Run Your Week: Big Books, Sure Bets, & Titles Making News, Oct. 7, 2019 | Book Pulse

Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes leads holds this week. Two Nobel prizes in literature, for 2018 and 2019, will be awarded this Thursday. The November Indie Next list is out. A bevy of trailers have arrived with lots of Walking Dead and Star Trek news. The Hunger Games prequel gets a title, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (Scholastic). It comes out May 19, 2020.

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

Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes (Pamela Dorman Books: Penguin; LJ starred review) leads holds this week

Other titles in demand include:

What Happens in Paradise by Elin Hilderbrand (Little, Brown: Hachette)

Child's Play by Danielle Steel (Delacorte Press: Random House)

A Bitter Feast by Deborah Crombie (William Morrow: Harper)

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo (Flatiron: Macmillan; LJ starred review)

Librarians and Booksellers Suggest

Three LibraryReads choices publish this week, all are also Indie Next selections:

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo (Flatiron: Macmillan; LJ starred review).

“Alex has always been able to see ghosts, and this talent uniquely qualifies her to become part of the Lethe, a group that regulates the eight magical societies at Yale. When a murder happens nearby the campus, Alex suspects that a society has their hand in this and it’s not just a normal homicide. For fans of urban fantasy and secret societies.”— Amy Verkruissen, Calcasieu Parish Public Library, Lake Charles, LA

“Queen Leigh’s first foray into adult fantasy is a sensational success! One of the best fantasy books I’ve read in a long while, Ninth House contains Yale secret societies, ghosts, magic, morally gray characters, and murder. Bardugo balances dual timelines with intricate precision, and the history and world-building of her fantastical New Haven is superb. I couldn’t put this book down; I had to know what was going to happen next. I savored every moment reading this novel, and I am jealous of readers who get to experience it for the first time!” — Isabella Ogbolumani, Page 1 Books, Evanston, IL

Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts by Kate Racculia (HMH)

“Engaging characters set off to follow the mysterious clues of the will of an elderly, wealthy eccentric for a chance at winning the grand prize. Young grief and loss, family guilt, secrets, and hilarity are featured throughout. Plus: ghosts! For readers who likedThe Bookshop of Yesterdays by Amy Meyerson andLost and Found by Carolyn Parkhurst.” — Pamela Gardner, Medfield Public Library, Medfield, MA

“Tuesday Mooney is smart, intrepid, and just a little bit lost—even 20 years after her best friend disappears without a trace. A prospect researcher by trade, she dives in deep when a strange and reclusive billionaire dies and leaves puzzles throughout the city in an elaborate treasure hunt. While this fun and affecting book could have won me over just by being a romp, there is more here. Tuesday and her compatriots are all forced to confront the traumas that have stunted their lives and find new strength in their relationships. I couldn’t have asked for more!” — Anmiryam Budner, Main Point Books, Wayne, PA

Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes (Pamela Dorman Books: Penguin; LJ starred review)

“Moyes brings Depression-era Kentucky to life in this historical novel about five women who become horseback librarians. Vivid descriptions of daily life in a 1930s coal-mining community and great characters punctuate an informative, fun read that’s based on a true story.” — Linda Sullivan, Mission Viejo Public Library, Aurora, CO

“In the late 1930s, the Works Progress Administration developed a number of projects intended to provide employment opportunities for unemployed artists, writers, and craftsmen. One of those projects was the Pack Horse Library Initiative, in which mounted horsewomen picked their way along snowy hillsides and through muddy creeks with a simple goal: to deliver reading material to Kentucky’s isolated mountain communities. In The Giver of Stars, Moyes has brought to life the amazing, funny, adventurous stories of a few of these trailblazing women. Historical fiction lovers will devour this story of a little-known piece of U.S. history.” —Angie Tally, The Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, NC

There are two additional Indie Next picks this week:

How We Fight for Our Lives: A Memoir by Saeed Jones (S. & S.; LJ starred review)

“Saeed Jones is supremely talented, so I expected his memoir to be great. I did NOT expect, however, to be left immobile in my chair after reading that final paragraph, processing the beauty of his words and those indelible sentences he’s generous enough to share with us. How We Fight for Our Lives is a moving and intimate portrait of the writer growing up as a young, gay black man and trying to understand the complex realities of his identity. We also gain insight to Jones’ relationship with his mother, a story that left me in pieces by the end. How We Fight for Our Lives is raw, difficult, and truthful, and completely stuffed with love.” — Eugenia Vela, BookPeople, Austin, TX

Grand Union: Stories by Zadie Smith (Penguin)

“Whether she’s telling a very short story about a mother and daughter discussing animal cruelty while on vacation or a longer story about a trio of celebrities on a road trip to escape New York, Grand Union shows that Zadie Smith is as adept with short fiction as she is with the novel. For a form of literature that always seems to enhance the faults of lesser writers, short stories, for Smith, seem only to make her shine brighter than ever.” — Bennard Fajardo, Politics and Prose Bookstore, Washington, DC

These books and others publishing the week of Oct. 7, 2019, are listed in a downloadable spreadsheet.

In the Media

People ’s “Book of the Week” is Right after the Weather by Carol Anshaw (Atria Books: S. & S). Also getting attention are Marley by Jon Clinch (Atria: S. & S.; LJ starred review) and The Lying Room by Nicci French (William Morrow: Harper). “New in Nonfiction” includes Everything Is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo (Portfolio: Penguin), Lady Tigers in the Concrete Jungle: How Softball and Sisterhood Saved Lives in the South Bronx by Dibs Baer (Pegasus: W.W. Norton), and Bedlam: An Intimate Journey Into America's Mental Health Crisis by Kenneth Paul Rosenberg (Avery: Penguin). The “Kid Pick” is Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks by Jason Reynolds, illustrated by Alexander Nabaum (Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books: S. & S.; SLJ starred review). People’s “ Picks” include Batwoman, Joker, and Nancy Drew. The magazine features Tyler Perry, Higher Is Waiting: Passages of Inspiration (Spiegel & Grau: Random House), as well as Megan Phelps-Roper, Unfollow: A Memoir of Loving and Leaving the Westboro Baptist Church (FSG: Macmillan). There is an interview with Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chelsea Clinton, The Book of Gutsy Women: Favorite Stories of Courage and Resilience (S. & S.). Lastly, the issue closes with a recipe from Molly Yeh, Molly on the Range (Rodale Books) and one from Ellie Krieger, Whole in One: Complete, Healthy Meals in a Single Pot, Sheet Pan, or Skillet (Da Capo: Hachette).


NPR reviews 10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston (Disney-Hyperion): “Positively delightful – all caps – from beginning to end.” Also, The Book of Dust: The Secret Commonwealth (Book of Dust, Volume 2) by Philip Pullman (Knopf Books for Young Readers): “a big novel full of big ideas, big characters and big sorrows. It is a tale of spies and philosophies and wit, of factions vying for control of the truth …This book feels like a response to the darkness in our time.” Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All by Laura Ruby (Balzer + Bray: Harper; SLJ starred review): “It has a certain, dream-like quality, like a memory half-forgotten or a story repeated so often that it becomes reality.” Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo (Flatiron: Macmillan; LJ starred review): “a swirl of blood and heartbreak, fentanyl and magic.” Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory (Berkley: Penguin; LJ starred review): “sweet, sexy … charming … a shining jewel worthy of a queen's crown.” Grand Union: Stories by Zadie Smith (Penguin): “there are also reminders of what Smith is capable of at her best, and many of them involve characters trying to make sense of our times and the march of time in general.”

The NYT reviews Frankissstein by Jeanette Winterson (Grove Press; LJ starred review): “a novel fizzing with ideas, one that toys with timelines and intertextuality.” Also, Brooklyn: The Once and Future City by Thomas Campanella (Princeton): “illuminating and sometimes maddening.” A dual review about books addressing “Why Evangelicals Support Donald Trump.”

The Washington Post reviews Plagued by Fire: The Dreams and Furies of Frank Lloyd Wright by Paul Hendrickson (Knopf): “Wright’s narrative becomes part of a larger story that also involves the Great Migration, the horror of the Tulsa Race Riot, the legacy of the Transcendentalists, the tradition of the New England pulpit and the beginning of suburban sprawl.” Also, Barack and Joe: The Making of an Extraordinary Partnership by Steven Levingston (Hachette): “with only limited cooperation from key figures in their orbit, and no interviews with the two principals, Levingston concedes that his “rough draft” of this recent history leaves much more for others to uncover.”

The Nobel Prize in Literature Announces This Week

Two Nobel prizes in literature, for 2018 and 2019, will be awarded this Thursday, as the prize seeks to move away from its scandal ridden past and makes up for skipping a year.

The Guardian writes that “Russian novelist Lyudmila Ulitskaya, the Guadeloupean novelist Maryse Condé and The Handmaid’s Tale author Margaret Atwood” are top bets for winners, but that “Hungarian novelist László Krasznahorkai and Polish writer Olga Tokarczuk, as well as perennial candidates Haruki Murakami and Ngugi wa Thiong’o” are also considered in the running. Here is a video with the awards chair explaining the selection process.

Briefly Noted

The November Indie Next list is out. In the Dream House: A Memoir by Carmen Maria Machado (Graywolf Press: Macmillan) leads the picks.

USA Today picks books for the week.

The Hunger Games prequel by Suzanne Collins gets a title, The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes (Scholastic). It comes out May 19, 2020 and is set 64 years before the first Hunger Games novel. Entertainment Weekly has details.

Entertainment Weekly interviews Stephen King and Joe Hill.

The Guardian interviews Stella Prize winner Heather Rose. Here is her booklist; the book the paper features, Bruny, is not yet published in the US.

Book Marks asks Nicole Chung to answer its questionnaire.

Vogue has Sally Rooney and Ben Lerner in conversation. reports on the New York Comic Con (NYCC) panel featuring Laurell K. Hamilton and Sarah J. Maas.

Gizmodo writes about all the Star Wars books announced at NYCC.

Bustle suggests “7 Books By Black British & Irish Women You Should Be Reading This Black History Month & Beyond.”

In seasons readings, lists to keep your Halloween displays full: Bustle has “15 Scary Book Series.” BuzzFeed gathers “23 Books That Actually Freaked People Out So Badly, They Had To Stop Reading.” USA Today picks “10 classic horror novels that are way scarier than the movies.” Book Riot has “10 Ghost Romances to Ring in the Halloween Season.”

Paste suggests “10 Must-Listen Star Wars Audiobooks for Every Fan.” has Jo Walton’s September reading list.

CrimeReads considers the crime fiction of Rangoon/Yangon.

Entertainment Weekly excerpts Journey to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Force Collector by Kevin Shinick, illustrated by Tony Foti (Disney Lucasfilm Press).

People excerpts Me: Elton John Official Autobiography by Elton John (Henry Holt: Macmillan).

The NYT features Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life by Nir Eyal (BenBella Books).

StarTribune spotlights How We Fight for Our Lives: A Memoir by Saeed Jones (S. & S.; LJ starred review).

The Atlantic showcases To Feel the Music: A Songwriter's Mission to Save High-Quality Audio by Neil Young, Phil Baker (BenBella Books). highlights Music to My Years: A Mixtape Memoir of Growing Up and Standing Up by Cristela Alonzo (Atria Books: S. & S.).

The San Francisco Chronicle features Debbie Harry, Face It: A Memoir (Dey Street Books: HarperCollins).

Oprah hosts a book club lunch with Lupita Nyong'o and Cynthia Erivo as they discuss The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates (One World; LJ starred review). There is video too.

Vulture ’s Read Like The Wind column is out for September.

LitHub has a piece entitled “The Secret to Shopping in Used Bookstores.” The essay has a line that RA librarians could usefully adopt when helping readers browse the stacks: understand it “less like a treasure hunt and more like a nature walk.”

LitHub looks at the authors snubbed by the Booker Prize.

The NYT has an opinion piece about politics, community, and what happened in a small rural town when it was suggested the head librarian should get a raise.

It turns out that the news reporting about new US tariffs on EU books was incorrect, Publishers Weekly reports they will not include books.

Poet and novelist Elaine Feinstein has died. Illustrator Mordicai Gerstein has died. The NYT has obituaries.

Authors on Air

PBS NewsHour features Christopher Ingraham, If You Lived Here You’d Be Home By Now: Why We Traded the Commuting Life for a Little House on the Prairie (Harper).

CBS Sunday Morning features Pete Hamill talking about Jimmy Breslin.

The Atlantic looks at the newer Jane Austen adaptations.

Deadline Hollywood reports that The Walking Dead will have movie spin-offs, and perhaps ninja zombies. Rachel Maddow will voice a character on Batwoman.

Outlander, season 5 gets a trailer.

The Expanse, season 4 does too.

Star Trek Picard gets a trailer. There are also new trailers for Star Trek Discovery and Star Trek: Short Treks, Q&A.

Snowpiercer offers a promo.

Little Mermaid Live has a meet the cast trailer.

Babylon Berlin, season three has early footage.

Marvel’s Runaways gets a teaser trailer.

The Walking Dead Universe has a series trailer. Also, news from Deadline that the original series has been renewed for season 11.

Lupita Nyong’o, Sulwe (S. & S. Books for Young Readers), will be on with Jimmy Fallon tonight. Neil deGrasse Tyson, Letters from an Astrophysicist (W.W. Norton), and Susan Rice, Tough Love: My Story of the Things Worth Fighting For (S. & S.), will be on with Stephen Colbert. Chanel Miller, Know My Name: A Memoir (Viking: Penguin), will be on The Daily Show.

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.


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

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

As low as $13.50/month