'Golden Girl' by Elin Hilderbrand Tops Holds Lists | Book Pulse

"Queen of the Beach Read" Elin Hilderbrand reigns over holds lists this week with Golden Girl. The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris is the GMA June Book Club pick. Seven LibraryReads selections and 12 Indie Next picks publish this week. People's “Best Books of Summer 2021” has arrived. The June 2021 Earphones Award Winners are posted at Audiofile and the 2021 Indie Book Award Winners are announced. The inaugural Ultimo Prize winners for Australian poetry and short fiction are also announced. Netflix’s new releases for June includes several adaptations. Tom Lin's The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu gets compared to True Grit and Apple lands a half-hour comedy based on M.O. Walsh’s bestselling novel, The Big Door Prize. 


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Big Books of the Week

Golden Girl by Elin Hilderbrand (Little, Brown and Company) leads holds this week.

Other titles in demand include:

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid (Ballantine)

Jackpot by Stuart Woods and Bryon Quertermous (Putnam)

Unfinished Business by J.A. Jance (Gallery: S. & S.)

The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris (Atria; LJ starred review)

One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston (St. Martin’s Griffin; LJ starred review)

These books and others publishing the week of May 31st, 2021 are listed in a downloadable spreadsheet.

Librarians and Booksellers Suggest

There are seven LibraryReads selections and 12 Indie Next picks publishing this week:

The Road Trip by Beth O’Leary (Berkley)

“Exes Dylan and Addie are on their way to a friend’s wedding, and their rocky relationship is traced through alternating POVs from past and present. With interesting character development and several genuinely funny moments, this is a perfect read for your own summer road trip.”—Jennifer Sullivan, Sno-Isle Libraries, Marysville, WA

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid (Ballantine)

“Four celebrity children of Mick Riva, a famous singer, throw a massive party that ends in a fire and leaves family secrets exposed. Reid skillfully goes back and forth in time to fill in the background story of the entire Riva family, beautifully bringing each character to life.”—Cathy Branciforte, Ramsey Free Public Library, Ramsey, NJ

It is also an IndieNext pick:

“This ode to Malibu in the 1980s is the perfect beach read. Four famous siblings throw a star-studded party and over the course of 24 hours find their lives changed forever. It’s enthralling and layered and so vivid it could be a memory. Perfectly paced and suspenseful from page one!”—Meagan Dallner, Books Are Awesome, Parker, CO

Our Woman in Moscow by Beatriz Williams (Morrow: LJ starred review)

"A spy novel set in Europe during and after WWII featuring twin sisters, Ruth and Iris. A cat and mouse game of intrigue where it is often hard to tell not only who is guilty or innocent, but also, who is who? Give this one to readers who enjoy Kate Quinn's brave female characters."—Gail Christensen, Kitsap Regional Library, Bremerton, WA

It is also an IndieNext pick:

“Ruth Macallister runs a New York modeling agency, while twin Iris Digby chooses marriage and motherhood, but her diplomat husband turns out to be a spy. Can Ruth extricate Iris from exile in Moscow? A wonderful plot weaves around Red Scare events of the early 1950s.”—Clay Belcher, Signs of Life, Lawrence, KS

The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris (Atria; LJ starred review)

“Nella, an editorial assistant at Wagner Books, is excited when another Black girl is hired at her publishing company. But after a mysterious note turns up on her desk that warns her to "Leave Wagner. Now," she is left questioning who would want her gone. Provocative and suspenseful, this genre- bending book is perfect for fans of When No One Is Watching and the movie Get Out.—Erin Shea, Ferguson Library, Stamford, CT

It is also an IndieNext pick:

“This is the tale of two Black women coworkers in the cutthroat publishing industry trying to determine if they are friends or enemies. A literary fiction tale with a side of suspense, this expertly woven critique on society is bound to keep readers on the edge of their seats.”—Kirsten Wilson, The Snail on the Wall, Huntsville, AL

The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot by Marianne Cronin (Harper Perennial)

“In a Glasgow hospital, two dying patients, one a teen and one much older, begin an art project to chronicle their lives. This delightful "Odd Couple" pair, along with the hospital chaplain and a gaggle of well- meaning staff, help Lenni live her best life through Margot's stories and show what really is important. For readers who love Fredrik Backman and Gail Honeyman.” —Kimberly McGee, Lake Travis Community Library, Austin, TX

Neon Gods by Katee Robert (Sourcebooks Casablanca)

"Robert masterfully turns the myth of Persephone and Hades on its head, making it modern and kinky and exploring issues of consent and the arranged marriage trope (which she delightfully subverts). The steamy sex is absolutely integral to the plot, and Robert includes nods to the original myth. For fans of The Unhoneymooners and The Dating Plan.”—Kate Fais, New York Public Library, New York, NY

One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston (St. Martin’s Griffin; LJ starred review)

“A phenomenal read with well-developed diverse characters and a unique, compelling plot. For August, romance is way at the bottom of her to-do list. Then she meets mysterious Jane, who's always on the same subway car no matter where or when August gets on. Before she knows it, they are a thing, with a circle of friends to share their life. There’s only one catch: Jane isn't really here. For fans of Meryl Wisner, Morgan Rogers, and Jasmine Guillory.”—Heather Cover, Homewood Library, Birmingham, AL

It is also an IndieNext pick:

“What a magical and creative tale; an addictive read that I did not want to put down. A fun and diverse cast of characters took this story to the next level. With such wide appeal, I know I will be able to put One Last Stop into the hands of almost any customer this summer.”—Cori Cusker, Bright Side Bookshop, Flagstaff, AZ

An additional eight Indie Next picks publish this week:

Walking on Cowrie Shells : Stories by Nana Nkweti (Graywolf Press)

“From comic book conventions to zombie outbreaks to a nightclub bathroom, Nkweti has crafted characters that shine in their unique predicaments. I’m obsessed with these stories, and grateful to Nkweti for sharing a part of the Cameroonian-American experience with us.”—Halee Kirkwood, Birchbark Books and Gifts, Grand Marais, MN

Bewilderness by Karen Tucker (Catapult)

“A vivid, visceral story of best friendship and opioid addiction, so authentic and riveting that I couldn’t read it quickly enough. Karen Tucker’s western North Carolina feels exactly right, and Irene and Luce’s friendship is as moving as it is doomed. An impressive debut.”—Emilie Sommer, East City Bookshop, Washington, DC

Future Feeling by Joss Lake (Soft Skull)

“I loved this novel about trans queer belonging, found families, and our need to be connected and understood no matter how advanced we become. Also — succulents and witchcraft!”—Nikki Siclare, Newtonville Books, Newton Centre, MA

A Ghost in the Throat by Doireann Ní Ghríofa (Biblioasis)

“This is a literary mystery explored with white-hot intensity. The author’s journey, both physical and emotional, to discover more about the central poem and its author is obsessive and candid. It’s not just genre-blending, it’s genre-obliterating. A Ghost in the Throat cannot be contained.”—Lesley Rains, City of Asylum Bookstore, Pittsburgh, PA

Palace of the Drowned by Christine Mangan (Flatiron)

“Bridging the gap between genre and literary fiction with enormous skill and agility, Mangan has again given us an electrifying yarn full of menace and atmosphere. With a mesmeric sense of place, Palace of the Drowned is a fully transportive experience.”—Wesley Minter, Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park, WA

The Chosen and the Beautiful by Nghi Vo (Tordotcom)

“What would you give up to have it all? Magical and queer as hell, Jordan Baker takes readers through Jazz Age New York as her snark, rage, and feelings for Daisy keep us turning pages until early morning. Like one of Gatsby’s cursed parties, this book was one I wanted to never end.”—Abby Rice, The Briar Patch, Bangor, ME

House of Sticks by Ly Tran (Scribner)

“This timely book follows the life of a young woman whose family immigrates to New York from Vietnam. It is a heartbreaking look at the challenges in overcoming PTSD, poverty, and mental illness. Ultimately, Ly Tran’s story is one of hope, one that is much-needed today.”—Alecia Diane Castro, Sweet Home Books, Wetumpka, AL

The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu by Tom Lin (Little, Brown)

“A raucous romp through a nearly lawless post-Civil War American West. Ming Tsu’s story is captivating and impossible to put down; the cast of characters is just too unique to forget or dismiss. A blood-crusted gem of a tale.”—Jamie Fiocco, Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC



In the Media

People's the “Best Books of Summer 2021” features the following:


Olympus, Texas by Stacey Swann (Doubleday), Lorna Mott Comes Home by Diane Johnson (Knopf), Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid (Ballantine), The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois by Honoree Fanonne Jeffers (Harper), and Golden Girl by Elin Hilderbrand (Little, Brown and Company).

Mystery& Thriller:

The Photographer by Mary Dixie Carter (Minotaur: St. Martin’s),The Last Mona Lisa by Jonathan Santlofer (Sourcebooks Landmark), The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris (Atria; LJ starred review), The Siren by Katherine St. John (Grand Central), and A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins (Riverhead).


This Is Your Mind on Plants by Michael Pollan (Penguin Press), Punch Me Up to the Gods by Brian Broome (Houghton Harcourt; LJ starred review), Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner (Knopf), Fox and I : An Uncommon Friendship by Catherine Raven (Spiegel & Grau), and What Happened to Paula: On the Death of an American Girl by Katherine Dykstra (Norton).

The “Picks” section spotlights the Netflix docuseries High on the Hog, based on the book by Jessica Harris. There is a profile of Sinéad O’Connor, featuring and her new memoir Rememberings: Scenes from My Complicated Life (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). Plus, Chef Eric Ripert, author of Vegetable Simple: A Cookbook (Random), shares a recipe.


The NYT reviews Somebody's Daughter by Ashley C. Ford (Flatiron: An Oprah Book): “Ford’s brilliance as a writer, her superpower, is a portrayal of her mother — who remains unnamed — that is both damning and sympathetic, one that renders this complicated older Black woman’s full humanity.”  How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America by Clint Smith (Little, Brown): “Never getting lost in his story’s many thickets, Smith confidently interleaves the history of American slavery with his subjects’ varied relationships to the institution’s evolving legacy.” An American Marriage: The Untold Story of Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd by Michael Burlingame (Pegasus): “If 'An American Marriage’ is to be believed, Booth put the president out of his misery.” The Columnist: Leaks, Lies, and Libel in Drew Pearson's Washington by Donald A. Ritchie (Oxford University Press): "thoroughly researched and ably crafted by the former Senate historian.”  The Confidence Men: How Two Prisoners of War Engineered the Most Remarkable Escape in History by Margalit Fox (Random): “has the high gloss of a story polished through years of telling and retelling.”  After the Fall: Being American in the World We’ve Made by Ben Rhodes (Random): “Once an insider, Rhodes is now a Jeremiah. He has made good use of his freedom; he may yet make better.” Super Fly: The Unexpected Lives of the World's Most Successful Insects by Jonathan Balcombe (Penguin): “Balcombe’s book does more than unfold surprising facts about flies. The effect of being keyed into this miniature world is an uneasy feeling of double vision.”  The Engagement: America’s Quarter-Century Struggle over Same-Sex Marriage by Sasha Issenberg (Pantheon): “Issenberg leaves us with a valuable lesson: We must pick our battles wisely, for they dictate not just our rights, but also the limits of our political imagination.” Double Blind by Edward St. Aubyn (Farrar): “an entertainment on scientific themes: brain-mapping, biochemistry, botany, immunotherapy, schizophrenia and the ethics of placebos (hence the book’s title), among other topics.”  One Two Three by Laurie Frankel (Holt): “The full and simple pleasures of Frankel’s luscious prose lull the reader into rooting for the good people of Bourne and these plucky heroines.” Palace of the Drowned by Christine Mangan (Flatiron): “Mangan writes with lush, evocative, busy prose. This novel, too, heaves with allusions to other books and other authors — a little Patricia Highsmith here, a little Virginia Woolf there, glimpses of Shirley Jackson’s “The Haunting of Hill House” someplace else.”  Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon (Delacorte Press): “Evie’s, and Yoon’s, musings on life and love will be appreciated by Y.A. readers of all ages.” The Divorce by César Aira, translated by Chris Andrews (New Directions): “With characteristic lightness he encapsulates, with a final narrative twist, the small, often funny turns that shape his captivating tales.”  The Ninth Metal by Benjamin Percy (Houghton Harcourt): “There are occasional intriguing glimpses of the ninth metal’s otherworldly origins, but they are swept away in the rapid-fire series of violent confrontations that wrap up the various plots.” Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid (Ballantine): “It’s not a great sign that approximately three-quarters of the way through the 170 pages devoted to the party, I remembered that I was supposed to find the hyperbolic antics funny while deducing that fame produces nightmare guests.” With Teeth by Kristen Arnett (Riverhead): “sublimely weird, fluently paced, brazenly funny and gayer still, and it richly deserves to find readers.”

The Washington Post reviews My Remarkable Journey by Katherine Johnson & Joylette Hylick & Katherine Moore (Amistad; LJ starred review): “Johnson’s story is not just about one woman’s success but about the entire 20th century, including changing roles of women in the workforce, the civil rights movement and the “Space Race.” Her achievements were considerable.”  Mercury Rising: John Glenn, John Kennedy, and the New Battleground of the Cold War by Jeff Shesol (Norton): “While ‘Mercury Rising’ captures the sense of energy and possibility in America’s Cold War space program, and ably explores what the New York Times once called Glenn’s “prickly sense of integrity,” there’s still a need for a definitive biography of America’s first true space hero.”  King Richard: Nixon and Watergate: An American Tragedy by Michael Dobbs (Knopf: Random House): “by focusing on the 100 days after Nixon’s triumphant second inauguration, he provides a clever lens for viewing most all of the president’s disastrous decisions, with an intimacy — due to Dobbs’s subtle choice of extracts from the tapes — that is stunning.” The Ground Breaking: An American City and Its Search for Justice by Scott Ellsworth (Dutton; LJ starred review): “sends a powerful message at this 100th anniversary: that reconciliation is possible only when we directly confront the truth of a painful past and take concrete steps to redress it.” America on Fire: The Untold History of Police Violence and Black Rebellion Since the 1960s by Elizabeth Hinton (Liveright: Norton: LJ starred review): “debunks an account of policing and violence in the United States that is as popularly accepted as it is historically inaccurate.”  An Especially Good View : Watching History Happen by Peter L. W. Osnos (Platform Books, LLC): “One editor warned him that his memoir had to tell readers ‘why they should bother.’ He never really answers her question.”  Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid (Ballantine): “Reid’s sense of pacing is sublime as she introduces and dispenses with a revolving door of characters to approximate the chaos of a rager where sloshed A-listers couple up in the closets and waiters pass trays of cocaine.” The Living Sea of Waking Dreams by Richard Flanagan (Knopf): “Flanagan gets close to something good here, a wicked take on end-of-life care, economic privilege and hubris in the face of death.” Also, Revival Season by Monica West (S. & S.): “offers a refreshing take on the lives of Black women and girls living with disabilities, depression and domestic violence.” The Secret Talker by Geling Yan (HarperVia: HarperCollins): “is flawed conceptually, but it succeeds at bringing the mood of an existential novel to a hair-raising thriller.”

USA Today reviews With Teeth by Kristen Arnett (Riverhead) giving it 3 out of 4 stars: “an at-times horrifying read, and almost frustratingly un-put-down-able given how little actually happens. Arnett is a master of tension-building as Sammie bumbles her way through parenting a son she isn’t even sure she likes and who definitely has a few troubling behavioral problems.” Somebody's Daughter by Ashley C. Ford (Flatiron: An Oprah Book), giving it 3 out of 4 stars: “Ford writes with a flush and sophisticated pen. But the heartbeat of Ford’s firstborn is her ability to pinpoint critical moments on her self-discovering journey, and, like Baldwin and Abdurraqib, find respectable ways to perform and not drown in her suffering.” 

NPR reviews graphic novel Wake: The Hidden History of Women-Led Slave Revolts by Rebecca Hall (text) & Hugo Martínez (illus.) (S. & S.; LJ starred review): “Hall's eloquence and frank emotionalism are transcendently realized in Martínez art, beckoning the reader inexorably into this story — even the parts that only take place inside Hall's mind. With its remarkable blend of passion and fact, action and reflection, Wake sets a new standard for illustrating history.”

Briefly Noted

The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris (Atria; LJ starred review) is the June GMA Book Club selection

The June 2021 Earphones Award Winners are posted at Audiofile.

The 2021 Indie Book Award Winners are announced.

The inaugural Ultimo Prize winners for Australian poetry and short fiction are announced. Books+Publishing has more.

Time has features on Lisa Taddeo, Animal (Avid Reader: S. & S) on “exposing the raw reality of women’s sexual desires and traumas”, and an interview with Bill Clinton and James Patterson on their new Presidential thriller, The President’s Daughter (Little, Brown & Knopf).

Entertainment Weekly has a conversation between Taylor Jenkins Reid, Malibu Rising (Ballantine) and Paula Hawkins, A Slow Fire Burning (Riverhead). EW also has an interview with Sinéad O’Connor about her memoir Rememberings: Scenes from My Complicated Life (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). And, an interview with Penny Aimes on her forthcoming LGBTQ romance, For the Love of April French (Carina Adores). Plus, a Q&A with Tia Williams, Seven Days in June (Grand Central).

USA Today speaks with Nghi Vo about her new novelThe Chosen and the Beautiful (Tordotcom) which asks “What if the 'The Great Gatsby' was unquestionably queer?”

The NYT profiles Tom Lin and his new novel The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu (Little, Brown), “among the new Westerns that explore the lives of Chinese Americans and immigrants, who have largely been omitted from the cultural history of the West.”

Time lists The Best Books of 2021 So Far 

Entertainment Weekly has “15 books you need to read this June.”

USA Today picks five books for the week.

CrimeReads suggests 10 books out this week.

USA Today features “40 AAPI authors who made the USA TODAY bestseller list.”

“Legendary Manga Artist Kentaro Miura, Creator Of 'Berserk,' Has Died”, NPR reports.

Authors on Air

Fox News has an interview with Bob Hope's daughter, Linda Hope, and Martha Bolton about Dear Bob...: Bob Hope's Wartime Correspondence with the G.I.s of World War II (Univ. Press of Miss.). Also, an interview with Jeremy and Jinger Vuolo, The Hope We Hold: Finding Peace in the Promises of God (Worthy Books).

NPR’s Morning Edition features Sinéad O’Connor and her new memoir Rememberings: Scenes from My Complicated Life (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). Also, an interview with Chinese poet, Muriel Leung, author of Imagine Us, The Swarm (Nightboat Books).

NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday interviews Zakiya Dalila Harris about The Other Black Girl (Atria; LJ starred review).

NPR’s It’s Been a Minute With Sam Sanders talks “Hot Book Summer” and includes recommendations.

Apple lands half-hour comedy based on M.O. Walsh’s bestselling novel, The Big Door Prize (Putnam) with a 10-episode straight-to-series order. Deadline has the story.

Danai Gurira will star as Okoye in Disney+ Marvel Series, with associated titles. ShadowandAct has the news.

The Hollywood Reporter has a look at Netflix’s new releases for June which includes several adaptations.

The Match Factory has boarded international rights to Haruki Murakami’s short story adaptation Drive My Car, directed by Ryusuke Hamaguchi. Deadline reports.

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