Literacy Is a Right, says Federal Court | Book Pulse

Camino Winds by John Grisham leads holds this week. Sea Wife by Amity Gaige (Knopf) gets some buzz. A Federal Appeals court decides literacy is a constitutionally protected right. NYPL ponders the complexities of how to re-open. Actor Joey Batey reads to his fans in “Jaskier Reads The Witcher.”

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Big Books of the Week

Camino Winds by John Grisham (Doubleday: Random House) leads holds this week.

Other titles in demand include:

The Wedding Dress by Danielle Steel (Delacorte Press: Random House)

The End of October by Lawrence Wright (Knopf)

A Duke by Any Other Name by Grace Burrowes (Forever: Hachette; LJ starred review)

The Talented Mr. Varg: A Detective Varg Novel by Alexander McCall Smith (Pantheon: Random House)

These books and others publishing the week of April 27, 2020, are listed in a downloadable spreadsheet.

Librarians and Booksellers Suggest

There are three books on the May Indie Next list publishing this week:

The Knockout Queen by Rufi Thorpe (Knopf)

“To say I admire The Knockout Queen feels inadequate, though I do admire a great deal of it: its voice, depth, structure — you name it. But it’s more honest just to say I love The Knockout Queen; I loved reading it, I felt involved in it, and, finally, I was so moved by its ending. This is an epic tale of friendship, one where the magnitude sneaks up on you quietly — but when it strikes home, it rings so brilliantly true.” —Will Walton, Books Are Magic, Brooklyn, NY

Sea Wife by Amity Gaige (Knopf)

“Wherever you go, your anxieties go with you — even (or especially) if you go live on a boat to sail the world with your spouse and small children. Nothing will ever be the same for Juliet, Michael, and their family after their harrowing year at sea, and no reader will be the same after reading this taut, brilliant novel. I can’t stop thinking about it.” —Mary Laura Philpott, Parnassus Books, Nashville, TN

Take Me Apart by Sara Sligar (MCD: Macmillan)

“In this delicious psychological thriller, we learn what it means to take on the job of archiving a famous person’s memories as found in papers, photos, and diaries. As Kate begins the daunting task, it does not take her long to find an uneasiness creeping into her heart and mind concerning how Miranda Brand died years before. And when she begins to wonder about Miranda’s son, Theo, and his potential involvement in the death, things get very scary, indeed. This is a grand debut that will give you chills and thrills, and a chance to hone your investigative skills. Have fun!” —Linda Bond, Auntie’s Bookstore, Spokane, WA

In the Media

People’s Book of the Week is Sea Wife by Amity Gaige (Knopf). Also getting attention are The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd (Viking: Penguin; LJ starred review) and This Is Big: How the Founder of Weight Watchers Changed the World -- and Me by Marisa Meltzer (Back Bay Books: Hachette). Two books by Pamela Weintraub, The Meaning of Meow: What Your Cat Really Thinks! and The Meaning of Woof: What Your Dog Really Thinks! (both from Centennial Books: S. & S.), feature as well. Bookish items on the “Picks” list are Defending Jacob, Salt Fat Acid Heat, Extraction, and Beastie Boys Story. Rounding out the issue, there is coverage of Dr. François S. Clemmons, Officer Clemmons: A Memoir (Catapult), a recipe from Trejo's Tacos: Recipes and Stories from L.A.: A Cookbook by Danny Trejo (Clarkson Potter: Random House), and a Q&A with Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman Cooks: The New Frontier: 112 Fantastic Favorites for Everyday Eating (William Morrow Cookbooks: Harper).


The Washington Post reviews The End of October by Lawrence Wright (Knopf): “While the truth-is-stranger-than fiction aspects of Wright’s thriller plot may not work as well in April 2020 as they might have at a more innocent time, his skill as a nonfiction writer shines through.” Also, Lincoln on the Verge: Thirteen Days to Washington by Ted Widmer (S. & S.): “a revelatory work about an important but underappreciated episode that placed Lincoln “on the verge” of developing the confidence and courage to become America’s greatest president. His book could also be on the verge — of becoming a Lincoln classic.” Front Row at the Trump Show by Jonathan Karl (Dutton: Penguin): “It’s an account of things we have mostly seen and heard before, and it lacks analysis of the larger issues Trump and his presidency represent.” Active Measures: The Secret History of Disinformation and Political Warfare by Thomas Rid (FSG: Macmillan; LJ starred review): “superb.” I'm Your Huckleberry: A Memoir by Val Kilmer (S. & S.): “absorbing but uneven.”

NPR reviews Girl Gone Viral by Alisha Rai (Avon: Harper; LJ starred review): “a fun, addictive romance and when the layers kick in, it's a page-turner you won't put down.”

The NYT reviews Show Me a Sign by Ann Clare LeZotte (Scholastic; SLJ starred review): “more than just a page-turner. Well researched and spare, it’s a sensitive portrayal of a young girl’s fight for respect and human dignity.” Also, The List of Things That Will Not Change by Rebecca Stead (Wendy Lamb Books: Random House; SLJ starred review): “an undeniably beautiful book.”

The L.A. Times reviews Good Morning, Destroyer of Men’s Souls: A Memoir of Women, Addiction, and Love by Nina Renata Aron (Crown: Random House): “ferocious.”

USA Today reviews Together: The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World by Vivek H. Murthy, M.D. (Harper Wave), giving it 3 stars, calling it “timely and thoughtful.”

Briefly Noted

USA Today picks five books for the week.

BuzzFeed suggests “15 Great New Books, Recommended By Some Of Our Favorite Authors.”

Essence gathers “6 Books By Black Female Writers We're Loving Right Now.”

Book Riot offers a guide “To The Horror Sub-Genres.”

Entertainment Weekly features Gina Fattore, The Spinster Diaries (Prospect Park Books).

The NYT Magazine interviews Stephen King. Also, an interview with Cheryl Mendelson, Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House (Scribner: S. & S.). summaries the “Highlights from John Scalzi’s r/Books AMA.”

Salon interviews Jennifer Finney Boylan, Good Boy: My Life in Seven Dogs (Celadon: Macmillan). Boylan has an opinion piece in the NYT about the lack of a dog in the White House.

The NYT has an essay entitled “Gay Literature Is Out of the Closet. So Why Is Deception a Big Theme?”

The Guardian has a piece by Robert Webb, Come Again (Back Bay Books: Hachette).

Bustle suggests “11 Books Like Sally Rooney’s Normal People To Add To Your Reading List.”

Shondaland offers “Poems You'll Love, Based on 6 High School Favorites.”

Vox’s Book Club reaches week three for The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin (Orbit: Hachette; LJ starred review).

The Guardian’s “I wish more people would read” column suggests The Wonder Spot by Melissa Bank (Penguin).

Publishers Weekly reports on the court case that is deciding if “access to a basic minimum education ‘that can plausibly impart literacy’ is a fundamental, Constitutionally protected right.” LitHub reports as well.

Electric Lit interviews the forces behind the @PublishrsWeakly Twitter account.

Swedish author Per Olov Enquist has died. The Guardian reports.

COVID-19 Reading and RA/Collection Development Resources

People suggests “The Best Books to Read During The Coronavirus Pandemic.”

The Guardian offers “Reasons to be cheerful: poetry and stories to give hope to adults and children alike.” (Here is the link to the collection).

NPR’s All Things Considered interviews Jane Hirshfield, Ledger: Poems (Knopf) who reflects on our times.

The Guardian talks with Penelope Lively, about reading, the classics, and isolation. Also, a conversation with Philippe Sands, East West Street: On the Origins of "Genocide" and "Crimes Against Humanity" (Knopf), about what may arise after the virus.

Vox says “Now is the perfect time to discover children’s fantasy author Frances Hardinge.”

Vogue finds out the “13 Books Nicole Richie Is Reading While Isolating.”

Deadline reports on the rise in viewership numbers for Storyline Online.

Wordsworth 250 celebrates the poet online. The Guardian reports on the A-listers reading his poetry.

How to re-open is a complex and fraught issue for libraries. Yahoo! Finance reports that NYPL “may choose to quarantine its books between borrowers to make sure they’re not transmitting COVID-19.”

Authors on Air

CBS Sunday Morning features “Julie Andrews's "practically perfect" book podcast.” Andrews will be on The View today. Also, a story featuring Quackery: A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything by Lydia Kang, Nate Pedersen (Workman).

NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday interviews Bonnie Tsui, Why We Swim (Algonquin: Workman). Weekend Edition Sunday features Bedtime Bonnet by Nancy Redd, illustrated by Nneka Myers (Random House Books for Young Readers). Also on the show, an interview with Witold Szablowski, How to Feed a Dictator: Saddam Hussein, Idi Amin, Enver Hoxha, Fidel Castro, and Pol Pot Through the Eyes of Their Cooks (Penguin). NPR interviews Grady Hendrix, The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires (Quirk Books: Random House). Lastly, NPR features Jonny Sun, Everyone's A Aliebn When Ur A Aliebn Too (Harper Perennial) in a TED Radio Hour talk.

Netflix features actor Joey Batey in “Jaskier Reads The Witcher.”

PBS NewsHour considers the imagery that inspired Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips (Knopf).

Fox features Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld (Random House).

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