'People We Meet on Vacation' by Emily Henry Tops Holds Lists | Book Pulse

People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry leads holds this week. There are three LibraryReads selections and four Indie Next selections arriving this week. The People "Picks" book of the week is Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead and While Justice Sleeps by Stacey Abrams picks up steam. The 2021 Christian Book Awards were announced along with the Pinnacle award going to Max Lucado. The 2021 Maine Literary Awards finalists were also announced. Paul Theroux's new book Under the Wave at Waimea will be adapted as a series. Plus, Jodi Picoult has a new pandemic-inspired book out in November.

Want to get the latest book news delivered to your inbox each day? Sign up for our daily Book Pulse newsletter.

Big Books of the Week

People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry (Berkley; LJ starred review) leads holds this week.

Other titles in demand include:

That Summer by Jennifer Weiner (Atria)

While Justice Sleeps by Stacey Abrams (Doubleday)

The Final Twist by Jeffery Deaver (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)

The Summer of Lost and Found by Mary Alice Monroe (Gallery)

The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz (Celadon)

These books and others publishing the week of May 10th, 2021 are listed in a downloadable spreadsheet.

 Librarians and Booksellers Suggest

There are three LibraryReads selections publishing this week and all three are also Indie Next picks:

While Justice Sleeps by Stacey Abrams (Doubleday)

"Avery's boss is a Supreme Court Justice and he is currently in a coma after naming Avery (instead of his wife) as his guardian. This situation is further complicated by the fact that the judge is a swing vote in a very important decision before the court. How well Avery knows her boss will determine the fate of both of them. For readers of John Grisham and Robert Dugoni."—Kimberly McGee, Lake Travis Public Library, Austin, TX

It is also an Indie Next selection:

“From the first pages, this crime novel from author/activist Stacey Abrams drew me into the world of the Supreme Court (and chess!) and the seedy underbelly of the U.S. government. This race through the streets of Washington, DC, also contains a deeply satisfying ending that I won’t give away.”—Megan Birch-McMichael, The Silver Unicorn Bookstore, Acton, MA

People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry (Berkley; LJ starred review)

“An aching slow-burn romance focused on chaotic sprite Poppy and buttoned up Alex and their twelve years of summer vacations. Set in present day Palm Springs and interspersed with flashbacks from the previous vacations, this story is full of yearning, friendship, and discussions of what it means to find a home. For fans of This Time Next Year, One Day in December, and Waiting for Tom Hanks.”—Elizabeth Gabriel, Milwaukee Public Library, Milwaukee, WI

It is also an Indie Next selection:

“What fun! This delightful book should be in every beach bag this summer. A hilariously comedic rom-com with memorable characters, set in varied vacation spots in various years. I enjoyed the changing timeline and seeing the relationship as it grew through the years.” —Shelley Lowe, Monkey and Dog Books, Fort Worth, TX

Mary Jane by Jessica Anya Blau (Custom House: Morrow; LJ starred review)

"It’s 1975 and Mary Jane takes a job babysitting while all her friends are away at summer camp. The job comes with exposure to a celebrity and her addicted rock star husband and Mary Jane experiences a world very different than her own. For readers who enjoyed Be Frank with Me, Nothing to See Here, and This Tender Land."—Jan Fisher, Fairfield Public Library, Fairfield, CT

It is also an Indie Next selection:

“Mary Jane is 14 in 1975 and her summer nannying job is filled with surprises, spontaneity, and love as she is pulled into the family of the little girl she watches. A sweet and funny story of discovering yourself, your loved ones, and where you fit in. It really hit home for me.”—Courtney Boches, Reads & Company, Phoenixville, PA

One additional Indie Next pick arrives this week:

The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz (Celadon)

“I devoured this smart, suspenseful novel about a failed novelist who reignites his career with a stolen plot and gains fame and notoriety. Korelitz’s depiction of the book world is a treat for those of us in it, but her twisty, psychologically astute plotting will hold broad appeal.”—Becky Dayton, The Vermont Book Shop, Middlebury, VT

In the Media

The People "Picks" book of the week is Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead (Knopf; LJ starred review). Also getting attention are The Music of Bees by Eileen Garvin (Dutton) and Leda and the Swan by Anna Caritj (Riverhead).

A “New in Paperback" section highlights Monogamy by Sue Miller (Harper), The Great Eastern by Howard Rodman (Melville House), Everyone Is Beautiful by Katherine Center (Ballantine), and More Than Love: An Intimate Portrait of My Mother, Natalie Wood by Natasha Gregson Wagner (Scribner).

Other “Picks” include Hulu’s Shrill, based on the book Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman by Lindy West and Star Wars: The Bad Batch on Disney, with associated titles.

There is a summer movie preview, including Black Widow with associated titles, The Woman in the Window, based on the novel by A.J. Finn, and Space Jam: A New Legacy with associated titles. Plus, Pepper Tiegen, The Pepper Thai Cookbook (Clarkson Potter) offers a recipe.


NPR reviews The Most Beautiful Girl in Cuba by Chanel Cleeton (Berkley; LJ starred review): “an exciting and inspiring read that shows us how womanhood, courage and revolution are three words that often mean the same thing.” Also, Second Place by Rachel Cusk (Farrar; LJ starred review): “As always, Cusk doggedly teases out her complex, occasionally mind-numbing concerns. There's also some beautiful prose.”

The NYT reviews Notes on Grief by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Knopf): “It is hard not to wish for more from Adichie, to know how she might contend with this loss over time, but what we have here will have to be enough for now. She is, in this work, “callow and unformed,” and that may be the point.” The Guardian also reviews: “a moving account of a daughter’s sorrow and it is also a love letter to the one who has gone.” The NYT also has three short reviews of new paperbacks. And, a pair of shorter reviews for Wonderworks: The 25 Most Powerful Inventions in the History of Literature by Angus Fletcher (S. & S.) and The Modern Myths: Adventures in the Machinery of the Popular Imagination by Philip Ball (University of Chicago Press).

The Washington Post reviews Yearbook by Seth Rogen (Crown): “Rather than a check-the-boxes origin story or didactic scroll through his IMDb page, Rogen opts for a nonlinear assortment of anecdotes that highlights his sardonic wit, knack for mischief and find-the-humor-in-life ethos. Throw in Rogen’s proclivity for well-timed profanity, and this book thrives at both explaining and encapsulating a generational comedic voice.” Also, Everybody: A Book About Freedom by Olivia Laing (Norton; LJ starred review): “In this multilayered and masterfully structured book, Laing obsessively examines the life of psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich (a protege of Freud), drawing connections to other intellectuals, ranging from the Marquis de Sade to Malcolm X, while including stories from her own life.” The Guardian also reviews: “The Lonely City author explores Wilhelm Reich’s insights into the physical impact of emotional pain in a deft book of many parts.”   And, Amazon Unbound: Jeff Bezos and the Invention of a Global Empire by Brad Stone (S. & S.): “As he concludes his masterful book, ‘Whatever you think about the company — and the man — that controls so much of our economic reality in the third decade of the twenty-first century, there is no turning back now.’” Plus, Brat: An ’80s Story by Andrew McCarthy (Grand Central): “The actor effectively paints his younger self as a sheepish outsider, torn between ambition and art, stumbling his way through an industry that doesn’t hand out road maps.”

USA Today reviews How Lucky by Will Leitch (Harper), giving it 2 out of 4 stars: “Leitch has created an indelible character in Daniel, a hero we want desperately to root for, a would-be amateur detective who could teach us about the value of human life along the way, if only he got a decent case to solve.”

Briefly Noted

USA Today picks five books for the week.

CrimeReads suggests 10 books out this week.

The winners of the 2021 Christian Book Awards were announced, including Be the Bridge: Pursuing God's Heart for Racial Reconciliation by Latasha Morrison for Christian Book of the Year. Max Lucado was awarded the 2021 Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) Pinnacle Award, presented at the ECPA Awards Ceremony.

Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance announced finalists for the 2021 Maine Literary Awards.

Shortlists are out for the London Book Fair International Excellence Awards 2021, The Bookseller reports.

The 2021 Imadjinn Awards Finalists were announced. 

LitHub highlights the 20th anniversary of Philidelphia’s 215 Festival happening next week on Zoom.

The London Book Fair announces a three week format in June. Publishing Perspectives has the details. 

Michael Lewis, The Premonition (W. W. Norton), tells The Guardian: “We were incentivised to have a bad pandemic response’.”

Entertainment Weekly has an interview with Stacey Abrams, about her new book, While Justice Sleeps (Doubleday), and giving up her pen name. Abrams is also featured in The NYT’s “By the Book” column.

Time interviews Jon Levy, author of You're Invited: The Art and Science of Cultivating Influence (Harper Business), about influence and making connections in the age of Zoom.

The Verge has an interview with Jason Schreier, Press Reset (Grand Central; LJ starred review), about “ruin and recovery in the video game industry.”

Salon interviews John Barry, The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History (Penguin), on the pandemic, fake news and the danger of comparisons.

Bustle has an interview with Julianna Margulies, Sunshine Girl: An Unexpected Life (Ballantine).

The Bookseller reports that Hodder will publish Jodi Picoult’s pandemic-inspired novel Wish You Were Here in the U.K. in November. Ballantine will publish the novel in the United States.

The Atlantic considers humility and sobriety in Hunter Biden’s Beautiful Things: A Memoir (Gallery: S. & S.) Also, 'Books Briefing' explores “Why the Graphic-Novel Format Can Be Perfect for Memoirists.”

Emily Henry, Laura Dave and more offer must-read books for spring at Entertainment Weekly.

The Washington Post offers an audiobook playlist update. 

Tordotcom features new horror and genre benders for May.

Oprah Daily features “50 Best LGBTQ Books That Will Heat Up the Literary Landscape in 2021.”

Vulture features The Secret to Superhuman Strength by Alison Bechdel (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) and 9 other reads.

Geoff Crowther, early author for Lonely Planet dies at 77.The NYT has an obituary. Also, Lyn Macdonald, chronicler of World War I, dies at 91. And, writer Manzoor Ahtesham dies at 73.

Authors on Air

NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday interviews Stacy Abrams on how a lunch conversation with her mentor inspired her new novel, While Justice Sleeps (Doubleday).

Stacy Abrams talks about “writing herself into the story and history” on CBS Sunday Morning, while David Sedaris “looks into his crystal ball.” There is also a feature on Andrew McCarthy, Brat: An ’80s Story (Grand Central). Plus, “The Book Report” for May featuring reviews from Washington Post book critic Ron Charles.

Alison Bechdel, The Secret to Superhuman Strength (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) "takes on exercise trends" on NPR’s Fresh Air.

Bustle compares the BBC’s Pursuit of Love to it’s source material by Nancy Mitford.

Shadow and Act talks with the cast of Netflix’s Jupiter’s Legacy, based on the graphic novels by Mark Millar, ahead of its series premiere. Also, there is a feature on Star Wars: The Bad Batch on Disney+, and a look at the series trailer.

Deadline reports that in a competitive situation, Stone Village has optioned Paul Theroux’s Under the Wave at Waimea, (Houghton Harcourt) to adapt as a premium television series.

Jake Tapper, The Devil May Dance (Little, Brown and Company) and Billie Eilish, Billie Eilish (Grand Central) will be on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert tonight. Stacey Abrams, While Justice Sleeps (Doubleday) visits Seth Meyers tomorrow night.


Want to get the latest book news delivered to your inbox each day? Sign up for our daily Book Pulse newsletter.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing