Run Your Week: Big Books, Sure Bets, & Titles Making News, Jan. 22, 2019 | Book Pulse

The Edgars, Oscars, and National Book Critics Circle all announce finalists and nominees today. A new Trump tell-all captures media attention. The NYT looks at books forthcoming in 2019 from around the globe and NPR looks at the year ahead in poetry.

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Big Books of the Week

The Golden Tresses of the Dead: A Flavia de Luce Novel by Alan Bradley (Delacorte: Random House) leads holds this week.

Other titles in demand include:

Crucible by James Rollins (William Morrow: Harper)

The Suspect by Fiona Barton (Berkley: Penguin)

The Rule of Law by John Lescroart (Atria Books: S. & S.)

Librarians and Booksellers Suggest

Seven novels get nods from librarians and booksellers this week. The Current by Tim Johnston (Algonquin: Workman) is both a LibraryReads and an Indie Next selection:

“When two girls, trapped in a RAV4, fall into an icy river one dies and the other barely survives. Unanswered questions and old accusations resurface as the small Minnesota town recalls another incident ten years earlier where a girl died in the same river. For readers who love small town suspense.”— Shellie Taylor, Iredell County Public Library, Statesville, NC

Tim Johnston’s brand of storytelling is a curious hybrid of conventional crime fiction and observation of human nature that demands attention. In The Current, Johnston goes beyond the sensational and asks relevant questions when tragedy strikes, addressing real topics that come with the loss of a loved one and the questions that follow a horrific crime. As with Johnston’s previous novel, Descent, his latest concludes with a wallop you will not see coming.” —Javier Ramirez, The Book Table, Oak Park, IL

Also on the LibraryReads list this week are:

The Suspect by Fiona Barton (Berkley: Penguin)

“Reporter Kate Waters pursues the story of two 18-year-olds who have gone missing in Thailand. The case takes a turn when the main suspect is Kate’s estranged son. For fans of twisty psychological suspense.”— Jennifer Winberry, Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, NJ

Unmarriageable by Soniah Kamal (Ballantine: Random House; LJ starred review)

“A thoroughly enjoyable retelling of Pride and Prejudice set in modern-day Pakistan. The characters, storyline, and dialogue are true to the original while being completely fresh. For readers who enjoy a comedy of manners.” —Kristen Gramer, Lewes Public Library, Lewes, DE

The Golden Tresses of the Dead: A Flavia de Luce Novel by Alan Bradley (Delacorte: Random House) (Hall of Fame)

“Follow the delightful hijinks of the precocious Flavia and her faithful Dogger as they take on their first case as private investigators. Although this is the 10th Flavia de Luce adventure, it is one of those rare mysteries you don’t have to read in series order.” — Abby Hardison, Rowan Public Library, Salisbury, NC

The Indie Next picks for the week are:

Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive by Stephanie Land (Hachette), which is the #1 pick for the month

“Stephanie Land’s Maid is a must-read of the highest order, a memoir of a single mother struggling to survive while performing the household labor that many of us take for granted. While at once deeply personal — you’ll fall hard for Stephanie and her daughter, Mia — it is also essential social commentary about how we treat the myriad domestic laborers who toil in our homes, oftentimes unseen and unappreciated. Read it alongside Nickel and Dimed or Evicted for a stunning, unforgettable look at American poverty and determination.” —Emilie Sommer, East City Bookshop, Washington, DC

Golden State by Ben Winters (Mulholland: Hachette; LJ starred review)

Golden State is a gripping and brainy page-turner. Winters asks his readers to imagine California as a sovereign (and surveillance) state in which intentionally lying is the greatest federal offense. The ‘Byzantine business of reality maintenance’ is carried out by a team of federal agents, including our hero, Laszlo Ratesic. Golden State is a mystery in both form and content. In addition to the seemingly simple incident Laszlo investigates at the start of the novel, there’s the bigger question of what a novel really is, or means, or can do in the ‘good, golden, safe’ world its readers are transported to. Winters is especially good at keeping his readers off-balance. Not even his biggest fans will see some of the twists and turns he’s built into this, his best book yet.” —John Francisconi, Bank Square Books, Mystic, CT (on the Jan. list)

The Weight of a Piano by Chris Cander (Knopf)

“A hulking black piano of Russian origin links the stories of two women: Katya, who must leave behind her beloved instrument when she immigrates to the U.S., and Clara, who is forced to sell her family heirloom when she loses her boyfriend and her home. The obsessive love each woman holds for the piano unfolds as the instrument journeys across continents. Chris Cander has crafted a novel of compelling beauty and characters who are complex, deeply flawed, and magnificently haunting. This will be a five-star beginning to any avid reader’s 2019 book list.” —Pamela Klinger-Horn, Excelsior Bay Books, Excelsior, MN

These books and others publishing the week of January 21, 2019, are listed in a downloadable spreadsheet.

In The Media

Entertainment Weekly 's Books section opens with The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker (Random House), followed by Last Woman Standing by Amy Gentry (HMH). In a sidebar EW suggest that The Weight of a Piano by Chris Cander (Knopf) should be adapted into a film. EW puts You Know You Want This: "Cat Person" and Other Stories by Kristen Roupenian (Gallery/Scout: S. & S.) on "The Must List along with the TV version of The Magicians and Outlander. Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive by Stephanie Land (Hachette) makes the list as well. EW closes coverage with a short piece on the voice behind Carmen Sandiego.

People names You Know You Want This: "Cat Person" and Other Stories by Kristen Roupenian (Gallery/Scout: S. & S.) its book of the week. Other best books include As Long as We Both Shall Live by JoAnn Chaney (Flatiron: Macmillan) and Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love by Dani Shapiro (Knopf). In "New in Nonfiction" are Duped: Double Lives, False Identities, and the Con Man I Almost Married by Abby Ellin (PublicAffairs: Hachette), Women Rowing North: Navigating Life’s Currents and Flourishing As We Age by Mary Pipher (Bloomsbury: Macmillan; LJ starred review), and Help Me! by Marianne Power (Grove Press). People also spotlights Mary Ventura and the Ninth Kingdom: A Story by Sylvia Plath (Harper). The magazine reports on Joanna Gaines's We Are The Gardeners (Thomas Nelson, March 3, 2019) and puts Carmen Sandiego on its Picks list, along with a list of films to watch "If you loved Bird Box." There is a feature on Vanessa Redgrave and Joely Richardson, both starring in the book based film, The Aspern Papers, as well as one on actor and author Alan Alda, and dermatologist and author Sandra Lee (aka Dr. Pimple Popper), Put Your Best Face Forward: The Ultimate Guide to Skincare from Acne to Anti-Aging (Dey Street Books: Harper). People closes book-related coverage with a piece on Marie Kondo.


NYT reviews The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present by David Treuer (Riverhead: Penguin): "Rarely has a single volume in Native American history attempted such comprehensiveness." The Elephant in the Room: One Fat Man's Quest to Get Smaller in a Growing America by Tommy Tomlinson (S. & S.): "I loved this book. I found myself sneak-reading it from the moment it came in the door ... I hated to reach the end." Jill Abramson's Merchants of Truth: The Business of News and the Fight for Facts (S. & S): "a damn good read." You Know You Want This: "Cat Person" and Other Stories by Kristen Roupenian (Gallery/Scout: S. & S.): "how exciting, smart, perceptive, weird and dark this collection is." The paper also gathers books to remember Martin Luther King Jr. and "Hot Books for Cold Days."

The Washington Post reviews Golden State by Ben H. Winters (Muholland: Hachette): "Winters has a knack for creating appealing detective fictions that skew reality in thought-provoking ways, producing a hybrid of the familiar and the uncanny." Also, A Chronology of Photography: A Cultural Timeline From Camera Obscura to Instagram by Paul Lowe (Thames & Hudson: W.W. Norton): wondering about lapses in editing but writing "the story the book tells is an interesting one." The Burglar by Thomas Perry (Mysterious Press): "If you haven’t read Perry, his new book ... is a good place to start. It’s a fast-paced, twisty morality tale with a complicated heroine at its center." Hark by Sam Lipsyte (S. & S.): "It begins as an energetic and compassionate satire of what we choose to pay attention to and why" but the reviewer thinks the novel falls apart in the end.

NPR reviews The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi (Wednesday Books: Macmillan): "she catapults us into a glamorous, high-speed heist set in magical Belle Époque Paris." Also, Unmarriageable by Soniah Kamal (Ballantine: Random House; LJ starred review): "you'll find a cheeky undercurrent that echoes Austen's novels' ability to work on two levels." Mala Vida by Marc Fernandez, translated by Molly Grogan (Arcade: Skyhorse): "the passages seem sterile, as though a pinch of salt might be required ... feels very technical, like reading the ingredients of a recipe instead of sampling the dish." The Birds, the Bees, and You and Me by Olivia Hinebaugh (Swoon Reads: Macmillan): "a dense and ambitious debut novel, covering a myriad of subjects from the ethics of sex ed to a girl's first sexual encounter ... in a thoughtful, respectful and knowledgeable manner." Chigozie Obioma's An Orchestra of Minorities (Little, Brown: Hachette; LJ starred review): "The novel comes alive in those moments when it captures the alienation of foreigners in strange lands." Prisoner: My 544 Days in an Iranian Prison—Solitary Confinement, a Sham Trial, High-Stakes Diplomacy, and the Extraordinary Efforts It Took to Get Me Out by Jason Rezaian (Anthony Bourdain/Ecco: Harper): the "story of his arrest, imprisonment, trial and eventual release after 15 months. It's also a revealing account of his childhood, family and marriage. Perhaps mirroring how he was left to his thoughts in prison, the narrative is digressive, jumping back and forth to different periods of his life. And it works."


The National Book Critics Circle announces its 2018 finalists.

Oscar nominations were announced this morning; Deadline Hollywood has a full list.

The Edgar Award nominees will be announced today.

Briefly Noted

The Guardian excerpts and discusses Team of Vipers: My 500 Extraordinary Days in the Trump White House by Cliff Sims (Thomas Dunne: Macmillan), the newest Trump tell-all: "What is most memorable ... is the joylessness of working for this president and the acrid aftertaste it leaves." NPR has a review and the book is getting media attention this morning. Related, Axios excerpts Let Me Finish: Trump, the Kushners, Bannon, New Jersey, and the Power of In-Your-Face Politics by Chris Christie (Hachette).

Tor Books is publishing Robert Jordan's first novel, Warrior of the Altaii. It is a book that has a circular trip to publication and foreshadows some of Wheel of Time.

The NYT features books coming out in 2019 from around the globe.

NPR offers a "2019 Poetry Preview."

USA Today picks its top reads of the week.

The New Yorker profiles Marlon James.

The Atlantic features Chigozie Obioma.

BitchMedia spotlights Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive by Stephanie Land (Hachette).

Entertainment Weekly showcases comics creator Rob Liefeld (Deadpool), who is making a new character for X-Men.

The NYT writes about the new Buffy the Vampire Slayer comics.

The Hollywood Reporter has a piece on the next Star Trek comic series.

The NYT profiles Richard Gergel, Unexampled Courage: The Blinding of Sgt. Isaac Woodard and the Awakening of President Harry S. Truman and Judge J. Waties Waring (Sarah Crichton: Macmillan) also, Marie Benedict, Carnegie's Maid: A Novel (Soucebooks Landmark).

The Guardian interviews Ben Okri (book list here) and also Malala Yousafzai, We Are Displaced: My Journey and Stories from Refugee Girls Around the World (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: Hachette).

Author Nell Scovell, who co-authored Lean In with Sheryl Sandberg, tells Vanity Fair "Lean In is the book I wish I’d read at 25 instead of helping to write at 52."

NPR reports on Moscow's libraries.

Book Riot has a reading pathway for Leigh Bardugo.

Lit Hub considers "What We Don't Know About Sylvia Plath."

The New Yorker offers an essay on "How To Read The Good Books."

The Washington Post has a story on the Italian solider who died, and thus helped Ernest Hemingway live.

Guillermo del Toro is trying to help raise money to save a horror and fantasy bookstore in Burbank, CA. Entertainment Weekly has details.

Authors on Air

NPR interviews Karen Thompson Walker, The Dreamers (Random House), also getting an interview, Amanda Sthers, author of Holy Lands (Bloomsbury: Macmillan), and Tommy Tomlinson, The Elephant in the Room: One Fat Man's Quest to Get Smaller in a Growing America (S. & S.).

The NYT reports on the stage adaptation of About Alice by Calvin Trillin (Random House).

PBS NewsHour reports on Edgar Allan Poe's death.

Becoming Ginger Rogers: How Ballroom Dancing Made Me a Happier Woman, Better Partner, and Smarter CEO by Patrice Tanaka (BenBella) is headed to the movies. Clare at 16 by Don Roff (Baker & Tayor) is too. So is Picking Cotton: Our Memoir of Injustice and Redemption by Jennifer Thompson-Cannino, Ronald Cotton, Erin Torneo (St. Martin's Griffin: Macmillan). Kevin Hart will star in an adaptation of Two Kisses for Maddy: A Memoir of Loss & Love by Matt Logelin (Grand Central: Hachette). Devastation Class, the SF series that sold to the movies has now sold to Blink YA Books: Harper. Deadline Hollywood has all the details.

At Home With Amy Sedaris gets a second season trailer. Hunting Leroux gets a promo trailer.

Entertainment Weekly interviews Greg Howard, The Whispers (G.P. Putman's Songs Books for Young Readers: Penguin).

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