Stephen King's 'Billy Summers' Tops Library Holds Lists | Book Pulse

Stephen King reigns over holds lists this week with Billy Summers. Three LibraryReads and fourteen Indie Next selections publish this week. People's book of the week is The Turnout by Megan Abbott. The August Costco Connection is out with picks Billy Summers by Stephen King and The Guest List by Lucy Foley. Interviews arrive with Jason Reynolds and Rebecca Donner. Anthony Veasna So's posthumous debut Afterparties gets critical attention.

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Big Books of the Week

Billy Summers by Stephen King (Scribner: S. & S.) leads holds this week.

Other titles in demand include:

Class Act by Stuart Woods (Putnam)

Blind Tiger by Sandra Brown (Grand Central)

We Are the Brennans by Tracey Lange (Celadon: Macmillan)

The Turnout by Megan Abbott (Putnam; LJ starred review)

These books and others publishing the week of August 2nd, 2021 are listed in a downloadable spreadsheet.

Librarians and Booksellers Suggest

Three LibraryReads and fourteen Indie Next selections publish this week:

If the Shoe Fits by Julie Murphy (Disney-Hyperion)

“Low on job prospects, fashion school grad Cindy moves in with her stepmom, a reality show producer. When a spot opens up in the Bachelor-style series, Cindy seizes the chance to get nationwide exposure for her designs. The last thing she expects is to find love. A Cinderella- inspired romance with a plus-sized heroine and a multicultural cast. For fans of Red, White, & Royal Blue, The Hating Game, and Dumplin’.”—Eva Thompson, Metropolitan Library System, Oklahoma City, OK

It is also an Indie Next selection:

“There simply aren’t enough words in my vocabulary to explain how beautifully Julie Murphy is able to craft such sweet stories. If the Shoe Fits is the Cinderella twist readers have been waiting decades for.”—Hannah Oxley, Mystery to Me, Madison, WI

 The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams (William Morrow)

"A list of recommended classics helps a widower spark a friendship with a teen librarian dealing with overwhelming family issues. An uplifting tearjerker about libraries and the books that touch our soul. For fans of Ellie and the Harpmaker and Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine."—Kimberly McGee, Lake Travis Public Library, Austin, TX

It is also an Indie Next selection:

“A beautifully written novel about people connected by a local library and an amazing reading list. As the characters’ lives are revealed through interweaving storylines, readers will root for them, cry for them, and celebrate their victories.”—Lisa Driban, Hockessin Book Shelf, Hockessin, DE

Dark Roads by Chevy Stevens (St. Martin’s)

“Stevens often writes about the outdoors, but this one is really steeped in survival. Vanishing travelers and serial murders along a wilderness highway bring the sister of one victim to town for a memorial. There are the requisite fast-paced thrills, and a small town packed with secrets and fear. For fans of The River and A Gathering of Secrets.”—Cari Dubiel, Twinsburg Public Library, Twinsburg, OH

An additional 12 Indie Next picks arrive this week:

The Hunter and the Old Woman by Pamela Korgemagi (House of Anansi Press)

“In this eerily beautiful tale of nature and humanity, we follow Cougar from birth to death, while the man hunting Cougar is drawn in by the echoing call of the forest and the stories told by the men of his town.”—Lily Hunter, Skylark Books, Columbia, MO

The Union of Synchronized Swimmers by Cristina Sandu (Scribe US)

“Six girls living behind the Iron Curtain turn their leisurely summer swimming routine into something more. Glimpses into their adult lives join atmospheric vignettes of their journey into synchronized swimming.”—Maggie Henriksen, Carmichael’s Bookstore, Louisville, KY

The Turnout by Megan Abbott (Putnam; LJ starred review)

“The Turnout is a deliciously uncomfortable story, from the brutality imposed on dancers’ bodies to the uneasy dynamics of sisterly relationships and the tension when someone new intrudes on their domain.”—Lexi Beach, The Astoria Bookshop, Astoria, NY

Made in China: A Memoir of Love and Labor by Anna Qu (Catapult)

“Made in China is an emotionally wrenching and engrossing memoir about abuse, immigration, and the American dream. Qu’s pain is raw and unfinished, but her resiliency and growth are unforgettable.”—Marie Cloutier, Greenlight Bookstore, Brooklyn, NY

Where the Truth Lies by Anna Bailey (Atria)

“You’ll find yourself invested in and rooting for each of the young people in this book as they navigate secrets and prejudices to unravel the mystery of what happened to their sister and friend — and why.”—Alana Haley, Schuler Books, Grand Rapids, MI

Clark and Division by Naomi Hirahara (Soho Crime; LJ starred review)

“Clark and Division is a propulsive mystery and a heart-wrenching examination of Japanese internment and relocation in the 1940s. Hirahara beautifully weaves history and injustice into this fascinating and compelling crime novel.”—Luisa Smith, Book Passage, Corte Madera, CA

Radiant Fugitives by Nawaaz Ahmed (Counterpoint)

“Two sisters and their mother are reunited as the eldest sister is about to give birth, but they struggle to find common ground. Brilliantly told through the voice of the unborn child, love, loss, politics, faith, sexuality, and race intersect across decades and continents.”—Jan Blodgett, Main Street Books, Davidson, NC 

We Are the Brennans by Tracey Lange (Celadon: Macmillan)

“Tracey Lange has created some truly memorable characters and a wonderfully moving experience in seeing this tight-knit family cope with conflicts, setbacks, and the disclosure of long-buried secrets.”—John Lynn, The Kennett Bookhouse, Kennett Square, PA

All’s Well by Mona Awad (S. & S.)

“Gloriously bananas, dark and weird, and so, so good. All’s Well is a big, messy, strange journey about chronic pain, Shakespeare, friendship, mental health, witchcraft, and work.”—Rachel Barry, WORD Bookstores, Brooklyn, NY

Afterparties by Anthony Veasna So (Ecco)

“These stories of the members of a compact Cambodian-American community, from the refugees to the business owners to the gay teenagers, seamlessly balance humor with hardships.”—Sofia Silva Wright, Phoenix Books, Burlington, VT

Damnation Spring by Ash Davidson (Scribner; LJ starred review)

“With this debut set in a Pacific Northwest logging town, Ash Davidson has immediately established herself as a true writer of the American experience, in all its potential for self-destruction and beauty.”—Josh Popkin, Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, MA

Once There Were Wolves by Charlotte McConaghy (Flatiron; LJ starred review)

“Telling of the reintroduction of wolves to the Scottish highlands, Once There Were Wolves affirms the importance of our connections to the human and more-than-human worlds that sustain us, worlds we sever at our own peril.”—Ben Platt, Jackson Hole Book Trader, Jackson, WY



In the Media

The People "Picks" book of the week is The Turnout by Megan Abbott (Putnam; LJ starred review). Also getting attention are When We Were Young by Richard Roper (Putnam) and The 22 Murders of Madison May by Max Barry (Putnam). A “New in Nonfiction" section highlights Till the End: A Pitcher’s Life by CC Sabathia & Chris Smith (Roc Lit 101: Random; LJ starred review), An Ugly Truth by Sheera Frenkel and Cecilia Kang (Harper), and Stolen: A Memoir by Elizabeth Gilpin (Grand Central). The Poetry pick is Goldenrod: Poems by Maggie Smith (Atria/One Signal).

The “Picks” section highlights The Pursuit of Love, based on the book by Nancy Mitford on Prime Video, Netflix’s The Last Letter From Your Lover, based on the book by Jojo Moyes, and The Green Knight, based on the poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, in theaters now.


The NYT reviews My Policeman by Bethan Roberts (Penguin Pr.; LJ starred review): “Roberts’s messy collision of desires and drives leads to thwarted dreams, heartbreak, betrayal and a prison sentence. It’s a story as old as time, but, to my mind, it’s never been told so effectively, principally because Roberts invests us emotionally in both sides of the tug-of-war.” And, Pastoral Song: A Farmer's Journey by James Rebanks (Custom House): “Creating space for a farm like his, in a world like ours — space for nature, animal welfare, craft and skill — requires buy-in from governments and their taxpayers, philanthropists and enlightened consumers who are willing and able to foot a bigger bill. The stakes couldn’t be higher for the planet, and for agricultural communities worldwide.” Also, paired reviews of We Want What We Want by Alix Ohlin (Knopf) and Prepare Her by Genevieve Plunkett (Catapult: Penguin), story collections that “share a preoccupation with desire, alienation and loss.” Plus, paired reviews of The Startup Wife by Tahmima Anam (Scribner) and Edge Case by YZ Chin (Ecco), two new novels that suggest that startups are also bad for marriage.

The Washington Post reviews The Turnout by Megan Abbott (Putnam; LJ starred review): “Desire and ballet are entwined in a smoldering pas de deux throughout this tightly choreographed thriller.”

NPR reviews Goldenrod: Poems by Maggie Smith (Atria/One Signal): “In motherhood and divorce, in love and pain, Smith shows us how to find meaning in that space between the good and bad.” And, I Named My Dog Pushkin (And Other Immigrant Tales): Notes From a Soviet Girl on Becoming an American Woman by Margarita Gokun Silver (Thread): “It's a particular pleasure to see our splintered country through the eyes of this determined and appreciative emigree. As we follow her trajectory in and out of America, Silver's descriptions of Soviet life are in sharp contrast to America's bounties.” Plus, short reviews of 3 Fantasy novels.

USA Today reviews Billy Summers by Stephen King (Scribner: S. & S.), giving it 3.5 out of 4 stars: “Not only is Stephen King an undisputed master of horror, he’s a virtuosic crime novelist as well. Look out, bodice-ripping romance, he’s probably coming for you next.” And, Afterparties by Anthony Veasna So (Ecco), giving it 3.5 out of 4 stars: “a powerful, enduring statement in itself, evidence of how deft So was at revealing the layers of complexity within a single community.”

LA Times reviews Power Play: Tesla, Elon Musk, and the Bet of the Century by Tim Higgins (Doubleday): “at its core is about the many employees not named Elon Musk who made essential contributions to whatever success the carmaker enjoys today.”

Briefly Noted

The buyer’s pick in the August Costco Connection is Billy Summers by Stephen King (Scribner: S. & S.) and the assistant buyer’s pick is The Guest List by Lucy Foley (Morrow; LJ starred review).

USA Today talks with Jason Reynolds about writing and the inspiration of Queen Latifah.

NYT profiles Rebecca Donner and her new book, All the Frequent Troubles of Our Days: The True Story of the American Woman at the Heart of the German Resistance to Hitler (Little, Brown), which examines the life of her great-great-aunt, Mildred Harnack.

Entertainment Weekly grades July 2021 romances on a scale of flames.  

USA Today picks five books for the week.

CrimeReads suggests 10 books out this week.

The Washington Post offers the 5 best new thrillers and mysteries to read in August and 10 books to read in August.

OprahDaily has “20 of the Best Books to Pick Up This August.”

CrimeReads has the best reviewed crime books of July 2021.

 Locus writes about two new exhibits showcasing the work of Octavia E Butler.

“Roberto Calasso, Renaissance Man of Letters, Dies at 80.” NYT has an obituary.

Authors on Air

PBS Newshour spoke with Marcia Chatelain about her Pulitzer prize winning book, Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America (Liveright: W.W. Norton) and the “complicated history of McDonalds in the Black community.”

NPR's Weekend Edition spotlights Anthony Veasna So's posthumous debutAfterparties (Ecco).

Mary L. Trump, The Reckoning: Our Nation's Trauma and Finding a Way to Heal (St. Martin's) will be on The View today and Stephen King, Billy Summers (Scribner: S. & S.) will visit The View on Tuesday.  

Rebecca Minkoff, Fearless: The New Rules for Unlocking Creativity, Courage, and Success (HarperCollins Leadership) chats with Tamron Hall today.

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