'Neighbors' by Danielle Steel Leads Holds This Week | Book Pulse

Neighbors by Danielle Steel tops library holds lists this week, and other popular titles include All the Colors of Night by Jayne Ann Krentz, The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins, and Keep Sharp: Build a Better Brain at Any Age by Sanjay Gupta. Future First Lady Dr. Jill Biden will address the ALA  Midwinter virtual meeting on Jan. 25. See previews for books coming out this year from Autostraddle, Kirkus, Electric Lit, and more.

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

Neighbors by Danielle Steel (Delacourt: Random House) leads holds this week.

Other titles in high demand include:

All the Colors of Night by Jayne Ann Krentz (Berkley: Penguin)

The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins (St. Martin's: Macmillan)

Keep Sharp: Build a Better Brain at Any Age by Sanjay Gupta (S. & S.)

Twenty: A Jack Swyteck Novel by James Grippando (Harper)

Star Wars: Light of the Jedi (The High Republic) by Charles Soule (Del Rey: Random House)

These books and others publishing the week of Jan. 4, 2021 are listed in a downloadable spreadsheet

Librarians and Booksellers Suggest 

There are 3 LibraryReads selections arriving this week, including The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins (St. Martin's: Macmillan), the top pick of the month:

"Mild-mannered Jane cobbles together a living as a dog walker for the wealthy residents of Thornfield Estates, when an encounter with Eddie Rochester turns into a whirlwind romance. But plain Jane has a mysterious past...and so does everyone else in this upscale neighborhood. Loosely inspired by Jane Eyre, this domestic suspense novel features the twists and turns that fans of the genre expect. Perfect for fans of Liv Constantine and Louise Candlish." —Nanette Donohue, Champaign Public Library, Champaign, IL

It is also an Indie Next choice:

"This modern reimagining of Jane Eyre tells the story of Jane, a young woman with a secretive past living under an assumed name who works as a dog walker in a luxurious subdivision of Birmingham, Alabama, and has a penchant for stealing from her wealthy employers. When she meets the charming, rich, and recently widowed Eddie Rochester, who has his own dark secrets, they begin a whirlwind romance. But what really happened to Eddie’s first wife, the glamorous, self-made millionaire Bea? Told from multiple points of view, this twisty, suspenseful take on a classic novel is perfect for fans of domestic thrillers." —Marilyn Negip, R.J. Julia Booksellers, Madison, CT

Outlawed by Anna North (Bloomsbury: Macmillan)

"Bank robberies and women's health may not seem like natural companions, but North weaves them together seamlessly in this alternate history Western. Cast out of her hometown for failure to get pregnant after a year of marriage, Ada joins the notorious Hole in the Wall Gang and becomes an outlaw, all the while seeking real information about pregnancy and fertility. For fans of Inland and The Power." —Emily Calkins, King County Library System, Issaquah, WA

It is also an Indie Next choice:

"I am a well-adjusted adult, but I still cried when I finished this book because I loved it so much. While the western is generally a conservative genre built upon racist and sexist values, Anna North has managed to stay true to the classic in style and theme while creating a powerful and progressive story. Ada is an incredibly compelling narrator with clear passions and talents, and watching her grow into herself and achieve her goals is wonderful. Outlawed is about the many different ways to be whole and to own your power, even in a world that tries to hold you down. It’s an exciting and extraordinary novel." —Sylvie Weissman, Content Bookstore, Northfield, MN

The Push by Ashley Audrain (Pamela Dorman: Penguin)

"Blythe comes from a long line of women not cut out to be mothers. When she falls in love with a man who wants nothing more than a happy family she tells herself she can be a good mother. When her daughter is born however she finds that motherhood is just not that simple. For readers who enjoyed The Woman in the Window (Finn) or Baby Teeth (Stage)." —Linda Quinn, Fairfield Public Library, Fairfield, CT

It is also an Indie Next choice:

"I read Ashley Audrain’s debut, The Push, in two days because I literally couldn’t stop. What does it mean to be a good mother? What if you don’t emotionally connect with your child? How much emotional trauma is passed down from mothers to daughters? The Push examines four generations of females as well as the ways having children impacts one marriage. I loved this book." —Rachel Watkins, Avid Bookshop, Athens, GA

There are 7 additional titles on the Indie Next list coming out this week, including the top pick of the month, The Prophets by Robert Jones, Jr. (G.P. Putnam's Sons: Penguin; LJ starred review):

"I am at a loss for words. How can I even begin to describe the breathtaking language Robert Jones, Jr. has gifted us in his debut novel, The Prophets? How can I begin to explain how he achieves a feat so marvelous it almost seems impossible? Well, that’s the key word: almost. From his innovative restructuring of the Bible through the lens of America’s history with slavery to characters that leap off the page with colorful grace and dignity, Jones masterfully weaves a narrative that serves as a warning from the past, a prophecy for the future, and a testament to the present. His writing defies all great American novels that have come before, and in doing so becomes one of the greatest I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. I can’t wait for everyone to be as spellbound by this book as I am; it will stay with me forever." —Gage Tarlton, Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC

Better Luck Next Time by Julia Claiborne Johnson (Custom House: HarperCollins)

"Johnson's latest novel has all the heart and soul fans of Be Frank With Me enjoyed, coupled with a retro setting at a divorce ranch in Reno during the Great Depression. Funny? Check. Heartwarming? Check. A rollicking, all-round good read? Check! Do yourself a favor and read it. Then share it with someone you love." —Susan Taylor, Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany, NY

Black Buck by Mateo Askaripour (HMH)

"Perhaps I have a different perspective on this book because I have a younger brother who is a Black, 20-something man in sales, but this book presents an evocative, honest, complex portrait of being a BIPOC person in a white-dominant workplace (albeit one that is high-powered, sales-driven, and New York City-based). This is a book that allows a reader to be seen if this is their experience, but also for a reader to learn about a different reality if this is not their own. Black Buck is a tightly woven, contemporary debut from an author to watch.” —BrocheAroe Fabian, River Dog Book Co., Beaver Dam, WI

A Crooked Tree by Una Mannion (Harper)

"A Crooked Tree is the delicately woven story of a single mother’s bad decision to kick one of her children out of the car miles from home, and how that decision affects an entire network of friends and neighbors throughout the summer. Gorgeously told and intricately written, this hardly seems the work of a debut novelist; Una Mannion will be one to watch, and A Crooked Tree already has me anticipating her next book!" —Mary O’Malley, Skylark Bookshop, Columbia, MO

The Fortunate Ones by Ed Tarkington (Algonquin: Workman)

"Ed Tarkington is the mastermind behind this tender tale of love and betrayal, politics and social divide. A teenage boy growing up with a single mom in a low-income area of Nashville receives a mysterious scholarship offer to attend an elite private school for boys. Charlie Boykin is now in the midst of the children of billionaires and socialites, and the trajectory of his life is altered forever. The reader is left to ask, 'Was it all worth it?' This is a character-driven novel with a storyline as opulent as the mansions within." —Damita Nocton, The Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, NC

The Liar's Dictionary by Eley Williams (Doubleday: Random House)

"The Liar’s Dictionary is an enormously charming novel about putting the world into words. Its two logophilic heroes, separated by a century, are unforgettable characters; I loved spending time with these word-curious creations. You’ll be utterly transported by this playful and seriously funny book." —John Francisconi, McNally Jackson City Point, Brooklyn, NY

Our Darkest Night: A Novel of Italy and the Second World War by Jennifer Robson (William Morrow: HarperCollins)

"This is a love story...until it isn’t. This is a war story...until it isn’t. This is a story about surviving the worst of humanity then finding humanity. Set in Italy, this is WWII fiction writing at its finest. Prepare it to be pulled into this heart-wrenching saga. So much for book clubs to discuss. So much for readers to enjoy. If you loved the depth of research in The Gown, you will love Our Darkest Night." —Carolyn Roys, Anderson’s Bookshops, Naperville, IL

In the Media 

People "Picks" book of the week is A Lie Someone Told You About Yourself by Peter Ho Davies (HMH). Other books highlighted are The Last Queen: Elizabeth II’s Seventy Year Battle to Save the House of Windsor by Clive Irving (Pegasus: S. & S.) and Featherhood: A Memoir of Two Fathers and a Magpie by Charlie Gilmour (Scribner: S. & S.). A section on self-help and solace books features Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times by Katherine May (Riverhead: Penguin), The Dry Challenge: How to Lose the Booze for Dry January, Sober October, and Any Other Alcohol-Free Month by Hilary Sheinbaum (Harper Design), and Beginners: The Joy and Transformative Power of Lifelong Learning by Tom Vanderbilt (Knopf: Random House). 

Also included in this week's "Picks" are Bridgerton, based on the series by Julia Quinn, Elizabeth Is Missing, based on the book by Emma Healey, and The Midnight Sky, based on Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton. Plus, Lisa Lillien, Hungry Girl Fast & Easy: All Natural Recipes in 30 Minutes or Less (St. Martin's Griffin: Macmillan), shares a recipe. 

Book Lists

USA Today picks five books for the week.

CrimeReads previews 10 books out this week.

Amazon Books editors pick their favorites out this month.

BookPage selects "this month’s best lifestyles books."

io9 lists new sci-fi and fantasy titles out in January.

Autostraddle has "69 Queer and Feminist Books Coming Your Way in Winter 2020 and 2021."

Kirkus recommends "10 Fiction Books To Look For in 2021."

Electric Lit looks at "27 Debuts to Look Forward To in the First Half of 2021."

The StarTribune rounds up 15 books coming in the next few months.

The NYT recommends 9 recently released books.

The Seattle Times looks at 3 new crime fiction books.

The Office of Historical Corrections: A Novella and Stories by Danielle Evans (Riverhead: Penguin; LJ starred review) tops Elle's "63 Best Books Of 2020."

Culture Type selects the "15 Best Black Art Books of 2020."

Staff at The Rumpus share their favorite books of 2020.

Book Riot lists some of the best books from the last months of 2020.

Bustle picks "7 Of The Best Books By Women Of Colour In 2020," plus the year's best romance novels

David Baldacci, Ruth Ware, and David Chang share their favorite recent reads with Amazon.

AudioFile’s January Earphone Award winners are up.

Reviews 

The NYT reviews Kill Switch: The Rise of the Modern Senate and the Crippling of American Democracy by Adam Jentleson (Liveright: W. W. Norton; LJ starred review): "Jentleson understands the inner workings of the institution, down to the most granular details, showing precisely how arcane procedural rules can be leveraged to dramatic effect." Also, I Came as a Shadow: An Autobiography by John Thompson with Jesse Washington (Henry Holt: Macmillan): "...a lively and entertaining writer."

The Washington Post reviews Sergeant Salinger by Jerome Charyn (Bellevue): "Charyn’s Salinger is an empty vessel, collecting ennui and experiences, despairing for some way to clarify it all in fiction." Also, A Red Line in the Sand: Diplomacy, Strategy, and the History of Wars That Might Still Happen by David A. Andelman (Pegasus: S. & S.): "Lines are everywhere in this book, but the bottom line is hard to find." Mussolini's War: Fascist Italy from Triumph to Collapse: 1935-1943 by John Gooch (Pegasus: S. & S.): "...a painstakingly detailed, long-overdue chronicle of the attempts by the smaller Axis power to play an outsize — and unrealistically ambitious — role in the global conflict." The Age of Wood: Our Most Useful Material and the Construction of Civilization by Roland Ennos (Scribner: S. & S.): "He applies his sharp eye for details, and he does so entertainingly."

The L.A. Times reviews In the Land of the Cyclops by Karl Ove Knausgaard and translated by Martin Aitken (Archipelago: Random House): "When he gets out of his own way, Knausgaard’s passion for interiority and the detail of the individual experience, the most brilliant elements of his fiction, come through."

USA Today reviews Outlawed by Anna North (Bloomsbury: Macmillan), which earns 3.5 stars: "The vividness with which she writes this world is one that’s captivating and hard to put down." Also, A Lie Someone Told You About Yourself by Peter Ho Davies (HMH), which earns 3.5 stars: "...slim, gemlike novel." 

Briefly Noted 

Future First Lady Dr. Jill Biden will address the ALA Midwinter virtual meeting on Jan. 25.

CrimeReads has an excerpt from Spin by Patricia Cornwell (Thomas & Mercer: Amazon).

In a Publishers Weekly survey, 49% of respondents feel their company's recent diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts will help bring change to the industry.

In Costco Connection, Pennie Clark Ianniciello picks The Mystery of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict (Sourcebooks Landmark). The buyer's pick is Keep Sharp: Build a Better Brain at Any Age by Sanjay Gupta (S. & S.). The book club selection is Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah (St. Martin's: Macmillan).

The Guardian interviews Raven Leilani, Luster (FSG: Macmillan), and George Saunders, A Swim in a Pond in the Rain: In Which Four Russians Give a Master Class on Writing, Reading, and Life (Random House).

The NYT's "By the Book" column features Ai Weiwei, Human Flow: Stories From the Global Refugee Crisis (Princeton), and it goes "Inside the List" with Pam Jenoff, The Diplomat's Wife (Park Row: HarperCollins). Plus, a look at how the French publishing industry "is grappling with a nation that it resembles less and less."

NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday and the NYT reflect on The Great Gatsby entering the public domain, while HuffPost ponders an adaptation featuring the Muppets.

Listen to James Baldwin's record collection as a playlist on Spotify. Hyperallergic has details.

Kim Chernin died at age 80. The NYT has an obituary.

Authors on Air 

Sanjay Gupta, Keep Sharp: Build a Better Brain at Any Age (S. & S.), discusses staving off dementia on CBS Sunday Morning. There is also an excerpt of the book.

Ling Ma answers readers' questions about this month's book club selection, Severance (FSG: Macmillan), with PBS NewsHour.

Emma Glass discusses Rest and Be Thankful (Bloomsbury Circus: Macmillan) with the First Draft podcast.

Marlowe Granados, Happy Hour (Flying Books), appears on the CBC's The Next Chapter.

NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday talks with Julia Geogallis about How to Eat Your Christmas Tree: Delicious, Innovative Recipes for Cooking with Trees (Hardie Grant: Chronicle).

The NYT Book Review podcast features Fareed Zakaria, Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World (W.W. Norton) and Margaret MacMillan, War: How Conflict Shaped Us (Random House).

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.


RELATED 

ALREADY A SUBSCRIBER?

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

ALREADY A SUBSCRIBER?