Run Your Week: Big Books, Sure Bets, & Titles Making News, Oct. 21, 2019 | Book Pulse

The Night Fire by Michael Connelly leads holds this week. HBO's Watchmen seems to delight fans in its debut. Entertainment Weekly looks at fall books and films. The British Fantasy Awards are announced. There are plenty of booklists and new adaptations news, including word that Jacqueline Carey's "Kushiel's Legacy" series is getting closer to some kind of on-screen version.

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

The Night Fire by Michael Connelly (Little, Brown: Hachette; LJ starred review) leads holds this week.

Other titles in demand include:

The Deserter by Nelson DeMille, Alex DeMille (S. & S.)

Agent Running in the Field by John le Carré (Viking: Penguin)

To the Land of Long Lost Friends by Alexander McCall Smith (Pantheon: Random House)

Meant to Be Yours by Susan Mallery (HQN: Harper)

All This Could Be Yours by Jami Attenberg (HMH; LJ starred review)

Twice in a Blue Moon by Christina Lauren (Gallery Books: S. & S.)

A Cruel Deception: A Bess Crawford Mystery by Charles Todd (William Morrow: Harper)

Librarians and Booksellers Suggest 

One LibraryReads pick comes out this week, Twice in a Blue Moon by Christina Lauren (Gallery Books: S. & S.)

“Sam was Tate’s first love and turned her world upside down. Years later they reconnect unexpectedly, and she wonders if young love should get a second chance. Another unputdownable book from Lauren.” — Melissa Stumpe, Johnson County Public Library, Greenwood, IN

It is also an Indie Next selection:

“This is a story about forgiveness and second chances, and it is full of heart. When 18-year-old Tate, the long-lost daughter of a famous actor, has a whirlwind vacation romance with Sam, he sells a story about her to the press for the big bucks. Now, 14 years later and an established actress herself, she has to work with Sam while trying not to let him see how his betrayal changed the course of her life. This novel feels more subdued, a slow burn dealing a lot with trust issues and complicated family dynamics. If you’re looking for a sweet (and sexy) romance with depth that will keep you up until the wee hours of the morning, this is it.” —Leah Atlee, Bright Side Bookshop, Flagstaff, AZ

One further Indie Next choice comes out as well, All This Could Be Yours by Jami Attenberg (HMH; LJ starred review)

“I am in love with Jami Attenberg’s writing, and was gripped by All This Could Be Yours from the opening pages. Everything about the Tuchmans felt so true to me: Alex’s confusion and anger toward the family’s toxic, now-comatose patriarch, Victor; Barbra’s isolation in her later years after a long marriage to a brute; Twyla and Gary’s unwinding secret selves—all of it is so perfectly told and paced. Full of Attenberg’s trademark dry wit and precise, uncomfortable insight into the psychology of family love (and its close cousin, family hate), this novel had me laughing with genuine joy and crying in real sadness at the same time.” —Liv Stratman, Books Are Magic, Brooklyn, NY

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

In the Media

People ’s “Book of the Week” is Wild Game: My Mother, Her Lover, and Me by Adrienne Brodeur (HMH; LJ starred review). Also getting attention are Running with Sherman: The Donkey with the Heart of a Hero by Christopher McDougall  (Knopf) and Girl by Edna O'Brien (FSG: Macmillan; LJ starred review). There is a Q&A with Adam Rippon, Beautiful on the Outside: A Memoir (Grand Central: Hachette; LJ starred review) and a feature on Cameron Douglas, Long Way Home (Knopf). More on Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators by Ronan Farrow (Little, Brown: Hachette) and its allegations, a piece on Me by Elton John (Henry Holt: Macmillan), and a recipe from Hello, Cookie Dough: 110 Doughlicious Confections to Eat, Bake & Share by Kristen Tomlan (Grand Central: Hachette) round up book coverage. The “Picks” choices include Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (there is also a featured conversation between the stars), Modern Love, and Watchmen.

The November Entertainment Weekly issue arrives and there is a special Fall Preview for books which opens with Jenny Slate's Little Weirds (Little, Brown: Hachette). There is also focused attention on Prince’s The Beautiful Ones (Spiegel & Grau: Random House), The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern (Doubleday: Random House; LJ starred review), The Secret Commonwealth (Book of Dust, Volume 2) by Philip Pullman (Knopf Books for Young Readers), and Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi (Henry Holt: Macmillan). EW puts Anna Patchett and Elizabeth Strout in conversation (which already ran online). There is a review of All This Could Be Yours by Jami Attenberg (HMH; LJ starred review), which gets an A- and Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson (Ecco: Harper), which does as well (the reviews of both are now online). Me by Elton John (Henry Holt: Macmillan) gets an A, Wild Game: My Mother, Her Lover, and Me by Adrienne Brodeur (HMH; LJ starred review) gets a B, and In the Dream House: A Memoir by Carmen Maria Machado (Graywolf Press: Macmillan) gets an A.

On “The Must List” are Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, Astro Poets: Your Guides to the Zodiac by Alex Dimitrov, Dorothea Lasky (Flatiron Books: Macmillan), Jojo Rabbit, Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators by Ronan Farrow (Little, Brown: Hachette), and Modern Love. There is also a “Must List” from Lin-Manuel Miranda. It includes Cabaret (which is an adaptation of The Berlin Stories by Christopher Isherwood (New Directions)) and Here for It: Or, How to Save Your Soul in America; Essays by R. Eric Thomas (Ballantine Books: Random House).

There is also a Fall Preview for film and TV. Included in that coverage are the following adaptations:







Christmas Carol, based on the novella by Charles Dickens (Vintage: Pegnuin).

Green Eggs and Ham, based on the book by Dr. Seuss (Random House Books for Young Readers).

Little Woman, based on the book by Louisa May Alcott (Signet: Penguin).

The Irishman, based on I Heard You Paint Houses: Frank "The Irishman" Sheeran & Closing the Case on Jimmy Hoffa by Charles Brandt (Steerforth Press).

Doctor Sleep, based on the book by Stephen King (Pocket Books: S. & S.).

Dark Waters. This is not an adaptation of a book, but the lead figure in the real life story, Robert Bilott, has a book out, Exposure: Poisoned Water, Corporate Greed, and One Lawyer's Twenty-Year Battle against DuPont (Atria: S. & S.).

Motherless Brooklyn, based on the book by Jonathan Lethem (Vintage: Random House).

The Good Liar, based on the book by Nicholas Searle (Harper).

Just Mercy, based on the book by Bryan Stevenson (Spiegel & Grau: Random House).

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, there will be connected books and novelizations.

Jumanji: The Next Level, which is now far away from the book that gives it its title by Chris Van Allsburg (HMH Books for Young Readers).

Cats, based on Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats T.S. Eliot (HMH).

Earthquake Bird, based on the book by Susanna Jones (Penguin).

Two Popes, based on The Two Popes: Francis, Benedict, and the Decision That Shook the World by Anthony McCarten (Flatiron Books: Macmillan).

Daniel Isn’t Real, based on In This Way I Was Saved by Brian DeLeeuw (S. & S.).

A Million Little Pieces, based on the book by James Frey (Anchor: Penguin).

Richard Jewell, based on Richard Jewell: And Other Tales of Heroes, Scoundrels, and Renegades by Marie Brenner (S. & S.).


The NYT reviews The Fire Is upon Us: James Baldwin, William F. Buckley Jr., and the Debate over Race in America by Nicholas Buccola (Princeton): “both a dual biography of Buckley and Baldwin and an acute commentary on a great intellectual prizefight.” There is also a dual review of Felon: Poems by Reginald Dwayne Betts (W.W. Norton) and Collected Poems of Bob Kaufman by Bob Kaufman, edited by Neeli Cherkovski (City Lights). Sontag: Her Life and Work by Benjamin Moser (Ecco): “a skilled, lively books that works hard to capture a severely complex person.”

The Washington Post reviews Hate Inc.: Why Today’s Media Makes Us Despise One Another by Matt Taibbi (OR Books): “aims a cannon, blasting an American media industry he accuses of taking sides and manipulating the audience for profit — “different news” elevated to a business model.” Also, No Stopping Us Now: The Adventures of Older Women in American History by Gail Collins (Little, Brown: Hachette): "a cheerful companion through the decades.” The Contender: The Story of Marlon Brando by William J. Mann (Harper): “a big, sprawling, meticulously researched and, for the most part, compelling biography.” The Optimist's Telescope: Thinking Ahead in a Reckless Age by Bina Venkataraman (Riverhead: Penguin): “wise but not wonkish, is an argument for foresight.” Barnum: An American Life by Robert Wilson (S. & S.): “smart.” On Fire: The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal by Naomi Klein (S. & S.; LJ starred reviewed): “Klein lays it out vehemently and clearly for us to debate, adapt and improve upon if necessary. Time is of the essence, and we’d better choose right.” Indulge Your Senses: Scaling Intimacy in a Digital World by Michael Dorf, with Paul Keegan (Post Hill Press: S. & S.): “an occasionally revealing account of his ups and downs in what might be called the music-industrial complex.”

NRP reviews Reincarnation Stories by Kim Deitch (Fantagraphics: W. W. Norton; LJ starred review): “Underneath the appearance of lawlessness, there's a huge amount of craft and care.” LJ interviewed Deitch in September. Also, Show People: A History of the Film Star by Michael Newton (Reaktion Books: Univ. Chicago): “waxes rhapsodic about a century of acting.” No Stopping Us Now: The Adventures of Older Women in American History by Gail Collins (Little, Brown: Hachette): “robust social history.” Curious Toys by Elizabeth Hand (Mulholland: Hachette, LJ starred review): “chiefly compelling for its smart, streetwise, complicated protagonist, teenage Pin — and for the careful and vivid evocation of Pin's Chicago circa 1915.” The Less People Know About Us: A Mystery of Betrayal, Family Secrets, and Stolen Identity by Axton Betz-Hamilton (Grand Central: Hachette): “a memoir by way of a true-crime story.”


The British Fantasy Awards are announced. Locus has the winners and finalists. The Aurora Award winners, from the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association, are also out. As are the Geffen Award winners.

Fiona Benson wins the Forward prize for best poetry collection. The Guardian has details. Here is the short list.

Reuters reports that the Swedish Academy has defended its awarding of the 2019 Nobel Prize for Literature to Peter Handke, “saying he had made provocative comments but had not supported bloodshed.”

Briefly Noted

USA Today picks its books for the week.

NPR has “3 Fresh New Romances for October.”

Bustle has “The Best New Romance Novels You Can Read Right Now.”

HuffPost collects “The Most Popular Self-Help Books of 2019.”

Shondaland suggests “13 Books That Will Get You in the Halloween Spirit.” While O: The Oprah Magazine lists “15 Scary Short Stories That Will Keep You Up All Night.”

Book Riot has “15 Authors Like Stephen King.”

Vulture continues its focus on mysteries with “A Guide to Mystery’s Biggest and Longest-Lasting Book Franchises” and an interview with Sophie Hannah on “How to Write Hercule Poirot in 2019.” The site also features Mark Morris, Out Loud (Penguin).

People features The Queen Next Door: Aretha Franklin, An Intimate Portrait by Linda Solomon (Wayne State UP).

The Guardian excerpts All the President's Women: Donald Trump and the Making of a Predator by Barry Levine and Monique El-Faizy (Hachette).

Time excerpts Sailing True North: Ten Admirals and the Voyage of Character by Admiral James Stavridis, USN (Ret.) (Penguin).

Entertainment Weekly interviews Philip Pullman, The Secret Commonwealth (Book of Dust, Volume 2) (Knopf Books for Young Readers)

The Guardian interviews Bernardine Evaristo, Girl, Woman, Other (Grove Press, Black Cat). Also an interview with Kathleen Jamie, Surfacing (Penguin) and and an interview with Hisham Matar, A Month in Siena (Random House).

Publishing Perspectives interviews Patricia Cornwell, Quantum (Thomas & Mercer).

Vouge interviews Liz Phair, Horror Stories: A Memoir by Liz Phair (Random House).

Vox interviews David T. Courtwright, The Age of Addiction: How Bad Habits Became Big Business (Belknap Press: Harvard).

The NYT spotlights Cameron Douglas, Long Way Home (Knopf). The paper runs the Otherworldly column by Amal El-Mohtar, under the headline “Dark Books for Dark Times,” and has an essay by author Naomi Booth, Sealed (Titan Books: Random House) entitled “For Some Horror Writers, Nothing Is Scarier Than a Changing Planet.”

Time considers Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators by Ronan Farrow (Little, Brown: Hachette).

Entertainment Weekly features Rick Baker: Metamorphosis: Vol 1: 1950–1989, Vol 2: 1990–2019 by J.W. Rinzler (Cameron Books: Abrams), a $250 set that showcases Baker's award-winning career.

Paste spotlights Burn It Down: Women Writing about Anger edited by Lilly Dancyger (Seal Press: Hachette).

Superman is getting some changes come this December “that will ripple through the DC universe.” The NYT explains. has “A Travel Guide to the Worlds of Seanan McGuire’s Wayward Children Series.”

The Guardian reports that Karl Ove Knausgaard is writing a book for the Future Library. It will remain unprinted until 2114. The Stylist has a report on the library project.

Naomi Wolf and HMH have "mutually and amicably agreed to part company" and Wolf is now free to try to find another publisher for her book Outrages, which has been shelved in the US given its widely reported errors of scholarship. The Star Tribune reports.

White House adviser Peter Navarro, author of Death by China: Confronting the Dragon - A Global Call to Action (Pearson FT Press) admits to making up quotes and a source (an anagram of himself) in the book. NPR writes that he has “defended the fabrication as a ‘whimsical device.’”

Publishers Weekly reports that Megan Lynch has been named the new publisher at Macmillan's Flatiron Books imprint.

Nick Tosches has died. The NYT has an obituary.

Samuel Hynes has died. The NYT has an obituary.

Authors on Air

Entertainment Weekly offers a beginner’s guide to Watchmen. LitHub offers “What to Read When You're Done With Watchmen.” The show got great buzz over the weekend as reaction seems generally thrilled.

NPR interviews George R.R. Martin as he receives the Chicago Public Library Foundation's Carl Sandburg Literary Award. Also, an interview with John Le Carré, Agent Running in the Field (Viking: Penguin) and an interview with Mark Morris, Out Loud (Penguin).

PBS NewsHour interviews John Hodgman, Medallion Status: True Stories from Secret Rooms (Viking: Penguin). There is also a report on how Dracula “draws on our biggest health fears.”

CBS Sunday Morning features reports on Janis Joplin, including an excerpt of Janis: Her Life and Music by Holly George-Warren (S. & S.; LJ starred review). Sales jumped.

Deadline reports that Mackenzie Davis and Himesh Patel will star in Station Eleven, HBO Max’s adaptation. Also, Dwayne Johnson will star in DC’s Black Adam. A live-action version of Pinocchio is in the works for Disney. Opposite Of Always by Justin A. Reynolds is set for the movies.

Lionsgate has bought rights for all nine volumes of Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel's Legacy series. No word yet on specific details.

Gabi, a Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero is heading to HBO Max.

Julie Andrews, Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years (Hachette; LJ starred review), will be on with Stephen Colbert tonight.

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.


Community matters. Stay up to date on breaking news, trends, reviews, and more.

Get access to 8000+ annual reviews of books, ebooks, and more

As low as $13.50/month