Run Your Week: Big Books, Sure Bets, & Titles Making News, Jan. 28, 2019 | Book Pulse

Team of Vipers: My 500 Extraordinary Days in the Trump White House by Cliff Sims leads holds this week. The ALA adult book awards are out and the youth awards will follow later this morning. Hillbilly Elegy has a big payday. Spiegel & Grau is shuttered and the Booker prize loses its sponsor.

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Big Books of the Week

Team of Vipers: My 500 Extraordinary Days in the Trump White House by Cliff Sims (Thomas Dunne: Macmillan) leads holds this week.

Other titles in demand include:

Judgment by Joseph Finder (Dutton: Penguin)

Out of the Dark: An Orphan X Novel by Gregg Hurwitz (Minotaur: Macmillan; LJ starred review)

King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo (Imprint: Macmillan)

99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne (William Morrow: Harper)

Librarians and Booksellers Suggest

There are no LibraryReads publishing this week, but the Indie Next list features five titles:

Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to A Tribe Called Quest by Hanif Abdurraqib (Univ. of Texas Press)

“This monument to A Tribe Called Quest is constructed with the perfect combination of history, memoir, and sentiment. Go Ahead in the Rain is an accurate, honest documentation of the band, their music, and the time. Abdurraqib describes one particular lyrical style as ‘the words bleeding into each other until the language itself becomes an instrument.’ These words could also be said of his book. Brilliantly entertaining, informative, and self-reflective. This is essential reading.” —Mary Goree, Green Apple Books, San Francisco, CA

Deep Creek: Finding Hope in the High Country by Pam Houston (W.W. Norton; LJ starred review)

“I can’t decide if Mineral County, Colorado, is a piece of heaven or if it’s actually heaven. Either way, it is a wondrous Rocky Mountain paradise — a paradise beset by bitter cold, fires, and various degrees of hardship, but always exquisite beauty. Pam Houston has 120 acres of it, and readers get a glimpse of life and death on the ranch in this marvelous combination of memoir and nature writing. Both deeply personal and wide-reaching, Deep Creek is about the human capacity to feel grief and joy all at once for the ground beneath one’s feet and the planet as a whole.” —Stan Hynds, Northshire Bookstore, Saratoga Springs, NY

The Lost Girls of Paris by Pam Jenoff (Park Row: Harper)

“Pam Jenoff specializes in finding a piece of history that has not been fully explored and that often leaves one thinking truth is stranger than fiction. In The Lost Girls of Paris, she returns to WWII but this time her protagonists are a group of British women recruited to blend into the French countryside and sabotage the Nazi network in preparation for D-Day. The story, told from the perspective of three women, ties up a whodunit in a satisfying knot with a little romance, but it’s really a lot more about women finding out who they are and what role they can play in making a difference in the world.” —Cathy Fiebach, Main Point Books, Wayne, PA

Golden Child by Claire Adam (SJP for Hogarth: Random House)

The country of Trinidad, in all of its lush complexities and sociopolitical intricacies, is the real main character here. As a family struggles with the terrible news that their son has been kidnapped, the reader is treated to a tour of the sights, sounds, and smells of Port of Spain and the outlying countryside, in all of its corruption and glory. This lyrical first novel portends great things to come for Claire Adam.” —Emily Crowe, An Unlikely Story, Plainville, MA

The Falconer by Dana Czapnik (Atria: S. & S.)

“Dana Czapnik’s debut is a sharp coming-of-age story set in New York City in the mid-1990s with an unforgettable protagonist: Lucy is a street-smart basketball phenom who is secretly in love with Percy, her best friend and fellow baller. Lucy and Percy jump off the page through Czapnik’s propulsive, stylish writing. These characters are interesting, warm, and quirky and feel entirely authentic as they struggle to define who they are and want to become. Czapnik’s novel has personality and an attitude that infuses the pages and makes it impossible to put down.” —Lori Feathers, Interabang Books, Dallas, TX

These books and others publishing the week of January 28, 2019, are listed in a downloadable spreadsheet.

In the Media

Entertainment Weekly's book section opens with a review of Marlon James's Black Leopard, Red Wolf (Riverhead: Penguin). It gets a B+ with EW calling it "a revolutionary book." The Falconer by Dana Czapnik (Atria: S. & S.) earns an A-. On the Come Up by Angie Thomas (Balzer + Bray: Harper) gets a B+. Also in books, Brad Meltzer talks about pop culture and there is an interview with Sarah Jessica Parker about her book imprint. EW puts Miraculum by Steph Post (Polls Books) on its "Must List," along with The Far Field by Madhuri Vijay (Grove). There is a story about You, which is getting a buzzy new life on Netflix after it failed to ignite on Lifetime. A guide to the Oscars includes an in-depth story on Black Panther. In Movies and TV, EW gives Polar, based on the graphic novels by Victor Santos, a C- and The Umbrella Academy, also based on a comic, a C+. There is also a feature on author and actor Alan Alda.

People's Book of the Week is Dreyer's English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style by Benjamin Dreyer (Random House). Rounding out "Best New Books" are Late in the Day by Tessa Hadley (Harper) and The Current by Tim Johnston (Algonquin: Workman). Also getting attention are The Golden Tresses of the Dead: A Flavia de Luce Novel by Alan Bradley (Delacorte: Random House), Unmarriageable by Soniah Kamal (Ballantine: Random House; LJ starred review), and Freefall by Jessica Barry (Harper). The cover feature is on Kerri Rawson, A Serial Killer's Daughter: My Story of Faith, Love, and Overcoming (Thomas Nelson: Harper). On the "picks" list are The ABC Murders and the DVD & streaming debuts of The Hate U Give and Crazy Rich Asians.


ALA announced the adult book awards on Sunday. The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai (Viking: Penguin) and Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon (Scribner: S. & S.; LJ starred review) had a very good night, winning the Andrew Carnegie Medals and becoming Notable Books. The Last Watchmen of Old Cairo by David, M. L. (Spiegel & Grau: Random House), won the Sophie Brody Medal. It was a wonderful night for RA librarians with both The Reading List and The Listen List, each of which has appeal-based criteria, announcing their list of winning titles (with read-alike and listen-alike suggestions). Also included on The Reading List are the short list titles in each category, providing help identifying even more key authors and sure bets. Best Historical Materials, Best of the Best Business Reference Websites, Outstanding Reference Sources, The Dartmouth Medal, and Notable Videos for Adults were also announced. Finally, the new CODES List: Cookbooks debuted, with annotations that include recipe suggestions. The youth book awards will be announced this morning, starting at 8 a.m. PT. (ALA press releases can be found here).


The Washington Post reviews The Suspect by Fiona Barton (Berkley: Penguin): "an expertly written look at a painful subject: the way parents often suffer when their children go forth to confront the dangers of this world." Also, Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to A Tribe Called Quest by Hanif Abdurraqib (Univ. of Texas Press): "riveting and poetic." The Magic Feather Effect: The Science of Alternative Medicine and the Surprising Power of Belief by Melanie Warner (Scribner: S. & S.): "With lean and persuasive prose, she skillfully navigates the alternative-medicine landscape with an open mind and a strong bias for the scientific method." It Was All a Dream: A New Generation Confronts the Broken Promise to Black America by Reniqua Allen (Bold Type: Hachette): "a vital book, a necessary reminder that this post-racial generation is anything but." Finally, Women Rowing North: Navigating Life’s Currents and Flourishing As We Age by Mary Pipher (Bloomsbury: Macmillan; LJ starred review): "After reading tedious pages of Pipher’s can-do philosophy, I imagined the spirits of Barbara Ehrenreich, Audre Lorde and Nancy Mairs — Furies all — sweeping down with a corrective dose of reality to counter Pipher’s feel-good ethos."

NPR reviews The Suspect by Fiona Barton (Berkley: Penguin): "the setup and setting are original, but the action is hampered by too much stage business. If you've never read Barton's work, start with her first two novels. If you loved those books, join me in waiting for her fourth." Also, The New World by Ales Kot, Tradd Moore, Tom Muller, Heather Moore (Image Comics): "Fun. This isn't a cautionary future, it's a kooky, self-mocking one." All Systems Red: The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells ( Macmillan, the hardback edition): "The book, somehow, glued itself to my hand. It was short, sure, but it was also ... compulsive." Team Human by Douglas Rushkoff (W.W. Norton): "This is an important book that readers are going to want to share with others."

Briefly Noted

USA Today picks its books of the week.

Charles Finch gathers up Thrillers for the NYT.

Gregg Hurwitz inks a deal for three more Orphan X books. Deadline Hollywood has details.

LitHub picks the best book covers of January.

Penguin Random House is closing the Spiegel & Grau imprint. The NYT has details, as well as more on the larger shake-up in the publishing industry.

The Booker prize has lost its sponsor. The Man Group has pulled out after 18 years. The Guardian has a report.

The NYT writes that Jay Asher has filed a defamation lawsuit "against the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and the group’s executive director, Lin Oliver, claiming that Ms. Oliver and the organization made false and defamatory statements about him that torpedoed his career, and caused financial harm and intentional emotional distress."

NYT follows Tracy K. Smith through a week.

The Guardian reports on the popularity of poetry, and "How young women are changing the rules."

Vulture digs into the "finding" of the new Sylvia Plath book.

The Washington Post gathers books about gaming, pointing out they are big business.

The Atlantic explores the "Knotty Nostalgia for the Hardy Boys Series."

The Washington Post has a story on drag queens and story time.

P Is for Pterodactyl: The Worst Alphabet Book Ever by Raj Haldar and Chris Carpenter, illustrated by Maria Beddia (Sourcebooks Jabberwocky) features in the NYT "Inside the List" column.

The NYT has questions for Andrew S. Curran, Diderot and the Art of Thinking Freely: or The Art of Thinking Freely (Other Press: Random House).

The Guardian interviews (with reader questions) Angie Thomas, features Kristen Roupenian, and interviews Stephanie Land, Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive (Hachette). Also interviewed are Ginger Gorman, Troll Hunting: Inside the World of Online Hate and its Human Fallout (Hardie Grant: Chronicle) and John Wray.

LitHub has a literary tour of Yorkshire, England.

Authors on Air

The SAG Awards have been announced. Several are book-based. Deadline Hollywood as a full accounting. Also from Deadline, The adaptation of Hillbilly Elegy has a huge payday as it sells to Netflix and The Outsider, the forthcoming adaptation of the Stephen King novel, casts up.

NPR interviews Rosella Postorino, At the Wolf's Table (Flatiron Books: Macmillan). Also getting interviewed, Bridgett M. Davis, The World According to Fannie Davis: My Mother's Life in the Detroit Numbers (Little, Brown: Hachette). Henry Winkler talks with NPR too, about Everybody Is Somebody #12 by Henry Winkler, Lin Oliver, illustrated by Scott Garrett (Penguin Workshop). Wrapping up the interviews: Jamil Jan Kochai, 99 Nights in Logar (Viking: Penguin).

Cliff Sims, Team of Vipers: My 500 Extraordinary Days in the Trump White House (Thomas Dunne: Macmillan) will be on with Stephen Colbert tonight. He will also be on The View.

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind gets a trailer. The adaptation is Chiwetel Ejiofor's directorial debut. He is also set to adapt and direct The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace: A Brilliant Young Man Who Left Newark for the Ivy League, based on the book by Jeff Hobbs. Deadline Hollywood has details.

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