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

Shattered Mirror by Iris Johansen leads holds this week. Entertainment Weekly lists summer movies, many are related to books. HBO releases a teaser trailer for their adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects.

Big Books for the Week

Shattered Mirror: An Eve Duncan Novel by Iris Johansen (St. Martin’s) leads holds this week.

Other books in demand include:

You Think It, I’ll Say It: Stories by Curtis Sittenfeld (Random; LJ starred review)

Magnolia Table: A Collection of Recipes for Gathering by Joanna Gaines, Marah Stets (William Morrow: HarperCollins)

Librarians and Booksellers Suggest

Two LibraryReads publish this week, both are also Indie Next selections.

You Think It, I’ll Say It: Stories by Curtis Sittenfeld (Random; LJ starred review)
“A collection of ten short stories from the author of Eligible. Literary fiction with young adult appeal. Well-developed characters in fascinating circumstances. Poignant, timely, sad, funny, and cohesive. Sittenfeld shows her craft in a new form.”—Leanne Milliman, Charlevoix Public Library, Charlevoix, MI

“No one does a better job of writing about the high and low points of contemporary relationships than Curtis Sittenfeld. Her characters are petty, flawed, tender, funny, and completely believable. The characters in You Think It, I’ll Say It do not shy away from assuming they know those around them, making the twist when their misjudgments are revealed even more satisfying. While it is easy to fall in love with the insightful storytelling and humor, Sittenfeld’s true gift is to make you recognize yourself in these pages.”—Luisa Smith, Book Passage, Corte Madera, CA

The Girl Who Smiled Beads: A Story of War and What Comes After by Clemantine Wamariya, Elizabeth Weil (Crown: Random; LJ starred review)
“Wamariya has written a heartbreaking account of her survival of the Rwandan genocide. In 1994, she and her sister fled Rwanda and spent the next six years migrating through Africa, looking for a safe haven. Told in alternating chapters, between her harrowing escape and her arrival in the US as a refugee.”—Janet Kowal, Connetquot Public Library, Bohemia, NY

The Girl Who Smiled Beads is a beautiful and heartbreaking look into the life of a woman who survived the genocide in Rwanda. I was so moved by Clemantine’s story of her escape and time as a child refugee, and equally moved by her struggle to come to terms with her experiences after moving to the U.S. Looking at what happened through the story of someone who escaped as a child makes the horrors even more viscerally felt by the reader. I am humbled and grateful to have been able to read this important account.”—Hillary Smith, Copperfield’s Books, Sebastopol, CA

Three more Indie Next books hit shelves as well:

The Best Cook in the World: Tales from My Momma’s Table by Rick Bragg (Knopf; LJ starred review)
“This is the funniest cookbook in the world! Packed with old fashioned southern recipes, Bragg’s brilliant storytelling and old black-and-white photographs bring his relatives to life. From lost cows to dead hogs to giant turtles, his stories feature grandparents and great grandparents, aunts and uncles. But most of all, his mother’s voice comes through loud and clear. More than anything, you are taken by the back-and-forth between Bragg and his down-to-earth, matter-of-fact, shy but feisty mother. I absolutely loved this book! And I recommend the pecan pie!”—Helen Stewart, Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, NC

First, We Make the Beast Beautiful: A New Journey Through Anxiety by Sarah Wilson (Dey Street: Harper)
“First, We Make the Beast Beautiful evokes the strange and magical feeling of having discovered a personal journal in a public place. It is first and foremost a memoir that tackles difficult subjects, touching on many experiences, both traumatic and constructive, that the author feels have affected her journey through anxiety. A great deal of the book is spiritual and suggests that anxiety is the product of an unrest in the soul. Fans of Rupi Kaur will enjoy the candid rawness of this book, as it pulls them through a journey that is perhaps all too painfully familiar.”—Kaitie Radel, The Oxford Exchange, Tampa, FL

The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century by Kirk Wallace Johnson (Viking)
“A fascinating true crime book, The Feather Thief recounts the theft of more than 200 bird skins from a museum in England. Along the way, Johnson also covers Darwin contemporary Alfred Russel Wallace’s travels to acquire birds of paradise, the theory of evolution, and the decimation of bird species in the name of fashion. It is a book about obsession, from the fly-tying community’s hunt for specific bird species to Johnson’s own need for justice and closure after the case is resolved. This is a gripping, multifaceted book about our need to possess beauty in the name of historical authenticity.”—Anton Bogomazov, Politics and Prose Bookstore, Washington, D.C.

These books and others publishing the week of April 23, 2018, are listed in a downloadable spreadsheet: Book Pulse 4_23_18.

In the Media

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is #1 on Entertainment Weekly‘s “The Must List.” The Handmaids’s Tale season 2 is #3 (and gets an A- review later in the magazine). Avengers: Infinity War is #4. The Seasons of My Mother: A Memoir of Love, Family, and Flowers by Marcia Gay Harden (Atria: S. & S.) is #5. #8 is the film Disobedience, it is based on the novel of the same name by Naomi Alderman. Caddyshack: The Making of a Hollywood Cinderella Story by Chris Nashawaty (Flatiron: Macmillan) is #9.

In books, EW spotlights A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership by James Comey (Flatiron: Macmillan) and Chasing Hillary: Ten Years, Two Presidential Campaigns, and One Intact Glass Ceiling by Amy Chozick (Harper). You Think It, I’ll Say It: Stories by Curtis Sittenfeld (Random; LJ starred review) gets a B+. In a poetry special, the magazine features Kevin Young, Brown: Poems (Knopf), Tracy K. Smith, Wade in the Water: Poems (Graywolf: Macmillan), Hieu Mihn Nguyen, Not Here (Coffee House), and Jason Reynolds, For Every One  (Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books: S. & S.; SLJ starred review). Questlove, Creative Quest (Ecco: Harper), gets a Q&A. Gilbert King’s Beneath a Ruthless Sun (Riverhead), Sam J. Miller’s Blackfish City (Ecco), and Sara Shepard’s The Elizas (Atria: S. & S.) lead the buzziest books categories.

The magazine features summer movies. A number are related to books, including Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Solo: A Star Wars Story, The Seagull, Book Club, Deadpool 2, On Chesil Beach, How to Talk to Girls at Parties, Adrift, American Animals, Eating Animals, Leave No Trace, Ant-man and The Wasp, Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot, Teen Titans Go! To The Movies, Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood, Christopher Robin, Juliet, Naked, Papillon, The Miseducation of Cameron Post, The Wife, Down a Dark Hall, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, The Bookshop, The Meg, and The Darkest Minds.

A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership by James Comey (Flatiron: Macmillan) is People‘s Book of the Week. Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell (Atria Books: S. & S.) and The Only Story by Julian Barnes (Knopf) are also featured. In nonfiction People highlights Love Rules: How to Find a Real Relationship in a Digital World by Joanna Coles (Harper), Chasing Hillary: Ten Years, Two Presidential Campaigns, and One Intact Glass Ceiling by Amy Chozick (Harper), and The Myth of the Nice Girl: Achieving a Career You Love Without Becoming a Person You Hate by Fran Hauser (HMH). In poetry, For Every One by Jason Reynolds (Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books: S. & S.; SLJ starred review) is the teen pick and The Fox Hunt: A Refugee’s Memoir of Coming to America by Mohammed Al Samawi (William Morrow: Harper) gets a story. The Handmaid’s Tale is People‘s #1 pick for the week. Paddington 2 is #7 and Mercury13 is #8.


NYT reviews Lawrence Wright’s God Save Texas: A Journey into the Soul of the Lone Star State (Knopf; LJ starred review), calling it “superb.” The paper also gathers three books on government corruption.

Cecile Richards reviews God Save Texas: A Journey into the Soul of the Lone Star State (Knopf; LJ starred review) for The Washington Post, calling it “more of a plea than a prophecy.” Also in the Post, Caddyshack: The Making of a Hollywood Cinderella Story by Chris Nashawaty (Flatiron: Macmillan), describing it as a “gritty chronicle.”

Vanity Fair reviews Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: “Though the script is tinny in parts, and the production often feels rushed despite its luxurious length, those problems are dimmed by the giddy magnificence of its design. And, yes, by the evocative way the play grapples with the past, intertwining itself with the treasured canon, coaxing out of us a heady mix of nostalgia and awe. Related, J.K. Rowling says more stage plays are unlikely.

NPR reviews John Scalzi’s Head On: A Novel of the Near Future (Tor: Macmillan), writing that “in conforming so literally to the defining nature of science fiction, somehow makes it seem new and fresh.” Also, How to Suppress Women’s Writing by Joanna Russ (Univ. of Texas), “nimbly drawing disparate sources into an outline of the ways the literary establishment has rejected a canon of women’s writing.”

Awards and Lists




The Los Angeles Times Book Prizes are announced.

The Women’s Prize announces its shortlist.

Eater lists “Every Spring 2018 Cookbook That Matters.”

Entertainment Weekly, GQ, and PBS all have much to say about must-read books:

GQ lists “21 Books You Don’t Have to Read … And 21 you should read instead.”

EW comments on the uproar the GQ list caused.

PBS announces the list of 100 books that makes up their Great American Read.

Briefly Noted

Time asks if Pro-Trump or Anti-Trump books sell better. They find that Fire and Fury is an outlier. All the other books spent nearly the same amount of time on the NYT bestseller list. Time does not account for bulk sales and went to press too soon to include Higher Loyalty. CNN is taking note of how the two books are selling, at least in DC.

On a related note, Chasing Hillary: Ten Years, Two Presidential Campaigns, and One Intact Glass Ceiling by Amy Chozick (Harper) is getting notable attention, from EW and People (above), NYT, Axios, and The Washington Post.

Vanity Fair has more on the controversy over Sally Kohn’s book The Opposite of Hate: A Field Guide to Repairing Our Humanity (Algonquin: Workman), with comments by Ijeoma Oluo, So You Want to Talk About Race (Seal: Hachette; LJ starred review).

The Guardian has a list by Olivia Sudjic of “five books to get a grip on internet addiction” and digs into George Eliot’s life and her novel Middlemarch.

Entertainment Weekly interviews Ilona Andrews (the writing team of Ilona Gordon and Andrew Gordon). They have a hot new ebook coming this fall and a new three-book deal with Avon. The magazine also interviews Questlove, Creative Quest (Ecco: Harper).

The Guardian interviews Leslie Jamison, The Recovering: Intoxication and Its Aftermath (Little, Brown), Hanya Yanagihara, A Little Life (Random), Curtis Sittenfeld, You Think It, I’ll Say It: Stories (Random; LJ starred review), and Sharlene Teo, Ponti (S. & S.).

Time features The Confidence Code for Girls: Taking Risks, Messing Up, and Becoming Your Amazingly Imperfect, Totally Powerful Self by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman with JillEllyn Riley, illustrated by Nan Lawson (Harper).

Electric Lit looks at book cover design.

PBS posts its videos from the LA Times Festival of Books and the L.A. Times has coverage too.

NYPL has narrowed down their One Book, One New York list to five titles and in other related library news, LJ reviewer Laura McKinley is doing a talk at NYPL with Peter J. Tomasi, The Bridge: How the Roeblings Connected Brooklyn to New York, illustrated by Sara DuVall (Abrams ComicArt; LJ starred review) next Monday, one of the library’s multiple author events. Even if you do not live nearby, many of the library’s author programs are online.

Authors on Air

NPR has a bevy of author interviews. On All Things Considered: Amy Chozick, Chasing Hillary: Ten Years, Two Presidential Campaigns, and One Intact Glass Ceiling (Harper).

On Weekend Edition: Julian Barnes, The Only Story (Knopf), Lucy Cooke, The Truth About Animals: Stoned Sloths, Lovelorn Hippos, and Other Tales from the Wild Side of Wildlife (Basic: Hachette), Sam J. Miller, Blackfish City (Ecco: Harper), and Kathleen Belew, Bring the War Home: The White Power Movement and Paramilitary America (Harvard Univ.).

Today on Morning Edition: Nigella Lawson about At My Table: A Celebration of Home Cooking (Flatiron: Macmillan) and Jonah Goldberg, Suicide of the West: How the Rebirth of Tribalism, Populism, Nationalism, and Identity Politics is Destroying American Democracy (Crown Forum).

HBO’s adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects gets a teaser trailer

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