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

It is a news-y Monday:Clock Dance by Anne Tyler leads holds this week. Comics legend Steve Ditko has died. The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje wins the Golden Man Booker. Ron Charles of The Washington Post announces a change in his job.

Big Books for the Week

Clock Dance by Anne Tyler (Knopf; LJ starred review) leads holds this week. Other titles in demand include: The Good Fight by Danielle Steel (Delacorte) When We Found Home by Susan Mallery (HQN: Harper) The Summer Wives by Beatriz Williams (William Morrow: Harper) A Gathering of Secrets: A Kate Burkholder Novel by Linda Castillo (Minotaur: Macmillan) My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh (Penguin) Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik (Del Rey: Random; LJ starred review) Marry Me By Sundown by Johanna Lindsey (Gallery Books: S. & S.)

Librarians and Booksellers Suggest

The #1 LibraryReads pick publishes this week, Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik (Del Rey: Random; LJ starred review): “A wonderful reimagining of the Rumpelstiltskin story. A tale of love, family, magic, and destiny, told from the perspective of three strong female characters.” —Melanie Liechty, Logan Library, Logan, UT It is also an Indie Next selection: “In her second standalone fantasy, Novik once again mines the tales we know to create something completely modern yet timeless. This reimagined version of Rumpelstiltskin, set in a tsarist, Eastern Europe-like country called Litvas, is breathtaking. It explores female autonomy, class, Jewish life, and oppression while telling a compelling and richly realized fantasy tale. If anything, I just wanted to spend more time with Miryem, Wanda, Irina, and the story’s other vibrant, compelling voices. If you loved Uprooted, don’t hesitate to dive into this one. If you haven’t read Novik’s earlier work, begin here—you’ll be hooked.” —Anmiryam Budner, Main Point Books, Wayne, PA Librarians and booksellers also double up with Clock Dance by Anne Tyler (Knopf; LJ starred review): “Willa Drake gets a second act when she steps in to care for a nine-year-old in a complicated situation. Character driven fiction and a sweeping storyline.” —Mary Anne Quinn, Warwick Public Library, Warwick, RI “Anne Tyler’s extraordinary ability to tell a story in the simplest language has helped her become one of our most beloved authors. In Clock Dance, she brings us Willa Drake, who has been seeking something all her life, it seems. It’s not until she’s reached middle age that she finally opens a new door in her heart and welcomes in the most unusual group of people: an entire neighborhood, ready to bring her a new perspective and an understanding of life that will change her forever. Tyler’s newest is one for book groups, one for book lovers, and one for you, too.” —Linda Bond, Auntie’s Bookstore, Spokane, WA Other LibraryReads selections include Somebody's Daughter by David Bell (Berkley: Penguin; LJ starred review): “Michael Frazier is searching for the missing daughter he never knew he had. A multi-layered plot with so many compelling, complex characters, this book grabbed me from the first sentences.” —Evelyn Cunningham, Norwalk Public Library, Norwalk, CT The Romanov Empress: A Novel of Tsarina Maria Feodorovna by C. W. Gortner (Ballantine: Random): “A look at Maria, Empress of Russia, and her trials before and after becoming the Russian Empress. Well written historical fiction.” —Janette McMahon, Fremont County Library System, WY The #1 Indie Next choice publish this week: My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh (Penguin): “At first, My Year of Rest and Relaxation feels like the end of something, like a novel about the end of someone’s life. But Moshfegh has a way of affirming life unlike any other author. Repercussions of grief, emotional exhaustion, and the general anchors of life hurl a young woman into the warm embrace of the idea of hibernating for a year. Of course, this cannot be so simply done. In true Moshfegh fashion, this journey is brimming with laconic humor, her brand of ne’er-do-wells, and ample substance intake, which all lead to one of the most existentially satisfying reads in recent memory.” —Gregory Day, BookPeople, Austin, TX Seven more titles picked by booksellers come out this week too: The Summer Wives by Beatriz Williams (William Morrow: Harper): “When her mother marries one of the wealthy summer residents in 1951, 18-year-old Miranda enters the exclusive world of Winthrop Island. A perfect summer beach read, the story moves from 1930 to 1951 to 1969, when Miranda returns to the island. The year-round residents and the summer people don’t mix much, but long-buried secrets won’t stay buried forever. Love, scandal, murder, jealousy—The Summer Wives has it all!” —Susan Taylor, Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany, NY The Lido by Libby Page (S. & S.): “What a fun read! Libby Page does a great job telling the story of a small London town pool and the people who make it an important part of their lives. The friendship between Kate and Rosemary, despite their age difference, is so well-developed and plays an integral role in the story. The Lido is a book that every summer reader will enjoy and one that will be great to talk about at book clubs. Very well done, Libby Page!” —Anna Flynn, Watermark Books & Café, Wichita, KS An Ocean of Minutes by Thea Lim (Touchstone: S. & S.): “Polly signs on as a bondswoman with a time travel company to save the life of her boyfriend, Frank. They plan to meet in the future, but Polly is off by five years and arrives disoriented, vulnerable, and alone, with Frank nowhere to be found. This imagined future is as disorienting to the reader as it is to Polly, as Lim leaves us with no hints about who to trust and no understanding of societal rules. I was absolutely blown away by the layered depths of Lim’s story. The ending left me reeling and wanting more, and my mind keeps returning to the way Lim describes the power of time to change a person. How many lives do we live in the course of one lifetime?” —Susan Scott, Secret Garden Bookshop, Seattle, WA From the Corner of the Oval: A Memoir by Beck Dorey-Stein (Spiegel & Grau: Random): “A thoroughly enjoyable and interesting book that makes public service, working for POTUS, or a job in the White House seem like a worthy occupation. An insider’s personal account, From the Corner of the Oval gives details about the president and numerous others, some identified and some disguised, as well as the inevitable personal potholes that make the book a sort of novelization. By the way, who knew that ‘stenographer’ is still an active job title? Fans of Madame Secretary, political junkies of many stripes, and those longing for a return to a sense of normalcy in the White House will pick up this book with gratitude.” —Susan Thurin, Bookends on Main, Menomonie, WI The Last Cruise by Kate Christensen (Doubleday: Random): “The vintage ocean liner Queen Isabella is taking her final voyage before retirement, joined by passengers Christine Thorne, a farmer from Maine invited onboard by her friend Valerie, a journalist who is writing a piece on the treatment of cruise employees; Mick Szabo, a Hungarian sous-chef who was supposed to be on vacation; and Miriam Koslow, an elderly Israeli violinist who is part of a string quartet hired to entertain the passengers. When things start to go wrong, we learn a great deal about these characters in how they react to a disaster. Not to give anything away, but the ending will have you booking your next vacation by airplane, train, or car.” —Sharon K. Nagel, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI If You See Me, Don’t Say Hi: Stories by Neel Patel (Flatiron: Macmillan): “Neel Patel’s debut short story collection is filled with tales of imperfection and longing, of unfulfilled wishes that fight hard against expectations. His flawed characters know what they risk when their actions don’t match the standard script of perfection they’ve been handed, but their need for love and acceptance always prevails, sometimes with heartbreaking results. Patel’s empathy toward his characters is palpable, as is the effect of his gorgeously rendered sentences. If You See Me, Don’t Say Hi is a wonderful read: necessary, aching, and alive.” —Mo Daviau, Powell’s Books for Home and Garden, Portland, OR A Carnival of Losses: Notes Nearing Ninety by Donald Hall (HMH): “Reading poet Donald Hall’s A Carnival of Losses is like visiting with an old friend. The essays run the gamut, from his opinion on the resurgence of beards to the origin story for his infamous children’s book, Ox-Cart Man, which was originally a poem. Anecdotes about dinner parties with T.S. Eliot, driving around Oregon with James Dickey, and how Theodore Roethke was a self-serving operator are in stark contrast to an essay titled ‘Losing My Teeth,’ in which he talks about constantly losing his dentures. Hall has lived an extraordinary life, and his thoughts as he nears 90 years old are a treasure.” —Rachel Watkins, Avid Bookshop, Athens, GA These books and others publishing the week of July 9, 2018, are listed in a downloadable spreadsheet: Book Pulse 7_9_18

In the Media

Clock Dance by Anne Tyler (Knopf; LJ starred review) is People's Book of the Week: "celebrates the joys of self-discovery and the essential truth that family is ours to define." Dear Mrs. Bird by AJ Pearce (Scribner: S. & S.) and The Last Cruise by Kate Christensen (Doubleday: Random) round out the fiction picks. In nonfiction, People highlights Alissa Quart's Squeezed: Why Our Families Can’t Afford America (Ecco: Harper), The Ambition Decisions: What Women Know About Work, Family, and the Path to Building a Life by Hana Schank, Elizabeth Wallace (Viking: Penguin), and Lacks Self-Control: True Stories I Waited Until My Parents Died to Tell by Roy Sekoff (Big a Books). The teen selection for the week is Jeff Giles's The Brink of Darkness (Bloomsbury YA). People Picks leads with Sharp Objects, calling it "the programming event of the summer." Also Ant-Man and the Wasp and Harlots. The magazine highlights The Squickerwonkers by Evangeline Lilly, illustrated by Johnny Fraser-Allen (Titan Books: Random), as part of a story on Ant-Man actress, Lilly. The Family Table: Recipes and Moments from a Nomadic Life by Jazz Smollett-Warwell, Jake Smollett, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Jussie Smollett (William Morrow: Harper) gets coverage too. The most recent Entertainment Weekly is the July 6 issue. We will report when the new one publishes.


Robert B. Reich reviews two books on universal basic income for the NYT. The paper also reviews Alissa Quart's Squeezed: Why Our Families Can’t Afford America (Ecco: Harper): "a dispiriting survey of the economic stress felt by families who belong to the 'Middle Precariat,' as Quart calls the new middle class." The LA Times introduces Sara Gallardo, Land of Smoke (Pushkin Collection: Random), recently published in English, in a translation by Jessica Sequeira: "Peopled by seekers, ghosts, kings and killers, it reads like poetic communiqué from an exceptional imagination."


The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje (Vintage: Random) wins the Golden Man Booker. The award has been part of the 50th-anniversary celebrations of the prize and was chosen by a public vote. The shortlist is here. The Guardian has a report too. The British Fantasy Awards shortlist is out. It is a great list to use for RA as the awards also cover horror, nonfiction, comics, and audiobooks. The winners will be announced on October 21, 2018.


Comics legend Steve Ditko has died. Neil Gaiman has a remembrance. NPR examines his achievements. Entertainment Weekly has an obituary. The Washington Post's Ron Charles announces a change in his job and offers a survey of his reading. It is unclear what the change might mean for book coverage in The Washington Post. James Dashner (Maze Runner) has announced he is working on a new book, after being dropped by his publisher in the face of sexual misconduct charges. Entertainment Weekly has the story. The Guardian reports that Anne Frank's family twice tried to get visas to America, both times stymied by bureaucracy and war. The practice of confronting current and past members of the Trump administration moves to bookstores. Stolen WB Yeats letters, taken decades ago, have been identified. The Guardian has the details. The LA Times reports on Sue Landers, the new executive director of Lambda Literary.

Briefly Noted

The NYT has a report on the lack of diversity in Romance, including a starting list of authors to know. The Guardian has pieces on two buzzy aspects of publishing: audiobooks and the celebrity imprint. USA Today surveys this week's not to miss books. The Guardian offers summer reading, in two parts. NPR has summer reading for teens and some summer picks "about the end of everything." Ron Charles goes on a literary walking tour in Dublin. Literary tours are a thing this summer. The Guardian interviews David Sedaris. Maya Rodale picks three romantic reads for NPR. The Guardian offers the "Top 10 books about gangsters." Grady Hendrix writes for NPR on paperback horror novels, highlighting a reissue of Joan Samson's The Auctioneer (Valancourt Books). The NYT reports on The Case Against Impeaching Trump by Alan Dershowitz (Hot Books): "less of a book and more a hastily assembled compilation of his public musings on the subject." Dershowitz will be on The View tomorrow. Expect plenty of coverage on cable news. Vanity Fair features From the Corner of the Oval: A Memoir by Beck Dorey-Stein (Spiegel & Grau: Random). Megan Abbott reconsiders Raymond Chandler. Vulture features Amber Tamblyn, Any Man (Harper). The Guardian interviews Jim Broadbent and Dix, on the advent of their comic collaboration, Dull Margaret (Fantagraphics: Norton). Refinery29 interviews Gillian Flynn.

Authors on Air

NPR interviews Dan Fesperman, Safe Houses (Knopf) and Anne Tyler, Clock Dance (Knopf; LJ starred review). The rapier eyes at Town & Country have found a few seconds of footage of My Brilliant Friend, tucked into the promo for Sharp Objects.

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