'Cloud Cuckoo Land' by Anthony Doerr Tops Holds Lists | Book Pulse

Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr leads holds this week. Four LibraryReads selections and five Indie Next picks publish this week. October’s issue of Entertainment Weekly is out with a feature on Colson Whitehead, a Q&A with Stanley Tucci, and more. People's book of the week is The Speckled Beauty: A Dog and His People by Rick Bragg. The National Book Awards ceremony will be virtual. Anita Hill publishes her book this week. Interviews arrive with Laurie Woolever, Laurie Halse Anderson, Cassandra Peterson, Isabel Allende, Sandra Cisneros, and Dan Savage. Plus, a first look at Netflix’s forthcoming series The Sandman, developed by Neil Gaiman.

Want to get the latest book news delivered to your inbox each day? Sign up for our daily Book Pulse newsletter.

Big Books of the Week

Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr (Scribner; LJ starred review) leads holds this week.

Other titles in demand include:

The Man Who Died Twice: A Thursday Murder Club Mystery by Richard Osman (Pamela Dorman Books)

The Last Graduate by Naomi Novik (Del Rey)

The Wish by Nicholas Sparks (Grand Central)

The Christmas Wedding Guest by Susan Mallery (HQN)

These books and others publishing the week of September 27th, 2021 are listed in a downloadable spreadsheet.

Librarians and Booksellers Suggest

There are four LibraryReads selections publishing this week and five Indie Next picks publishing this week.

Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr (Scribner; LJ starred review)

“Several main storylines, all connected to a “lost” ancient Greek manuscript, are set in 15th century Constantinople, present day Idaho, and a spaceship in the future. Much of the beauty of this novel is in watching the pieces slowly come together to tell an eternal story that is both heartbreaking and hopeful. For fans of All the Light We Cannot See, and Cloud Atlas.”—Jenifer May, Secaucus Public Library, Secaucus, NJ NoveList read-alike: Crossings by Alex Landragin

It is also the #1 Indie Next pick:

“I haven’t felt this hopeful after closing a book in a very long time. What does it mean to be alive? An ageless question, yet throughout time the answer is always human connection and the stories we tell to live, thrive, survive.”—Julie Slavinsky, Warwick’s, La Jolla, CA

The Last Graduate by Naomi Novik (Del Rey)

"El and her friends start their senior year, and if their fix worked, they should have a fighting chance against the maleficaria, beasts that feast on graduating students. But the school seems to be out to get El, as she's suddenly the only one being targeted by mals. Recommended for grown up fans of fantasy school stories that would appreciate the darker side of this one."—Mary Bell, Wilbraham Public Library, Wilbraham, MA 

The Man Who Died Twice: A Thursday Murder Club Mystery by Richard Osman (Pamela Dorman Books)

“The competent senior quartet of The Thursday Murder Club returns, this time tracking down stolen diamonds while dealing with a troublesome ex-husband, a local drug queenpin, the arrival of the mafia, and a growing number of murders. An utter delight. For fans of The Postscript Murders and the Flavia de Luce mysteries.”—Julie Graham, Yakima Valley Libraries, Yakima, WA

It is also an Indie Next pick:

“This is a super fun continuation of The Thursday Murder Club. I’m very happy to spend more time with Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim, Bogdan, and the others!”—Kira Wizner, Merritt Bookstore, Millbrook, NY

The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward (Tor Nightfire; LJ starred review)

"In a boarded-up house on a remote street live recluse Ted, his daughter Lauren, Dee (sister of a long-missing girl), and Olivia, a Bible-quoting cat. Wonderfully eerie and twisted psychological horror, with an ending you’re sure you’ve read before (until you realize you haven’t). For fans of Stephen Graham Jones and Shirley Jackson."—Kimberly McGee, Lake Travis Community Library, Austin, TX

It is also an Indie Next pick:

“I loved this highly original literary horror novel. Ward does an excellent job in portraying the main characters while slowly peeling back the different layers to the story. Highly recommended.”—Robert Connolly, Jabberwocky Bookshop & Café, Newburyport, MA

Two additional Indie Next picks arrive this week:

The Ex Hex (The Ex Hex, Bk. 1) by Erin Sterling (Morrow Paperbacks; LJ starred review)

“Looking for a wildly fun Halloween read? Pick this up! Witches, curses, ghosts, sizzling romance, and a swoon-worthy ending — this rom-com has it all!”—Carrie Deming, The Dog Eared Book, Palmyra, NY 

Light From Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki (Tor: Macmillan)

“This book has it all: a music teacher who sold her soul, a family of alien refugees who run a donut shop, and a trans violinist who changes everything. It cracks open the heart of what it means to exist in the universe.”—Katherine Nazzaro, Porter Square Books, Cambridge, MA

In the Media

October’s issue of Entertainment Weekly is out with a "must list" that includes Far Sector by N.K. Jemisin, Illus. by Jamal Campbell (DC Comics), Reprieve by James Han Mattson (Morrow), You Got Anything Stronger? by Gabrielle Union (Dey Street Books), and We Are Not Like Them by Christine Pride and Jo Piazza (Atria). The Writer’s Room features Colson Whitehead, and his newest book, Harlem Shuffle (Doubleday; LJ starred review). The Author Spotlight is on Natasha Brown and her book, Assembly (Little, Brown). There is a Q&A with Stanley Tucci, Taste: My Life Through Food (Gallery Books) in the “Playing with Food” section. Other book coverage includes reviews of The Wrong End of the Telescope by Rabih Alameddine (Grove; LJ starred review), which gets a B+, and I Love You but I've Chosen Darkness by Claire Vaye Watkins (Riverhead), which gets a B. Featured releases include: Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr (Scribner; LJ starred review), Crossroads by Jonathan Franzen (Farrar; LJ starred review), Bewilderment by Richard Powers (Norton; LJ starred review), The Morning Star by Karl Ove Knausgaard (Penguin Pr.), The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles (Viking), and The Every by Dave Eggers (McSweeney’s). Plus, comedian Phoebe Robinson, Please Don't Sit On My Bed In Your Outside Clothes (Tiny Reparations: Random House; LJ starred review), pens an essay on starting her own imprint and shaking up the publishing industry. The issue also includes a Fall TV Preview.

The People "Picks" book of the week is The Speckled Beauty: A Dog and His People by Rick Bragg (Knopf; LJ starred review). Also getting attention are Snowflake by Louise Nealon (HarperCollins), and Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr (Scribner; LJ starred review).

A “Star Picks" section highlights The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (MTV Books), Pryor Convictions by Richard Pryor (Weinstein Books), and Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam (Ecco: HarperCollins). The special section, “50 Food Faves,” features #1 Rachael Ray, whose forthcoming cookbook, This Must Be the PlaceDispatches & Food from the Home Front (Ballantine), publishes November 9th. Feeding the Soul (Because It's My Business): Finding Our Way to Joy, Love, and Freedom by Tabitha Brown (Morrow), and Taste: My Life Through Food by Stanley Tucci (Gallery Books), also make the list. 


The NYT reviews The Amur River: Between Russia and China by Colin Thubron (Harper): “His wanderings feel aimless: another rotting Russian town, another sad museum, another undulating vista. It doesn’t help that the Cold War mind-set Thubron brings with him excludes far more than it is capable of holding.”

The Washington Post reviews The Book of Form and Emptiness by Ruth Ozeki (Viking; LJ starred review): “With so many philosophical balls in the air, Ozeki’s ideas are sometimes as inchoate as the metaphor of form and emptiness she periodically invokes but never entirely elucidates. Like all artists, her flaws are intertwined with her strengths; she embraces complexity and contradiction.” And, Rites by Savannah Johnston (Jaded Ibis Press): "Centering the Indigenous peoples of rural Oklahoma, Rites is a master class on compression. Johnston portrays the aching, farcical nature of existence in just a few pages."

The San Fransisco Chronicle reviews Rigged Justice: How the College Admissions Scandal Ruined an Innocent Man's Life by John Vandemoer (HarperOne): “where Rigged Justice transcends the personal is in the glimpse it affords of the shadow world of college admissions for the rich and powerful.” And, Believing: Our Thirty-Year Journey To End Gender Violence by Anita Hill (Viking): “Hill deftly sweeps aside the intricate web of denial, bias and institutional failures to show not only the causes of gender-based violence in America, but also their solutions. Hers is a brave, brazenly intelligent and ultimately hopeful womanifesto.”

Slate reviews Bewilderment by Richard Powers (Norton; LJ starred review): "There may yet be a great novel to write about children’s climate anxiety... Bewilderment is a few shades too lumpy, sincere, and strangely plotted to be it. But the road is open for the next."

The Guardian reviews Matrix by Lauren Groff (Riverhead): “Groff has written a beautiful, unclassifiable book, a queer history that recovers a great poet from the past and fills her with glorious, corporeal life.” And, Crossroads by Jonathan Franzen (Farrar; LJ starred review): “Much as Franzen’s characters might believe that they are in charge of their destinies, they find themselves dancing to the music of their times. Having established in loving detail their ingrained hopes and fears, Franzen has to find a way to bring those inner voices out into the world and test them against reality.”

Briefly Noted

Entertainment Weekly has a Q&A with Laurie Woolever about publishing Bourdain: The Definitive Oral Biography (Ecco).

LA Times talks with Laurie Halse Anderson about her new graphic novel, Wonderful Women of the World (DC Comics), celebrating Wonder Woman’s 80th birthday.

The NYT profiles Wole Soyinka and his new book, Chronicles from the Land of the Happiest People on Earth (Pantheon).

Anita Hill, Believing: Our Thirty-Year Journey To End Gender Violence (Viking), “has some perspective to offer” at  NYT.

The New Yorker calls Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr (Scribner; LJ starred review), “less a novel than giant therapeutic contraption.”

USA Today recounts sexual assault details revealed in Cassandra Peterson’s new memoir, Yours Cruelly, Elvira: Memoirs of the Mistress of the Dark (Hachette). People also has an interview with Peterson on LGBTQ fans’ reactions to her coming out.

CrimeReads has “5 Crime Nonfiction Books You Should Read This Month"and “Speculative Thrillers That Blur The Line Between Physics and Philosophy.” Plus, mystery writer Mimi Granger recommends six bookstore romances.

USA Today picks five books for the week.

CrimeReads suggests 10 books out this week.

The National Book Awards ceremony will be virtual. LitHub reports.

“Jim Sheeler, Pulitzer-winning journalist who honored fallen troops, dies at 53.” The Washington Post has an obituary.

“Russ Kick, writer, editor and ‘rogue transparency activist,’ dies at 52.” The Washington Post has an obituary.

Authors On Air

NPR’s Alt Latino has conversations with Isabel Allende, The Soul of a Woman (Ballantine), and Sandra Cisneros, Martita, I Remember You/Martita, te recuerdo, trans. by Liliana Valenzuela (Vintage), on their new books and living and writing with two languages. 

NPR’s All Things Considered talks to Dan Savage, Savage Love from A to Z: Advice on Sex and Relationships, Dating and Mating, Exes and Extras (Sasquatch Books), about 30 years writing his sex, love and relationships advice column. 

Min Jin Lee talks about "casual racism and finding truth" on a crossover episode with L.A. Times cousin podcast “Asian Enough.” 

CBS's Sunday Morning features "The Book Report: Recommendations from Washington Post critic Ron Charles."

Tor shares a first look at Netflix’s forthcoming series The Sandman, developed by Neil Gaiman.

Bustle rounds up "Everything We Know About Bridgerton Season 2."

The Tony Award Winners were announcedVariety has the full list.

Gabrielle Union, You Got Anything Stronger? (Dey Street Books) visits Jimmy Kimmel tomorrow night, and Phoebe Robinson, Please Don't Sit On My Bed In Your Outside Clothes (Tiny Reparations: Random House; LJ starred review) will be on with Stephen Colbert.

Want to get the latest book news delivered to your inbox each day? Sign up for our daily Book Pulse newsletter.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing