Run Your Week: Big Books, Sure Bets, & Titles Making News, Dec. 2, 2019 | Book Pulse

Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi leads holds this week. Six new books made the bestsellers lists. Reese Witherspoon picks Conviction by Denise Mina as her December book club title. In Costco Connection, Pennie Clark Ianniciello picks The Ambassador's Daughter by Pam Jenoff. There are many December booklists, along with more choices for the year and the decade. The NYT begins a new column on books for kids and teens.

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Big Books of the Week

Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi (Henry Holt: Macmillan) leads holds this week.

Other titles in demand include:

Beating About the Bush: An Agatha Raisin Mystery by M.C. Beaton (Minotaur Book: Macmillan)

Genesis by Robin Cook (G.P. Putnam's Sons: Penguin)

A Madness of Sunshine by Nalini Singh (Berkley: Penguin)

Brewed Awakening by Cleo Coyle (Berkley: Penguin)

How The Dead Speak: A Tony Hill and Carol Jordan Thriller by Val McDermid (Atlantic Monthly Press)

New to the Bestseller Lists

Catching up from the Thanksgiving holiday, six new books made the bestsellers lists.

[Links for the week: NYT Hardcover Fiction Best Sellers | NYT Hardcover Nonfiction Best Sellers | USA Today Best-Selling Books]








A Minute to Midnight by David Baldacci (Grand Central: Hachette) opens at No. 1 on the NYT Hardcover Fiction Best Sellers list and No. 2 on the USA Today Best-Selling Books list.

Strange Planet by Nathan W. Pyle (Morrow Gift: Harper) holds No. 3 on the USA Today Best-Selling Books list.

Tom Clancy Code of Honor by Marc Cameron (G. P. Putnam’s Sons: Penguin) takes No. 6 on the NYT Hardcover Fiction Best Sellers list and No. 12 on the USA Today Best-Selling Books list.

The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black (Little, Brown Books for Yong Readers: Hachette) lands at No. 6 on the USA Today Best-Selling Books list.


A Warning by Anonymous (Twelve Books: Hachette) debuts at No. 1 on both the NYT Hardcover Nonfiction Best Sellers list and the USA Today Best-Selling Books list.

Eberron: Rising from the Last War (D&D Campaign Setting and Adventure Book) by Wizards RPG Team (Wizards of the Coast: Random House) closes the USA Today Best-Selling Books list at No. 15.

Librarians and Booksellers Suggest

There are four LibraryReads picks to start the month:

Meg and Jo by Virginia Kantra (Berkley: Penguin)

"LIttle Women’s March family is brought into the present day. Here Marmee is a North Carolina goat farmer, Mr. March an idealistic and often absent Army chaplain, and Jo a NYC food blogger and frustrated writer. For readers who loved A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley. —Beth Mills, New Rochelle Public Library, New Rochelle, NY

Reputation by Sara Shepard (Dutton: Penguin)

"Set in an elite private school, with a large cast of characters, this book has it all: scandals, affairs, and murder. I love the way the multiple perspectives intersect and intertwine. For fans of Gossip Girl and Big Little Lies." — Aryssa Damron, DC Public Library, Washington, DC

Would Like to Meet by Rachel Winters (G. P. Putnam’s Sons: Penguin)

Evie recreates famous movie meet-cutes as a way to inspire a jerk client to write a screenplay, and learns a lot about herself in the process. For fans of Meg Cabot and Jennifer Crusie." — Kassie Ettefagh, High Point Public Library, High Point, NC

A Madness of Sunshine by Nalini Singh (Berkley: Penguin)

"With a well-drawn cast of characters and a vivid New Zealand setting, this book slowly draws you in, picks up speed, and takes you on a dark, twisty ride. For fans of Then She Was Gone and All the Missing Girls." — Sheryle Gouker, Redstone MWR Library, Huntsville, AL

It is also an Indie Next selection:

“Singh brings us into the wild side of New Zealand, to a tiny village where the new cop knows everybody by name and really cares about protecting them. Maya has returned to find her old school friends greatly changed — and one may be a serial killer. This thriller is compelling; the characters are fresh and exciting but realistic. The tension builds with every page turned, right up to the finale — wow!” — Karen Bakshoian, Letterpress Books, Portland, ME

There are eight additional Indie Next picks:

Anyone by Charles Soule (Harper)

“In Anyone, Charles Soule takes what was so fun about his novel The Oracle Year and perfects it. This takes the high-paced adventure of a spy novel or an action film and pairs it with the thoughtfulness that is found in really good science fiction. Soule puts his characters through unimaginable stressors to make us evaluate our views on race, identity, humanity, and the very existence of the self.” — Faith Parke-Dodge, Page 158 Books, Wake Forest, NC

The German House by Annette Hess, translated by Elisabeth Lauffer (HarperVia)

The German House captured my imagination. The author expertly unfolds the story of Eva Bruhns, a translator for the 1963 Frankfurt Auschwitz Trials, with such believability that the reader feels complicit in the denial of the past. As she hears testimonies, Eva discovers that anyone can be guilty of some horrific role in the war, however unaware they were of inhumane acts, or however prey to propaganda. The reader’s nausea will build as Eva gets closer to the truth. This historical novel seethes with life and feels authentic at every turn.” — Diane McGuire, Valley Bookseller, Stillwater, MN

The Clergyman's Wife: A Pride & Prejudice Novel by Molly Greeley (William Morrow: Harper)

“In Pride and Prejudice, Charlotte Lucas chooses with her eyes wide open to marry Mr. Collins, the unctuous clergyman who has nothing to recommend him but the ability to provide her with a household of her own. In The Clergyman’s Wife, Molly Greeley pauses to consider the backstory and consequences of this choice. This is a gentle story, notable for the author’s clear, lyrical writing and consideration of the real financial challenges facing women in Jane Austen’s day, as well as her empathy for the characters — especially, and perhaps surprisingly, Mr. Collins — without letting them off the hook for their moral choices. With a light touch, wisdom, and care, Greeley explores questions that provide a richer understanding of history and of our own lives.” — Rebecca Mattis, Phoenix Books, Rutland, VT

Winter Grave by Helene Tursten, translated by Marlaine Delargy (Soho Crime: Random House)

“Helene Tursten has crafted a fast-paced Swedish police drama that is no-nonsense and utterly delightful. Two children turn up missing in a small town, and when the main suspect, a teenage boy, won’t defend himself, the town turns on him. A spree of seemingly unconnected murders flusters the police, while young detective Embla sorts through the mess with panache and grace. The sharp, well-thought-out, complex plotting will keep you up at night. Very enjoyable.” — Becky Reed, Skylark Bookshop, Columbia, MO

Labyrinth of Ice: The Triumphant and Tragic Greely Polar Expedition by Buddy Levy (St. Martin’s Press: Macmillan)

“There are very few narratives of the tribulations and deprivations of polar expedition. Ernest Shackleton’s is the most well-known; the Franklin Expedition’s is the most horrific, but we have no survivors to recount it for us. The Greely Expedition of 1881, however, remains largely unknown. Here, Buddy Levy has resurrected the forgotten story of the U.S. Army Signal Corps’ participation in the First International Polar Year explorations using the recollections and diaries of the participants. That anyone survived is almost incredible; that we have their stories and photographs even more so. Gripping.” — Jeff L. Battis, Sausalito Books by the Bay, Sausalito, CA

Trace of Evil: A Natalie Lockhart Novel by Alice Blanchard (Minotaur: Macmillan)

“Author Alice Blanchard begins her first thriller series with a novel about rookie detective Natalie Lockhart. She’s young, she has a past — and who doesn’t in the sleepy little town of Burning Lake, New York? — but she also has a good heart and the need to find out what happened to nine missing transients. What she finds, however, may be worse than murder, and soon involves more than the original missing people. There’s something distinctly evil lurking in the hearts and minds of certain residents of Burning Lake; the question is, can Natalie keep her head above water long enough to learn the truth and bring justice to light? Crime writer Ann Cleeves calls Blanchard’s writing powerful, and I could not agree more!” — Linda Bond, Auntie’s Bookstore, Spokane, WA

The Sacrament by Olaf Olafsson (Ecco: Harper)

The Sacrament is a thoughtful, atmospheric, and quietly intense novel about how our choices have effects that must be felt our whole lives, and how we grapple with those consequences. I loved settling in with this novel.” —Catherine Bock, Parnassus Books, Nashville, TN

Dead Astronauts by Jeff VanderMeer (MCD: Macmillan)

“Set in the same world as his excellent 2017 novel Borne, Dead Astronauts finds VanderMeer again at the top of his game exploring a universe destroyed by the nefarious Company. Delightful strangeness abounds: a man disintegrating into hundreds of salamanders, an ancient giant fish called Leviathan, a large blue fox with a message to deliver across time — all these and more make Dead Astronauts one of VanderMeer’s most engagingly strange and beguiling novels. As he continues to explore deeply environmental themes, his unique lens makes the reader ponder our current climate crisis in a new way. A wonderfully weird, nature-driven science fiction odyssey through time and space.” — Caleb Masters, Bookmarks, Winston-Salem, NC

In the Media

In a largely book-free issue, People features coffee-table books and a recipe from Martha Stewart's Cookie Perfection: 100+ Recipes to Take Your Sweet Treats to the Next Level: A Baking Book by the Editors of Martha Stewart Living (Clarkson Potter: Random House).


The NYT reviews Feed by Tommy Pico (Tin House Books: W. W. Norton): “His mix of verse and prose, diary, comedy and accusation, grimy detail and prophetic announcement, seems to many young and not-so-young writers just what he, and we, need.” Also, Music: A Subversive History by Ted Gioia (Basic: Hachette): “both a history of subversion in music and a subversive work of history.” The “Shortlist” gathers “Provocative Foreign Fiction.” The paper has "6 Takeaways” from Free, Melania: The Unauthorized Biography by Kate Bennett (Flatiron Books: Macmillan). Lastly, a lavish look at “stunning new atlases [that] take you back to the worlds of 19th-century explorers … and into a future of rising seas.”

The Washington Post reviews Edison by Edmund Morris (Random House; LJ starred review): “both Edison and Morris were eccentric and brilliant enough to make even a life told in reverse a compelling experience.” Also, Information Wars: How We Lost the Global Battle Against Disinformation and What We Can Do About It by Richard Stengel (Atlantic Monthly Press): “the book Stengel seems to have wanted to write was about the culture of the State Department, and in this regard he is much more successful.” Crime in Progress: Inside the Steele Dossier and the Fusion GPS Investigation of Donald Trump by Glenn Simpson, Peter Fritsch (Random House): “provides a detailed account of how Fusion GPS began its work researching then-candidate Trump — the project, they remind readers, was originally funded by the conservative Washington Free Beacon — and then, after Steele’s reports from Moscow began to roll in, how the three men scrambled to alert both the press and the FBI to the astonishing information they’d uncovered.” The Movie Musical! by Jeanine Basinger (Knopf; LJ starred review): “The real value of “The Movie Musical!” may just be to call the roll.” Supreme Ambition: Brett Kavanaugh and the Conservative Takeover by Ruth Marcus (S. & S.): “extraordinarily detailed and highly insightful.” Lastly, the paper appreciates the lasting power of Sherlock Holmes.

NPR reviews My Fake Rake: The Union of the Rakes by Eva Leigh (Avon: Harper): “a feast of female empowerment, positive friendships, feel-good moments, and social satire. And as the first book in a series, it builds a delicious world you'll want to come back to.” Also, Little Bird: The Fight for Elder's Hope by Darcy Van Poelgeest, Ian Bertram (Image Comics), with the headline “stunning.”

Entertainment Weekly reviews On Swift Horses by Shannon Pufahl (Riverhead: Penguin), giving it a B+ and writing “The glacial plot casts its own spell, wandering around with two beautifully broken souls determined to find meaning — find themselves — in a world that often doesn’t seem to give a damn.” Also, The Sacrament by Olaf Olafsson (Ecco: Harper), with gets a B, and the comment: “Moving in clean declarative prose between ’60s Paris, ’80s Iceland, and the modern day, the novel’s core temperature sometimes runs too cool; there’s real devastation, though, in the revelations of its final chapters, and freedom, too.”

Briefly Noted

Reese Witherspoon picks Conviction by Denise Mina (Mulholland: Hachette) as her December book club title.

EarlyWord will host its December GalleyChat tomorrow, Dec. 3.

Entertainment Weekly picks the “top 10 nonfiction books of the decade.”

Esquire unveils its decade list with a hopeful description: “The Best Books of the 2010s Nudged the World in a New, Better Direction.”

The Guardian names its best books of 2019 and along with the choices is a very RA-useful summary of the state of the year in each category. The paper also asks authors and celebrities about their choices from the year.

AudioFile names the Best Audiobooks of 2019.

The Smithsonian Scholars Pick Their Favorite Books of 2019.

The Times (UK) has a list of its favorites from 2019, via Books in the Media.

The Financial Times selects its best books of the year.

BuzzFeed picks “33 Of The Best Photography Books We've Seen All Year.”

USA Today lists books for the week.

The NYT offers “9 New Books We Recommend This Week” and “9 Books to Watch For in December.” Also, the best books about wine from 2019.

Bustle gathers “17 Best New Books Of December 2019.”

Amazon selects its books for the month as well. lists “All the New Genre-Bending Books Coming out in December” and “All the New Young Adult SFF Books Coming out in December.”

CrimeReads offers “9 Books You Should Read In December.”

Entertainment Weekly offers “19 Christmas romances to keep you warm this holiday season.”

Vanity Fair decides “Winter Is the Perfect Season to Read a Thriller.”

Vogue gets into the giving mood with “8 Books to Gift Every Kind of Reader on Your List.”

The NYT has “Enticing Books for Every Kid This Holiday Season.” And on that note, the paper launches a new column, “Story Times.” It will “recommend books that fit the bill for whatever you’re looking for, from your baby’s first weeks at home to your teenager’s last weeks at high school.” The first lists cover: “9 Great Bedtime Books for Preschoolers,” “8 Great Bedtime Books for Babies and Toddlers,” “7 Great Books for (and About) Babies,” “8 Great (and Short) Books for Brand-New Readers,” “7 Great Shorter Stories for the Elementary School Years,” “7 Great Fantasy Novels for Teenagers."

Electric Lit offers “Our Favorite Essays and Books by Native Writers.”

In Costco Connection, influential book buyer Pennie Clark Ianniciello picks The Ambassador's Daughter by Pam Jenoff (MIRA: Harlequin). Also in Costco Connection there is a feature on Jimmy Kimmel, The Serious Goose (Random House Books for Young Readers).

The longlist for the Wingate Prize is announced.

The Waterstones Book of the Year lists are out.

The Royal Society of Literature Giles St Aubyn Awards are announced.

The Center for Fiction asks its First Novel Prize authors, “What Was the First Book You Fell in Love With?” LitHub has the answers.

Salon interviews Jason Reynolds, 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).

The NYT interviews Tomi Adeyemi, Children of Virtue and Vengeance (Henry Holt: Macmillan), in its “By the Book” column. The paper also writes about how author and Oscar-winning screenwriter Diablo Cody spends a week and has a feature on Pete Hamill.

Melissa Broder, The Pisces (Hogarth: Random House), answers the Book Marks Questionnaire.

Datebook features books about Alice Adams, including Alice Adams: Portrait of a Writer by Carol Sklenicka (Scribner: S. & S.) and The Stories of Alice Adams by Alice Adams (Vintage: Random House). Also, a piece on Jenny Odell, How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy (Melville House).

Vox explores “How Tana French’s Dublin Murder thrillers developed their cult following.”

The Washington Post writes about how “E-books at libraries are a huge hit, leading to long waits, reader hacks and worried publishers.”

DC has removed an image of Batman after charges “it supports Hong Kong unrest.The Guardian has details.

The Atlantic reports on how “Ruthless Quotas at Amazon Are Maiming Employees.” Also, the NYT writes about what Amazon has done to one American city.

Jay-Z sues a tiny Australian books and clothing store over an ABC book. The Sydney Morning Herald has the details.

The NYT reports on the Thesaurus Linguae Latinae, which has been underway since the 1890s.

Clive James has died. The NYT has an obituary, as does NPR.

Marilyn Yalom has died. The NYT has an obituary.

Authors on Air

Deadline reports that Emily Bitto’s novel The Strays is getting adapted into a six-part series, with Killing Eve’s director Shannon Murphy at the helm.

Fresh Air gets an archive. It covers over 40 years of interviews.

Town & Country has two reading lists for fans of The Crown (here too).

PBS NewsHour has a list from Richard Powers about trees.

NPR interviews Tomi Adeyemi, Children of Virtue and Vengeance (Henry Holt: Macmillan). Also, an interview with Clive D.L. Wynne, Dog Is Love : Why and How Your Dog Loves You (HMH). There is one with Jimmy Kimmel, The Serious Goose (Random House Books for Young Readers) and, lastly, an interview with Brad Thomas Parsons, Last Call: Bartenders on Their Final Drink and the Wisdom and Rituals of Closing Time (Ten Speed: Random House). Also, NPR reports on libraries doing away with fees. Also, a story about a stolen race horse, featured in the book Grand Theft Horse by G. Neri, illustrated by Corban Wilkin (Tu Books).

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, The Senator Next Door: A Memoir from the Heartland (Univ. of Minnesota), will be on The View today.

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