Stephen King "Very Uneasy" Over Woody Allen Cancellation; Dylan & Ronan Farrow Are Grateful | Book Pulse

Stephen King weighs in on the Woody Allen book cancellation, tweeting that it “Makes Me Very Uneasy.” Dylan and Ronan Farrow share how grateful they are. The Mirror & The Light by Hilary Mantel leads holds this week. The Stella Prize short list is announced.

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Big Books of the Week

The Mirror & The Light by Hilary Mantel (Henry Holt: Macmillan) leads holds this week.

Other titles in demand include:

My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell (William Morrow: Harper; LJ starred review)

In Five Years by Rebecca Serle (Atria: S. & S.)

A Good Neighborhood by Therese Anne Fowler (St. Martin’s: Macmillan; LJ starred review)

Untamed by Glenndon Doyle (The Dial Press: Random House)

Journey of the Pharaohs by Clive Cussler, Graham Brown (G.P. Putnam's Sons: Penguin)

These books and others publishing the week of March 9, 2020, are listed in a downloadable spreadsheet.

Librarians and Booksellers Suggest

The No. 1 pick on both the March LibraryReads list and the Indie Next list comes out this week, My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell (William Morrow: Harper; LJ starred review)

A Lolita for the #MeToo era, it’s unsettling, but not necessarily for the reasons you might think. The narrative shifts from 2000, when Vanessa gains admission to an elite New England prep school, to 2017, when she tries to come to terms with her experience, her role in it, how it’s affecting her present, and the choices she faces to find resolution and move forward. For fans of Notes on a Scandal (Heller), Trust Exercise (Choi), and His Favorites (Walbert).” —Michelle Sampson, York Public Library, York, ME

“In this gripping debut novel, a teenage girl falls into an affair with her English teacher, who is 30 years her senior. The voice of Vanessa, the narrator, is unparalleled in its honesty, and her emotions are fiercely conveyed with unrelenting realness. This novel is a timely and important read, sometimes difficult, but ultimately an unforgettable experience. You will be left astonished and transformed. Vanessa is formidable and so is her story; you won’t be able to put down this powerhouse of a novel.” —Luisa Barbano, Oblong Books and Music, Millerton, NY

There is also agreement on three more titles:

A Good Neighborhood by Therese Anne Fowler (St. Martin’s: Macmillan; LJ starred review)

“When a local businessman removes several old trees to build a mini-mansion, he isn't seen favorably by his new neighbor Valerie, an ecology professor. When their teenagers begin to secretly date you know it's not going to end well. Told from multiple viewpoints (including the neighborhood chorus), this heart-wrenching novel explores class, race, and what it means to be a good neighbor. For those who enjoyed Commonwealth, The Hate U Give, and A Place for Us."

Alissa Williams, Morton Public Library, Morton, IL

“Therese Anne Fowler’s new novel will have you examining the actions and motivations of everyone you know. Her exquisite storytelling and character development deliver an unforgettable and unpredictable story that touches on many contemporary issues, including race, wealth, control, and status. Be sure to leave yourself some time for this one — once you hit the tipping point, you won’t put it down until you finish.” —Kari Erpenbach, University of Minnesota Bookstores, Minneapolis, MN

In Five Years by Rebecca Serle (Atria: S. & S.)

"An ambitious young lawyer disregards a prophetic dream that doesn’t fit into her five- year plan until she meets the man of her dreams five years later. Love has a plan of its own. For readers who enjoyed Remember Me by Sophie Kinsella, You Were There Too by Colleen Oakley, and The Wedding Party by Jasmine Guillory." —Kristin Friberg, Princeton Public Library, Princeton, NJ

“Rebecca Serle’s In Five Years has so many of the things I want in a terrific novel: a twisty plot that leaves me guessing; radically unexpected developments; settings that I can see, smell, and taste; and probably the thing that Serle does best — an introduction to characters I’ll grow to care about and shed tears with. That last one? The tear thing? In Five Years had me weeping for the last part of a coast-to-coast flight, prompting the flight attendant to hand me a drink because, she said, it looked like I needed one. I loved this book and can’t wait to offer it to readers.” —Nick Petrulakis, Brookline Booksmith, Brookline, MA

Undercover Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams (Berkley: Penguin)

"Take one romance- reading hero, his bromance book club, and add a wickedly strong heroine. This one strikes the right balance of snark, heart, and humor. For fans of Alexa Martin and Julie James." —Jennifer Asimakopoulos, Indian Prairie Public Library, Darien, IL

“Steamy, spicy, and tender, if this book were a gourmet meal it would be worth a thousand bucks for sure. Lyssa Kay Adams has outdone herself; her sophomore novel in the Bromance Book Club collection is even better than her debut. Liv is a firecracker, taking nothing from nobody. Mack is a big softie with a heart of gold. When they team up to take down a famous and powerful chef with a history of abusing women, there is nothing these two won’t risk — including their hearts. Please read this lovely romance; you will not regret it and it will make you a better person. And if you are a man, this should be required reading — study up, dudes.” —Sam Butler, Bright Side Bookshop, Flagstaff, AZ

There are three more titles to note, the first picked by librarians, the last two by booksellers:

A Murderous Relation by Deanna Raybourn (Berkley: Penguin; LJ starred review)

"Veronica Speedwell and her partner, Stoker, find themselves involved in a mystery that coincides with the killing spree of Jack the Ripper. For fans of the Ladies Travelers Guide series and the Amelia Peabody mysteries." —Stacy Tomaszewski, Alameda County Library, San Jose, CA

Recollections of My Nonexistence : A Memoir by Rebecca Solnit (Viking: Penguin)

“Over Rebecca Solnit’s 30 years of writing, readers like me have fallen in love with her seismic, world-shifting essays, and I was not disappointed by this memoir, her first longform writing in seven years. True to her form, this is a memoir not necessarily of the events of Solnit’s coming of age, but rather the greater influences in her development as a feminist, an activist, and a writer in 1980’s San Francisco. In these pages, Solnit describes the formation of her own powerful voice while interrogating the culture that routinely silences women through violence and disregard. By sharing these formative years, Solnit is sure to inspire and vindicate generations of women of all ages and offer much-needed encouragement to people of all genders to invest in voices long suppressed.” —Megan Bell, Underground Books, Carrollton, GA

The Animals at Lockwood Manor by Jane Healey (HMH)

“During WWII, Hetty Cartwright arrives at Lockwood Manor to take care of specimens from a natural history museum in London. The hosts of the large manor, the controlling Major and his anxious daughter, Lucy, welcome Hetty and the specimens but don’t fully understand her. As time passes, there are ghosts, unexplained visitors, fears, and moving animals that make the job of safekeeping the animals and fossils difficult. This book is a page-turner, a thriller, a love story, and a moving story with surprises.” —Lauren Zimmerman, The Writer’s Block Bookstore, Winter Park, FL

In the Media

People’s book of the week is My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell (William Morrow: Harper; LJ starred review). Other titles getting notice are Deacon King Kong by James McBride (Riverhead: Penguin; LJ starred review) and Separation Anxiety by Laura Zigman (Ecco: Harper). There is a Q&A with Grace Byers, I Believe I Can (Balzer  + Bray: Harper). On the “Picks” list are Cosmos: Possible Worlds hosted by author Neil deGrasse Tyson and the film The Burnt Orange Heresy, based on The Burnt Orange Heresy by Charles Willeford (The Overlook Press: ABRAMS). Also in the issue, a focus on Katherine Schwarzenegger, The Gift of Forgiveness: Inspiring Stories from Those Who Have Overcome the Unforgivable (Pamela Dorman Books: Penguin), on Anne Glenconner, Lady in Waiting: My Extraordinary Life in the Shadow of the Crown (Hachette; LJ starred review), and on Carrie Underwood, Find Your Path: Honor Your Body, Fuel Your Soul, and Get Strong with the Fit52 Life (Dey Street Books: Harper).


The NYT reviews Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You: A Remix of the National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning by Jason Reynolds, Ibram X. Kendi (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: Hachette; SLJ starred review – note, SLJ has several features in addition to its starred review): “Reynolds is acknowledging the feeling of reading this book as a young person — the despair and anger at hearing these ideas that cruelly govern so much of our lives. By stopping the narrative to account for a young reader’s reaction, he expands the purpose of Kendi’s original project in a singularly powerful way.” Also, My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell (William Morrow: Harper; LJ starred review): “clever, unsettling.” Recollections of My Nonexistence : A Memoir by Rebecca Solnit (Viking: Penguin): “a tour through the influences that shaped Solnit’s writerly voice.” You Call This Democracy?: How to Fix Our Government and Deliver Power To the People by Elizabeth Rusch (HMH): “fascinating … The book’s objective is simple: to enumerate all the ways that our “more perfect Union” falls short of its stated ideals.” Prairie Lotus by Linda Sue Park (Clarion: HMH; SLJ starred review): “This quiet spiral of kindness runs through the novel and raises important questions about injustice. Park is especially adept at the small associations that might resonate with young readers.” Finally, Paul Krugman reviews Capital and Ideology by Thomas Piketty (Belknap: Harvard): “There are interesting ideas and analyses scattered through the book, but they get lost in the sheer volume of dubiously related material. In the end, I’m not even sure what the book’s message is.” MBS: The Rise to Power of Mohammad bin Salman by Ben Hubbard (Tim Duggan: Random House; LJ starred review): “detailed and disturbing.”

NPR reviews Deacon King Kong by James McBride (Riverhead: Penguin; LJ starred review): “a feverish love letter to New York City, people, and writing. The prose is relentless and McBride's storytelling skills shine as he drags readers at breakneck speed trough a plethora of lives, times, events, and conversations.” Also, Every Reason We Shouldn't by Sara Fujimura (Tor Teen: Macmillan): “a rich, emotionally layered story about two exceptionally talented, award-winning, Olympics-driven teen athletes.”

The Washington Post reviews Saint X by Alexis Schaitkin (Celadon: Macmillan): “atmospheric.” Also, The House of Yan: A Family at the Heart of a Century in Chinese History by Lan Yan (Harper; LJ starred review): “Yan’s readable and touching memoir of her family deserves to be told, and she tells it well.” Dorothy Day: Dissenting Voice of the American Century by John Loughery & Blythe Randolph (S. & S.): “We can be grateful to Loughery and Randolph for reviving a voice for our times.” The Scientist and the Spy: A True Story of China, the FBI, and Industrial Espionage by Mara Hvistendahl (Riverhead: Penguin): “a “whodunit” for modern times.” Cured: The Life-Changing Science of Spontaneous Healing by Jeffrey Rediger (Flatiron: Macmillan): “an utterly persuasive message.” The Age of Entitlement: America Since the Sixties by Christopher Caldwell (S. & S.): “the real sense of entitlement comes from the people Caldwell valorizes yet leaves relatively voiceless: those who confuse human decency and empathy with liberal elitism, and who insist that those pursuing justice really have nothing to complain about.” The Liberal Invasion of Red State America by Kristin B. Tate (Regnery: S. & S.): “ideologically blinkered.”

Briefly Noted

USA Today picks its books for the week.

Salon picks books for March.

The Stella Prize short list is announced.

The NYT Crime column is out.

Entertainment Weekly releases its Hot Stuff romance column for March.

Barnes & Noble names their books of the month.

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

More details on the cancellation of Woody Allen’s memoir came out late Friday from The Washington Post and NYT. Stephen King has weighed in, tweeting that the decision “Makes Me Very Uneasy.”  Both Dylan and Ronan Farrow also took to Twitter to share how grateful they are. Deadline has those details.

The Washington Post has a report on the Oprah American Dirt episode on AppleTV+. Vulture has “7 Key Moments” from the show.

The BBC gathers “The most overlooked recent novels.”

The Guardian introduces “Europe's most exciting authors.”

Vulture writes about the comfort of Pandemic fiction.

Time features Hilary Mantel, The Mirror & The Light (Henry Holt: Macmillan).

Shondaland interviews Kate Elizabeth Russell, My Dark Vanessa (William Morrow: Harper; LJ starred review).

Time spotlights Claudia Rankine, Just Us: An American Conversation (Graywolf: Macmillan).

Datebook interviews Jane Hirshfield, Ledger (Bloodaxe Books).

The Guardian interviews Sebastian Barry, A Thousand Moons (Viking: Penguin).

Mother Jones interviews William Gibson, Agency (Berkley: Penguin).

Vox interviews Martin Hägglund, This Life: Secular Faith and Spiritual Freedom (Pantheon: Random House).

Kate Elizabeth Russell, My Dark Vanessa (William Morrow: Harper; LJ starred review), answers the Book Marks book quiz.

Vogue showcases “8 Empowering Cookbooks to Celebrate International Women’s Day.” Bustle has a list of books about Women’s Protest. Refinery29 suggests “The Best Feminist Books to Spark Your Awakening.”

The Cut looks at Assouline publishing house, a publisher that “strives to produce books by, for, or about any of the megacorporations that peddle luxury (Chanel, Dior, Cartier) or that don’t but aspire to (Coke, Mattel).”

The NYT has an “Overlooked No More” obituary for author and solo adventure traveler Audrey Sutherland.

Authors on Air

NPR features Story Boat by Kyo Maclear, illustrated by Rashin Kheiriyeh (Tundra Books: Random House).

PBS NewsHour has a piece about the inspiration behind Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love by Dani Shapiro (Anchor: Random House).

Entertainment Weekly has a video of Hilary Mantel reading from The Mirror & The Light (Henry Holt: Macmillan).

Deadline reports on casting new for the adaptation of The Old Man by Thomas Perry. Disney is planning a Beauty & The Beast prequel series for Disney+.

The Today show features The XX Brain: The Groundbreaking Science Empowering Women to Maximize Cognitive Health and Prevent Alzheimer's Disease by Lisa Mosconi PhD (Avery: Penguin).

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