Run Your Week: Big Books, Sure Bets, & Titles Making News, May 20, 2019 | Book Pulse

HBO's Game of Thrones has ended. Mistress of the Ritz by Melanie Benjamin leads holds this week. The Nebula Awards have been announced. So, too, have the IACP Awards. Herman Wouk has died.

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Big Books of the Week

Mistress of the Ritz by Melanie Benjamin (Delacorte: Random House) leads holds this week.

Other titles in demand include:

Cari Mora by Thomas Harris (Grand Central: Hachette)

The Summoning by Heather Graham (MIRA: Harper)

Unfreedom of the Press by Mark R. Levin (Threshold Editions: S. & S.)

Librarians and Booksellers Suggest

Two Indie Next choices publish this week:

The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins (Harper)

“Drawing on her experiences of growing up in the Cayman Islands, attending university in London, and practicing law, outstanding debut author Sara Collins has drawn a character one will not soon forget. Told with evocative language, Frannie Langton’s confession is a life story not to be missed. Raised on a sugar plantation in Jamaica, then transported to a life of servitude in London, Frannie lives a life of twists and turns of love and betrayal that will both shock and intrigue you. I was as tense as she was waiting for the verdict to be handed down. Thank you, Sara Collins!” —Mary Mollman, Booked, Evanston, IL

The Scent Keeper by Erica Bauermeister (St. Martin's Press: Macmillan)

“When you pick up Erica Bauermeister’s latest novel, you must take a deep breath, and then another. The Scent Keeper is a unique coming-of-age story told with prose that is vivid, fragrant, and alive. Everything Emmeline knows from her idyllic childhood spent on a remote island in the Pacific Northwest is challenged when she discovers that her father’s fantastical explanations and stories aren’t true — at least not in a literal sense. Her journey is at times devastating but always evocative. A sensational read.” —Anika Miller, Phinney Books, Seattle, WA

These books and others publishing the week of May 20, 2019, are listed in a downloadable spreadsheet.

In the Media

People's "Book of the Week" is Once More We Saw Stars: A Memoir by Jayson Greene (Knopf; LJ starred review). Also in "Best New Books" are Resistance Women by Jennifer Chiaverini (William Morrow: Harper) and Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips (Knopf; LJ starred review). In their occasional "Star Picks" column, Molly Shannon is reading Voice Lessons for Parents: What to Say, How to Say it, and When to Listen by Wendy Mogel (Scribner: S. & S.), Kacey Musgraves is reading East of Eden by John Steinbeck (Viking: Penguin), and Kendall Jenner is reading No One Belongs Here More Than You: Stories by Miranda July (Scribner: S. & S.). People "picks" Catch-22, The Name of the Rose, and A Dog's Journey. The magazine features Lamar Odom, Darkness to Light: A Memoir (BenBella Books) and also has a feature on Common, Let Love Have the Last Word: A Memoir  (Atria: S. & S.). Finally, Michelle Obama writes an essay for the magazine.

Entertainment Weekly ran a double issue last week. Look online for stories such as an excerpt of The Toll by Neal Shusterman (S. & S. for Young Readers).


The Nebula Awards have been announced. The Calculating Stars: A Lady Astronaut Novel by Mary Robinette Kowal (Tor: Macmillan) wins best novel and Tomi Adeyemi wins The Andre Norton Award for Outstanding Young Adult Science Fiction or Fantasy Books for Children of Blood and Bone: The OrÏsha Legacy (Henry Holt: Macmillan; SLJ starred review). The Verge has the full list of winners and nominees.

The 2019 IACP Award Winners are out. The Cookbook of the Year is Season: Wine Country Food, Farming, & Friends by Justin Wangler, Tracey Shepos Cenami (Cameron: Abrams).


The NYT reviews The Impeachers: The Trial of Andrew Johnson and the Dream of a Just Nation by Brenda Wineapple (Random House): "ambitious and assured." Also, Strangers and Cousins by Leah Hager Cohen (Riverhead: Penguin): "Cheerful and lively." Red Birds by Mohammed Hanif (Grove Press, Black Cat): "a cautionary tale of how a novelistic intelligence can sputter out in the grip of a many-tentacled conflict." Big Business: A Love Letter to an American Anti-Hero by Tyler Cowen (St. Martin's Press: Macmillan): "This would have been a far better book had Cowen focused more on how to overcome the negative consequences of the spread of the Friedman Doctrine." Power Trip: The Story of Energy by Michael E. Webber (Basic: Hachette): "the complex underlying policy issues raised could have used a less perfunctory treatment." Upheaval: Turning Points for Nations in Crisis by Jared Diamond (Little, Brown: Hachette): "Sometimes the book feels written from a drying well of lifelong research rather than from the latest facts." Finally, the paper gathers up "visual books."

NPR reviews The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad (Scholastic): "A fantastical silk road city comes to life." Also, Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston (St. Martin's Griffin: Macmillan): "a lighthearted, delectable combination of two of America's favorite pastimes: the British royals and politics, with just the right amount of scandal." How Shostakovich Changed My Mind by Stephen Johnson (Notting Hill Editions: Random House): "palpably humane, sensitive, and breathably erudite." Million Mile Road Trip by Rudy Rucker, introduction by Marc Laidlaw (Night Shade: Skyhorse): "joyous-strange." There's Something about Sweetie by Sandhya Menon (Simon Pulse: S. & S.): "a delightfully charming love story."

The Washington Post reviews The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold (HMH): "fascinating."

Briefly Noted

Herman Wouk has died, at 103. The NYT and NPR, have obituaries. The NYT has a feature too.

USA Today picks "5 books not to miss" this week.

O Magazine picks "The 25 Best Beach Reads of the Year so Far." Also, "41 of the Best LGBTQ Books That'll Change the Literary Landscape in 2019" and "15 Books to Read About the Abortion Debate."

Book Riot has "50 Of The Best Books To Read This Summer."

NPR picks Romances for May.

Elena Ferrante has a "The Big Ideas" opinion piece in the NYT, "Power is a story told by women."

The NYT profiles Thomas Harris, Cari Mora (Grand Central: Hachette).

The Washington Post features Working: Researching, Interviewing, Writing by Robert A. Caro (Knopf; LJ starred review).

Bustle excerpts Creatures by Crissy Van Meter (Algonquin: Workman) and features Kali Fajardo-Anstine, Sabrina & Corina: Stories (One World: Random House).

NRP interviews Nicola Yoon, The Sun Is Also A Star (Delacorte: Random House).

HuffPost spotlights Common, Let Love Have the Last Word: A Memoir (Atria: S. & S.).

Book Marks considers Neuromancer by William Gibson as it turns 35.

The NYT reports on a high-profile firing at Knopf.  Also, on the NYPL's Midtown Manhattan branch and its empty stacks.

Mental Floss features Norman Mailer. MoonFire. 50th Anniversary Edition: 50th Anniversary Edition with an introduction by Colum McCann (Taschen).

Authors on Air

HBO's Game of Thrones has ended. PBS NewsHour reports on what it "meant for the fantasy genre." Shondaland has "5 Books to Read While You're Getting Over the End" of the series and LitHub has "6 Epic Fantasy Series to Fill the Dragon-Shaped Hole in Your Life."

NPR interviews John Urschel, Mind and Matter: A Life in Math and Football (Penguin). Also, NPR's The Salt features Roman food, its form and power, and spotlights Ten Caesars: Roman Emperors from Augustus to Constantine by Barry Strauss (S. & S).

PBS NewsHour has a piece entitled "How Lorraine Hansberry defined what it meant to be 'young, gifted, and black.'"

William H. McRaven, Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations (Grand Central: Hachette) will be on with Stephen Colbert tonight.

His Dark Materials gets a trailer.

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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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