What's Next from THE MARTIAN Author, More "Best of 2020," and New Releases from Patterson, Koontz, and McMillan | Book Pulse

Texas Outlaw by James Patterson, with Andrew Bourelle, leads library holds this week. Nobody Will Tell You This But Me: A True (as Told to Me) Story by Bess Kalb is People’s Book of the Week. Andy Weir has a new novel and film deal, Project Hail Mary. Meg Cabot, Spike Lee, and Bob Dylan release work online. A librarian is helping create protective equipment for hospitals using 3-D printing. There are a bevy of "best of 2020" lists. The Business Book of the Year Awards have been announced.

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Big Books of the Week

Texas Outlaw by James Patterson, with Andrew Bourelle (Little, Brown: Hachette) leads holds this week.

Other titles in demand include:

Devoted by Dean Koontz (Thomas & Mercer: Amazon)

After Sundown by Linda Howard, Linda Jones (William Morrow: Harper)

Wow, No Thank You: Essays by Samantha Irby (Vintage: Random House; LJ starred review)

It's Not All Downhill From Here by Terry McMillan (Ballantine: Random House)

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

Librarians and Bookseller Suggest

There is one title on the Indie Next list this week:

Valentine by Elizabeth Wetmore (Harper)

“Before starting this book, you should block out the next 24 hours on your calendar because you will not be able to do anything else. Valentine is reminiscent of Disappearing Earth in its multi-voice portrayal of the vulnerability, resilience, solidarity, fury, and tenacity of girls and women in the man’s world of oil-booming West Texas in the 1970s. These unforgettable characters are the spiritual sisters of Tami Taylor from Friday Night Lights. I was haunted by them, I rooted for them, I’ve been them, and I won’t forget them.” —Rebekah Shoaf, Boogie Down Books, Bronx, NY

In the Media

Nobody Will Tell You This But Me: A True (as Told to Me) Story by Bess Kalb (Knopf; LJ starred review) is People’s Book of the Week. Also getting notice are Precious You by Helen Monks Takhar (Random House) and The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver (Ballantine: Random House). A new “Staff Picks: Comfort Reads” feature includes Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand (Random House), Winter in Paradise by Elin Hilderbrand (Little, Brown: Hachette), and The Dutch House by Ann Patchett (Harper). People writes about the “Backlash Over Woody Allen’s Controversial Memoir” Apropos of Nothing (Arcade: Skyhorse). Also, an interview with author Wesley King about “How Kobe Changed Kids’ Lives” and the book The Wizenard Series: Season One (New edition) (Granity Studios). There is also a feature on Alicia Keys, More Myself: A Journey (Flatiron: Macmillan). In People’s Picks there are binge-worthy suggestions including Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, The Mandalorian, The Crown, and High Fidelity. Lastly, there are recipes from Open Kitchen: Inspired Food for Casual Gatherings by Susan Spungen (Avery: Penguin) and Entertaining with Mary Berry: Favorite Hors D'oeuvres, Entrées, Desserts, Baked Goods, and More by Mary Berry, Lucy Young (DK: Penguin).

Coronavirus Reading and RA/Collection Development Resources

Bustle has “21 Quarantine Reads From Your Favorite Authors.”

CBS Sunday Morning has The Washington Post’s Ron Charles suggest books for “Life under lockdown.”

Vogue picks “8 New Books to Read While You’re Stuck Inside This March.” Also, new chapters of Lena Dunham’s online romance novel are out.

BuzzFeed suggest “17 Books Long Enough To Get You Through A Pandemic.”

Paste gathers “15 Audiobooks to Entertain You If You're Missing Sports While Social Distancing.”

Book Riot offers “10 Best Bookish Podcasts for Distancing Yourself From the News.”

The Canada Reads authors will answer questions on Facebook each Thursday this April. CBC reports.

Anthony Horowitz will offer a virtual book launch for Nightshade (Philomel Books: Penguin) on April 2. It will live stream on YouTube and will include a reading and Q&A. The Bookseller reports.

The StarTribune has a list of online literary events and offerings.

Meg Cabot has started writing the Corona Princess Diaries on her website. Entertainment Weekly reports.

Spike Lee posts the "script of his unmade Jackie Robinson film." Deadline reports.

Bob Dylan, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature, releases a new song. LitHub reports.

Powell’s Books rehires over 100 people as online sales surge. The L.A. Times has a report.

The NYT writes about publishers pushing back publication dates. The piece is also about the effects of cononavirus on the publishing industry as a whole. Also, an essay about the way we have used the phrase “going viral.”

Publishers Weekly has “The Coronavirus Takes Its Toll on Publishing.”

LitHub reports “A college librarian and a doctor are 3-D printing protective equipment for hospital workers.”


NPR reviews The Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo (Tor.com: Macmillan; LJ starred review): “dangerous, subtle, unexpected and familiar, angry and ferocious and hopeful. Here, the truth is delicately, tenderly fished out of darkness. Ugliness is couched in exquisite poetry and the ordinary is finely-drawn.”

The NYT reviews When Time Stopped: A Memoir of My Father’s War and What Remains by Ariana Neumann (Scribner: S. & S.): “a superb family memoir that unfolds its poignant power on multiple levels.” Also, Chirp by Kate Messner (Bloomsbury: Macmillan): “a female-powered story about courage.” Sharks in the Time of Saviors by Kawai Strong Washburn (MCD: Macmillan; LJ starred review): “a meditation on the tragedies of living too long in the darkness.” Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family by Robert Kolker (Doubleday: Random House; LJ starred review): “skillfully corrals the disparate strands of his story and gives all of his many characters their due.”

The Washington Post reviews Days of Distraction by Alexandra Chang (Ecco: Harper): “This is an immersive, emotionally honest novel that thinks through our era’s complexities, histories and divisions; it wanders into the gray areas, and wonders where the path forward might be.” Also, 88 Names by Matt Ruff (Harper): “Ruff’s fast-flowing, fascinating narrative is full of amusing topical and pop culture referents without being overburdened by allusiveness. His witty, often snarky dialogue crackles, and every aspect of the gaming experience ... is sharply rendered and explicated.” Weird Al: Seriously by Lily E Hirsch (Rowman & Littlefield): “Hirsch manages to make a good case for Yankovic’s artistic bona fides while still keeping things hopping.” Child of Light: A Biography of Robert Stone by Madison Smartt Bell (Doubleday): “captures every aspect of Stone’s contradictory nature, especially his work ethic.”

USA Today reviews Days of Distraction by Alexandra Chang (Ecco: Harper), giving it 3.5 stars and writing “Struggling to spark a conversation nobody wants to have, she conducts an engrossing one with herself.”

Briefly Noted

USA Today picks five books for the week.

The Washington Post names “The 2020 books worth reading now.”

Bustle has its own picks for “The Best Books Of 2020 — If You Read Anything This Year, Make It One Of These Books.”

The BBC gathers “The best books of 2020 so far.”

Popsugar names “35 Must-Read 2020 Books Written By Women.” Also, “25 of the Best New Books to Add to Your Reading List This Spring.”

O: The Oprah Magazine offers “38 Romance Novels That Are Set to Be the Best of 2020.”

The L.A. Times picks the best sports books – of all time.

The Business Book of the Year Awards have been announced.

The Author’s Club releases its shortlist for the Best First Novel award. The Bookseller has details.

Starburst magazine names its nominees for the Brave New Words Award.

The Guardian offers read-alikes for John Mortimer’s Rumpole of the Bailey books.

Vox starts its own book suggestion column, taking requests from readers.

Entertainment Weekly has a first look at Gotham High, written by Melissa de la Cruz and illustrated by Thomas Pitilli (DC Comics: Random House).

On Electric Lit Shilpi Somaya Gowda, The Shape of Family (William Morrow), suggest “7 Novels About Multicultural Families.”

In the NYT Ann Patchett celebrates Kate DiCamillo. Also, Paul Theroux has an essay about “A World Turned Upside-Down.”

USA Today features Alicia Keys, More Myself: A Journey (Flatiron: Macmillan). People has a story on the making of the audiobook version, “with the help of Michelle Obama, Oprah, JAY-Z and Bono.”

People features Andrea Bartz, The Herd (Ballantine: Random House).

Deadline showcases Cinema '62 : The Greatest Year at the Movies by Stephen Farber, Michael McClellan (Rutgers UP).

CityLab interviews N.K. Jemisin, The City We Became (Orbit: Hachette; LJ starred review).

Amazon interviews Harlan Coben, The Boy from the Woods (Grand Central: Hachette).

The Guardian interviews Craig Brown, 150 Glimpses of the Beatles (FSG: Macmillan).

People interviews Hillary and Chelsea Clinton, Grandma’s Gardens (Philomel Books: Penguin).

Tor.com interviews Adrian Tchaikovsky, who has a three-novella new deal with Solaris Books.

Book Riot has “A Guide To Poems By Gwendolyn Brooks.”

The Guardian writes about “Hemingway’s fury at being censored.” It comes from The Letters of Ernest Hemingway: Volume 5: 1932-1934 by Ernest Hemingway, edited by Sandra Spanier and Miriam B. Mandel (Cambridge).

BuzzFeed excerpts Broken Faith: Inside the Word of Faith Fellowship, One of America's Most Dangerous Cults by Mitch Weiss and Holbrook Mohr (Hanover Square: Harper).

Tor.com writes about literary depictions of libraries in “The Magic of Libraries: Where Fantasy Meets Reality.”

Authors on Air

NPR’s Weekend Edition interviews Cameron Esposito, Save Yourself: Essays (Grand Central: Hachette). Also, an interview with Samantha Irby, Wow, No Thank You: Essays (Vintage: Random House; LJ starred review).

OWN will feature a Super Soul Sunday with Oprah Winfrey and Alicia Keys. Essence reports.

CBC Radio interviews Masha Gessen, Surviving Autocracy: A Status Report (Riverhead: Penguin).

Andy Weir has a new novel and film deal. The novel is Project Hail Mary, about “a solitary tale of an astronaut on a space ship who is tasked with saving the planet” due out next spring. The film adaptation has already sold with Ryan Gosling to star. Deadline had details.

Book Riot suggests next reads for fans of a number of PBS Masterpiece shows.

Vogue writes “Why the Judy Blume Renaissance Can't Come Soon Enough.”

Jonathan Karl, Front Row at the Trump Show (Dutton: Penguin), will be on The View today.

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Author Image
Neal Wyatt


Neal Wyatt is LJ’s readers’ advisory columnist, contributing The Reader’s Shelf, Book Pulse, and Wyatt’s World columns. She is the coauthor of The Readers’ Advisory Guide to Genre Fiction, 3d ed. (ALA Editions, 2019). Contact her at nwyatt@mediasourceinc.com

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