Tananarive Due on Black Horror; Charlie Jane Anders Publishing Serialized Nonfiction | Book Pulse

Beach Read by Emily Henry leads holds this week. Tananarive Due talks about Black Horror. Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld gets a great deal of attention. Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia tops the June LibraryReads list. Charlie Jane Anders is writing a nonfiction book about writing (and it is also a memoir), publishing online in serial fashion. A new issue of Entertainment Weekly is out, featuring its Summer Books Special.

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Big Books of the Week

Beach Read by Emily Henry (Berkley: Penguin) leads holds this week.

Other titles in demand include:

A Week at the Shore by Barbara Delinsky (St. Martin’s: Macmillan; LJ starred review)

Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld (Random House)

On Ocean Boulevard by Mary Alice Monroe (Gallery: S. & S.)

Say Yes to the Duke: The Wildes of Lindow Castle by Eloisa James (Avon: Harper)

Happy and You Know It by Laura Hankin (Berkley: Penguin)

These books and others publishing the week of May 18, 2020, are listed in a downloadable spreadsheet.

Librarians and Booksellers Suggest

There are four Library Reads publishing this week:

Beach Read by Emily Henry (Berkley: Penguin)

“Hooray for smart, emotional, well-written romance! Two old enemies meet by chance and decide to solve their writer’s block by swapping genres: Literary writer Augustus will trade his cynicism for a happily ever after, while January will try a “serious” novel where everyone ends up realistically miserable. What could go wrong? For readers who like Susan Mallery and Jennifer Crusie.” —Sharon Layburn, South Huntington Public Library, Huntington Station, NY

It is also an Indie Next choice:

“What do you get when you cross a disillusioned romance author with a Hemingway wannabe? A compulsively readable book where you kind of hope for your train to be delayed so you can spend a few more minutes with January and Gus. These two, saddled with writer’s block, make a pact to write the other’s genre. Literary snobbery is (rightfully) called out, and the two begin to navigate a friendship outside of writing as they explore the other’s process. Reader, I loved it.”  —Audrey Huang, Belmont Books, Belmont, MA

Happy and You Know It by Laura Hankin (Berkley: Penguin)

"Claire is a musician whose former band became famous without her. She takes a gig singing nursery rhymes for a playgroup, and her life takes a couple of sharp lefts from there! For fans of Elin Hilderbrand and Elizabeth Berg." —Danielle Hansard, Westland Public Library, Westland, MI

The Wife Stalker by Liv Constantine (Harper)

"Piper Reynard has moved to Connecticut to start over. She meets Leo, a handsome and successful lawyer who is married to Joanna, who has been waiting for Leo to start focusing on her and the kids again for quite some time. Joanna is determined to find the truth out about Piper, but no one wants to believe what she uncovers. For fans of B.A. Paris and A.J. Finn." —Laura Sanders, LaFourche Parish Library, Thibodaux, LA

Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld (Random House)

“What if Hillary Rodham heeded the red flags that came with dating Bill Clinton in the 1970s? Sittenfeld really captures the voice of a strong, brilliant, independent female narrator in this warm, whip-smart take on what could have been.” —Lindsay Jensen, Nashville Public Library, Nashville, TN

There are also three additional titles on the Indie Next List:

The Prettiest Star by Carter Sickels (Hub City Press)

“This beautiful, elegiac novel tells the story of the last homecoming to rural Ohio for Brian, who is dying of AIDS at the height of the 1980s epidemic. Told with empathy and heart, complemented by a pitch-perfect sense of time and place, The Prettiest Star is a deeply affecting story about what it means to understand each other and where we come from, even when our lives have taken us light years away.” —Ashley Warlick, M. Judson Booksellers & Storytellers, Greenville, SC (from the April list).

A Taste of Sage by Yaffa S. Santos (Harper)

“This book is a tasty, delicious treat! When you mix delicious food and hate-to-love romance in a book, you instantly have me hooked. Lumi Santana is a chef with the gift of synesthesia: She can feel a person’s emotions just by tasting their cooking. When she opens a restaurant and it fails, she takes a sous chef position at a French restaurant with Julien Dax, a celebrated chef known for his good looks but bad attitude. Lumi can’t stand Julien but tastes his cooking because it looks so irresistible, and when she’s overcome with intense emotions she wonders if she wants more. If you are looking for something that’s fun and tasty and will test your senses, you will enjoy this book.” —Deanna Bailey, Story on the Square, McDonough, GA

Weird but Normal: Essays by Mia Mercado (HarperOne)

“I adored this book! I laughed until I cried, I cringed in shared embarrassment, and I read entire essays out loud to anyone who would listen. Although almost any reader will find something to relate to in Mia Mercado’s writing, she will speak directly to the hearts of millennials who still remember their hilariously terrible first AIM screennames. For all the laughs, Weird but Normal also delivers heartfelt truths about issues ranging from racism in America to depression. Can’t wait to see what Mercado does next!” —Kate Storhoff, Bookmarks, Winston-Salem, NC

In the Media

Entertainment Weekly features its Summer Books Special, leading off with Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld (Random House). There is a Q&A with Kevin Kwan, Sex and Vanity (Doubleday: Random House) and also getting attention: True Love by Sarah Gerard (Harper) and Beach Read by Emily Henry (Berkley: Penguin). Josh Malerman’s Malorie: A Bird Box Novel (Del Rey: Random House) gets notice in a piece that is already online, along with Survivor Song by Paul Tremblay (William Morrow: Harper) and Afterland by Lauren Beukes (Muholland Books: Hachette). The conversation between Brit Bennett, The Vanishing Half (Riverhead: Penguin) and Emma Cline, Daddy: Stories (Random House), already online, makes the issue too. Sisters by Daisy Johnson (Riverhead: Penguin) and The Taste of Sugar by Marisel Vera (Liveright: W.W. Norton) get listed as “More second novels cementing major new talents.” Rounding out coverage are “14 More Amazing Reads” (spreadsheet here). There is also the Summer Preview coverage in this issue. Jennifer Weiner, Big Summer (Atria: S. & S.; LJ starred review), highlights “her all-time beachy faves:” Almost Paradise by Susan Isaacs (HarperTorch), Scruples by Judith Krantz (Bantam: Random), and Waiting to Exhale by Terry McMillan (Berkley: Random House). As part of the Pride 2020 feature coverage there is a roundtable discussion among Nicole Dennis-Benn, Naoise Dolan, Akwaeke Emezi, and Garth Greenwell, which EW captions with “There’s never been a more exciting time for queer literature,” calling these four authors the “biggest and brightest names in the new wave.”

On “The Must List” are Perry Mason; The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic) with a feature on the narrator of the audiobook, Santino Fontana, and a list of additional top natators including Rosamund Pike, Joe Morton, Juliet Stevenson, and Steven Weber; Modern Family: The Untold Oral History of One of Television's Groundbreaking Sitcoms by Marc Freeman (St. Martin’s: Macmillan); and Shirley. Billy Porter has a Pride 2020 "Must List," including The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin (Vintage), Hamilton, and Romeo + Juliet. In additional adaptations and book-related content there is coverage of The Old Guard, based on the comic series by Greg Rucka and Leandro Fernandez out from Netflix this July, and Snowpiercer, already running on TNT. Also mentioned are Mulan, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., 13 Reasons Why, The Good Lord Bird, How to Build a Girl, and Artemis Fowl.

People’s "Book of the Week" is The Book of V. by Anna Solomon (Holt: Macmillan). Also getting notice are Sunny Days: The Children's Television Revolution That Changed America by David Kamp (S. & S.) and I'd Give Anything by Marisa de los Santos (William Morrow: Harper). There are “Star Picks: Quarantine Reads” as well. Katie Couric selects Together: The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World by Vivek H. Murthy (Harper Wave), Sebastian Maniscalco names Brava, Strega Nona! by Tomie dePaola (G.P. Putnam’s Sons: Penguin), and Nikki Reed is reading Make a Living Living by Nina Karnikowski (Laurence King: Chronicle). People’s "Picks" includes Snowpiercer (and there is a Q&A with Daveed Diggs). The feature story is on Valerie Bertinelli, Valerie's Home Cooking: More than 100 Delicious Recipes to Share with Friends and Family (Oxmoor House) and there is coverage of How to Build a Girl and André Leon Talley, The Chiffon Trenches: A Memoir (Ballantine: Random House). In other book news, the coverage of Kristen Bell, The World Needs More Purple People (Random House Books for Young Readers), already online, makes the issue. Wrapping it up, in the food section there are recipes from What's Gaby Cooking: Eat What You Want: 125 Recipes for Real Life by Gaby Dalkin (Abrams), Joy Bauer's Superfood!: 150 Recipes for Eternal Youth by Joy Bauer (Abrams), and Dinner in French: My Recipes by Way of France: A Cookbook by Melissa Clark (Clarkson Potter).


The NYT reviews Wuhan Diary: Dispatches from a Quarantined City by Fang Fang, translated by Michael Berry (Harper): “captures the shock and panic at the start of the quarantine … It’s a bit easier to praise, as Tom Wolfe said of the William Shawn-era New Yorker, than it is to read. Still, the urgency of this account is impossible to deny.” Also, The Phantom Twin by Lisa Brown (First Second: Macmillan; SLJ starred review): “her story reminds us that physical limitations can be overcome and physical bonds aren’t always the most lasting ones.” Bloom by Kenneth Oppel (Knopf; SLJ starred review): “It is a helpless situation with which readers will powerfully identify. How cathartic to imagine a few brave kids might turn it all around. This makes “Bloom” the perfect book right now for young readers searching for hope, strength, inspiration — and just a little horticultural havoc.”  The paper also looks at books that delve into “the Joys and Mysteries of the Home.”

The Washington Post reviews Catherine House by Elisabeth Thomas (Custom House: Harper): “There are shades of Edgar Allan Poe and Alfred Hitchcock as suspense builds in the winding corridors of the house and the twisting turns of the psyche. Moody and evocative as a fever dream ... the sort of book that wraps itself around your brain, drawing you closer with each hypnotic step.” Also, Ghosts of Harvard by Francesca Serritella (Random House; LJ starred review): “sweeping and beguiling.” Funny Weather: Art in an Emergency by Olivia Laing (W.W. Norton): “Laing champions the very attempt on the part of artists to make a dent in the collective consciousness.”

The L.A. Times reviews Telephone by Percival Everett (Graywolf Press: Macmillan): “an innovative heartbreaker about chance and choice.”

NPR reviews By the Book by Amanda Sellet (HMH Books for Young Readers): “most intriguing and delightful.” Also, Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender (Balzer + Bray: Harper; SLJ starred review): “Readers will likely come away with new understanding and empathy.” Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld (Random House): “a nauseating, moving, morally suggestive, technically brilliant book that made me think more than any other in recent memory about the aims and limits of fiction.”

USA Today reviews Here We Are: My Friendship with Philip Roth by Benjamin Taylor (Penguin), giving it three stars and calling it “essential reading, an affectionate but never sentimental portrait of the furious, divisive, and comic personality who produced a handful of the past century’s finest novels.”

Briefly Noted

USA Today picks five books for the week.

The June Library Reads list is out. Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Del Rey: Random House) tops the list.

Anna K: A Love Story by Jenny Lee (Flatiron Books: Macmillan) is the Buzz Feed June book club title.

USA Today suggest “10 perfect picks for your next book club meeting.”

Tananarive Due talks about Black Horror with Shadow and Act.

Charlie Jane Anders is writing a nonfiction book about writing (and it is also a memoir), which Tor.com will publish online, week by week, with new entries each Tuesday. Chapter one of Never Say You Can’t Survive is out now.

NPR has a visual guide (and audio interview) to The Art of Showing Up: How to Be There for Yourself and Your People by Rachel Wilkerson Miller (The Experiment: Workman; LJ starred review).

Revisit Mockingjay ahead of the publication of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic). Entertainment Weekly has an inside look.

Curtis Sittenfeld, Rodham (Random House), gets a profile in Town & Country.

The Guardian interviews Daniel Mason, A Registry of My Passage upon the Earth: Stories (Little, Brown: Hachette).

Another of Belletrist’s new series “In Conversation” is up. In this one Kayleen Schaefer, Text Me When You Get Home: The Evolution and Triumph of Modern Female Friendship (Dutton: Penguin) talks with Marisa Meltzer, This Is Big: How the Founder of Weight Watchers Changed the World -- and Me (Back Bay Books: Hachette).

The NYT reports on The Chronicles of Now, the site publishing “short fiction torn from today’s headlines” and featuring authors such as Carmen Maria Machado, Curtis Sittenfeld, and Roxane Gay.

Vulture profiles André Leon Talley, The Chiffon Trenches: A Memoir (Ballantine: Random House).

The NYT asks “Is Ronan Farrow Too Good to Be True?

Fit Gurl: The Total-Body Turnaround Program by Melissa Alcantara (HarperOne) gets a feature in People. So too does Man of Tomorrow: The Relentless Life of Jerry Brown by Jim Newton (Little, Brown: Hachette).

Postpartum psychosis is the focus of Inferno: A Memoir of Motherhood and Madness by Catherine Cho (Henry Holt: Macmillan) and What Have I Done? by Laura Dockrill (Penguin UK). The Guardian looks at the books and the subject.

The Ripped Bodice’s Leah Koch features in Bustle’s Small Business Salutes.

The Nommo Awards Short List is out.

The Zócalo Public Square Book Prize goes to William Sturkey for Hattiesburg: An American City in Black and White (Belknap Press: Harvard). The award was granted last month but is getting coverage by the Associated Press this week.

Did Agatha Christie borrow the idea for The Murder of Roger Ackroyd from Stein Riverton’s story "Jernvognen" (The Iron Chariot)? The Guardian reports on the possibility.

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Nick Kotz has died. The NYT has an obituary.

COVID-19 Reading and RA/Collection Development Resources

Elle names “The 20 Best Audiobooks to Listen to in Quarantine.”

Taffy Brodesser-Akner, Fleishman Is in Trouble (Random House), writes “The Joy of Having Plans Cancel Themselves” for the NYT.

Jennifer Weiner, Big Summer (Atria: S. & S.; LJ starred review), talks about “our quarantine soap opera” with Salon.

PBS NewsHour reports on the viral pardoy of classic children's book covers.

What are editors looking for in the face of the pandemic? Publishers Weekly asks them.

The NYT writes “Publishers Snap Up Coronavirus Books, From Covid-19 Case Studies to Pandemic Poetry.”

Authors on Air

NPR’s Weekend Edition interviews Curtis Sittenfeld, Rodham (Random House).

CBS plans a new Star Trek show, Strange New Worlds.

BritBox is positioning itself to “house the most ‘comprehensive’ collection of Agatha Christie adaptations in North America.” The Match by Bruce Schoenfeld is headed to the movies. Deadline has details.

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