New Bestsellers, Dec. 12, 2019 | Book Pulse

Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi sees two new books onto the bestseller lists. De’Shawn Charles Winslow wins the 2019 First Novel Prize for In West Mills. More best-of lists—including cookbooks and essay collections—arrive. Malcolm Gladwell loves thrillers, revealing that he reads “Fifty, sixty, seventy” a year. He also has a classification system for them.

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New to the Bestseller Lists

[Links for the week: NYT Hardcover Fiction Best Sellers | NYT Hardcover Nonfiction Best Sellers | USA Today Best-Selling Books]

It is the time of year when the bestseller lists are a better indication of what books people are buying as gifts rather than tracking new titles, but there are two on the USA Today Best-Selling Books list, one novel and one nonfiction title:

Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi (Henry Holt: Macmillan) opens at No. 6.

Crime in Progress: Inside the Steele Dossier and the Fusion GPS Investigation of Donald Trump by Glenn Simpson, Peter Fritsch (Random House) debuts at No. 14.


The NYT reviews The Story of a Goat by Perumal Murugan, translated by N Kalyan Raman (Grove Press: Black Cat): “written with breathtaking and deceptive simplicity … examines the oppressions of caste and colorism, government surveillance, the abuse of women — all cunningly folded into the biography of an unhappy little goat. 97,196 Words: Essays by Emmanuel Carrère, translated by John Lambert (FSG: Macmillan): “The abundant majority of the pieces in this book … are riveting.” Genius & Anxiety: How Jews Changed the World, 1847-1947 by Norman Lebrecht (Scribner: S. & S.): “A major problem of Lebrecht’s volume lies in the disconnect between its title and its treatment.”There is also a dual review of two books about fixing democracy.

The Washington Post reviews The Europeans: Three Lives and the Making of a Cosmopolitan Culture by Orlando Figes (Metropolitan Books: Macmillan; LJ starred review): “makes for ideal winter reading. It is long, superbly entertaining and vastly informative.”

USA Today reviews Thomas Keneally’s The Book of Science and Antiquities (Atria: S. & S.), giving it 2.5 stars, writing that he “falters” with this outing.

Briefly Noted

De’Shawn Charles Winslow Wins the 2019 First Novel Prize from The Center for Fiction for In West Mills (Bloomsbury: Macmillan).

The L.A. Times starts its lists of the best of 2019. There is a list of the Best Books and one of the “most memorable book-to-film releases.”

CrimeReads names “The Best Crime Novels of 2019.”

The A.V. Club picks its “15 favorite books of 2019.”

The Glow Up offers a guide to “The Biggest, Blackest, Most Beautiful Reads of the Year.”

The Atlantic has the "5 Best Cookbooks of 2019.”

LitHub picks the “10 Best Cookbook of the Year.”

Book Marks continues its count of the best reviewed books of the year with a look at essay collections.

There are two new lists about translated literature, from the Chicago Review of Books and from World Literature Today (which has a list of 75 notable titles).

Paste picks the “10 Best Audiobooks of December.”

Barbara Hoffert’s Prepub Alert digs into June titles.

Looking for display ideas as January approaches? Popsugar has a list of “40+ Life-Changing Books.”

Deborah Levy, The Man Who Saw Everything (Bloomsbury: Macmillan), answers the “By the Book” questions for the NYT.

The Guardian interviews Neal Katyal, Impeach: The Case Against Donald Trump (Mariner Books: HMH).

The NYT prints the poem “The Still Life” by Mark Sanders as selected by Naomi Shihab Nye.

The Washington Post runs its bestsellers list once more. This after its accounting problems of a few months ago.

Authors on Air

Deadline reports that Stephen King’s The Dark Half is headed to the movies. Angie Thomas’s On the Come Up is too. Elin Hilderbrand’s The Perfect Couple is set for Fox. Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea’s The Illuminatus! Trilogy is headed to TV. Baz Luhrmann is adapting Mikhail Bulgakov’s The Master And Margarita. Amazon Studios buys rights to Kara Richardson Whitely’s Gorge: My Journey Up Kilimanjaro at 300 Pounds. The new BBC/Netflix’s adaptation of Dracula makes him “the central character in his own story for the first time. What’s it like as the anti-hero? What you have to give him is a personality which spans four centuries… You don’t want him to be just a shadowy presence.” Also, Warner Bros sets its 2020 schedule, and beyond. The Flash comes out in 2022, The Batman in 2021, and there is more.

The Hollywood Reporter issues its 2019 Women in Entertainment Power 100. Some making the count are authors or are involved with book-to-film adaptations.

On The Joe Rogan Experience, Malcolm Gladwell talks about his love of thrillers, offering he reads “Fifty, sixty, seventy” a year. He has his own classification system. Open Culture has details, videos, and some reading suggestions. Over at Library of America, Jonathan Franzen appreciates Peanuts.

The Today show features Permission to Feel: Unlocking the Power of Emotions to Help Our Kids, Ourselves, and Our Society Thrive by Marc Brackett (Celadon Books: Macmillan).

Stargirl, the new CW show based on the DC comics character, gets a trailer.

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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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