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

The President Is Missing by James Patterson and Bill Clinton leads holds this week, followed by eight more titles with significant demand. People reveals its "The Best Summer Books." Costco's June book pick is Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine. The Lambda Literary Awards will be announced today. Michael Lewis inks a deal with Audible.

Big Books for the Week

The President Is Missing by James Patterson and Bill Clinton (Little, Brown) leads holds this week.

Other titles in demand include:

Us Against You by Fredrik Backman (Atria: S. & S.; LJ starred review)
Turbulence by Stuart Woods (G.P. Putnam’s Sons: Penguin)
The Word Is Murder by Anthony Horowitz (Harper)
When Life Gives You Lululemons by Lauren Weisberger (S. & S.)
Florida: Stories by Lauren Groff (Riverhead)
Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman (Ballantine: Random) [Note: Check your holds, they are running 8:1 across the country.]
There There by Tommy Orange (Knopf; LJ starred review)
Social Creature by Tara Isabella Burton (Doubleday)

Librarians and Booksellers Suggest

It is a full week for LibraryReads and Indie Next picks, with librarians selecting six titles and booksellers suggesting eight.

Both groups vote for There There by Tommy Orange (Knopf; LJ starred review)
“A large cast of interwoven characters depicts the experience of Native Americans living in urban settings. Perfect for readers of character-driven fiction with a strong sense of place.” —Abby Johnson, New Albany-Floyd County Public Library, New Albany, IN

It is the Indie Next book of the month: “There There is the kind of book that grabs you from the start and doesn’t let go, even after you’ve turned the last page. It is a work of fiction, but every word of it feels true. Tommy Orange writes with a palpable anger and pain, telling the history of a cultural trauma handed down through generations in the blood and bones and stories of individual lives. He also writes with incredible heart and humor, infusing his characters with a tangible humanity and moments of joy even as they are headed toward tragedy. There There has claimed a permanent spot in my heart despite having broken it, or maybe because it did. I think this may be the best book I’ve ever read.” —Heather Weldon, Changing Hands Bookstore, Tempe, AZ

The Word Is Murder by Anthony Horowitz (Harper)
“A playful commentary on the mystery genre itself and the first in a promising new series. The author, Horowitz, plays the part of the narrator, and gets caught up in solving a murder with Daniel Hawthorne, an out-of-work detective.” —Amy Whitfield, Wake County Public Libraries, Cary, NC

“When a healthy 60-year-old woman is found strangled in her London home the very day she had organized and paid for her own funeral, former police detective—now consultant—Daniel Hawthorne convinces author Anthony Horowitz to shadow his investigation to eventually publish this very story. Imagine sitting in a darkened English pub listening to Horowitz bemoaning his involvement as he tells the story of the unlikeable but captivating Hawthorne. Readers will quickly join in playing detective as characters, plot twists, clues, and red herrings escalate while enjoying the old-fashioned feel of Agatha Christie and Sherlock Holmes in a modern setting. Delicious!” —Jennifer Gwydir, Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, TX

LibraryReads selections also include:

Us Against You by Fredrik Backman (Atria: S. & S.; LJ starred review)
“The citizens of Beartown are about to lose their beloved hockey team and their rivals could not be happier. The narrator has you wondering who is going to die and why events occur as they do.” —Gail Christensen, Kitsap Regional Library, Bremerton, WA

Dreams of Falling by Karen White (Berkley: Penguin)
“Set in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, this story does what Southern fiction does best: family, lies, and secrets. For fans of Patti Callahan Henry and Mary Alice Monroe.” —Leanne Milliman, Charlevoix Public Library, Charlevoix, MI

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang (Berkley: Penguin; LJ starred review)
“A wonderfully sweet and erotic romance featuring an autistic heroine who hires a hot male escort to teach her how to enjoy sex, but learns so much more.” —Elizabeth Gabriel, Milwaukee Public Library, Milwaukee, WI [Note: check holds here too, they are running over 7:1]

How Hard Can It Be? by Allison Pearson (St. Martin’s; LJ starred review)
“Kate is holding it all together, unemployed husband, kids, and parents. So, she reinvents herself as someone younger to secure a job with the hedge fund.” —Toni Nako, The Public Library of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH

Further Indie Next picks include:

Florida: Stories by Lauren Groff (Riverhead)
“After wowing readers (former President Barack Obama included) with 2015’s Fates and Furies, Lauren Groff returns with a collection of stories just as wise and meticulously constructed. Within the sun-kissed, palmetto-strewn swampland of Groff’s Florida, we encounter a pair of abandoned sisters, anxious mothers, and a woman being pushed to the edge. Looking inward and out, Groff examines the lives of her characters with a surveyor’s eye, capturing the sense of dread and desire that pervades their existence. Florida is an exploration of time and place, both sensual and terrifying, and seems to me both timely and timeless.” —Uriel Perez, BookPeople, Austin, TX

Invitation to a Bonfire by Adrienne Celt (Bloomsbury: Macmillan; LJ starred review)
“Adrienne Celt’s Invitation to a Bonfire is a propulsive literary thriller masterfully constructed and written with an extraordinary, raw urgency that will leave readers breathless. Inspired by the marriage of Vladimir and Vera Nabokov, Celt explores the love and ambition of two strong-willed women who compete for the passions and artistic control of a literary icon. The novel’s characters are original and vividly drawn, with all the complexity and contradictions of their emotions and intensions fully realized. This is a story that you will not be able to put down, and certainly one of the most memorable and satisfying reads of the year. Adrienne Celt is a writer to watch.” —Lori Feathers, Interabang Books, Dallas, TX

Southernmost by Silas House (Algonquin: Workman)
“Asher, a rural evangelical preacher in Tennessee, welcomes two gay men into his congregation after a flood washes away most of his town. His change of heart results in him being ousted from his church and losing custody of his son in the midst of an ugly divorce. Unable to stand the separation from his boy, he steals him away and flees to Key West in search of his estranged brother. Living on the run, Asher must learn how to make peace with the past as he discovers a new way of living and thinking. Silas House’s writing is captivating and honest and proves how different ways of life can coexist and even combine to create something cohesive and meaningful.” —Carl Kranz, The Fountain Bookstore, Richmond, VA

Visible Empire by Hannah Pittard (HMH)
“Pulling from the historical record, Hannah Pittard has constructed a compelling novel around the Air France crash at Orly that shook the Atlanta art scene in 1962. The well-constructed narrative shifts effortlessly among a few characters to provide a richer, more comprehensive perspective on the disaster and its aftermath. Visible Empire goes well beyond a simple retelling of the contemporary newspaper accounts and addresses the issues of race, wealth, and culture prevalent in that moment and that still persist today.” —Jay McCoy, Brier Books, Lexington, KY

Mirror, Shoulder, Signal by Dorthe Nors (Graywolf: Macmillan)
“Once again, Dorthe Nors writes with precision and depth about the experience of single, childless women in their 40s, which is under-explored in literature. Loneliness and invisibility factor in, but not in the way that the dominant spinster/maiden aunt narrative would have us believe. Nors uncovers nuance, heart, and connection with her signature stripped-down prose and humor. A vital and important book for us all.” —Melanie McNair, Malaprop’s Bookstore/Café, Asheville, NC

The Lost Family by Jenna Blum (Harper)
“The characters in Jenna Blum’s The Lost Family are deeply real and unforgettable: a man and a woman both trying to compensate for the losses of their previous families by creating a new family, and the daughter who grows up with them, feeling equally lost. Blum gets so many things effortlessly right: the terror of Nazi Germany; the fluctuating zeitgeist of New York in the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s; the way the foodie father, the dieting wife, and the eating-disordered daughter all express themselves through their relationship with food. I would recommend it for Meg Wolitzer fans, though Blum’s style is definitely her own.” —Nina Barrett, Bookends & Beginnings, Evanston, IL

In the Media

People skips its book of the week in favor of a list of “The Best Summer Books:”
Calypso by David Sedaris (Little, Brown)
Charlotte Walsh Likes To Win by Jo Piazza (S. & S.)
Clock Dance by Anne Tyler (Knopf; LJ starred review)
The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware (Scout: Gallery; LJ starred review)
JELL-O Girls: A Family History by Allie Rowbottom (Little, Brown: Hachette; LJ starred review)
Cottage by the Sea by Debbie Macomber (Ballantine)
How Hard Can It Be? by Allison Pearson (St. Martin’s; LJ starred review)
The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang (Berkley: Penguin; LJ starred review)

People Picks Dietland, based on the book of the same name as their lead choice. Also included in the round-up are Cloak and Dagger, based on the Marvel comics series, Younger, which is based on the book of the same name, and Adrift, based on the book by Tami Oldham Ashcraft.

Entertainment Weekly ran a double issue last week. Look online for stories such as an interview with Parker Posey, You’re on an Airplane: A Self-Mythologizing Memoir (Blue Rider: Penguin).

These books and others publishing the week of June 4, 2018, are listed in a downloadable spreadsheet.


Janet Maslin reviews The President Is Missing by James Patterson and Bill Clinton (Little, Brown) for the NYT, calling it “a thriller and escapist fairy tale … Clinton and Patterson are a fine match, even if they get this story off to a slow start. They initially deliver chapters so long (Chapter 4: 11 pages!) that regular Patterson readers may be shellshocked. But once they hit their stride, they complete each other in the “Jerry Maguire” sense: Clinton gives Patterson the substance he often lacks, and Patterson (or some tough editing) keeps Clinton from drifting.” Also the paper reviews How To Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence by Michael Pollan (Penguin), writing “Michael Pollan, somehow predictably, does the impossible: He makes losing your mind sound like the sanest thing a person could do.”

The LA Times reviews Kudos by Rachel Cusk (FSG).

NPR reviews the exhibition catalog for the Met gala show, Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination by Andrew Bolton (Metropolitan Museum of Art: Yale UP).

The Washington Post reviews The President Is Missing by James Patterson and Bill Clinton as well. Ron Charles likes it much less than does Maslin. He writes: “The larger problem, though, is how cramped the novel’s scope remains. There’s no thrum of national panic, no sense of the wide world outside this very literal narrative. And so much of the plot is stuck in a room with nerds trying to crack a computer code. That struggle feels about as exciting as watching your parents trying to remember their Facebook password: ‘Did you spell it with an O? Did you try a capital letter?'” Also reviewed:  The Dante Chamber by Matthew Pearl (Penguin), When the Center Held: Gerald Ford and the Rescue of the American Presidency by Donald Rumsfeld (Free Press: S. & S.), Simon Winchester’s The Perfectionists: How Precision Engineers Created the Modern World (Harper; LJ starred review), Lighting the Fires of Freedom: African American Women in the Civil Rights Movement by Janet Dewart Bell (The New Press), and The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs: A New History of a Lost World by Steve Brusatte (William Morrow; LJ starred review).

Briefly Noted

Costco’s influential book buyer, Pennie Clark Ianniciello, selects Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (Pamela Dorman: Penguin) as her June book choice, writing about how much she enjoys quirky characters.

The Lambda Literary Awards will be announced today.

Michael Lewis tells the NYTI’ve become Audible’s first magazine writer.” With “a multiyear contract” he promises to deliver “four audio original stories, with the first scheduled to come out in July.” He will narrate it himself. The paper says “It’s the latest sign that audiobooks are no longer an appendage of print, but a creative medium in their own right.”

The NYT introduces their new romance novel column editor, Jaime Green. Her first column will run this week.

Time has an excerpt of the forthcoming Mr. Rogers biography by Maxwell King, The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers (Abrams).

The NYT suggest three books for new graduates.

The Strategist gathers the “Best Cookbooks for Kids, According to Chefs With Children.”

USA Today looks toward the big fall books, reporting out of BookExpo.

The Costco Connection has an interview with James Patterson and Bill Clinton, The President Is Missing (Little, Brown). USA Today has a feature.

The Guardian interviews Fatima Farheen Mirza, A Place for Us (SJP for Hogarth) and Meg Wolitzer, The Female Persuasion (Riverhead: Penguin: LJ starred review).

The LA Times interviews Terese Marie Mailhot, Heart Berries: A Memoir (Counterpoint).

Salon features Retta, So Close to Being the Sh*t, Y’all Don’t Even Know (St. Martin’s Press: Macmillan).

Vanity Fair profiles former NYT book critic, Michiko Kakutani as she turns from reviewing books to writing them. The Death of Truth: Notes on Falsehood in the Age of Trump (Tim Duggan: Random) comes out this July.

Shondaland features Porochista Khakpour, Sick: A Memoir (Harper).

The Atlantic has a feature on producer Marti Noxon, Dietland and Sharp Objects.

The NYT profiles Seymour Hersh, Reporter (Knopf).

Authors on Air

Space Opera by Catherynne M. Valente (Saga: S. & S.; LJ starred review) is heading to the movies, reports

NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday interviews Tara Isabella Burton, Social Creature (Doubleday), and Alfredo Corchado, Homelands: Four Friends, Two Countries, and the Fate of the Great Mexican-American Migration (Bloomsbury). Weekend Edition Saturday interviewed Anthony Horowitz, The Word Is Murder (Harper).

Solo is not doing well. Vanity Fair calls it a “flop.”

Michael Eric Dyson, What Truth Sounds Like: Robert F. Kennedy, James Baldwin, and Our Unfinished Conversation About Race in America (St. Martin’s Press), will be on The View today.

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