Run Your Week: Big Books, Sure Bets, & Titles Making News, Nov. 25, 2019 | Book Pulse

The Rise of Magicks: Chronicles of The One, Book 3 by Nora Roberts leads holds this week. More best-of booklists for the decade, year, and week are out. The Walking Dead, Frozen 2, and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker all make news.

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Big Books of the Week

The Rise of Magicks: Chronicles of The One, Book 3 by Nora Roberts (St. Martin’s: Macmillan) leads holds this week.

Other titles in demand include:

Criss Cross by James Patterson (Little, Brown: Hachette)

Spy by Danielle Steel (Delacorte Press: Random House)

Ali Cross by James Patterson (jimmy Patterson: Hachette)

Under Occupation by Alan Furst (Random House)

Librarians and Booksellers Suggest

Two Indie Next selections publish this week:

NVK by Temple Drake (Other Press: Random House)

“A weirdly wonderful tale of love, tragedy, lust, and, yes, a new breed of vampire: the auto-created immortal creature. Set in modern-day Shanghai, NVK tells the story of a young businessman who meets and falls hard for an aloof foreign beauty. Their torrid affair transforms into one of mystery as well as unasked and unanswered questions as Drake seductively draws the reader into a world of secrets and death. Here is a different telling of the lone vampire story that will appeal to readers who believe, perhaps, that the undead do walk amongst us, seeking love and connection, and not necessarily looking for their next meal.” —Helen Gregory, Maria’s Bookshop, Durango, CO

Under Occupation by Alan Furst (Random House)

“Returning to one of his favorite subjects, Alan Furst examines life in Nazi-occupied Paris through a quasi-doppelgänger: Paul Ricard, an accomplished writer of spy fiction. Facing writer’s block, Ricard is presented with an unusual request from a Polish friend to get involved in the Resistance. Together, they manage to make contact with Polish slave laborers (who are actually engineers) in Germany to provide the Resistance — and eventually the English — with technical details and specimens of detonators and torpedoes. In 1942, with Paris gripped by war privations and the terror of the German SS, life was dark, difficult, and exhilarating, and Ricard takes to his assignments as if he had trained for them. Furst is the best writer of espionage fiction today.” —Darwin Ellis, Books on the Common, Ridgefield, CT

These books and others publishing the week of Nov. 25, 2019, are listed in a downloadable spreadsheet. 

In the Media

The December Entertainment Weekly issue is out. Book coverage includes a look at award season, a feature on Isa Mazzei, Camgirl (Rare Bird Books), a Q&A with Jimmy Kimmel, The Serious Goose (Random House Books for Young Readers), and a piece on Dead Astronauts by Jeff Vandermeer (MCD: Macmillan). There are reviews of Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo (Grove Press, Black Cat), which gets an A-, The Sacrament by Olaf Olafsson (Ecco: Harper), which gets a B, and On Swift Horses by Shannon Pufahl (Riverhead: Penguin), which earns a B+. The “Must List” considers the last decade. It is both a specific and pretty broad list, but among the choices related in some way to books are the Marvel comic film adaptations, the “Battle of the Bastards” episode of HBOs Game of Thrones, the Serial podcast, Minecraft, Hamilton, Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (Crown: Random House; LJ starred review), and Netflix. The extended list includes Wonder Woman, Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates (Spiegel & Grau: Random House; LJ starred review), A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara (Doubleday: Random House), Amazon, and Hulu. Catherine O’Hara also has a "Must List," which includes The Irishman, Little Women, and The Second City : The Essentially Accurate History (2nd Edition) by The Second City, Sheldon Patinkin, Liz Kozak (Agate Midway).

Star Wars makes the cover and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is the subject of a feature, which includes a look at the most important scenes from each previous movie. Frozen 2 also gets a feature. There is a preview of Outlander, season five, and an early look at season two of You. Also, a list of forthcoming adaptations including The Good Lord Bird, Little Fires Everywhere, and Bridgerton. In the Comics section there is a piece about X-Men House of X and Powers of X and one on The CW’s Arrowverse “Crisis on Infinite Earths.” The gift guide includes Nothing Fancy: Unfussy Food for Having People Over by Alison Roman (Clarkson Potter: Random House), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: The Illustrated Edition by J. K. Rowling, and Jim Kay (Arthur A. Levine: Scholastic), and the Juniper Books banned book set.


NPR reviews The Second Sleep by Robert Harris (Knopf): “a pleasingly genre-bending novel that passes itself off as historical fiction in its early pages.” Also, Catfishing on CatNet by Naomi Kritzer (Tor Teen: Macmillan): “wild, rollicking ride, and it leaves it mark.” Girl on Film Original Graphic Novel by Cecil Castellucci (Archaia: S. & S.): “an account of how to live an artist's life even when it looks like your artistic ambitions are grandiose and impractical.” The Season : A Social History of the Debutante by Kristen Richardson (W.W. Norton): “It's an ongoing tug of war between money, race, class, culture and tradition, and The Season makes sparkling work of it.” Labyrinth by Burhan Sönmez, translated by Umit Hussein (Other Press: Random House): “A thoughtful novel that asks many unanswerable questions worth pondering … a mind-twister that may leave some wanting more.”

The Washington Post reviews Canyon Dreams: A Basketball Season on the Navajo Nation by Michael Powell (Blue Rider Press: Penguin): “engrossing.”

The NYT is full of lists and columns. The Audiobooks column considers “Eight Audiobook Classics Written, and Narrated, by Women.” The Children’s Books column is out, with the headline "Kids Have Questions. These Picture Books Have Answers" and here is a dual review of children’s books about women before they became famous. The Graphic Review column looks at The War of the Worlds. There is a list of books that offer moral support for Thanksgiving and also a dual review of art books.

Briefly Noted

The NYT picks its “10 Best Books of 2019.”

Time names “The 10 Best Fiction Books of 2019” and  “The 10 Best Nonfiction Books of 2019.”

Elle selects “The 28 Best Books of 2019.”

The Financial Times picks the Best Fiction Book of the Year. Books in the Media has the list.

Barnes & Noble announces its Book of the Year Finalists.

LitHub picks the “78 Best Books Covers of 2019.”

The StarTribune has the best books to read this winter.

USA Today selects books for the week.

The NYT starts its look at “The Decade in Culture” with a piece entitled “Women Writers Give Voice to Their Rage.” There is also “33 Ways to Remember the 2010s.”

CrimeReads names “The Rising Stars of Crime Fiction in the 2010s.”

USA Today offers a gift guide for books.

LitHub offers “5 Small Press Audiobooks To Give As Gifts This Year.”

Ilka Tampke, Songwoman (Text Publishing), writes an essay in the Guardian about having her book shortlisted for the Most Underrated Book of 2019 award.

The Bookseller has five questions for Tomi Adeyemi and an excerpt of Children of Virtue and Vengeance (Henry Holt: Macmillan).

Book Marks asks Ingrid Rojas Contreras, Fruit of the Drunken Tree (Doubleday: Random House; LJ starred review), to answer its questionnaire.

The Guardian interviews Meena Kandasamy, When I Hit You : Or, A Portrait of the Writer as a Young Wife (Europa Editions).

In forthcoming book news, Entertainment Weekly reports that Charlie Kaufman, the Oscar-winning screenwriter, is going to write a novel, Antkind, from Random House. Apparently, it has been in the works for nearly eight years.

BuzzFeed has an investigation of sexual misconduct accusations against Tony Robbins.

The Guardian writes about how “How translated fiction can open up the world.”

Grub Street considers what Carmen Maria Machado likes to eat.

The NYT asks “Can Fan Fiction Bridge the Partisan Divide?

The NYT has a tour of Montclair Book Center, “whose vibe is pure Narnia.”

Given that the RNC spent nearly $100,000 to help a book get on the bestseller list, Vox highlights its 2017 report on “The convoluted world of best-seller lists.” Vanity Fair has a report on right-wing publishing.

Gahan Wilson has died. Deadline has an obituary.

Authors on Air

NPR interviews Rachel Ray, Rachael Ray 50 : Memories and Meals from a Sweet and Savory Life: A Cookbook (Ballantine: Random House).

Deadline reports that Fox is creating a medical drama series based on Oliver Sacks’s life and work. HBO’s I Know This Much is True, based on the Wally Lamb novel, casts up. Tyler Perry has a new project with Netflix. Tade Thompson’s Making Wolf is headed to TV. Lastly, a report on the past, present, and future of The Walking Dead, including news that the new series will be called The Walking Dead: World Beyond. There is a trailer.

Variety writes that Frozen 2 “dazzles” with a huge box office debut. Also, a report that Henry Cavill says he still has plans for Superman.

On Twitter, Beverly Jenkins announces that Forbidden is headed to TV.

Michael Eric Dyson, Jay-Z: Made in America (St. Martin’s: Macmillan; LJ starred review), will be on with Jimmy Fallon tonight.

Doctor Who, season 12 gets a trailer.

There is a “special look” remembrance trailer to celebrate Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

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