'Royal' by Danielle Steel Leads Library Holds | Book Pulse

Royal by Danielle Steel leads library holds this week. People’s "Book of the Week" is The Boy in the Field by Margot Livesey. EarlyWord’s August GalleyChat is out. USA Today picks Women of the Century, including authors Maya Angelou, Zora Neal Hurston, Julia Alvarez, Toni Morrison, and more. The John Dos Passos Prize finalists are announced. Clueless gets a reboot at Peacock, The Henna Artist is headed to TV, and Netflix options Femi Fadugba’s The Upper World, with Daniel Kaluuya to star.

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Big Books for the Week

Royal by Danielle Steel (Delacorte Press: Random House) leads holds this week.

Also in demand are:

The Jackal by J.R. Ward (Gallery: S. & S.)

Little Disasters by Sarah Vaughan (Atria/Emily Bestler Books: S. & S.)

The Less Dead by Denise Mina (Mulholland Books: Hachette)

These books and others publishing the week of Aug. 17, 2020, are listed in a downloadable spreadsheet.

Librarians and Booksellers Suggest

There is one LibraryReads pick for the week: The Switch by Beth O'Leary (Flatiron Books: Macmillan)

Finding herself with a two- week sabbatical from work, Leeana and her grandmother Eileen decide to switch homes for the duration. In London, Eileen starts an affair and builds friendships across generations. In a Yorkshire village, Leena learns how her grandmother is the center of village activity and takes on all Eileen’s projects. For fans of Evie Drake Starts Over and The Love Story of Missy Charmichael." —Paula Pergament, Lincolnwood Public Library, Lincolnwood, IL

Five titles from the Indie Next list arrive this week as well:

Northernmost by Peter Geye (Knopf)

“Shakespeare wrote, ‘What’s past is prologue.’ Through Geye’s lyrical prose, we are reminded of the importance of where we come from and what we leave for those after us. Northernmost illustrates the power of true adventure — adventure through risking life and limb in the Arctic, adventure through loss, adventure through love, and adventure through the most powerful self-discovery. This book will leave an imprint on your heart.” —Kristen Sandstrom, Apostle Islands Booksellers, Bayfield, WI (from the April list).

Grown Ups by Emma Jane Unsworth (Gallery/Scout: S. & S.)

Grown Ups is told with humor and angst (both causing laughter and anxiety) in traditional prose supplemented with emails, texts, and social media columns and comments — much like our lives today. Jenny is living in London and tethered to her Instagram as her real life is slightly falling apart. This book is filled with fantastic writing and insights relevant to the modern balance of social media life with real life. I don’t want to say too much more, other than I will miss Jenny now that I’ve finished reading.” —Melissa Summers, Main Street Books, Davidson, NC (from the May list).

Betty by Tiffany McDaniel (Knopf)

“In the inspiring novel Betty, Tiffany McDaniel shares a tough and gritty story based primarily on her mother’s upbringing. Brimming with a sense of magic in the natural world set against the cruelty and violence within her family, Betty walks us through a childhood filled with both good and evil, and shows us that one can survive and come out the other side in one piece, fractured and whole at the same time. A book that should be read by all.” —Annie Philbrick, Bank Square Books, Mystic, CT

The Wright Sister by Patty Dann (Harper)

“The story of Katharine Wright is told here through imagined letters and diary entries. She has married late in life and as a consequence has been shunned by her brother, Orville. As a devoted confidant and caregiver to both Orville and Wilbur Wright, this is an unexpected blow. The pain of physical and emotional separation comes through clearly. At the same time, we learn about her life, told with frankness, wonder, and humor. A story that will leave readers wanting to know more about this delightful woman.” —Susan Hepburn, Red Balloon Bookshop, St. Paul, MN

Impersonation by Heidi Pitlor (Algonquin: Workman)

“In Impersonation, Heidi Pitlor tackles a lot of big issues and makes it look effortless with her intelligence and humor. Struggling ghostwriter and solo mom Allie is so many of us: trying to do everything right but inevitably feeling as though she’s getting it all wrong, unable to get ahead. I couldn’t stop turning the pages to see how far she’d go to survive.” —Hannah Harlow, Book Shop of Beverly Farms, Beverly, MA

In The Media

People’s "Book of the Week" is The Boy in the Field by Margot Livesey (Harper). Also getting attention are Luster by Raven Leilani (FSG: Macmillan) and The Weekend by Charlotte Wood (Riverhead: Penguin). "New in Nonfiction" includes Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson (Random House; LJ starred review), Play Like a Girl: Life Lessons from the Soccer Field by Kate T. Parker (Workman), and Tomboy: The Surprising History and Future of Girls Who Dare to Be Different by Lisa Selin Davis (Hachette). People “Picks” include Lovecraft Country and Star Trek: Lower Decks. People also checks in with celebrity book picks. In addition to Jenna Bush Hager’s pick Here for It: Or, How To Save Your Soul in America; Essays by R. Eric Thomas (Random House; LJ starred review) and Oprah’s pick Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson (Random House; LJ starred review), there are images of Chrissy Teigen reading The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein (Harper), Natalie Portman with Girl, Woman, Other (Grove Press, Black Cat) by Bernardine Evaristo, and Julianne Moore with Susan Minot’s Why I Don’t Write: And Other Stories (Knopf). Recipes come from Tailgreat: How to Crush It at Tailgating [A Cookbook] by John Currence (Ten Speed: Penguin) and Basic Bitchen: 100+ Everyday Recipes—from Nacho Average Nachos to Gossip-Worthy Sunday Pancakes—for the Basic Bitch in Your Life by Joey Skladany (Tiller Press: S. & S.).


The Washington Post reviews Summer by Ali Smith (Pantheon: Random House): “the bravura performance of a writer, poised at the edge of the day’s vast darkness, gathering all the warmth and light of our inner summer.” Also, The Hardhat Riot: Nixon, New York City, and the Dawn of the White Working-Class Revolution by David Paul Kuhn (Oxford): “engrossing, well-crafted.” Big Friendship: How We Keep Each Other Close by Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman, (S. & S.): “vibrant.” OK Boomer, Let's Talk: How My Generation Got Left Behind by Jill Filipovic (Atria/One Signal: S. & S.): “feels less about the divide between boomers and millennials, and more about everything that is wrong with everything. That may be the point.” Blood on the River: A Chronicle of Mutiny and Freedom on the Wild Coast by Marjoleine Kars (New Press): “remarkable.” The Riches of This Land: The Untold, True Story of America's Middle Class by Jim Tankersley (PublicAffairs: Hachette): “lays out a compelling argument.” The Patron Saint of Pregnant Girls by Ursula Hegi (Flatiron: Macmillan): “Hegi’s deeply compassionate novel charts the shadowlands where grief makes its home.” In a dual review, the paper looks at how “Fantasy noir combines the best of two genres.”

Entertainment Weekly reviews Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: Hachette), giving it a D-, writing it “feels as endless as Edward Cullen's eternal existence.”

NPR reviews The Daughters of Ys by M. T. Anderson, Jo Rioux (First Second: Macmillan; SLJ starred review): “an excellent read right now.”

USA Today reviews When These Mountains Burn by David Joy (G.P. Putnam’s Sons: Penguin), giving it 3.5 stars and calling it “outstanding.”

The NYT reviews Time of the Magicians: Wittgenstein, Benjamin, Cassirer, Heidegger, and the Decade That Reinvented Philosophy by Wolfram Eilenberger (Penguin; LJ starred review): “Eilenberger is a terrific storyteller, unearthing vivid details that show how the philosophies of these men weren’t the arid products of abstract speculation but vitally connected to their temperaments and experiences.” Also, Poland 1939: The Outbreak of World War II by Roger Moorhouse (Basic Books: Hachette): “Moorhouse uses personal accounts from Poles and Germans to great effect, bringing battlefields, burning towns and cities and even the strafed countryside into clear view.” All Together Now by Hope Larson (FSG: Macmillan): “a story that feels fresh, and will be immediately relatable to a middle grade audience.” Yorick and Bones by Jeremy Tankard, Hermione Tankard (HarperAlley): “charming.”

Briefly Noted

USA Today picks five books for the week.        

CrimeReads picks ten books for the week.

EarlyWord’s GalleyChat for August is out.

BookPage has lifestyle books for August.

Esquire names the best books of 2020.

Jay Manuel has summer reads for Amazon.

USA Today picks Women of the Century, including authors Maya Angelou, Zora Neal Hurston, Julia Alvarez, Toni Morrison, and more.

The John Dos Passos Prize finalists are announced. Lit Hub has a report.

The Atlantic has an excerpt from Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi (Knopf; LJ starred review). Also, an interview with Gyasi. The magazine also runs the poem “Story” by Franny Choi.

The NYT writes about how “Indigenous Writers Are Changing Sci-Fi.” Also, the paper has an essay about “Doris Lessing’s ‘Golden Notebook’ and Our Era of Unrest” and a piece about “The Radical Ordinariness of Carol Shields’s Literary World.” There is “How the Battle for Women’s Suffrage Played Out in the Pages of the Book Review.”

Hilary Mantel tells a festival audience that she is not planning any more historical fiction and wants to focus on short stories and theatre. The Guardian reports.

Civil rights activist Ruby Bridges has a book on the way, This Is Your Time (Delacorte Books for Young Readers: Random House).  The Greatest Secret by Rhonda Byrne (HarperOne) will hit shelves in November. USA Today reports on both.

Book Marks interviews Chris L. Terry, Black Card (Catapult).

Slate showcases Vesper Flights by Helen Macdonald (Grove).

Bitch Media features Miracle Country: A Memoir by Kendra Atleework (Algonquin: Workman; LJ starred review).

Vogue considers Look at Me by Firooz Zahedi (Pointed Leaf Press).

Entertainment Weekly surveys “The biggest Trump administration tell-all books.” And on that note, The L.A. Times has a piece on the new books by Michael Cohen and Bob Woodward and HuffPost has more on the Cohen book as well.

Vulture’s “Read Like The Wind” column is out.

The Guardian interviews Vivian Gornick, Unfinished Business: Notes of a Chronic Re-reader (FSG: Macmillan). Also, an interview with Ottessa Moshfegh, Death in Her Hands (Penguin).

The Reclaim Her Name project is getting criticism “for putting an illustration of the wrong black abolitionist on the cover of a book.” The Guardian reports. Also, more on Lit Hub on the very basis of the project itself.

Dr. Jay Galst, the author of a book on coins, has died of coronavirus. The NYT has an obituary.

Authors on Air

NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday interviews Madeleine Ryan, A Room Called Earth (Penguin). Also, an interview with Jean Guerrero, Hatemonger: Stephen Miller, Donald Trump, and the White Nationalist Agenda (William Morrow: Harper). Lastly, NPR’s Morning Edition interviews Fatima Bhutto, The Runaways (Verso Fiction: Random House).

PBS NewsHour has an annotated section from Beijing Payback by Daniel Nieh (Ecco: Harper).

The Oprah Conversation on AppleTV+ showcases Bryan Stevenson, Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption (Spiegel & Grau: Random House; LJ starred review).

Clueless gets a reboot at Peacock. The Henna Artist is headed to TV. DC FanDome sets its schedule. Deadline reports.

Netflix options Femi Fadugba’s The Upper World, with Daniel Kaluuya to star. Tor.com reports.

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