'The Four Winds' by Kristin Hannah Tops Holds Lists | Book Pulse

The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah leads holds this week. Other titles in high demand include The Survivors by Jane Harper, Serpentine by Jonathan Kellerman, Girl A by Abigail Dean, and more. PopSugar picks The Kindest Lie by Nancy Johnson for its February book club, and Luster by Raven Leilani is Vox's February book club selection. The Authors Guild, the National Writers Union, and others sent a letter to the Department of Justice asking it to block the sale of Simon & Schuster to Penguin Random House. Following news of her death, Cicely Tyson's memoir Just as I Am hit No. 1 on Amazon, and also sold out of copies available there.

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Big Books of the Week

The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah (St. Martin's: Macmillan; LJ starred review) leads holds this week.

Other titles in demand include:

The Survivors by Jane Harper (Flatiron: Macmillan)

Serpentine: An Alex Delaware Novel by Jonathan Kellerman (Ballantine: Random House)

Girl A by Abigail Dean (Viking: Penguin)

Claudia and the New Girl (The Baby-sitters Club Graphic Novel #9) by Ann M. Martin and illustrated by Gabriela Epstein (Graphix: Scholastic)

Blink of an Eye by Roy Johansen and Iris Johansen (Grans Central: Hachette)

These books and others publishing the week of Feb. 1, 2021 are listed in a downloadable spreadsheet

Librarians and Booksellers Suggest

There are 6 LibraryReads selections arriving this week, including the top pick of the month, which is The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah (St. Martin's: Macmillan; LJ starred review):

"Elsa, abandoned by her husband, leaves Texas with her two children to save her young son from dust pneumonia. Beautifully written historical fiction about a mother’s love and strength holding a family together as they leave the Dust Bowl and head West to fulfill dreams of green lands, only to find themselves unwelcome and with conditions worse than what they left. For readers who enjoy historical fiction with unforgettable characters, and fans of The Giver of Stars and Cilka’s Journey." —Michele Coleman, Iredell County Public Library, Statesville, NC

It is also an Indie Next choice:

"A brilliantly woven narrative set during the Dust Bowl years on the High Plains of Texas, The Four Winds is a story of survival that inspires us to persist. Hannah extensively researched the devastation of this climatic and agricultural phenomenon and its toll on communities, which seamlessly informs the deftly woven narrative of the life of Elsa, a woman who finds that she has more tenacity and resourcefulness than she had been raised to believe — and then some." —Claudia Maceo, The Twig Book Shop, San Antonio, TX

Finlay Donovan Is Killing It by Elle Cosimano (Minotaur: Macmillan)

"What a fun, enjoyable romp! Finlay Donovan is mistaken for a hit woman, a desperate wife hires her to kill her husband, and it gets crazy from there. An entertaining, hilarious distraction. Perfect for all the Stephanie Plum fans out there." —Rosemarie Borsody, Lee Library Association, Lee, MA

Much Ado About You by Samantha Young (Berkley: Penguin)

"Feeling overlooked in her career and her personal life, Shakespeare-loving Evie Starling takes a leap of faith and goes to Northern England to run the Much Ado About Books bookshop. There, she meets a very sexy farmer who makes her want to break her one and only rule for her trip: no men. For readers who loved The Tourist Attraction and Natalie Tan's Book of Luck and Fortune." —Laura Collins, Lexington Main Library, Lexington, SC

The Nature of Fragile Things by Susan Meissner (Berkley: Penguin)

"Just before the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, Sophie, a poor Irish immigrant, answers an ad from a man looking for a wife and mother to his child. Sophie is complex, strong and a bit mysterious, and details of the earthquake and subsequent fires add to the story’s depth." —Ellen Firer, Merrick Library, Merrick, NY

The Kindest Lie by Nancy Johnson (William Morrow: HarperCollins)

"This novel begins on the eve of the 2008 election at a watch party hosted by Ruth and Xavier. Ruth must soon confess a secret: she had a child as a teenager, but walked away to begin a new life. When she returns to her hometown, she begins a friendship with a troubled 11-year-old white boy. Their connected paths are brilliantly told and explore themes of race, money, and finding your way back home. For fans of Tayari Jones and Jacqueline Woodson." —Ron Block, Cuyahoga Public Library, Cuyahoga, OH

It is also an Indie Next choice:

"You know you are in the hands of a natural storyteller from the very first pages of The Kindest Lie, a story of unlikely friendships, difficult choices, and the untold burden of our past. Ruth is compelled to return to the hometown she fled to pursue her dreams. Midnight is a boy broken and in search of a safe port amidst the stormy seas of his young life. Both have been impacted by the brutal politics of race and class in modern America, and both must find a way to heal their broken hearts. A moving story of the compassion and strength needed to move past fear and distrust and begin to hope for a better future." —Luisa Smith, Book Passage, Corte Madera, CA

The Survivors by Jane Harper (Flatiron: Macmillan)

"Harper’s latest gripping murder mystery is set in a seaside town on the coast of Tasmania, where suspicions surrounding three deaths following a shipwreck resurface when a young woman is murdered years later." —Paul Lane, Palm Beach County Public Library, Boca Raton, FL

It is also an Indie Next choice:

"Jane Harper returns with another atmospheric psychological suspense novel, this time set on the Tasmanian coast. Harper’s landscapes are tangible, exquisitely drawn, and as important to her stories as any character. The laid back and beautiful — but slightly run-down — beach town of Evelyn Bay is the star. Though there is a new body and an old mystery here, the novel focuses more on the inner conflicts, guilt, and secrets of its characters — a close group of lovers, friends, and family who are all holding back parts of their past. Reading the book was like watching the waves lap at the mouths of dark caves from a Tasmanian beach. An excellent escape!" —Debra Ginsberg, DIESEL, A Bookstore, Santa Monica, CA

There are 12 additional titles on the Indie Next list coming out this week:

The Bad Muslim Discount by Syed M. Masood (Doubleday: Random House; LJ starred review)

"I loved The Bad Muslim Discount so much I read the acknowledgements just so it wouldn’t end — and they were great, too! This is an insightful and funny novel about faith, family, and being a Muslim American today. Masood offers us a sharp perspective, a seamless style, and unforgettable characters, leaving the reader enriched for the experience." —Claire Benedict, Bear Pond Books, Montpelier, VT

Beneath the Keep: A Novel of the Tearling by Erika Johansen (Dutton: Penguin)

"Centuries after the Crossing, the Tearling has fallen far from William Tear’s dream of utopia. The gap between classes is wide and citizens at the bottom lead dark, brutal lives. A rebel uprising brings hope for change along with a prophecy about the coming of a True Queen. Readers just discovering the Tearling will be intrigued by the complex world-building. Those familiar with the original trilogy will delight in reading beloved characters’ backstories in this ambitious prequel." —Tarah Jennings, Mitzi’s Books, Rapid City, SD

Fake Accounts by Lauren Oyler (Catapult: Penguin)

"This novel about our technological age is subversive from the very start. Its dense, wordy paragraphs seem the opposite of the endless bite-sized chunks of information we consume online. Yet within its density, it also mimics the internet experience through the stream-of-consciousness voice of its not-always-reliable narrator. It’s a fun story with lots to say about the incessant self-branding and impossible unreliability of our lives spent increasingly online." —Edward Newton, The Literate Lizard, Sedona, AZ

The Girl from the Channel Islands: A WWII Novel by Jenny Lecoat (Graydon House: HarperCollins)

"A beautiful love story unfolds between a German officer and a Jewish woman amidst the horror and atrocities of WWII. Set in Jersey in the Channel Islands, this historical novel, with its many twists and turns, will keep you on edge. Secrets and lies become the norm for survival along with crafty plans to evade discovery. The bravery of the characters keeps the reader focused on the triumph of the human spirit against all odds. Lecoat has turned a personal connection and a family history into an engaging, touching novel!" —Diane McGuire, Valley Bookseller, Stillwater, MN

Land of Big Numbers: Stories by Te-Ping Chen (Mariner: HMH)

"I loved this stunning debut collection of stories. Chen digs deep and uses her experience as a foreign correspondent to portray the voices and lives of people living in modern China. These stories will stay with you long after you’ve finished reading the book. Highly recommended." —Cody Morrison, Square Books, Oxford, MS

Love Is an Ex-Country by Randa Jarrar (Catapult: Penguin)

"Randa Jarrar’s intimate memoir is nothing short of monumental. Intelligent, tender, and lacerating in equal measure, Love Is an Ex-Country takes readers on a journey across the U.S., probing what it means to live fully in a hostile environment and contemplate survival in the face of erasure. Jarrar navigates the profound with a light touch and infuses every page with humor, insight, and defiance. Above all, this is a story of being: being corporeal, being of many places and no place, and being joyful — triumphantly." —Nika Jonas, Books Are Magic, Brooklyn, NY

Made in China: A Prisoner, an SOS Letter, and the Hidden Cost of America’s Cheap Goods by Amelia Pang (Algonquin: Workman)

"This powerful story arises from an improbable source: a crude, hand-written note slipped into Halloween merchandise made in China, a note that leads Pang on a search for its author and introduces her to the nightmare life of Chinese prison labor, so-called re-education camps, the worst horrors of living in a police state, and lives destroyed just for being an independent thinker. The toll on individuals is foregrounded here and summons us to be humane to all.” —Susan Thurin, Bookends On Main, Menomonie, WI

Milk Blood Heat by Dantiel W. Moniz (Grove; LJ starred review)

"Milk Blood Heat grabbed me and wouldn’t let go. The prose blisters with a beauty so raw and intense it borders on horrifying. With widely differing characters, voices, and settings, each story makes its own unique contribution to the collection, yet each propels the reader onward in turn. Dantiel W. Moniz is a jaw-dropping new star on the literary stage.” —Audrey Beatty, River Bend Bookshop, Glastonbury, CT

Milk Fed by Melissa Broder (Scriber: S. & S.)

"Titillating and hilarious, this book is Broder’s crowning achievement (so far). Calorie-obsessed Rachel is an unlikely but irresistible heroine, and when she meets Miriam at the yogurt shop, sparks (and sprinkles!) fly. Each must reckon with her Jewish identity as well as her heart’s deepest, lushest desires, while the intense scrutiny of the mother figure looms large. This story is unflinchingly honest, unexpectedly moving, and a brilliant checkmate to shame, both carnal and spiritual. I couldn’t put it down." —Kristen Iskandrian, Thank You Books, Birmingham, AL

The Removed by Brandon Hobson (Ecco: HarperCollins; LJ starred review)

"In telling the story of a Native family in Oklahoma who lost a teenage son to a shooting, The Removed examines the power of inherited trauma and the strength of family to keep people together. The book is told in the voices of the various family members left after the death of their son/brother and explores the effects on their lives of their Cherokee ancestors who walked the Trail of Tears. Mixing several points of view along with Native myth, Hobson brings a powerful story to light where the reader really steps into the shoes of each character. The loss, sadness, and despair are palpable, but so are hope and healing, by the end. A truly beautiful book about something everyone should read more about." —Izzy Stringham, Bookbinders Basalt, Basalt, CO

Send for Me by Lauren Fox (Knopf: Random House)

"I was deeply moved by this beautifully written and fascinating novel about four generations of Jewish women, based on a series of letters written by Fox’s great-grandmother in Germany to her grandmother in Milwaukee between 1938 and 1941. Annelise leaves Germany with her husband and child at the cusp of World War II and emigrates to Milwaukee, where a new life awaits. But she leaves behind her parents, who desperately wait for visas to join her. Memories play a deep part in the novel, as do the (sometimes) rocky relationships between mothers and daughters. I’m sure that this excellent novel will find a place on many reading group lists." —Ken Favell, Books & Company, Oconomowoc, WI

The Unwilling by John Hart (St. Martin's: Macmillan)

"It’s been too long since I let life go by because a book pulled me into its world, but The Unwilling stole my weekend. Set in the Vietnam War era, it wasn’t an easy read. The cost to a French family, just one of so many broken by overwhelming sadness, destruction, and evil, reminded me of how little we learn and how high the price is for ourselves and future generations when we don’t face our history and tell our stories honestly." —Nancy McCarty, Otto Bookstore, Williamsport, PA

In the Media

In this week's issue of People, the "Picks" book of the week is This Is the Voice by John Colapinto (S. & S.). Also getting attention are The Hare by Melanie Finn (Two Dollar Radio) and The Divines by Ellie Eaton (William Morrow: HarperCollins). A "New In Nonfiction" section includes Nobody's Normal: How Culture Created the Stigma of Mental Illness by Roy Richard Grinker (W. W. Norton), We Need to Hang Out: A Memoir of Making Friends by Billy Baker (Avid Reader: S. & S.), and When Harry Met Minnie: A True Story of Love and Friendship by Martha Teichner (Celadon: Macmillan). The "Buzz Book" is What Kind of Woman by Kate Baer (Harper). The "Picks" section also features The Dig, based on the book by John Preston, Wendy Williams: The Movie, and The Long Song, based on the book by Andrea Levy. There is also coverage of Stanley Tucci, Taste: My Life Through Food (Gallery: S. & S.) and Cicely Tyson, Just as I Am (HarperCollins).


The Washington Post reviews The Hare by Melanie Finn (Two Dollar Radio): "This is not a cheery book, but like those Vermont woods in winter, it shimmers with a stark loveliness." Also, Truly Like Lightning by David Duchovny (FSG: Macmillan): "...his most complex novel is also the best of the batch, and makes a solid case for him as a real-deal novelist."

The L.A. Times reviews My Year Abroad by Chang-rae Lee (Riverhead: Penguin): "Long preoccupied with the ways identity holds people back, Lee now seems to want to write about how those things open us up, for good or ill." 

NPR reviews We Came, We Saw, We Left: A Family Gap Year by Charles Wheelan (W. W. Norton): "...a swift and refreshing escape during these isolated, isolating times."

USA Today reviews The Removed by Brandon Hobson (Ecco: HarperCollins; LJ starred review), which earns 3.5 stars: "It’s a surprisingly magnetic and eerie book, like a concrete brick that cracks open to reveal a sparkling geode, throwing off a strange light."

Briefly Noted

USA Today picks five books for the week.

CrimeReads has 10 new books for the week.

Book Marks recommends 7 new sci-fi and fantasy books.

Kirkus suggests "4 New Books To Read for Black History Month."

Book Page selects "Six books reveal the dreams of America’s Black forefathers and foremothers."

The Millions previews the best books of February.

PopSugar picks the best books of the month. Also, its February book club pick is The Kindest Lie by Nancy Johnson (William Morrow: HarperCollins).

Lambda Literary lines up "February’s Most Anticipated LGBTQ Books."

The Guardian selects the "10 best debut novelists of 2021."

Book Riot also looks at new books by debut authors.

David Duchovny share his favorite recent reads with Amazon. Amazon also has its picks  for the month.

Luster by Raven Leilani (FSG: Macmillan) is Vox's February book club selection.

The Authors Guild, the National Writers Union, the nonprofit Open Markets Institute, and four additional writers' groups sent a letter to the Department of Justice asking it to block the sale of Simon & Schuster to Penguin Random House. The L.A. Times has details.

Following news of her death, Cicely Tyson's memoir Just as I Am (HarperCollins) hit No. 1 on Amazon, and also sold out of copies available there. Deadline reports.

In the forthcoming Sooley (Doubleday: Random House; due out April 27), John Grisham gets into basketball. Kirkus has info.

In 2016 Yunice Abbas allegedly stole $10 million in jewelry from Kim Kardashian's hotel room. Now Abbas has a book about the experience, I Kidnapped Kim Kardashian, coming out in France. Page Six has details.

Dantiel W. Moniz talks about Milk Blood Heat (Grove; LJ starred review) with Shondaland.

Vulture speaks with Brontez Purnell about 100 Boyfriends (MCD x FSG: Macmillan).

"I don’t want to feel too comfortable," Chang-rae Lee, My Year Abroad (Riverhead: Penguin), tells the NYT in an interview.

Datebook has a Q&A with Te-Ping Chen, Land of Big Numbers: Stories (Mariner: HMH).

Ethan Hawke talks with USA Today about A Bright Ray of Darkness (Knopf: Random House).

Entertainment Weekly has a conversation with Jenny Offill, Weather (Knopf).

BOMB interviews R.O. Kwon and Garth Greenwell, editors of Kink: Stories (S. & S.).

Elle profiles Jasmin Kaur, If I Tell You the Truth (HarperCollins). 

Emily Nemens, The Cactus League (FSG: Macmillan: LJ starred review) does the "Questionnaire" for Book Marks.

The Star Tribune interviews Kawai Strong Washburn, Sharks in the Time of Saviors (MCD: Macmillan; LJ starred review).

Theodore Wheeler discusses In Our Other Lives (Little A: Amazon) with The Rumpus.

The Atlantic looks at "How Predicting the Future Became a Literary Genre."

Author Sharon Kay Penman has died. The NYT has an obituary.

Authors on Air

CBS Sunday Morning highlights several new books: When Harry Met Minnie: A True Story of Love and Friendship by Martha Teichner (Celadon: Macmillan), Mike Nichols: A Life by Mark Harris (Penguin), Black Buck by Mateo Askaripour (HMH), A Bright Ray of Darkness by Ethan Hawke (Knopf: Random House), The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah (St. Martin's: Macmillan; LJ starred review), and Icebound: Shipwrecked at the Edge of the World by Andrea Pitzer (Scribner: S. & S.).

MGM picked up the rights to The Antisocial Network by Ben Mezrich, which is just in its book proposal stage. Deadline reports.

The NYT Book Review podcast features Ron Lieber, The Price You Pay for College: An Entirely New Road Map for the Biggest Financial Decision Your Family Will Ever Make (Harper), and Michael J. Stephen, Breath Taking: The Power, Fragility, and Future of Our Extraordinary Lungs (Atlantic Monthly).

The CBC's Writers and Company interviews Margot Livesey, The Boy in the Field (Harper).

Ethan Hawke, A Bright Ray of Darkness (Knopf: Random House), appears on NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday. He'll also be on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert tonight.

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