'Ready Player Two' by Ernest Cline Tops This Week's Holds | Book Pulse

Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline leads holds this week. Time lists the 10 best nonfiction books of 2020, with Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson in the top spot, while Lit Hub shares the best short story collections of the year. In Vanity Fair, Jesmyn Ward interviews Barack Obama to discuss A Promised Land. Historian and travel writer Jan Morris has died at age 94.

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Big Books of the Week

Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline (Ballantine: Random House) leads holds this week.

Other titles in high demand include:

Deadly Cross by James Patterson (Little, Brown: Hachette)

The Awakening: The Dragon Heart Legacy, Book 1 by Nora Roberts (St. Martin's: Macmillan)

How to Raise an Elephant: No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (21) by Alexander McCall Smith (Pantheon: Random House)

Archangel's Sun by Nalini Singh (Berkley: Penguin)

These books and others publishing the week of Nov. 23, 2020, are listed in a downloadable spreadsheet. 

Librarians and Booksellers Suggest

There is one LibraryReads selection arriving this week:

Archangel's Sun by Nalini Singh (Berkley: Penguin)

"This excellent addition to The Guild Hunters series reveals the backstory of mentally wounded angel Sharine (a.k.a. Hummingbird) and archangel Titus as they battle the evil remnants of a devastating war. Singh’s fans will not be disappointed with her latest paranormal romance." —Karen Garris, Wayne County Public Library, Goldsboro, NC

There are two titles on the Indie Next list coming out this week:

Barely Functional Adult: It'll All Make Sense Eventually by Meichi Ng (Harper Perennial) 

"In Barely Functional Adult, Meichi Ng seamlessly combines cartoon illustrations with prose to create graphic essays that are hilariously relatable. From moving to a new city to realizing one is enjoying things they previously mocked as old, the character of Barely Functional Adult experiences the changes and terrors of growing up. Ng crafts stories that make the reader feel seen and understood, from imposter syndrome to the nervous stress of starting therapy to an older sister who just doesn't understand why one wouldn't pack for a major move until the day before. I laughed until I cried and then I laughed some more." —Faith Parke-Dodge, Page 158 Books, Wake Forest, NC

The Thirty Names of Night by Zeyn Joukhadar (Atria: S. & S.; LJ starred review)

"An affecting, multigenerational coming-of-age story about a young Syrian American artist's discovery of self and the truth behind his mother’s mysterious passing. Featuring alternating perspectives that weave the past into the present, this novel embodies the epistolary not just in form and address, but in the way it reads like a love letter to New York City, especially the immigrant, working-class, and LGBTQ underground of New York. A book with a heartbeat, despite all its ghosts." —Serena Morales, Books Are Magic, Brooklyn, NY

In the Media

People’s "Book of the Week" is The Office of Historical Corrections: A Novella and Stories by Danielle Evans (Riverhead: Penguin; LJ starred review). Other books highlighted include Miss Benson's Beetle by Rachel Joyce (Dial Press: Random House: LJ starred review), Agatha Arch Is Afraid of Everything by Kristin Bair (Alcove: Random House), and HRH: So Many Thoughts on Royal Style by Elizabeth Holmes (Celadon: Macmillan; LJ starred review). People “Picks” include Hillbilly Elegy. Ree Drummond, Frontier Follies: Adventures in Marriage and Motherhood in the Middle of Nowhere (William Morrow: HarperCollins), gets a feature. This year's list of "Sexiest" men includes Trevor Noah, Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood (One World: Random House); Andrew Cuomo, American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic (Crown: Random House); and Bobby Flay, Bobby at Home: Fearless Flavors from My Kitchen: A Cookbook (Clarkson Potter: Random House). Dzung Lewis, The Honeysuckle Cookbook: 100 Healthy, Feel-Good Recipes to Live Deliciously (Rodale: Random House) shares a french toast recipe.


NPR reviews Nights When Nothing Happened by Simon Han (Riverhead: Penguin): "Nights When Nothing Happened is very much about the private, shadowy parts of ordinary lives, but Han's evocative writing is anything but ordinary." Also, These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong (Margaret K. McElderry: S. & S.): "More than anything, These Violent Delights is a rich portrait of a seldom-depicted time and place." Oak Flat: A Fight for Sacred Land in the American West by Lauren Redniss (Random House): "Redniss' ability and willingness to erase herself is perhaps more remarkable because she is a highly gifted writer, and a highly flexible one. She can describe a mine with press-release dispassion, or with the lavish detail of Marilynne Robinson evoking an Iowa field."

The Washington Post reviews The Woman Who Stole Vermeer: The True Story of Rose Dugdale and the Russborough House Art Heist by Anthony M. Amore (Pegasus: S. & S.; LJ starred review): "...engrossing...the first deep dive into the peculiar life of Rose Dugdale, the 33-year-old British heiress with a PhD who, at the time of her arrest, was also wanted for gunrunning, a bombing attempt and armed hijacking."

The New Yorker reviews The Office of Historical Corrections: A Novella and Stories by Danielle Evans (Riverhead: Penguin; LJ starred review): "To read her is to become aware of ambience, of the peculiar iridescence that short fiction can sometimes offer: the stories are infused with many things but not precisely 'about' any of them."

The L.A. Times reviews Ghostways: Two Journeys in Unquiet Places by Robert Macfarlane (W. W. Norton): "'Ghostways' is a strangely lovely book, more complement than extension of Macfarlane’s work."

The NYT reviews Lake of Urine: A Love Story by Guillermo Stitch (Sagging Meniscus): "He deflates pretension at every turn. He throws images like tarot cards. He’s a caustic humorist with serious intent. His novel invites you to view the world as fundamentally absurd and usually awful, but also to recognize that laughter is a mighty, and cleansing, recompense."

Briefly Noted

Time selects "The 10 Best Nonfiction Books of 2020."

Lit Hub offers "notable short story collections from 2020." Also, five audiobook literary thrillers.

Polygon has "The 10 best video game books of 2020."

USA Today picks five books for the week.

Publishers Weekly selects the best releases of the week.

CrimeReads recommends 5 recent debut novels.

Tor.com has "Six SFF Novels That Defy Genre Distinctions."

Jenna Bush Hager shares her favorite books of the year with Amazon.

BuzzFeed rounds up some of the week's virtual book events.

Henry Holt will publish The Diaries of Alan Rickman next fall. The Guardian reports.

Entertainment Weekly has an excerpt from John Grisham's introduction to a new edition of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (Vintage: Random House).

CrimeReads excerpts The Diabolical Bones by Bella Ellis (Berkley: Penguin).

Deadline reports that Kid Quick, DC Comics' first non-binary character, will appear in next month's new anthology DC’s Merry Multiverse.

In Vanity Fair, Jesmyn Ward interviews Barack Obama, A Promised Land (Crown: Random House). The former president also sits for a conversation with People.

The Guardian interviews Stella Abasa Dadzie, A Kick in the Belly: Women, Slavery and Resistance (Verso: Random House).

"The Film That Lit My Fuse" series in Deadline features Matthew McConaughey, Greenlights (Crown: Random House).

Sarah Kasbeer, A Woman, A Plan, An Outline of a Man (Zone 3), discusses writing about trauma with Electric Lit

Parade features Elizabeth Holmes, HRH: So Many Thoughts on Royal Style (Celadon: Macmillan; LJ starred review), and has a Q&A with Michael J. Fox, No Time Like the Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality (Flatiron: Macmillan).

Shondaland speaks with Zeyn Joukhadar, The Thirty Names of Night (Atria: S. & S.; LJ starred review).

Lessons on pie baking from Petra Paredez, Pie for Everyone: Recipes and Stories from Petee's Pie, New York's Best Pie Shop (Abrams) at Salon.

Lisa Hanawalt, I Want You (Drawn & Quarterly; LJ starred review) discusses reading reviews of her work with The Rumpus.

The Oxford English Dictionary says 2020 has had too many momentous words to pick a single word of the year. The Guardian reports.

The NYT digs into how long it's taken former presidents to write their memoirs.

The Atlantic examines "How Literature Helps Us Grieve."

Jan Morris has died at age 94. "She was a distinctive, elegant, formidable and wickedly snobby historian and travel writer and occasional novelist," writes Dwight Garner in the NYT. Obituaries and memorials are also available from The Washington Post, the L.A. Times, The Guardian, NPR, and the Associated Press.

Authors on Air

CBS Sunday Morning features Marcus Samuelsson, The Rise: Black Cooks and the Soul of American Food (Voracious: Hachette; LJ starred review).

PBS NewsHour interviews Dolly Parton, Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics (Chronicle).

Eva Crocker discusses All I Ask (House of Anansi: Ingram) with the CBC's The Next Chapter.

Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle, Even As We Breathe (Fireside: Univ. Press of Kentucky), talks about writing for her students with NPR's All Things Considered.

Steve Martin and Harry Bliss, A Wealth of Pigeons: A Cartoon Collection (Bloomsbury: Macmillan), are on The View today. 

Michael J. Fox, No Time Like the Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality (Flatiron: Macmillan), appears on The Late Late Show with James Corden tonight.

Jeff Tweedy, How to Write One Song: Loving the Things We Create and How They Love Us Back (Dutton: Penguin), is on Late Night with Seth Meyers tonight.

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