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

The Perfect Couple by Elin Hilderbrand and Bring Me Back by B.A. Paris lead holds this week. The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai is getting a great deal of press attention. Jacqueline Woodson receives the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award and Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado is in development as a TV series.

Big Books for the Week

The Perfect Couple by Elin Hilderbrand (Little, Brown) leads holds this week. Bring Me Back by B.A. Paris (St. Martin’s; LJ starred review) also shows strong demand. Both books lead all others by a significant gap in hold numbers.

Librarians and Booksellers Suggest

The #1 LibraryReads pick for June publishes this week, Bring Me Back by B.A. Paris (St. Martin’s; LJ starred review): “Intensifying psychological suspense. Twelve years after Finn’s girlfriend Layla disappeared, a discovery raises new questions.” —Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA It is also a July Indie Next selection: “A dark, mysterious thriller, Paris’ latest novel demands to be binge-read. Through seamless transitions between past and present, the reader learns the ever-darkening love story of Finn and Layla. Fast enough to keep you reading but slow enough to keep you guessing, Paris carefully reveals secrets that build new theories as quickly as they destroy others. Paris is smart, knowing exactly what to tell you to make you believe that you’re ahead before you realize you’re actually three steps behind. A mystery that keeps you guessing until the end, filled with the ominous imagery of Russian nesting dolls, Bring Me Back is destined to be a hit.” —Levi Arney, Austy’s, Salem, IN Five additional Indie Next choices hit shelves this week too: The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai (Viking: Penguin) “This flawlessly written and lovingly told story depicts the immediate toll AIDS took on the Chicago gay community in the ’80s and the long-term impact on survivors and their families. Makkai threads it all compellingly together with art world intrigue and institutional drama. I don’t want to diminish it in any way with comparisons, but The Great Believers brought to my mind several of my favorite contemporary novels: A Little Life, Three Junes, and The Goldfinch. Rebecca Makkai, in my opinion, has launched herself into a whole new category of literary achievement with this.” —Becky Dayton, The Vermont Book Shop, Middlebury, VT The Lost Vintage by Ann Mah (William Morrow: Harper; LJ starred review) “Reminiscent of Sweetbitter and The Nightingale, The Lost Vintage combines a coming-of-age romance with family and historical drama and a delicious tour of the wines and cheese of Burgundy, France. Switching between World War II and the present, Mah explores what can happen when families—and a nation—keep secrets and fail to acknowledge the tragedies of the past. Part modern mystery and part historical novel, this book will have you turning pages in anticipation of discovering secret passages, missing journals, or those lost bottles of 1939 Côte d’Or white Burgundy.” —Ariel Jacobs, Solid State Books, Washington, DC Number One Chinese Restaurant by Lillian Li (Holt: Macmillan) “Growing up in a small town in the ’60s, my first experience of Chinese food served tableside in a grand manner was on our annual vacation to visit family. The Empress restaurant—near the White House!—boasted about its Peking duck, just like the suburban D.C. Duck House in Number One Chinese Restaurant. The Duck House connects three generations of a restaurant dynasty and three star-crossed pairs of lovers, who are about to find out that, like a good stir fry, timing is everything. This is a masterful debut. I came for the fun Chinese restaurant setting, but I stayed for the characters.” —Carla Bayha, Literati Bookstore, Ann Arbor, MI Providence by Caroline Kepnes (Lenny: Random) “Providence, a novel for the Stranger Things audience, is a fun and interesting blend of light fantasy and soft horror themes. I am a huge Lovecraft fan and devour fan fiction or books that reference Lovecraft, and author Caroline Kepnes does a nice job creating a weird and entertaining ride while explaining Lovecraft and The Dunwich Horror to those who may not be familiar. Overall, I found this book to be exactly what I needed: a nice escape from the confines of the horror genre. I’m also happy to see more female writers bringing their own voices to horror in new and interesting ways.” —Guy Lopez, Vroman’s Bookstore, Pasadena, CA Witchmark by C. L. Polk (Tor: Macmillan) “Magic, adventure, dastardly plots, otherworldly creatures, conspiracies, romance, bicycle chases—all of this and more awaits readers in this dazzling debut. Half fantasy, half steampunk, the enchanting world of Aeland is a place where anything can happen—and does. With dry wit, Polk draws you into the mind of Miles, a doctor who must keep his magical abilities secret as he tries to unravel the mystery of why so many of Aeland’s soldiers are returning from war traumatized and murderous. Complicating his search for answers are his high-society sister, a possibly murdered newspaper reporter, and an irresistible but dubious being from a realm beyond the living. Witchmark is magically engaging from the first sentence to the last and will have you turning pages long after you should have gone to bed.” —Holly Roberts, Out West Books, Grand Junction, CO These books and others publishing the week of June 18, 2018, are listed in a downloadable spreadsheet.

In the Media

Entertainment Weekly's lead book is The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai (Viking: Penguin), giving it an A-. They also offer a sidebar of related titles: The Gifts of the Body by Rebecca Brown (Harper), The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst (Bloomsbury), and A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara (Random). Jonathan Safran Foer, Eating Animals (Back Bay: Hachette) gives a short Q&A, the online list of father's books makes it to print, and Dana Schwartz, Choose Your Own Disaster (Grand Central: Hachette) gets a small call out. The magazine opens "The Must List" with Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. #3 is Confessions of the Fox by Jordy Rosenberg (One World: Random): "one of the first trans fiction writers signed by a major publisher." #7 is Providence by Caroline Kepnes (Lenny: Random). EW also has features on the film Aquaman, based on the DC comics character, and the TV show Luke Cage, based on the Marvel character. People's Book of the Week is The Perfect Couple by Elin Hilderbrand (Little, Brown), calling it "A quintessential summer read." Florida: Stories by Lauren Groff (Riverhead) and The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai (Viking: Penguin) also make the list of best new books. For more beach reads, People suggests When Katie Met Cassidy by Camille Perri (Putnam), Providence by Caroline Kepnes (Lenny: Random), and Guilty Pleasure by Kevin Dickson, Jack Ketsoyan (Imprint: Macmillan). Recipes come from Nigella Lawson, At My Table: A Celebration of Home Cooking (Flatiron: Macmillan) and Christopher Kimball, Christopher Kimball's Milk Street: The New Home Cooking (Little, Brown). Nick Offerman, The Greatest Love Story Ever Told: An Oral History by Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally (Dutton, Oct.), gets the last word.


NPR reviews We Are Where the Nightmares Go and Other Stories by C. Robert Cargill (Harper): "Every ghost story is immortal. That's why we love them. Every ghost story ever can be twisted, repurposed, recycled and built into something else because, really, every ghost story is just a story of regret." Also Planet Funny: How Comedy Took Over Our Culture by Ken Jennings (Scribner: S. & S.): "Another writer might have issued a clarion call, but Jennings is content to squeeze, gently, a whoopie cushion." The Washington Post reviews Paper Ghosts by Julia Heaberlin (Ballantine): "a gritty road-trip novel." Maureen Corrigan reviews Who Is Vera Kelly? by Rosalie Knecht (Tin House), under the headline "Forget about 007. This heroine has her own brand of spycraft." Also Bearskin by James A. McLaughlin (Ecco): "stick with the novel and you’ll be rewarded with some of the best action writing in recent fiction." NYT considers Atticus Finch: The Biography by Joseph Crespino (Basic Books: Hachette) and Why To Kill a Mockingbird Matters: What Harper Lee's Book and the Iconic American Film Mean to Us Today by Tom Santopietro (St. Martin's Press). Both books see Lee's novel through a critical lens.

Briefly Noted

Jacqueline Woodson receives her Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award—with videos of her "captivating acceptance speech." Francine Prose heads to Montreal. Megan Abbott writes about why readers love true crime. The L.A. Times interviews Rebecca Makkai, The Great Believers (Viking: Penguin). Arundhati Roy answers reader's questions—famous and otherwise—for The Guardian. The paper also interviews Richard Powers and Salman Rushdie. Entertainment Weekly features Lauren WeisbergerWhen Life Gives You Lululemons (S. & S.), and Jonathan Safran Foer, Eating Animals (Back Bay: Hachette). The NYT reports on literary parties. Emily Wilson (The Odyssey) picks her "10 Favorite Books." NPR offers three "totally swoon-worthy romances," selected by romance author Maya Rodale. Dan Pfeiffer adapts Yes We (Still) Can: Politics in the Age of Obama, Twitter, and Trump (Twelve: Hachette) for Vanity Fair. NPR's All Things Considered has an interview. Vogue highlights The Secret Life of Cows by Rosamund Young. NPR has a review. Apple partners with Oprah in a deal that will include "film, TV, applications, books and other content," according to The Hollywood Reporter. Amazon is removing reviews, creating uproar in the writing community. Signature reports on "How Libraries Are Waging War Against the Opioid Crisis." LitHub looks at a typeface trend for books.

Authors on Air

Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado (Graywolf; LJ starred review) is in development as a TV series. Don Quixote clears its last legal hurdle before distribution can ramp up. The Hollywood Reporter says don't hold your breath for U.S. rights anytime soon. Amazon has already pulled out of negotiations. Will Schwalbe interviews Kevin Kwan on "But That's Another Story" podcast. Netflix has stepped in to save Lucifer (which was cut from Fox recently). The series is based on a spinoff character from The Sandman comics. NPR interviews David Lynch, Room to Dream: A Life (Random; LJ starred review) and Sebastian Abbot, The Away Game, The Epic Search for Soccer's Next Superstars (Norton). The Little Stranger, based on the novel by Sarah Waters, gets a trailer:

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