Run Your Week: Big Books, Sure Bets, & Titles Making News, Jan. 14, 2019 | Book Pulse

Liar Liar by James Patterson and Candice Fox leads holds this week and several other hot titles have high hold ratios. Game of Thrones will debut on April 14. NPR reports on "The World's Most Beautiful Bookstore."

Want to get the latest book news delivered to your inbox each day? Sign up for our daily Book Pulse newsletter.

Big Books of the Week

Liar Liar by James Patterson and Candice Fox (Little, Brown: Hachette) leads holds this week.

Other titles in demand include:

Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love by Dani Shapiro (Knopf). Check your holds. Libraries we checked have demand spikes ranging between 7:1 and 14:1.

The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker (Random House)

No Exit by Taylor Adams (William Morrow: Harper). Demand is outpacing orders at every library we checked.

Librarians and Booksellers Suggest

One LibraryReads title publishes this week. It is also an Indie Next selection:

The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker (Random House)

“A virus appears in the small town of Santa Lora that causes its victims to fall into a deep sleep from which they cannot wake up. While this story is about a pandemic apocalypse, it also reminds us of our humanity and how we are all connected. For fans of The Country of Ice Cream Star andThe Water Knife.”— Cari Dubiel, Twinsburg Public Library, Twinsburg, OH

“A strange virus invades a small university community, sending its victims into deep, seemingly endless sleep and infecting them with extremely powerful dreams. This backdrop provides a perfect scenario for examining the delicate, often unrecognized line between reality and perception. As the crisis deepens, the characters are caught up in a phantasmagorical world that challenges normal conceptions of existence. A thoughtful, provocative novel of strength and beauty.” —Bill Cusumano, Square Books, Oxford, MS

Five additional Indie Next picks also hit shelves:

Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love by Dani Shapiro (Knopf)

“Who are we? Does who we think we are change when we learn a family secret that alters the source of our identity? Shapiro has explored issues of identity in her previous memoirs, but in her latest she applies her signature candor and heart to a riveting, provocative, and inspiring genealogical mystery and journey of discovery.” —Roxanne Coady, R.J. Julia Booksellers, Madison, CT

The Far Field by Madhuri Vijay (Grove)

“Few seasoned novelists — let alone a first-time novelist like Madhuri Vijay — are able to construct scene after scene with compelling interior drama, tension, and forward momentum, but you’ll never want to stop reading as Vijay skillfully combines a personal journey and family mystery with a political examination of the Kashmiri-Indian troubles. Shalini, the narrator of this extraordinary work, has a mother who immediately belongs on any shortlist of literature’s great characters. If I read a better novel in 2019, then 2019 will become my favorite year of the 21st century.” —Brian Lampkin, Scuppernong Books, Greensboro, NC

The Orphan of Salt Winds by Elizabeth Brooks (Tin House: W.W. Norton)

“As 2015 winds down, so does the life of Virginia, who at the age of 86 has decided to let a sign from her mysterious past give her reason to walk out into the treacherous marsh of the Salt Winds that claimed her foster father when she was a child. As Virginia ponders her fate, a young woman appears on her doorstep and complicates her plan, bringing a tidal wave of memories that cause her to see her last day in an altogether darker light. Told in alternating timelines that follow Virginia as a child in the early stages of WWII and as she plots out her last day alive in 2015, Elizabeth Brooks’ novel of memories past and present plays out as a locked-room mystery Agatha Christie would be envious of.” —Javier Ramirez, The Book Table, Oak Park, IL

To Keep the Sun Alive by Rabeah Ghaffari (Catapult)

“Set during the Iranian Revolution, To Keep the Sun Alive is a beautifully written family epic that will completely wrap you up. It’s a sweeping novel about identity and tradition, and it’s full of characters you won’t soon forget. Ghaffari masterfully blends the historical with the imagined, and her writing is wise and precise. An excellent novel!” —Sarah Cassavant, SubText Books, St. Paul, MN

You Know You Want This: "Cat Person" and Other Stories by Kristen Roupenian (Gallery/Scout: S. & S.)

“I was completely enthralled with Kristen Roupenian’s ‘Cat Person’ story in the New Yorker and couldn’t wait to pick up her collection. Like ‘Cat Person,’ each story pushes boundaries, holding a magnifying glass up to social norms and what our society accepts. The writing is fantastic, and the cadence of each story is strikingly unique. This book will delight fans of Roupenian’s viral story and will start many more conversations in its wake.” —Courtney Flynn, Trident Booksellers & Café, Boston, MA (on the Feb. list).

These books and others publishing the week of January 14, 2019, are listed in a downloadable spreadsheet.

In The Media

Entertainment Weekly leads its books section with You Know You Want This: "Cat Person" and Other Stories by Kristen Roupenian (Gallery/Scout: S. & S.). Next is the next book set in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer world, Slayer by Kiersten White (Simon Pulse: S. & S.). There is a feature on Hollywood's Eve: Eve Babitz and the Secret History of L.A. by Lili Anolik (Scribner: S. & S.) and a review of Hark by Sam Lipsyte (S. & S.), which gets a C+. Here list of the New & Notable titles. EW puts Bird Box on its "Must List" along with Deadly Class and Talent by Juliet Lapidos (Little, Brown: Hachette). Men in Black gets a cover feature. The Upside gets a B- review. In TV, The Magicians also hits the spotlight, as does A Discovery of Witches, which EW calls "Bewitching." Outlander gets a photo shoot.

People's book of the week is The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker (Random House). Other titles getting the spotlight are Looker by Laura Sims (Scribner: S. & S.) and Untouchable by Jayne Ann Krentz (Berkley: Penguin). New in paperback are We're Going to Need More Wine: Stories That Are Funny, Complicated, and True by Gabrielle Union (Dey Street: Harper), The Au Pair by Emma Rous (Berkley: Penguin), and The Power by Naomi Alderman (Back Bay: Hachette). Deadly Class makes People's Picks, as does The Upside. The Old Man and the Gun does too, under DVD + Streaming New Releases. The dog in A Dog's Way Home gets a feature.


USA Today reviews Annelies by David R. Gillham (Viking: Penguin; LJ starred review), giving it 3 stars and writing "Gillham is a powerful storyteller, and Annelies is marbled with spare eloquence that captures the absurdity of life after the camps ... [but] No novelist, however gifted, could rival the power of Anne Frank."

The NYT reviews Late in the Day by Tessa Hadley (Harper): "brilliant and upsetting."

Author Sarah Weinman reviews Adèle by Leila Slimani (Penguin) for The Washington Post. She has much to say, little of it good. The paper also reviews The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker (Random House): "Walker uses evocative language to describe the almost bewitching nature of contagion."

NPR reviews Untouchable by Jayne Ann Krentz (Berkley: Penguin): "100% romantic suspense that delivers on all the feels." Also, The Water Cure by Sophie Mackintosh (Doubleday: Random House): "tart, uncanny." Showtime at the Apollo: The Epic Tale of Harlem's Legendary Theater by Ted Fox, illustrated by James Otis Smith (Abrams): "a book that's too invested in its own myths to be a great read. That may be the only way to write about the Apollo, though."

Briefly Noted

USA Today picks its books of the week.

NPR runs its Romance column, on books that "Understand It's Complicated."

The Guardian picks the debuts to look for in 2019, with author interviews. Note: publications dates in the US may differ than UK dates.

Book Riot picks "50 Must-Read Poetry Collections of 2019."

The Philip K. Dick Award nominees are out.

The National Jewish Book Award Winners are announced.

Vanity Fair writes about Jill Abramson and her new book Merchants of Truth: The Business of News and the Fight for Facts (S. & S).

The NYT focuses on the playwright Ishmael Reed, who is taking on Lin-Manuel Miranda and the history of Alexander Hamilton.

The NYT "Inside the List" features dos and don'ts from authors.

The publisher of the "Choose Your Own Adventure" books is suing Netflix. Bustle has details.

Essence offers a book and film guide to Afrofuturism.

The NYT reports on the use of candles in book shots on Instagram and their growing popularity with readers.

The Atlantic looks at censorship in China. Also, a piece on Michel Houellebecq and his newest book published in France.

In forthcoming book news, The Bookseller reports on Cari Mora by Thomas Harris (Grand Central: Hachette), coming out in May, thirteen years after his last novel.

Electric Lit digs into the decline in author's incomes.

The Chicago Tribune has tips from Jen Sincero, You Are a Badass Every Day: How to Keep Your Motivation Strong, Your Vibe High, and Your Quest for Transformation Unstoppable (Viking: Penguin).

The New Yorker profiles cartoonist Nick Drnaso and considers the work of poet Sally Wen Mao.

Vogue interviews Laura Sims, Looker (Scribner: S. & S.).

The Guardian interviews Casey Gerald, There Will Be No Miracles Here: A Memoir (Riverhead: Penguin).

Time interviews Lucy Worsley, Queen Victoria: Twenty-Four Days That Changed Her Life: Daughter, Wife, Mother, and Widow (St. Martin's: Macmillan; LJ starred review).

NPR reports on The Hebrew Bible: A Translation with Commentary by Robert Alter (W.W. Norton).


The Guardian prints a letter from Shahidul Alam to Arundhati Roy, in response to her letter to him while he was in prison.

Stephen King's Twitter followers save local book reviews in a Maine newspaper. Shelf Awareness has the story.

Scientist and author James Watson has been stripped of his honorary titles from the lab he once ran, over his views on race, reports The Guardian.

Children's author John Burningham has died. The NYT has an obituary.

Scholar and author Lamin Sanneh has died. The NYT has an obituary.

Authors on Air

Game of Thrones will debut for its final season on April 14. HBO has a new teaser trailer.

USA Today suggests five books to read if you loved Bird Box, the adaptation.

John Green's Turtles All The Way Down gets closer to the screen. Deadline Hollywood reports a director is now attached to the project.

NPR re-airs a report on "The World's Most Beautiful Bookstore."

The NYT interviews Matthew Goode, star of A Discovery of Witches and Downton Abbey.

The Critics' Choice Awards aired last night. Several of the winners worked on book-related projects.

NPR interviews Yan Lianke, The Day the Sun Died (Grove Press). Also interviewed is Nadia Bolz-Weber, Shameless : A Sexual Reformation (Convergent: Random House).

Tracy K. Smith's poetry podcast, The Slowdown, has been picked up by NPR in select cities. The NYT has details.

Want to get the latest book news delivered to your inbox each day? Sign up for our daily Book Pulse newsletter.

Author Image
Neal Wyatt

Neal Wyatt is LJ’s readers’ advisory columnist, contributing The Reader’s Shelf, Book Pulse, and Wyatt’s World columns. She is the coauthor of The Readers’ Advisory Guide to Genre Fiction, 3d ed. (ALA Editions, 2019). Contact her at

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.




Kids are using VR to explore worlds and create new ones


Kids are using VR to explore worlds and create new ones


Kids are using VR to explore worlds and create new ones

Get connected. Join our global community of more than 200,000 librarians and educators.