ALA Releases List of the Decade's 100 Most Censored Titles | Book Pulse

The Return by Nicholas Sparks leads holds this week. People’s “Book of the Week” is The Midnight Library by Matt Haig. Celebrate “The Women Who Shaped The Past 100 Years of American Literature.” ALA releases the top 100 most censored titles of the decade. CBS Sunday Morning has an overview of the fall book season. The film based on Nico Walker’s Cherry sells to Apple for over 40 million.

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Big Books of the Week

The Return by Nicholas Sparks (Grand Central: Hachette) leads holds this week.

Other titles in demand include:

Battle Ground by Jim Butcher (Ace: Penguin; LJ starred review)

A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik (Del Rey: Random House; LJ starred review)

Happily This Christmas by Susan Mallery (HQN: Harper)

Christmas Cupcake Murder by Joanne Fluke (Kensington: Random House)

These books and others publishing the week of Sept. 28, 2020, are listed in a downloadable spreadsheet.  

Librarians and Booksellers Suggest

Three LibraryReads selections publish this week:

Battle Ground by Jim Butcher (Ace: Penguin; LJ starred review)

Battle Ground has more at stake than any previous book in the Dresden Files series, and more changes for Harry. Filled to the brim with non-stop action, this entry has Harry and almost every supernatural being he knows coming to defend Chicago from a mad Titan bent on reshaping reality. For fans of Mercy Thompson series (Briggs) and the Iron Druid Chronicles (Hearne).” —Dan Brooks, Wake County Public Libraries, Raleigh, NC

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig (Viking: Penguin)

“At a seminal moment in her life, Nora visits a unique library. Every book she chooses is one that she becomes part of and is a possible life she might have led. There are adventures, close calls, and joy. Give this totally engrossing page turner to fans of Here and Now and Then (Chen) and Life after Life (Atkinson).” —Deborah Margeson, Douglas County Libraries, Castle Rock, CO

A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik (Del Rey: Random House; LJ starred review)

“Scholomance is an elite school of magic where only the strongest survive, literally. Deadly beasts hide around every corner, and the spells learned in class could save your life. Adventure, world-building, friendships formed in adversity, and a murderous school? Irresistible!” —Sharon Layburn, South Huntington Public Library, Huntington Station, NY 

It is also an Indie Next pick:

A Deadly Education takes a fresh stab at the magical boarding school setting in this inventive and compelling new novel from Naomi Novik. Galadriel Higgins is a student at Scholomance, a dangerous institution full of things that don’t just go bump in the night, they tend to maim and murder the students. In such a perilous place, it’s important to have friends. Unfortunately, Galadriel is a sarcastic misanthrope with a potent affinity toward mass destruction and death, but she might have to start relying on her non-magical charms to get out of this school alive. With a wink to all your favorite series, A Deadly Education is guaranteed to enthrall!” —Heather Herbaugh, Mitzi’s Books, Rapid City, SD

Five more Indie Next choices hit shelves this week:

The End of the Day by Bill Clegg (Gallery/Scout: S. & S.)

“Bill Clegg gracefully weaves together character-driven vignettes to reveal 60 years of secrets and regrets over the course of a single day. The central characters have known each other since childhood, but while their paths parted ways long ago, the mystery around why is now threatening to come clean. Moving seamlessly from Connecticut to Kauai, from present day to the past, the unbreakable nature of their connections becomes clear. The power in Clegg’s writing is his ability to bring uncomfortable situations and characters to life without judgment, allowing them their humanity while not absolving them of guilt. This gentle writing style is what makes The End of the Day an emotionally powerful novel.” —Luisa Smith, Book Passage, Corte Madera, CA

rough house : a memoir by Tina Ontiveros (Oregon State University Press) “rough house is an intensely moving and vivid story of author Tina Ontiveros’ childhood in poverty-stricken small towns and logging camps of the Pacific Northwest during the ’70s and ’80s. Throughout her story, Ontiveros shares poignant memories of a heartrending and complex relationship with her volatile father as she earnestly tries to come to terms with the impact these experiences have had on who she is and who she is to become. Her loss and grief seem insurmountable at times, but her resolve and hope for a better future shine through. rough house is a gripping and emotional journey that should not be missed.” —Jennifer Green, Green Bean Books, Portland, OR

The Talented Miss Farwell by Emily Gray Tedrowe (Custom House: Harper)

“The small town of Pierson, Illinois, is so fortunate to have the bright, hard-working Becky Farwell as town treasurer. She really understands finances and how to get the most out of the town’s limited resources. But despite her best efforts, there is never enough to repair the roads, maintain the river walk, or fund the schools. In another world, people wonder what the story is behind the glamorous, high-flying art collector Reba Farwell, who has no visible means of support. Does it matter, as long she has an unfailingly discerning eye and gives great parties? Watch and wonder as the talented Miss Farwell keeps all the plates spinning in this totally absorbing study of obsession and deception.” —Ellen Sandmeyer, Sandmeyer’s Bookstore, Chicago, IL

Down Along with That Devil's Bones: A Reckoning with Monuments, Memory, and the Legacy of White Supremacy by Connor Towne O'Neill (Algonquin Books: Workman)

“The past won’t go anywhere — especially the racist past endorsed by the contemporary enablers of the Nathan Bedford Forrest mythology. O’Neill’s combination of historical research on the ‘Southern Cause’ and Jim Crow racism, combined with visits the most contentious monuments to slavery, bring this work to visceral life. Down Along With That Devil’s Bones brings to mind Tony Horwitz’s Confederates in the Attic, but there’s much less to laugh about as O’Neill gives us the endless monumental horror of a country’s refusal to shake free from the roots of a long racist history.” —Brian Lampkin, Scuppernong Books, Greensboro, NC

The Bell in the Lake by Lars Mytting, translated by Deborah Dawkin (The Overlook Press: Abrams).

“Perfect for fans of Kieran Millwood Hargrave’s The Mercies, this Norwegian bestseller is an atmosphere-lover’s dream. Set in the secluded village of Butangen in 1880, The Bell in the Lake chronicles its residents’ lives, all centered around a 700-year-old church and its mystical bells. Mytting effortlessly captures the push and pull between history and modernity, stringing his story with tension and moments of rare beauty. This novel is achingly real, as if one could step into the pages and find themselves looking up at the towering wooden staves.” —Laura Graveline, Brazos Bookstore, Houston, TX

In the Media

People’s “Book of the Week” is The Midnight Library by Matt Haig (Viking: Penguin). Also getting attention are The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett by Annie Lyons (William Morrow: Harper) and Jack by Marilynne Robinson (FSG: Macmillan; LJ starred review). The “New in Paperback” section features The Testaments by Margaret Atwood (Anchor: Random House), In Case You Missed It by Lindsey Kelk (Harper), and A Most English Princess: A Novel of Queen Victoria's Daughter by Clare McHugh (William Morrow: Harper). People’s “Picks” include The Glorias, A Wilderness of Error, and The Comey Rule. Lastly, the magazine features Sunny Hostin’s I Am These Truths: A Memoir of Identity, Justice, and Living Between Worlds (HarperOne).


USA Today reviews Jack by Marilynne Robinson (FSG: Macmillan; LJ starred review), giving it 3 stars, holding “She writes about faith without piousness, art without snobbery, and when she gets deep into her characters’ heads, gives their emotional crises complexity and contours.”  Also, Just Like You by Nick Hornby (Riverhead: Penguin; LJ starred review), giving it 3.5 stars and writing that it is full of characters that are “articulate, funny, clever and sensitive.”

NPR reviews All About the Story: News, Power, Politics, and the Washington Post by Leonard Downie, Jr. (PublicAffairs: Hachette): “has obvious value for anyone looking to understand the ways news has changed in the past five decades. Some of those lessons are not intentional.”

Briefly Noted

USA Today picks five books for the week.

CrimeReads has “10 New Books Coming Out This Week.”

Book Marks offers “The Best Reviewed Books in History and Politics, September Edition.”        

NPR’s Romance column is out.

The NYT runs the Children’s column, “3 Illustrated Novels With Animal Magnetism.” has a list of standalone Fantasy novels.

The Guardian suggests “When comfort reading won’t cut it: books to restore hope in humanity.”

The Smithsonian Magazine writes about “The Women Who Shaped The Past 100 Years of American Literature.”

Rick Atkinson wins the George Washington Prize for The British Are Coming: The War for America, Lexington to Princeton, 1775-1777 (Holt: Macmillan; LJ starred review).

The shortlist is out for the JCB Prize for Literature.

The Guardian interviews Marilynne RobinsonJack (FSG: Macmillan; LJ starred review).

Electric Lit interviews Hari Kunzru, Red Pill (Knopf).

The NYT features Fariha Róisín, Like a Bird (Unnamed) and also has a feature on Inua Ellams, The Half-God of Rainfall (Fourth Estate: Harper).

Slate spotlights Alyssa Cole, When No One Is Watching (William Morrow: Harper; LJ starred review).

NPR appreciates Bunheads by Misty Copeland, illustrated by Setor Fiadzigbey (G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers: Penguin; SLJ starred review).

The NYT has “7 Takeaways” from The Meaning of Mariah Carey by Mariah Carey (Andy Cohen Books: Macmillan).

Vogue spotlights Lana Del Rey, Violet Bent Backwards Over the Grass (S. & S.).

ALA releases a list of the Top 100 most censored titles of the decade. SLJ has a report as does USA Today. The Washington Post also writes about banned books.

The Guardian reports that “two-time Booker prize winner Hilary Mantel has said that she is ‘disappointed’ but ‘freed’ after not making this year’s shortlist.”

The L.A. Times reports on using the LA Public Library when its buildings are closed, calling it “easy, fun and surprisingly comforting.”

Authors on Air

CBS Sunday Morning has an overview of the fall book season. The piece also includes a number of excerpts. The landing page for them is here.

USA Today reports on Colson Whitehead’s talk at the National Book Festival. Also, John Grisham’s session.

The film based on Nico Walker’s Cherry sells to Apple for over 40 million. The George Saunders short story “Spiderhead” is set for Netflix with Chris Hemsworth, Miles Teller, and Jurnee Smollett to star. Also, Aldis Hodge will star as Hawkman in the forthcoming Black Adam film based in the DC universe. Dwayne Johnson also stars. Deadline has details on all.

Variety reports that Samuel L. Jackson is likely to feature as Nick Fury in a new Marvel Disney+ series.

NPR’s Code Switch interviews Kwana Jackson, Real Men Knit (Berkley: Penguin).

Mariah Carey, The Meaning of Mariah Carey (Andy Cohen Books: Macmillan), will be on with Stephen Colbert tonight.

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