Run Your Week: Big Books, Sure Bets, & Titles Making News, Jan. 6, 2020 | Book Pulse

Treason by Stuart Woods leads holds this week. Barnes & Noble picks Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano as its January book club title. The Golden Globes were awarded last night. There were a few book-related wins. Jake Gyllenhaal is going to turn Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home into a movie.

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

Treason by Stuart Woods (G.P. Putnam’s Sons: Penguin) leads holds this week.

Other titles in demand include:

Moral Compass by Danielle Steel (Delacorte: Random House)

The Vanishing by Jayne Ann Krentz (Berkley: Penguin; LJ starred review)

Long Bright River by Liz Moore (Riverhead: Penguin; LJ starred review)

The Country Guesthouse: A Sullivan's Crossing Novel by Robyn Carr (MIRA: Harper)

The River Murders by James Patterson, James O. Born (Grand Central: Hachette)

Hindsight by Iris Johansen, Roy Johansen (Grand Central: Hachette)

Librarians and Booksellers Suggest

There are four LibraryReads picks publishing this week, all four are also Indie Next choices:

Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano (The Dial Press: Random House), which is the No. 1 LibraryReads title for the month:

“A dear, dear wondrous novel. Edward is The Miracle Boy, the only survivor of a plane crash. As he struggles to navigate the landscape of his new life, we hear the voices of those who didn't make it. Napolitano is an amazing writer who deserves a wider audience. For fans of Did You Ever Have a Family (Bill Clegg), The Grief of Others (Leah Hager Cohen), and The Friend (Sigrid Nunez).” —Jennifer Dayton, Fairfield Public Library, Fairfield, CT

“A stunning portrayal of what it means to be a survivor and the fine balance between surviving and actually finding the will to move forward from the shattered remains of your life. This is what 12-year-old Eddie — now known as Edward — must deal with as the sole survivor of a plane crash in which 191 people, including his immediate family, perished. Dear Edward is a novel that pierces you to the core with its depiction of grief, guilt, loneliness, and remorse, but through glimpses of hope, friendship, and kindness, shows how Edward slowly mends.” —Maxwell Gregory, Lake Forest Book Store, Lake Forest, IL

Long Bright River by Liz Moore (Riverhead: Penguin; LJ starred review)

“A compelling literary police procedural set in an opioid-ravaged Philadelphia neighborhood and centered on the relationship between two sisters whose lives have taken opposite paths. Your heart will ache as you grow to love the complex, strong, and incredibly vulnerable characters. For readers of Tana French and Dennis Lehane.” —Maggie Thomann, Northbrook Public Library, Northbrook, IL

“This story’s power comes not just from its beautiful writing but the reality of its characters and the incisive nature of its setting. Liz Moore has created a masterpiece that exposes the opioid epidemic in Philadelphia, highlighting the vulnerability of its victims and the sheer scope of suffering it causes. From the first page, when the murder mystery begins, readers will suffer and rejoice with the novel’s oh-so-human characters. The power of this story is a fire that will linger for a long time.” —Hilary Kotecki, The Doylestown & Lahaska Bookshops, Doylestown, PA

You Were There Too by Colleen Oakley (Berkley: Penguin)

“Mia is happily married to Harrison, but keeps dreaming about another man. One day her path crosses with this mystery man, and the results are devastating. This is a realistic, engrossing love story suited for fans of Liane Moriarty and Jodi Picoult." —Danielle Hansard, Public Library of Westland, Westland, MI

“This book had me from the prologue, when its main character, Mia, wakes up in the midst of some sort of catastrophe, pinned down by a man she won’t name but seems to know. The whole novel is, to use Mia’s words, ‘an incomplete jigsaw puzzle.’ I wanted to race through it to fit the pieces together, yet I wanted to read the story slowly as I got to know and care about every character. I absolutely loved this novel and can’t wait to share it with readers ready to cozy up to a great story this winter!” —Lady Smith, The Snail on the Wall, Huntsville, AL

Lady Clementine by Marie Benedict (Sourcebooks Landmark; LJ starred review)

“Clementine Hozier never expected to be the wife of a man like Winston Churchill. In her latest fictional account of an overlooked historical figure, Benedict spotlights how Clementine helped her husband maneuver through good times and bad, finding her own voice along the way.” —Chris Markley, Kingsport Public Library, Kingsport, TN

“Marie Benedict is a master of historical fiction. Lady Clementine is every bit as wonderful and interesting as her previous novel, The Only Woman in the Room. Benedict has a gift for taking these women that we know from history and making them come alive — their struggles, their heartbreaks, their loves and joys. Lady Clementine focuses on Winston Churchill’s wife, a woman of strength and power. Benedict’s novels remind us of the women who came before us; their hearts and spirits teach us and remain with us.” —Karen Bellovich, Anderson’s Bookshops, Naperville, IL

There are six additional Indie Next choices coming out this week:

The Magical Language of Others: A Memoir by E.J. Koh (Tin House: W.W. Norton)

“A beautifully written memoir of history, culture, past, and present — this might be one of the best books I’ve read all year and a close second to Pachinko, one of my all-time favorites. The letters from a mother read from her daughter’s perspective really give you a sense of the complexity of family relationships, and how certain events mold the consequences of what’s to come. Just beautiful!” —Desirae Wilkerson, Paper Boat Booksellers, Seattle, WA

Before and After the Book Deal: A Writer’s Guide to Finishing, Publishing, Promoting, and Surviving Your First Book by Courtney Maum (Catapult; LJ starred review)

“Even better than answering the questions a writer is afraid to ask, this book more importantly answers the questions a writer may not know to ask. Filled with anecdotal examples (both negative and positive), humor, and a lot of common sense advice, this book covers everything an aspiring writer might need to know, including how to deal with agents, editors, publishers, advances, social media, book tours, movie/TV rights, depression, failure, and, yes, even success.” —Keith Glaeske, East City Bookshop, Washington, DC

Creatures by Crissy Van Meter (Algonquin: Workman)

Creatures is a novel that invokes the senses most often left to the wayside in fiction: touch, taste, and smell. This imagery is unique to how Evie, our narrator, perceives her surroundings of Winter Island and the people who float in and out of her life. As readers experience Evie’s past, present, and future concurrently, they are left with a stark and stunning tale of abandonment, betrayal, love, and healing. With a narrative style reminiscent of Ted Chiang’s The Story of Your Life, this is a book I couldn’t put down!” —Julia Long, Epilogue: Books Chocolate Brews, Chapel Hill, NC

Deep State by Chris Hauty (Atria/Emily Bestler: S. & S.)

Deep State is a compelling page-turner with an unpredictable last-minute twist that will knock you off your feet. Hayley Chill is an Army infantry soldier with an eye on doing more to serve her country. In true snatched-from-the-headlines fashion, Hayley accepts a White House internship in the administration of a highly controversial and divisive president with apparent strong Russian leanings, which puts him in the crosshairs of operatives intent on taking him and his administration down. Hayley finds herself caught up in the intricate plot and may be the only one who can stop it. Perhaps ironically, I really think this book would appeal equally to suspense-loving readers on either side of the political spectrum!” —Brent Bunnell, Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC

Why We Can't Sleep: Women's New Midlife Crisis by Ada Calhoun (Grove Press; LJ starred review)

“I eagerly snatched this book up, hoping it would offer a magic cure-all for the 4:00 a.m. insomnia that plagues me on a regular basis. Instead, I found solace and comfort, if not in a full eight hours, in the fact that I wasn’t alone in staring into the dark in the middle of the night, brain on a carousel, getting pissed and feeling miserable. About most everything. It all makes sense now: I’m not an anomaly or a sleepless loner, I’m part of a larger pattern, a cycle created by the culture of a certain generation — Generation X. Why We Can’t Sleep gives hope and validation and takes away some of the worry. Although this book is specific to Gen Xers, I think their Baby Boomer parents and their Millennial children will also benefit from reading this fascinating generational study.” —Rani Birchfield, Front Street Books, Alpine, TX

Come Tumbling Down by Seanan McGuire ( Macmillan; LJ starred review)

“Seanan McGuire strikes again with another breathtakingly beautiful fantasy! The Wayward Children series is an amazing collection of novellas for those who love the unique and bizarre, who long to see themselves in fiction, who want to lose themselves in words. This particular installment returns to some of her very best characters and can be enjoyed by new readers and devoted fans alike. Highly recommended!” —Allison Chesbro, Schuler Books, Okemos, MI

These books and others publishing the week of Jan. 6, 2020 are listed in a downloadable spreadsheet.

In the Media

Entertainment Weekly issues a short holiday “Must List,” which starts with Little Women and also includes Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi (Henry Holt: Macmillan).

People's "Book of the Week" is Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano (The Dial Press: Random House). Also getting attention are Creatures by Crissy Van Meter (Algonquin: Workman) and Mr. Nobody by Catherine Steadman (Ballantine: Random House). There is a feature on parenting books, including The Kids Are in Bed: Finding Time for Yourself in the Chaos of Parenting by Rachel Bertsche (Plume: Penguin), Boys & Sex: Young Men on Hookups, Love, Porn, Consent, and Navigating the New Masculinity by Peggy Orenstein (Harper), and Failure To Launch: Why Your Twentysomething Hasn’t Grown Up...and What To Do About It by Mark McConville (Putnam: Penguin). On the “Picks List” is Sanditon, Downton Abbey, Joker, The Outsider, and some alternatives to Cats including Batman Returns and Puss in Boots. Closing out the issue is a recipe from Dave Asprey, Super Human: The Bulletproof Plan to Age Backward and Maybe Even Live Forever (Harper Wave).


The Washington Post reviews Long Bright River by Liz Moore (Riverhead: Penguin; LJ starred review), calling it a “wonderful thriller that subverts your expectations till the very last page.” Also, The Plot to Betray America: How Team Trump Embraced Our Enemies, Compromised Our Security, and How We Can Fix It by Malcolm Nance (Hachette): “assembling scores of reliable media reports, congressional hearings and the findings of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into a persuasive whodunit narrative.” The Ambassadors: America's Diplomats on the Front Lines by Paul Richter (S. & S.; LJ starred review): “an important and illuminating read.” Black Radical: The Life and Times of William Monroe Trotter by Kerri K. Greenidge (Liveright: W.W. Norton): “most valuable for charting Trotter’s extraordinary political journey.”

The NYT reviews The Heap by Sean Adams (William Morrow: Harper), in a mixed review that highlights the book's “compelling narrative, with unexpected twists and darkly comic turns.”

The L.A. Times reviews Creatures by Crissy Van Meter (Algonquin: Workman): “gemlike.” Also,  Jakarta by Rodrigo Márquez Tizano, translated by Thomas Bunstead (Coffee House Press): “a kaleidoscopic take on love and loss and longing, written in a voice that is sharp and cynical yet somehow without despair.” The paper also has two stories related to Nipsey Hussle, the subject of a March book, The Marathon Don't Stop: The Life and Times of Nipsey Hussle by Rob Kenner (Atria: S. & S.).

Briefly Noted

USA Today picks its books for the week. So does Publishers Weekly.

Barnes & Noble picks Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano (The Dial Press: Random House) as its January book club title.

LitHub offers “5 Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books to Start Your New Year Right.” rounds up “All the New Genre-Bending Books” of January. prints Jo Walton’s reading list for December.

At LitHub some of the staff of Books & Books suggest books for 2020.

Bitch Media offer “17 Memoirs Feminists Should Read in 2020.”

Popsugar has 2020 reading lists for thrillers and mysteries and YA books.

The NYT has a list of “fictional accounts of reality TV.”

The Guardian posts its literary calendar for 2020. Keep in mind that premiere and publication dates are based on the UK schedule and will often not match US dates – but prize announcements, birthdays, and anniversaries apply universally.

The NYT features You Were Born for This: Astrology for Radical Self-Acceptance by Chani Nicholas (HarperOne).

The Guardian interviews Vigdis Hjorth, Will and Testament (Verso Fiction: Random House). Also, an interview with Anna Wiener, Uncanny Valley: A Memoir (MCD: Macmillan). has a piece on how The Lord of the Rings changed publishing.

Authors on Air

The Golden Globes were awarded last night. There were a few book-related wins. Chernobyl won for best TV limited series or motion picture made for TV. Stellan Skarsgård won an acting award for the series too. Joaquin Phoenix won for best actor in a motion picture for Joker, which also won for best original score. Michelle Williams won best actress in a limited series or motion picture made for TV for Fosse/Verdon. Russell Crowe won best actor in the same category for The Loudest Voice. Olivia Colman won for best actress in a TV series - drama for The Crown. Variety has a list of the snubs and surprises.

The Mary Sue reports that Jake Gyllenhaal is going to turn Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home into a movie.

NPR features The Joy of Movement: How exercise helps us find happiness, hope, connection, and courage by Kelly McGonigal (Avery: Penguin).

Deadline reports that Killing Eve is getting a fourth season. looks at the films of 2020, many are based on books.

Dracula gets its final trailer.

Outlander, season five, gets a trailer. The show returns on Feb. 16.

Want to get the latest book news delivered to your inbox each day? Sign up for our daily Book Pulse newsletter.

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.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing