"Best of" Lists Abound, Apr. 2, 2019 | Book Pulse

April best book lists arrive. The Library Book by Susan Orlean is getting adapted. Women Talking by Miriam Toews gets notable attention. Sarah Vowell will talk about the future of libraries this Thursday.

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April's Best Books







Amazon | BBC Culture | BookRiot (Spring YA) | Bustle | Chicago Tribune | Chicago Review of Books | Cosmo | CrimeReads | Entertainment Weekly | Fast Company | io9 | Lambda Literary | Loan Stars | The Millions | NYT | Time | Tor.comThe Verge | The Washington Post


The NYT reviews Trust Exercise by Susan Choi (Henry Holt: Macmillan): "This psychologically acute novel enlists your heart as well as your mind. Zing will go certain taut strings in your chest." Also, Coders: The Making of a New Tribe and the Remaking of the World by Clive Thompson (Penguin; LJ starred review): "It’s pleasing as he picks up each Silicon Valley cliché, each canard rarely questioned, and dumps it into this wood chip machine." Horizon by Barry Lopez (Knopf; LJ starred review): "beautiful and brutal, uplifting and bleak."

NPR reviews The Other Americans by Laila Lalami (Pantheon: Random House): "an ambitious political novel that relies on old-fashioned storytelling to get its messages across." Also, Greek to Me: Adventures of the Comma Queen by Mary Norris (W.W. Norton): "uncommonly engaging, witty enthusiast with a nose for delicious details and funny asides that makes you willing to follow her anywhere." The Matriarch: Barbara Bush and the Making of an American Dynasty by Susan Page (Twelve: Hachette): "the book paints a larger portrait of, perhaps, one of the most underappreciated, least understood figures of the last century; one who vitally shaped two presidencies." Professor Chandra Follows His Bliss by Rajeev Balasubramanyam (The Dial Press: Random House): "a sort of Christmas Carol for a new age — in which uplifting sentiment comes drenched not in treacle but in potfuls of soothing organic herbal tea."

USA Today reviews Women Talking by Miriam Toews (Bloomsbury: Macmillan), giving it a perfect four stars and headlining "You must read Miriam Toews' astonishing new novel."

The Washington Post reviews Cheer Up, Mr. Widdicombe by Evan James (Atria: S. & S.): "James is a writer to watch, one with a fresh take on American flaws and virtues that nevertheless feels old-school screwball." Also, Serving the Servant: Remembering Kurt Cobain by Danny Goldberg (Harper): "It’s the closest thing we have to a survivor’s account." Women Talking by Miriam Toews (Bloomsbury: Macmillan): "draws us into the lives of obscure people and makes their survival feel as crucial and precarious as our own."

Briefly Noted

Reese Witherspoon picks The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo (Flatiron: Macmillan) as her April book club title.

In Costco Connection, influential book buyer Pennie Clark Ianniciello picks The Spring Girls: A Modern-Day Retelling of Little Women by Anna Todd (Gallery: S. & S.)

Shondaland offers "16 Inspiring Memoirs by Women That Are More Addictive Than Fiction."

Bitchmedia suggests "6 Rad Poets To Read This National Poetry Month."

The Walter Scott Prize shortlist is out.

The New Yorker features Susan Choi, Trust Exercise (Henry Holt: Macmillan).

Entertainment Weekly highlights the book trailer for The Chain by Adrian McKinty (Mulholland Books: Hachette).

The Guardian interviews Candice Carty-Williams, Queenie (Gallery/Scout: S. & S.).

The NYT interviews Lori Gottlieb, Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, HER Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed (HMH).

Bustle excerpts With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo (HarperTeen: SLJ starred review).

Time excerpts Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of "The View" by Ramin Setoodeh (Thomas Dunne: Macmillan). USA Today  showcases the book as well. Also, Time excerpts part of the afterward of Live Oak, with Moss by Walt Whitman, illustrated by Brian Selznick (Abrams).

The Guardian has a story about Mark Twain's library.

Harry Potter is making news: a rare copy sells for big bucks in London while a church in Poland burns its copies.

Mark Bowden writes about writing for CrimeReads.

LJ posts publisher contacts for book clubs.

Authors on Air

PBS NewsHour interviews Patrick Radden Keefe, Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland (Doubleday: Random House; LJ starred review). Also from PBS NewsHour, a list of discussion questions for Brotopia: Breaking Up the Boys' Club of Silicon Valley by Emily Chang (Portfolio: Penguin), the book club pick for April.

PBS will livestream Sarah Vowell speaking about "The Future of Libraries" on Thursday.

The Library Book is headed to TV. Variety has details.

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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 nwyatt@mediasourceinc.com

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