'A Gambling Man' by David Baldacci Tops Holds Lists | Book Pulse

A Gambling Man by David Baldacci leads holds this week. The LA Festival of Books kicks off with awards. Simon & Schuster won't distribute book by officer who shot Breonna Taylor. Four Indie Next picks publish this week. Michelle Zauner's memoir, Crying in H Mart, is out this week. Godzilla vs. Kong has another monster weekend, and Oscar coverage begins in earnest. The May issue of Entertainment Weekly arrives, and the People "Picks" book of the week is The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth.  Plus, Agatha Christie’s Wallingford home is on the market for £2.75m.

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Big Books of the Week

A Gambling Man by David Baldacci (Grand Central Publishing) leads holds this week.

Other titles in demand include:

World Travel: An Irreverent Guide by Anthony Bourdain & Laurie Woolever (Ecco: HarperCollins; LJ starred review)

The Galaxy, and the Ground Within by Becky Chambers (Harper Voyager; LJ starred review)

Lover Unveiled by J.R. Ward (Gallery Books)

The Last Night in London by Karen White (Berkley)

Under the Southern Sky by Kristy Woodson Harvey (Gallery: S. & S)

These books and others publishing the week of April 19th, 2021, are listed in a downloadable spreadsheet.

Librarians and Booksellers Suggest

There are no LibraryReads selections publishing this week. There are four Indie Next picks:

Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner (Knopf)

“I was struck by just how much I loved this book for how it walks through grief not as a way to leave it behind, but as a way to remember its exact shape. I’m grateful for its funny, self-deprecating, and wise observations, and for its difficult beauty.” —Steve Haruch, Parnassus Books, Nashville, TN

Mirrorland by Carole Johnstone (Scribner)

“You will tie yourself in knots trying to figure out what’s happening in Mirrorland, the story of two sisters growing up with different stories attached to the games they play, stories that take on a life of their own years later as buried memories come to the fore.” —Pete Mock, McIntyre’s Fine Books, Pittsboro, NC

Hot Stew by Fiona Mozley (Algonquin; LJ starred review)

“A young millionaire wants to turn an old Soho brothel into luxury condos, but the tenants aren’t going to leave without a fight. A riveting tale about wealth, class, gentrification, power, and gender, this story shows readers just how unjust the world can be. A 2021 must-read!” —Jennie Minor, Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC

Permafrost by Eva Baltasar (And Other Stories)

“A lush and deeply incisive novel about what it means to love and to live as a woman, a novel that could only have been written by a poet as piercing as Eva Baltasar and translated by her perfect match, Julia Sanches.” —Emma Ramadan, Riffraff, Providence, RI

The May LibraryReads and Loan Stars selections are out now.

In The Media

The May issue of Entertainment Weekly arrives. Book coverage includes reviews of Whereabouts by Jhumpa Lahiri (Knopf: LJ starred review), earning a B; Second Place by Rachel Cusk (Farrar; LJ starred review), earning a B; Hot Stew by Fiona Mozley (Algonquin; LJ starred review), earning an A-; Secrets of Happiness by Joan Silber (Counterpoint), earning an A-; Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead (Knopf), earning a B+; and Broken Horses by Brandi Carlile (Crown), earning an A. There is an interview with Michelle Zauner, Crying in H Mart (Knopf), one with Leslie Jordan, How Y’all Doing?: Misadventures and Mischief from a Life Well Lived (Morrow), and a feature on by Bolu Babalola, Love in Color: Mythical Tales from Around the World, Retold (William Morrow).

On the May “Must List” are The Underground Railroad, based on the novel by Colson Whitehead, The Department of Truth comic by James Tynion IV and Martin Simmonds, The Mosquito Coast, based on the novel by Paul Theroux, starring the author’s nephew Justin Theroux,  Project: Hail Mary by Andy Weir (Ballantine).  Brian Tyree Henry also has a “Must List” that includes No Name in the Street by James Baldwin and The Color Purple, based on the novel by Alice Walker. In “Romancing the Screen” EW asks if the ‘Bridgerton Effect’ will "make Hollywood finally fall in love with romance novels?”  Oscar coverage includes profiles and cover photos of Nomadland director Chloe Zhao and Viola Davis, Ma Rainy's Black Bottom. 

The People "Picks" book of the week is The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth (St. Martin’s; LJ starred review). Also getting attention are The Souvenir Museum by Elizabeth McCracken (Ecco) and Early Morning Riser by Katherine Heiny (Knopf; LJ starred review). A “Star Picks" section highlights Dominicana by Angie Cruz (Flatiron: Macmillan; LJ starred review), The Great Eastern by Howard Rodman (Melville House) and Sex and Vanity by Kevin Kwan (Doubleday: Random House). Also, there are profiles of chef Nigella Lawson, Cook, Eat, Repeat : Ingredients, Recipes, and Stories (Ecco), Justine Bateman Face : One Square Foot of Skin (Akashic Books), Jessica Lahey, The Addiction Inoculation: Raising Healthy Kids in a Culture of Dependence (Harper), and Jodie Turner-Smith, who stars as a Navy SEAL in Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse, out this month on Amazon Prime Video. Lastly, Celebrity Chefs offer cooking tips from Jeff Mauro, Come On Over: 111 Fantastic Recipes for the Family That Cooks, Eats, and Laughs Together (William Morrow Cookbooks),  Brandon Jew, Mister Jiu's in Chinatown: Recipes and Stories from the Birthplace of Chinese American Food (Ten Speed Press), Tiffani Thiessen, Pull up a Chair: Recipes from My Family to Yours (Houghton Harcourt), Maneet Chauhan, Chaat: Recipes from the Kitchens, Markets, and Railways of India (Clarkson Potter: Crown), Anita Lo, Solo: A Modern Cookbook for a Party of One (Knopf), and Farmer Lee Jones, The Chef's Garden: A Modern Guide to Common and Unusual Vegetables--with Recipes (Avery: Random House).


NPR reviews The Light of the Midnight Stars by Rena Rossner (Redhook: Orbit; LJ starred review): “Unfortunately, the binding that should hold these story-strands tightly together is too loose; ultimately, the braid doesn't hold shape, and we're left with the dissatisfying suggestion of a moving story instead of the true tale.”

The NYT reviews Hawking Hawking by Charles Seife (Basic): “describes the cultural and the broad scientific context of Hawking’s work, and its reception, but it does not provide self-contained accounts of the work itself.” The NYT’s Horror column has three short reviews; the Shortlist reviews new books on the brain, and the nonfiction column looks at three books on the “Twists and Turns of Black History.”

The Washington Post reviews Leaving Isn’t the Hardest Thing by Lauren Hough (Vintage: Random House; LJ starred review): “shocking circumstances are related using a potent literary style that combines mordant humor and helpless indignation with ferocious intellect.” Also, Assignment Russia: Becoming a Foreign Correspondent in the Crucible of the Cold War by Marvin Kalb (Brookings Institution Press): “offers behind-the-scenes glimpses into the functioning of journalism and diplomacy in a three-year period when both were undergoing sea changes.”The Agenda: How a Republican Supreme Court Is Reshaping America by Ian Millhiser (Columbia Global Reports): “In this short and very accessible work, Millhiser focuses on four facets of the court’s current and future jurisprudence: the right to vote, the dismantling of the administrative state, religion and the right to sue.” And, How Photography Became Contemporary Art: Inside an Artistic Revolution From Pop to the Digital Age by Andy Grundberg (Yale): “With this fine book, he has given us a personal yet balanced account of how pictures define some of us and how we define some of them.”  Antiquities by Cynthia Ozick (Knopf): “Indisputable is Ozick’s exquisite artistry in rendering yet another resonant and unsettling tale.”  Plus, Susan, Linda, Nina & Cokie: The Extraordinary Story of the Founding Mothers of NPR by Lisa Napoli (Abrams): “chronicles not just the camaraderie of Stamberg, Wertheimer, Totenberg and Roberts, but their commitment to help the careers of younger women who aspired to follow them.”

USA Today reviews Madam Speaker: Nancy Pelosi and the Lessons of Power by Susan Page (Twelve), giving it 3 stars out of 4: “provides a valuable overview of a singular American politician.”

Slate reviews The Ledger and the Chain: How Domestic Slave Traders Shaped America by Joshua D Rothman (Basic): “tells the story of how these three men profited from the United States’ decision to outlaw the foreign slave trade, in 1808.”

Briefly Noted

Simon & Schuster Says It "Won’t Distribute Book by Officer Who Shot Breonna Taylor," reports The NYT which also explores the situation as a "New Test for Publishers"USA Today also covers the story, and Vulture has this piece.

Winners of the 2020 L.A. Times Book Prizes are announced, including Deesha Philyaw, The Secret Lives of Church Ladies (West Virginia Univ.), Victoria Chang, Obit (Copper Canyon), Isabel Wilkerson, Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents (Random House; LJ starred review), S.A. Cosby, Blacktop Wasteland (Flatiron: Macmillan; LJ starred review), and more. Winners were announced during the kick off of the L.A. Times Festival of Books. Here’s how to watch the events.

USA Today picks 5 books for the week.

CrimeReads suggests 10 books out this week.

Vulture has the best books of the year, so far.

The Washington Post has 5 great mysteries and thrillers.

Marvel reveals surprising new X-men lineup including Polaris, Cyclops, and Jean Grey, Entertainment Weekly reports. EW also has 12 reading recs from historical fiction authors. And, an interview with Leslie JordanHow Y’all Doing?: Misadventures and Mischief from a Life Well Lived (Morrow).

The NYT has profiles of Michelle Zauner, Crying in H Mart (Knopf) and Jonathan Ames, A Man Named Doll (Mulholland: Little, Brown), and an interview with Louis Manand, The Free World: Art and Thought in the Cold War (Farrar).  Also, a look at publishing and the success of Snoop Dog and what it means for the book industry. Plus,  “$40,000 Swindle Puts Spotlight on Literary Prize Scams”.

Bookriot has “5 Books About Being Black in American For the Falcon and the Winter Soldier Fans.”

Shondaland talks to Dawnie Walton, The Final Revival of Opal & Nev (37 Ink: Atria; LJ starred review) about her musical inspiration. 

Publishers Weekly reports that Disney is launching an Adult imprint, Hyperion Avenue.

LitHub warns of a new wave of pandemic novels, starting with newly announced Our Country Friends by Gary Shteyngart (Random House).

Like Haruki Murakami, author Bret Eaton Ellis has a line of t-shirts, signed first editions, and other merch in his new online shop. The Hollywood Reporter has a story.

The BBC reports Agatha Christie’s Wallingford home is on the market for £2.75m, noting that it “comes complete with a blue plaque.”

The Guardian considers Instagram, jacket design, and judging books by their covers.

Denis Donoghue, Humanist Literary Critic, Dies at 92. The NYT has an obituary as does The Irish Times.

Authors on Air

Variety reports Godzilla vs. Kong has another monster weekend, continuing its rampage through pandemic box office records.

NPR interviews Senator Mazie K Hirono, Heart of Fire: An Immigrant Daughter’s Story (Viking; LJ starred review)

Elle interviews Gina Frangello, Blow Your House Down: A Story of Family, Feminism, and Treason (Counterpoint; LJ starred review) on “What Happens When You Become The Unlikeable Character.” The Rumpus also has an interview with Frangello.

CBS Sunday Morning interviews George W. Bush, Out of Many, One: Portraits of America's Immigrants (Crown) and travel guide Rick Steves, who’s been stuck at home the past year.

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