Run Your Week: Big Books, Sure Bets, & Titles Making News, Dec. 9, 2019 | Book Pulse

Dog Man: Fetch-22: From the Creator of Captain Underpants (Dog Man #8) by Dav Pilkey  leads holds this week. #libfaves19 begins today. The January 2020 Indie Next booklist is out. The  John Leonard Prize for Best First Book announces its finalists. The Pulitzer Prize will create a new category for audio journalists (including podcasts). The Golden Globes nominations are out.

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Big Books of the Week

Dog Man: Fetch-22: From the Creator of Captain Underpants (Dog Man #8) by Dav Pilkey (Graphix: Scholastic) leads holds this week.

Other titles in demand include:

The Wicked Redhead: A Wicked City Novel by Beatriz Williams (William Morrow: Harper)

Regretting You by Colleen Hoover (Montlake: Amazon)

The Glittering Hour by Iona Grey (Thomas Dunne: Macmillan)

Librarians and Booksellers Suggest

Two LibraryReads titles publish this week:

Africaville by Jeffrey Colvin (Amistad: Harper; LJ starred review)

“Africaville is a settlement of Jamaican people run out of their homes by the British and dumped in cold, foreign Canada. Colvin weaves the story of Kath Ella and her family through decades of ongoing racial prejudice and injustice, portraying the love among characters and the tenacity of some determined to find happiness. For readers who enjoyed Homegoing and The Underground Railroad.” —Lisa Casper, Highlands Ranch Library, Highlands Ranch, CO

The Dead Girls Club by Damien Angelica Walters (Crooked Lane Books: Random House) “An engaging story, full of twists and turns. Chapters alternate from Heather's childhood experiences to her present to form the whole story. More creepy than scary, pick this up if you want a story full of dread, suspense, childhood memories, death, and plenty of surprises. For fans of The Turn of the Key and The Silent Patient. —Rebecca Kelley, Richland Library, Columbia, SC

One Indie Next choice hits shelves:

The Wicked Redhead: A Wicked City Novel by Beatriz Williams (William Morrow: Harper)

“There has been a rash of then-and-now novels recently, but Williams weaves together two time frames so skillfully that the reader doesn’t feel a bit discomfited by the time and narrator-switching in successive chapters. Williams is a skillful storyteller who keeps the reader intrigued by how it will all pan out.” —Susan Thurin, Bookends on Main, Menomonie, WI

These books and others publishing the week of Dec. 9, 2019, are listed in a downloadable spreadsheet

In the Media

People names author Michelle Obama as one of their People of the Year. The book-based Apple+ show, Truth Be Told, makes the “Picks” list, as does a ten-strong count of “Best New Gift Books for Kids.” In a feature section on the year ahead, there is news about the new Magnolia network, with authors Chip & Jo Gaines behind the wheel, and a reminder that president Obama’s memoir is expected in Fall 2020. In the recipe section, a drink from Fancy AF Cocktails: Drink Recipes from a Couple of Professional Drinkers by Ariana Madix, Tom Sandoval, Danny Pellegrino (HMH).


NPR reviews Reverie by Ryan La Sala (Sourcebooks Fire; SLJ starred review): “It feels like something fresh and different.” Also, Dead Astronauts by Jeff VanderMeer (MCD: Macmillan): “a kaleidoscopic and fractured mosaic.” Blitzed by Alexa Martin (Berkley: Penguin): “glitters with as much charm and fun.” The Revisionaries by A.R. Moxon (Melville House: Random House): “If Michael Chabon and Jeff VanderMeer were combatively co-creating Andrew Hussie's Homestuck with occasional eruptions of Robert Mayer's Superfolks, you'd have almost exactly this book.”

The Washington Post reviews And Go Like This: Stories by John Crowley (Small Beer Press): “a distinguished, eclectic collection that deserves a large, appreciative audience.” Also, The Seine: The River that Made Paris by Elaine Sciolino (W.W. Norton; LJ starred review): “reads slightly more like an almanac than a love letter.” Margaret Thatcher: Herself Alone: The Authorized Biography by Charles Moore (Knopf): ”[a] massively researched, elegantly written and admirably balanced book.” Goliath: The 100-Year War Between Monopoly Power and Democracy by Matt Stoller (S. & S.): “punditry posing as history.”

Briefly Noted

Vulture names its “10 Best Comedy Books of 2019.” Also, “The Best Overlooked Books of 2019.”

Vox’s book critic picks her “15 favorite books of 2019.”

The Guardian selects “The best graphic novels of 2019.”

#libfaves19 begins today.

Paste showcases its picks of “The 19 Best Books Covers of 2019.” So does Book Riot.

Lamdba Literary runs its December New Releases column.

Vulture’s “Read Like the Wind” column is out for December.

USA Today picks its books of the week.

The January 2020 Indie Next booklist is out. has Jo Walton’s Reading List for November.

The NYT’s Gift Guide includes books.

The National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Prize for Best First Book announces its finalists for 2019.

LibHub begins its Best Reviewed Books of 2019 feature with a consideration of memoir and biography.

MediaPost reports that “the Pulitzer Prize Board will institute a new audio reporting category, open to audio journalists, that includes radio broadcasts and podcasts.”

O: The Oprah Magazine has a short story by Curtis Sittenfeld.

SF Gate has a short piece on Nobel Literature Prize winner Olga Tokarczuk.

The Guardian has a report on the Nobel speech by Peter Handke.

Entertainment Weekly interviews Vanessa Riley, A Duke, the Lady, and a Baby (Zebra: Random House).

The Guardian interviews Michael LewisThe Fifth Risk: Undoing Democracy (W.W. Norton). Also, an interview with Lucy Ellmann, Ducks, Newburyport (Biblioasis; LJ starred review).

Time has a piece by Dan Hooper, At the Edge of Time: Exploring the Mysteries of Our Universe’s First Seconds (Princeton).

The Washington Post features Susan Rice, Tough Love: My Story of the Things Worth Fighting For (S. & S.).

Salon features Michael Eric Dyson, Jay-Z: Made in America (St. Martin’s: Macmillan; LJ starred review).

In forthcoming book news, Bill O’Reilly announces his next work, Killing Crazy Horse: The Merciless Indian Wars in America (Holt: Macmillan), due out May 12, 2020.

Grub Street writes that “Cartoonist Liana Finck Is a Very Adventurous Fruit Eater.”

The NYT writes about “‘The Ferrante Effect’: In Italy, Women Writers Are Ascendant.”

The Guardian offers “Without women the novel would die: discuss.”

People reports on Free, Melania: The Unauthorized Biography by Kate Bennett (Flatiron Books: Macmillan).

Mental Floss has a short feature on NYT. 36 Hours. USA & Canada. 3rd Edition edted by Barbara Ireland (TASCHEN).

StarTribune offers “7 books to help you shake up your home décor.”

A library makes the NYT's list of "The 25 Rooms That Influence the Way We Design."

Authors on Air

The Guardian writes about Little Women.

The Golden Globe nominations are out today. The NYT has a report.

The NYT writes about “Crisis on Infinite Earths,” the CW crossover story featuring DC comics characters.

NPR interviews Parker Curry and Jessica Curry, Parker Looks Up: An Extraordinary Moment (Aladdin: S. & S.).

Deadline reports that Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, season three, will debut on January  24. The Eternals is set to open on November 6, 2020. Oliver Sacks: His Own Life will open in May 2020 in limited release, before a planned wide release rollout. Alfredo Corchado’s Midnight In Mexico sells rights for film and TV.

The Today show features Jimmy Kimmel’s The Serious Goose (Random House Books for Young Readers).

Town and Country surveys what is known about the remake of Gossip Girl.

Tom Brokaw, The Fall of Richard Nixon: A Reporter Remembers Watergate (Random House), will be on with Stephen Colbert tonight. Michael Lewis, The Fifth Risk: Undoing Democracy (W.W. Norton), will talk with Seth Meyers.

Wonder Woman 1984 gets a trailer. It premieres June 5, 2020.

The Outsider gets a trailer. It premieres Jan. 12, 2020.

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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

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