Crown: Random House): "...exhaustive, illuminating and sympathetic." Also, a brief look at two moody autumnal books: Ghostland: In Search of a Haunted Country by Edward Parnell (William Collins: Harper Collins) and Stories I Forgot to Tell You by Dorothy Gallagher (New York Review Books).

The NYT reviews Black Futures by Kimberly Drew and Jenna Wortham (One World: Random House; LJ starred review): "It feels like a blessing to be let in on these moments of joyous intimacy." Also, The National Road: Dispatches From a Changing America by Tom Zoellner (Counterpoint): "Zoellner is a superb reporter and a deep thinker, with a command of the centuries-long back story." The Glorious American Essay: One Hundred Essays from Colonial Times to the Present (Pantheon: Random House; LJ starred review): "...100 exemplary essays from colonial times onward." That Was Now, This Is Then by Vijay Seshadri (Graywolf: Macmillan): "The essence of Seshadri’s writing is conversation, and that conversation is coiling and liquid, not diffident." Also, a brief look at two recent wartime books: Sicily '43: The First Assault on Fortress Europe by James Holland (Atlantic Monthly: Grove; LJ starred review) and Occupied America: British Military Rule and the Experience of Revolution by Donald F. Johnson (Univ. Penn.).

Briefly Noted

Analysis of the sale of Simon & Schuster to Penguin Random House: Library Journal | NYT | The Washington Post | NPR | The Associated Press | L.A. Times | Author's Guild | Publishers Weekly

The Guardian chooses the best books of 2020.

Smithsonian Magazine has "The Ten Best Science Books of 2020."

AudioFile picks the best audiobooks of the year.

BookPage shares more best-of lists by genre: Romance, Mystery/Suspence, Memoirs, Picture Books, Middle Grade. Also, some new YA anthologies to check out.

The NYT picks the best art books of the year. Plus, recommendations for 11 books releasing this week, "7 New Books to Watch For in December," as well as six books on wine and drinking.

USA Today picks five new books out this week.

CrimeReads lists 10 of this week's new releases.

Electric Lit has "11 New Books by Native American Writers."

Amazon asks authors Jon Meacham and Bob Woodward to share their favorite books of the year.

Barbara Hoffert has new Prepub Alert columns in LJ.

BuzzFeed rounds up some of this week's virtual book events.

Page Six reports Melania Trump is shopping a memoir.

Singer/songwriter Lorde is publishing a book about her trip to Antarctica, called Going South. Vulture reports. 

In other buzzy forthcoming book news, Publishers Weekly points to an S. & S. cookbook by Phil Rosenthal, creator of Everybody Loves Raymond and the Netflix series Somebody Feed Phil, and The Bidens: Inside the First Family’s Fifty Years of Tragedy, Scandal, and Triumph by Ben Schreckinger (Twelve Books: Hachette).

The L.A. Times talks about colleges and parenting with Julie Buxbaum, Admission (Delacorte: Random House). Also, an interview with André Gregory, This Is Not My Memoir (FSG: Macmillan).

Kevin Young, editor of African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle & Song (Library of America: Penguin), speaks with PBS NewsHour about how the anthology came together.

Kirkus has a Q&A with photographer David Katz, Barack Before Obama: Life Before the Presidency (Ecco: HarperCollins). 

Nigella Lawson, Cook, Eat, Repeat: Ingredients, Recipes, and Stories (Ecco: HarperCollins), is featured in The Guardian's "Books That Made Me" column.

Shondaland interviews Becky Cooper, We Keep the Dead Close: A Murder at Harvard and a Half Century of Silence (Grand Central: Hachette).

The NYT's "By the Book" column has Claudia Rankine, Just Us: An American Conversation (Graywolf Press: Macmillan; LJ starred review), and the "Inside the List" column features This Is Your Time by Ruby Bridges (Delacorte Books for Young Readers: Random House). Also, interviews with Leonard Lauder, The Company I Keep: My Life in Beauty (Harper Business), and Yu Miri, Tokyo Ueno Station (Riverhead: Penguin).

Parade has a Q&A with Kathie Lee Gifford, It’s Never Too Late: Make the Next Act of Your Life the Best Act of Your Life (Thomas Nelson: Harper Collins Christian).

The Rumpus chats with Athena Dixon about her unconventional memoir, The Incredible Shrinking Woman (Split/Lip Press).

The pens, mug-warmer, and other things Brit Bennett can't live without are at The Strategist.

Romance authors organized an auction and donated funds to Georgia voter organizations, and Stacey Abrams has added a signed copy of Rules of Engagement to the effort. Entertainment Weekly reports.

Interest in chess books and chess sets has spiked following the recent premier of The Queen's Gambit on Netflix. The NPD Group outlines the stats.

The Guardian ponders: Is it worse to steal books from a library or a bookstore? Also, a list ot the most influential words of the year.

Merriam-Webster picks "pandemic" as the word of the year. 

The New Yorker on the hunt for the author of the first-ever sci-fi novel.

Book Riot asks: "Why Are Chicago Public Libraries Still Open Amid Soaring Covid Rates?"

Virtual meetings, more electronic resources, an increased focus on social justice books, and other ways book clubs have adapted during the pandemic are outlined in the results of a recent BookBrowse survey.

Authors on Air

Charlie Mackesy tells CBS Sunday Morning he's surprised The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse (HarperOne) has done so well. Also, Michael J. Fox, No Time Like the Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality (Flatiron: Macmillan), talks about his dog Gus

The first trailer for the new Clifford the Big Red Dog adaptation is out, and it's getting some critiques. Deadline reports.

David Chang, Eat a Peach (Clarkson Potter: Random House), discusses food and depression on NPR's Fresh Air.

Emily Temple talks about The Lightness (William Morrow: Harper Collins) on The Maris Review podcast.

The Keen On podcast has Kermit Pattison, Fossil Men (William Morrow: Harper Collins).

The CBC's The Next Chapter talks with Mena Massoud about Evolving Vegan: Deliciously Diverse Recipes from North America's Best Plant-Based Eateries—for Anyone Who Loves Food (Tiller: S. & S.). 

Darien Gee, Allegiance (Legacy Isle Publishing), appears on the Otherppl podcast.

The second part of Stephen Colbert's interview with Barack Obama, A Promised Land (Crown: Random House), airs on tonight's Late Show.

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