Run Your Week: Big Books, Sure Bets, & Titles Making News | Book Pulse

New releases from Danielle Steel, Donna Leon, and Anna Quindlen; plus Comey's blockbuster book, authors on air, and new trailers

Big Books for the Week

Accidental Heroes by Danielle Steel (Delacorte: Random House) leads the holds count this week.

Other titles in demand include:

Duel to the Death by J.A. Jance (Touchstone: S. & S.)

The Punishment She Deserves: A Lynley Novel by Elizabeth George (Viking: Penguin)

The Bishop’s Pawn by Steve Berry (Minotaur: Macmillan: LJ starred review)

The Temptation of Forgiveness: A Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery by Donna Leon (Atlantic Monthly Press)

Alternate Side by Anna Quindlen (Random House)

Librarians and Booksellers Suggest

Three LibraryReads land on shelves this week:

The Broken Girls by Simone St. James (Berkley: Penguin)
“Parallel narratives, one set in Vermont 1950 and the other in Vermont 2014, are woven together in this intricate mystery. Timely themes of violence toward women and abuses of power resonate throughout. A well-crafted and unsettling tale for fans of Gothic horror and female centered thrillers.” —Kate Currie, Hennepin County Library, Minneapolis, MN

Alternate Side by Anna Quindlen (Random House)
“This book really captures contemporary New York, the increasing disparity between the wealthy Manhattanites and those who work for them and live in the outer boroughs, and the obsessive search for parking. The title hits exactly the right tone as “alternate side” has several meanings in this novel.” —Rosemarie Borsody, Lee Library Association, Lee, MA

Every Note Played by Lisa Genova (Gallery/Scout: S. & S.)
“Richard is a successful concert pianist who has contracted ALS and now his right arm is paralyzed. His wife Katrina takes on the role of reluctant caretaker. Theirs is a marriage filled with secrets, blame, loneliness and disappointment. The book is beautifully written and visceral in its description of the progression of ALS. Most moving to this reader was both characters’ impassioned relationship to music.” —Maggie Holmes, Richards Memorial Library, North Attleborough, MA

It is also an Indie Next selection:

“In a tightly composed piece of writing, novelist Lisa Genova carries the reader through the grim melody and turbulent sequencing of ALS while expertly relaying the gradual impact of the disease on the lives of patients and caregivers. With medical details balanced against the raw manifestation of the human experience, Every Note Played explores the cruel effects of loss and the profound effects of compassion and forgiveness. Richard and Karina are voluntarily alone, yet uncomfortably united by a sense of need and duty. Genova holds nothing back, producing a story that resonates with meaning and builds to a keen point of understanding.” —Joan Gallagher, Where the Sidewalk Ends, Chatham, MA

Three additional Indie Next titles arrive this week:

The Italian Teacher by Tom Rachman (Viking: Penguin)
“The same kinds of beautifully drawn, charming-but-flawed characters that made The Imperfectionists so wonderful also fill this novel, which follows Pinch (aka Charles), the son of famed painter Bear Bavinsky, as he grows up and struggles to make a name for himself. The book begins with Pinch and his mother, a failed potter, living in Rome in the 1950s in the shadow of Bear’s celebrity and forceful personality. With evocative descriptions of the various cities in which it’s set, The Italian Teacher is perfect for readers who want to be drawn into the lives of vivid characters and explore the meaning of art, family, and one’s personal legacy.” —Laura Tischler, Solid State Books, Washington, D.C.

The Italian Party by Christina Lynch (St. Martin’s Press: Macmillan: LJ starred review)
“Chris Pavone’s The Expats meets Amor Towles’ A Gentleman in Moscow in this delightful novel. Scottie and Michael Messina are newlyweds when they arrive in Italy in April of 1956, where Michael is supposed to head up a new division of Ford. There is so much unknown between any typical pair of newlyweds, but Michael and Scottie harbor deeper secrets from each other, among them Michael’s true occupation as a spy for the American government. Lynch evokes the period of the 1950s — Betty Crocker, Wonder Bread, and an entrenched distrust of Communism — in a story that froths with gossip and is sweetened by intrigue, stirred with the complex history of Italian and American relations. Delicious and positively drinkable.” —Becky Petterson, Bloomsbury Books, Ashland, OR

Stray City by Chelsey Johnson (Custom House: HarperCollins)
“A coming-of-age story about Andrea, a Midwestern, Catholic, artistic lesbian who escapes her family to try and find herself. After moving to Portland, Oregon, in the ’90s, Andrea gets involved in printmaking and music, meets a circle of people she depends upon, experiences a breakup, and finds a new friend. I could not put this novel down once I started it. When I was down to the last 10 pages, I read as slowly as I could, savoring every last word about the people I had come to know in Stray City. Such a good story!” —Nona Camuel, CoffeeTree Books, Morehead, KY

These books and others publishing the week of March 19, 2018, are listed in a downloadable spreadsheet:

In the Media

People’s Book of the Week is Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions by Mario Giordano, translated by John Brownjohn (HMH): “promises to be a smash series.” I Wrote This Book Because I Love You: Essays by Tim Kreider (S. & S.) and All the Beautiful Girls by Elizabeth J. Church (Ballantine: Random House) also get spotlighted. Iris Apfel: Accidental Icon by Iris Apfel (Harper Design) is the “Style Pick.” Just the Funny Parts: … And a Few Hard Truths About Sneaking into the Hollywood Boys’ Clubs by Nell Scovell (Dey Street: Harper), The Gospel of Trees: A Memoir by Apricot Irving (S. & S.) and The Kevin Show: An Olympic Athlete’s Battle with Mental Illness by Mary Pilon (Bloomsbury USA: Macmillan) feature in nonfiction.

Love, Simon leads People‘s Picks this week, the film is an adaptation of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli (Balzer + Bray: Harper). Based on the graphic novel of the same name, The Death of Stalin is #5. At #7 is the audiobook adaptation of the play, All the Ways to Say I Love You. The DVD and streaming release of The Shape of Water is #8. There is a novelization: The Shape of Water by Guillermo del Toro and Daniel Kraus (Feiwel & Friends: Macmillan). A recipe from Bring It!: Tried and True Recipes for Potlucks and Casual Entertaining by Ali Rosen (Running Press: Hachette) rounds out book coverage for the week.

Entertainment Weekly ran a double issue last week. Look on line for stories such as a guide to the characters and story in Ava DuVernay’s next film.


The NYT reviews Just the Funny Parts: … And a Few Hard Truths About Sneaking into the Hollywood Boys’ Clubs by Nell Scovell (Dey Street: Harper), saying Scovell is at her best “when she’s rankled.”

NPR reviews The Sparsholt Affair by Alan Hollinghurst (Knopf; LJ starred review), writing “Hollinghurst builds an intricate web of relationships with stately Jamesian precision and nuance.”

The Washington Post reviews Visionary Women: How Rachel Carson, Jane Jacobs, Jane Goodall, and Alice Waters Changed Our World by Andrea Barnet (Ecco: HarperCollins) finding it lacks diversity but does illustrate the common core of these four women—they each paid attention with intensity.

Briefly Noted

Get ready for James Comey’s A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership (Flatiron: Macmillan). It is currently No. 2 on Amazon’s Top 100 and does not publish until April 17. It is expected to be a blockbuster. Comey has announced three high-profile interviews to promote the book as well as a cross-country book tour. He will do a pre-pub interview on ABC’s 20/20 on April 15, appear on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on April 17, the day the book hits shelves, and will be on The View on April 18.

Vulture features Roxane Gay’s “10 Favorite Books.”

BuzzFeed lists its “21 Amazing New Books” for spring.

Entertainment Weekly has a list 13 YA novels to read after watching Love, Simon.

Vogue interviews Clemantine Wamariya, author of The Girl Who Smiled Beads: A Story of War and What Comes After (Crown: Random House: LJ starred review).

The Guardian interviews Diana Evans, her novel, Ordinary People (W.W. Norton: Liveright), comes out in September. The paper also interviews Will Self, who has much to say about technology, and profiles Irvine Welsh (Trainspotting).

Electric Lit interviews Ramona Ausubel, Awayland: Stories (Riverhead: Penguin: LJ starred review).

Bitchmedia appreciates Barbara Comyns.

Entertainment Weekly features Tomorrow by Damien Dibben (Hanover Square Press: LJ starred review).

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has a story on theft from the Carnegie Library.

Inc. lists reasons to read, and ends with a list of books most read by business executives.

The NYT has obituaries of four noted authors, SF novelist Kate Wilhelm, novelist and essayist Wilson Harris, historian David S. Wyman, and novelist Emily Nasrallah. The LA Times has an appreciation of Wilhelm too.

Authors on Air

The Hollywood Reporter has a story on season two of The Handmaid’s Tale.

Outlander will have a fifth season. The fourth is currently still in production. Entertainment Weekly reports that the writers are talking about moving from a book-a-season model to “splitting books [or] combining them. We want to be free in the writers’ room to pick and choose and do what feels most comfortable that year.”

NPR’s Fresh Air features Kory Stamper, Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries (Vintage: Random House: LJ starred review) in a rebroadcast of their 2017 conversation.

NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday interviews Von Diaz, Coconuts and Collards: Recipes and Stories from Puerto Rico to the Deep South (Univ. Press of Florida).

PBS NewsHour interviews Alberto Rios, Arizona’s first poet laureate.

Tayari Jones, An American Marriage (Algonquin: Workman: LJ stars), will be on Late Night with Seth Meyers tonight.

Mitch Landrieu, In the Shadow of Statues: A White Southerner Confronts History (Viking: Penguin), will be on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah tonight.

Krysten Ritter, Bonfire (Crown Archetype: Random House), will be on The Talk today.

A trailer for Avengers: Infinity Wars is out. It is trending on YouTube.

Can You Ever Forgive Me gets a trailer, it is about literary forgery and opens Oct. 19.

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