Book Clubs and Booklists, Jul. 2, 2019 | Book Pulse

The Gifted School by Bruce Holsinger gets all kinds of coverage. Book club titles are out for July and there are even more summer booklists. Authors and online harassment makes news.

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Book Clubs

Whisper Network by Chandler Baker (Flatiron: Macmillan; LJ starred review) is Reese Witherspoon's July book pick.

Jenna Bush Hager’s July pick is Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes (Ballantine: Random House).

Bustle’s book club title for July is Blood Dazzler by Patricia Smith (Coffee House Press), as suggested by Morgan Parker.


Entertainment Weekly picks “20 new books to read in July.”

LitHub chooses “10 Books You Should Read This July.”

Town & Country selects “The 6 Best Books to Read This July.”

PBS News Hour offers “Book recommendations for every kind of summer reader.”

Bustle gathers “27 New Books Out In July 2019 To Get You Through The Sweaty Days Of Summer.”

Gizmodo rounds-up “Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books Coming Out in July.” There are a lot, and a lot of SFF lists too:

The Verge picks “12 new science fiction and fantasy books to check out this July.”

Barnes & Noble has “The Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Books of July 2019.”

Book Marks offers “5 Sci-Fi and Fantasy Beach Reads.”

CrimeReads picks “13 New Books You Should Read This July.”

The NYT gathers up books “Introducing a New Generation of Kids to the Apollo Program.”

 LJ posts Prepub Alerts into January and February 2020.

 Book Riot suggests “50 Must-Read Best Poetry Books.”


Jane Smiley reviews The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo (Doubleday: Random House) for The Washington Post, writing that “Her depiction of how her characters talk, how they relate, how they form their family is so precise that you must believe in them, and you must also be interested in them.”

Caroline Kepnes reviews Whisper Network by Chandler Baker (Flatiron: Macmillan; LJ starred review) for the NYT, writing it is “part soapy shocker … and part legal thriller. Other reviews include Leaving the Witness: Exiting a Religion and Finding a Life by Amber Scorah (Viking: Penguin): “the intellectual integrity that Scorah displays is nothing short of a miracle.” Also, Maggie Brown & Others: Stories by Peter Orner (Little, Brown: Hachette): “Orner can do anything, so he tries to do everything. There’s never a sense that he is flailing.” The Ghost Clause by Howard Norman (HMH): “I’d have liked fewer wacky diversions and more of the shivery, disruptive unease.” The Gifted School by Bruce Holsinger (Riverhead: Penguin): “wise and addictive.”

NPR reviews Scrawl: An A to Z of Famous Doodles by Caren Strauss-Schulson, Todd Strauss-Schulson, Claudia Strauss-Schulson (Rizzoli): “invitations to put your aesthetic intelligence to work ... you'll start seeing artistry everywhere. How fun is that?” Also, in a different take than the NYT, The Gifted School by Bruce Holsinger (Riverhead: Penguin): “reading [it] is an exercise in frustration.”

Briefly Noted

The Washington Post features Toni Morrison.

Book Riot offers a reading pathway to Jennifer Weiner.

Angie Thomas gets negative social media after writing that she would rather not be tagged on bad reviews. In the face of the blow-back she writes: “Book community, you are toxic and problematic AF.” The Guardian has the details.

Glamour writes about Romance novelists and online harassment.

The NYT has a story about kids reading in barbershops and laundromats ... and “redefining the borders of traditional neighborhood public libraries by creating literary spaces in places where children find themselves with time on their hands.”

Entertainment Weekly interviews Kate Davies, In at the Deep End (HMH).

NPR interviews Mo Willems, The Pigeon HAS to Go to School! (Hyperion Books for Children: Hachette), who has a new gig as the first Education Artist-in-Residence at the Kennedy Center.

Entertainment Weekly excerpts Dragon Hoops by Gene Luen Yang (First Second: Macmillan).

The NYT reports on an exhibition addressing the connection between comics and couture.

Vanity Fair has a piece by Bruce Holsinger, The Gifted School (Riverhead: Penguin), on how “reality caught up to his imagination.”

Paste picks the best book covers of June.

Authors on Air

Karen Russell appears on PBS NewsHour talking about “how to tell children difficult truths to encourage them to make positive change.”

The Little Mermaid live-action film casts up. Kat Martin’s Texas Trilogy seems to be headed to the movies. Kaley Cuoco is set to star in The Flight Attendant, based on the book by Chris Bohjalian. She also has plans for Sick Girl, based on the novel by Rachel Hargrove and is working on the animation series Harley Quinn. Deadline Hollywood has details.

Netflix has art and first-look images for The Witcher. Paste reports.

The trailer for Jumanji: The Next Level is out.

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Neal Wyatt

Neal Wyatt is LJ’s readers’ advisory columnist, contributing The Reader’s Shelf, Book Pulse, and Wyatt’s World columns. She is the coauthor of The Readers’ Advisory Guide to Genre Fiction, 3d ed. (ALA Editions, 2019). Contact her at

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