Naomi Novik & V.E. Schwab Announce New Titles; Vogue UK Has a New Bernardine Evaristo Short Story | Book Pulse

Bernardine Evaristo has a new “fantasy story about fashion & social issues” in Vogue UK’s March issue. Naomi Novik will publish A Deadly Education on Sept. 29, 2020. V.E. Schwab returns on Oct. 6 with The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue. Sisters by Choice by Susan Mallery leads holds this week. The PEN/Faulkner Longlist is out, and Oscars go to a few films based on books.

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Big Books of the Week

Sisters by Choice by Susan Mallery (MIRA: Harper) leads holds this week.

Other titles in demand include:

Weather by Jenny Offill (Knopf)

Above the Bay of Angels by Rhys Bowen (Lake Union: Amazon)

Salt River by Randy Wayne White (G.P. Putnam’s Sons: Penguin)

These books and others publishing the week of Feb. 10, 2020, are listed in a downloadable spreadsheet.

Librarians and Booksellers Suggest

Two LibraryReads publish this week:

Mercy House by Alena Dillon (William Morrow Paperbacks: Harper)

“Mercy House, a battered women’s shelter run by nuns, is being investigated by an arrogant bishop and threatened by a violent gang leader. In a world full of predators, Sister Evelyn protects her traumatized and diverse flock of women with everything she’s got. She is arousing, radical, literary hero of heart-stirring courage. Give to fans of Elizabeth Berg and Anita Diamant.” —Jill Minor, Washington County Public Library, Abingdon, VA

The Bear by Andrew Krivak (Bellevue Literary Press; LJ starred review)

A young girl and her father live alone in a mountain forest that fronts a lake in a devastated world. She learns from him how to live off the land, hunting for food, and finding shelter. The Bear is the moving story of a journey they make together to the ocean, and the bear who helps her find her way back home. For fans of The Dog Stars (Heller) and The Road (McCarthy).” —Sandy Jones Boyd, Mountain Regional Public Library, Young Harris, GA

Four Indie Next choices hit shelves:

Weather by Jenny Offill (Knopf)

“Brief and brilliant, Jenny Offill’s Weather doesn’t need page after page to trap us inside. Tearing through precision-crafted paragraphs, we willingly follow a Brooklyn librarian down a doomsday rabbit hole as she tries to limit the world’s damage to those she loves. On the express bus to the demise of civilization, find a seat next to Lizzie for a wild and witty ride through the storm raging across America. An astute and satisfying read.” —Ann Woodbeck, Excelsior Bay Books, Excelsior, MN

Author in Chief: The Untold Story of Our Presidents and the Books They Wrote by Craig Fehrman (Avid Reader Press: S. & S.)

“Fascinating and engaging, Craig Fehrman’s Author in Chief delivers unique insights into U.S. politics, history, and publishing. Fehrman shows that analyzing our presidents as authors first provides understanding and appreciation into their personal lives and motivations, but also into how those motivations greatly influenced our country as a whole. Proving that books can indeed change the world, Author in Chief is a perfect combination of history, politics, and bibliophilia.” —Katerina Argyres, Bookshop West Portal, San Francisco, CA

The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave (Little, Brown: Hachette)

“A chilling and captivating book taking place in a Norwegian village in the 1670s, The Mercies is a story of resilience. It follows Maren, who watched as all the village men died in a storm and has had to find a way to survive those losses, and Ursa, the daughter of a merchant who was married off to a witch hunter before being brought north. When their paths cross, both women’s lives are changed forever. This beautifully written story left me chilled. It is not often that I have to put down a book, but there were several times I had to walk away from this one to just sit and think about it. A must-read!” —Katherine Nazzaro, Trident Booksellers & Café, Boston, MA

The Unspoken Name by A. K. Larkwood (Tor: Macmillan)

The Unspoken Name is the gloriously fresh, magnificently epic fantasy I didn’t know I needed until I picked it up and couldn’t put it down. Larkwood explodes the classic tropes of the genre and takes the reader somewhere completely new. Csorwe is a kickass heroine for the ages. Clear a space in your schedule before you start The Unspoken Name. Very highly recommended!” —Carol Schneck Varner, Schuler Books, Okemos, MI

In the Media

People’s "Book of the Week" is The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley (Pamela Dorman Books: Penguin). The Escape Artist by Helen Fremont (Gallery: S. & S.) and Minor Dramas & Other Catastrophes by Kathleen West (Berkley: Penguin) also get attention. "New in Nonfiction" covers Smacked: A Story of White-Collar Ambition, Addiction, and Tragedy by Eilene Zimmerman (Random House), Name Drop: The Really Good Celebrity Stories I Usually Only Tell at Happy Hour by Ross Mathews (Atria: S. & S.), and When Time Stopped: A Memoir of My Father's War and What Remains by Ariana Neumann (Scribner: S. & S.). The "Kids Pick" is Fritzy Finds a Hat: A Gentle Tale to Help Talk with Children About Cancer by Scott Hamilton, illustrated by Brad Paisley (Forefront Books: S. & S.). Covering media, People "Picks" include Locke & Key and Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made. Also in the issuea story on Jamie Oliver, Ultimate Veg (Flatiron: Macmillan; LJ starred review).


NPR reviews The Regrets by Amy Bonnaffons (Little, Brown: Hachette): “[a] dazzling debut … Wildly inventive and daring … a reflection on the limits of love that's both hilarious and heartbreaking.” Also, The Freedom Artist by Ben Okri (Akashic): “an unsettling read.” Black Sunday by Tola Rotimi Abraham (Catapult): “this gem of a novel is packed with so much poetry, pain, abandonment, abuse, heartbreak, and poverty.”

USA Today reviews The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave (Little, Brown: Hachette), giving it 3.5 stars and writing “Patient readers will find an exquisitely written story that works both as a parable for our times and as an absorbing account of women finding power and grace and love even under the most harrowing circumstances.”  

The L.A. Times reviews Eden Mine by S. M. Hulse (FSG: Macmillan): “S.M. Hulse has been inventing a new version of the western. Part of her mission involves updating the genre’s content, thrusting its violent themes into the present day ... Her style doesn’t soften her subject matter, exactly, but gives it a slower, more contemplative feel … it's a welcome entry in the genre of terror-themed fiction … she wants to understand the blast radius, not the bomb.” Also, Kingdomtide by Rye Curtis (Little, Brown: Hachette): “that rare genre-fluid story that is lovable both because of and despite its surfeit of eccentric, over-the-top characters and moments. Some are gritty and dark, others light and wise; together they create an impressive first book and a highly original tale of adventure and perseverance.”

The Washington Post reviews The Big Goodbye: Chinatown and the Last Years of Hollywood by Sam Wasson (Flatiron Books: Macmillan; LJ starred review): “an utterly stylish and entertaining ode to a bygone era and the gifted but troubled people who made it memorable.” Also, Why We Can't Sleep: Women's New Midlife Crisis by Ada Calhoun (Grove Press; LJ starred review): “a sprint through everything — and I mean everything — that is bothering Generation X women, from irritation with slacker husbands and endless nagging email threads about school bake sales to fears of ending up in a cardboard box on the street.” Arguing with Zombies: Economics, Politics, and the Fight for a Better Future by Paul Krugman (W.W. Norton): “forcefully and repeatedly contends that Republican lawmakers are carrying water for corporations and the wealthiest Americans.” A Time to Build: From Family and Community to Congress and the Campus, How Recommitting to Our Institutions Can Revive the American Dream by Yuval Levin (Basic Books): “We suffer from our current ills, he insists, because we have forgotten why we need institutions.” Friendship: The Evolution, Biology, and Extraordinary Power of Life's Fundamental Bond by Lydia Denworth (W.W. Norton): “In an accessible and enlightening style … Denworth has crafted a worthy call to action.” The Ruins Lesson: Meaning and Material in Western Culture by Susan Stewart (Univ. Chicago): “a critical and substantial contribution.”

Briefly Noted

USA Today picks books for the week.

Popsugar picks 25 books for February.

CrimeReads has February suggestions for psychological thrillers.

The PEN/Faulkner Longlist is out.

The L.A. Times has a report on a #DignidadLiteraria panel featuring Roxane Gay and Myriam Gurba. Related, SF Gate reports a jump in sales for Latino authors follows in the wake of the American Dirt uproar.

The NYT features Brandon Taylor, Real Life (Riverhead: Penguin). Also, Varian Johnson appreciates Christopher Paul Curtis.

The Guardian features Danez Smith, Homie: Poems (Graywolf: Macmillan). Also, an interview with Jenny Offill, Weather (Knopf) and one with Petina Gappah, Out of Darkness, Shining Light (Scribner: S. & S.; LJ starred review). Lastly, a piece by Peter Carey on writing True History of the Kelly Gang (Vintage: Penguin).

The NYT asks Craig Fehrman its “5 Things About Your Book” questions. He is just out with Author in Chief: The Untold Story of Our Presidents and the Books They Wrote (Avid Reader Press: S. & S.).

The L.A. Times interviews its Review of Books editor, Tom Lutz, about his debut novel, Born Slippy (Repeater: Penguin).

LitHub talks with booksellers about their favorite reads.

In forthcoming book (and story) news, Bernardine Evaristo has a new piece, “a fantasy story about fashion & social issues,” in Vogue UK’s March issue. Naomi Novik will publish A Deadly Education on Sept. 29, 2020. It is the first in an expected trilogy from Del Rey, which calls it “a twisted, super dark, super modern, female-led Harry Potter.” Entertainment Weekly has details. reports that V.E. Schwab returns on Oct. 6 with The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue (Tor Books: Macmillan). io9 excerpts the forthcoming Scarlet Odyssey by C. T. Rwizi (47North: Amazon). Nala's World: One Man, His Rescue Cat, and a Bike Ride around the Globe by Dean Nicholson, with Garry Jenkins (Grand Central: Hachette) is coming out on Sept. 29. The announcement saw sales soar.

The Atlantic has an essay adapted from The Wrong Kind of Women: Inside Our Revolution to Dismantle the Gods of Hollywood by Naomi McDougall Jones (Beacon: Random House). The book is included on LJ’s Why Are #OscarsSoWhite—and What To Do About It: A Reading List.

The L.A. Times features Shadow of the Batgirl by Sarah Kuhn, illustrated by Nicole Goux (DC Comics: Random House), with a visual excerpt.

Book Riot has a guide to the best Courtney Milan books and a list of suggestions on what to read after finishing Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman.

The newest “Read Like the Wind” column is out on Vulture.

The NYPL will continue its 125 year celebrations on Valentine's Day, with a list of 125 Books We Love.

Electric Lit features the NYC program Books Through Bars.

Electric Lit considers “9 Books That Should Be Adapted as Video Games.”

PRH is now wholly owned by Bertelsmann. Locus reports.

Amazon is becoming increasingly proactive in removing Nazi material” writes the NYT in a story about how the media giant removes books from its sales listings, with little clarity.

The Washington Post has a guide to “six female writers’ homes you can tour.” Also, “Visual poems from the Granite State.”

Author Jill Abramson remembers Alice Mayhew, a True “Editor of Genius” for Vogue.

Roger Kahn, who wrote one of the classic books about baseball, Boys of Summer, has died. The NYT has an obituary.

Authors on Air

The Oscars were announced last night. Winners with bookish connections include Joker (for Best Actor), Jojo Rabbit (for Adapted Screenplay), Little Women (for Costume Design), and Hair Love (for Best Animated Short Film).

Popsugar has a list of books becoming TV shows.

NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday features The Old Truck by Jerome Pumphrey, Jarrett Pumphrey (Norton Young Readers; SLJ starred review). Sales are soaring.

Chaos Walking, based on Patrick Ness’s book The Knife of Never Letting Go, will premiere on Jan. 22, 2021. Sam Claflin will star opposite Riley Keough in Amazon’s adaptation of Daisy Jones & The Six, based on the book by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Deadline reports.

Variety interviews Eleanor Catton as the adaptation of her novel, The Luminaries, starts its global rollout.

Entertainment Weekly has more on To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You.

A trailer is out for PBS’s Niall Ferguson’s Networld, which begins on March 17 and is based on The Square and the Tower: Networks and Power, from the Freemasons to Facebook (Penguin).

Tochi Onyebuchi, Riot Baby (, will be on The Daily Show tonight.

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