Run Your Week: Big Books, Sure Bets, & Titles Making News, Jun. 17, 2019 | Book Pulse

Summer of '69 by Elin Hilderbrand leads holds this week. A new "Hunger Games" book is on the way. People picks its books of the summer. Ling Ma wins the 2019 Young Lions Fiction Award. Robin Robertson wins the 2019 Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction. Book Marks features Lynn Lobash in their "Secrets of the Librarians" column. The Guardian writes about “the vicious war over young adult books.”

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Big Books of the Week

Summer of '69 by Elin Hilderbrand (Little, Brown: Hachette) leads holds this week.

Other titles in high demand include:

Fleishman Is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner (Random House)

The Lemon Sisters by Jill Shalvis (William Morrow: Harper)

The Stationery Shop by Marjan Kamali (Gallery Books: S. & S.)

Aunt Dimity and the Heart of Gold by Nancy Atherton (Viking: Penguin)

Librarians and Booksellers Suggest

No LibraryRead choices publish this week, however four Indie Next picks hit the shelves:

The Travelers by Regina Porter (Hogarth: Random House)

“Spanning over 50 years and the intersection of two centuries, The Travelers weaves together the stories of two families and in the process gives an incisive portrait of a country and society in the midst of massive social change. The author artfully moves back and forth in time as the stories emerge and converge, probing the dynamics of love and family and the bounds and conflicts inherent in both. This novel is the story of two families but universal in the America it portrays.” —Bill Cusumano, Square Books, Oxford, MS

FKA USA by Reed King (Flatiron: Macmillan)

“This book is a wild ride through a post-dissolution, post-apocalyptic United States beginning a mere decade from now and continuing to the end of the 21st century. The political, technological, and ecological disasters it envisions seem all too plausibly extrapolated from the headlines of today. Despite the litany of cascading disasters — mass extinctions, warring androids, southern California dropping into the ocean, conflicts between different corporations controlling different sections of the former USA, mind control, goat-human hybrids, and more — Reed King injects a measure of hilarity into his tale. At the same time harrowing and hysterical, this is a great book by a visionary author. Highly recommended.” —Edward Newton, The Literate Lizard, Sedona, AZ

The Stationery Shop by Marjan Kamali (Gallery Books: S. & S.)

The Stationery Shop is one of the most beautifully written novels I have read in a long time. The masterful plot brings us to a lost time and culture, but also transcends time and country. In a story set against the upheaval of 1953 Tehran, we discover how events change the destiny of two teenagers who meet in a book and stationery shop and fall in love. This novel of political dreams, family loyalty, lingering memories, love, and fate will haunt you long after the story ends.” —Janet Hutchison, The Open Door Bookstore, Schenectady, NY

The Tenth Muse by Catherine Chung (Ecco: Harper)

“Catherine Chung’s female protagonist is a mathematician, and it is thrilling to have a woman scientist who is a complex character in an even more complex novel. In trying to solve a math riddle, she ends up exploring the riddle of her own childhood, which is inextricably linked to one of the darkest episodes in human history. Catherine Chung has woven a rich tapestry mixing present and past, ambition, identity, and gender issues. A beautiful book .” —Francoise Brodsky, Shakespeare & Co., New York, NY

These books and others publishing the week of June 17, 2019, are listed in a downloadable spreadsheet.

In the Media







People fouces its book coverage on “The Best Books of the Summer” with eight selections:

Summer of '69 by Elin Hilderbrand (Little, Brown: Hachette)

The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo (Doubleday)

Patsy by Nicole Dennis-Benn (Liveright: W.W. Norton; LJ starred review)

Lady in the Lake by Laura Lippman (William Morrow)

America's Reluctant Prince: The Life of John F. Kennedy Jr by Steven M. Gillon (Dutton: Penguin)

Searching for Sylvie Lee by Jean Kwok (William Morrow: Harper)

Big Sky by Kate Atkinson (Little, Brown: Hachette)

The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead (Doubleday: Random House; LJ starred review)

Food features in other book news, with recipes from Dinner Just for Two: The Cookbook by Christina Lane (Countryman Press: W.W. Norton) and Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking by Samin Nosrat, illustrated by Wendy MacNaughton (S. & S.; LJ starred review).

Entertainment Weekly ran a double issue last week. Look online for stories such as a feature on Chaos: Charles Manson, the CIA, and the Secret History of the Sixties by Tom O'Neill, with Dan Piepenbring (Little, Brown: Hachette), which has been optioned by Amazon. Also, remember that EW goes to monthly issues starting after the July 5th issue.


The NYT reviews Fall; or, Dodge in Hell by Neal Stephenson (William Morrow: Harper; LJ starred review): “His mind is capable of going places no one else has ever imagined, let alone rendered in photorealist prose … a staggering feat of imagination, intelligence and stamina." Also, Ill Winds: Saving Democracy from Russian Rage, Chinese Ambition, and American Complacency by Larry Diamond (Penguin): “impassioned … proves a stalwart, persuasive champion for democracy at a moment when its reputation has been fouled.” Running to the Edge: A Band of Misfits and the Guru Who Unlocked the Secrets of Speed by Matthew Futterman (Doubleday: Random House; LJ starred review): “Futterman places the reader in the middle of the action, a spectator to the story’s improbable unfolding.”

NPR reviews Shoot for the Moon: The Space Race and the Extraordinary Voyage of Apollo 11 by James Donovan (Little, Brown: Hachette): “If you're looking for a good telling of the manned space program's story, you should start with James Donovan.” Also, Angola Janga: Kingdom of Runaway Slaves by Marcelo D'Salete (Fantagraphics: W.W. Norton): “Working in black and white, mixing nonfiction and fiction … D'Salete seems to say that whatever he may do, the stories he seeks to tell will never be complete.” Tell Me How You Really Feel by Aminah Mae Safi (Feiwel & Friends: Macmillan; SLJ starred review): “dense, wonderful and fulfilling — an enemies-to-lovers story.” The Shanghai Free Taxi: Journeys with the Hustlers and Rebels of the New China by Frank Langfitt (PublicAffairs: Hachette): “blends memorable characters with perceptive observation and informed political analysis to give readers a deep, nuanced look at the world's other superpower at this stage of its long, ongoing, rich history.”

The Washington Post reviews Someone Who Will Love You in All Your Damaged Glory: Stories by Raphael Bob-Waksberg (Knopf): “deftly and confidently written, full of experimental fun.” Also, Inside the Five-Sided Box: Lessons from a Lifetime of Leadership in the Pentagon by Ash Carter (Dutton: Penguin): “airs his frustrations about Congress and the media ... explains the background of some of the most significant decisions he made.” The Washington War: FDR's Inner Circle and the Politics of Power That Won World War II by James Lacey (Bantam: Random House): “no one before Lacey has wrangled such a large cast and covered so much bureaucratic ground.” Become America: Civic Sermons on Love, Responsibility, and Democracy by Eric Liu (Sasquatch Books: Random House): “Liu’s sermons can be florid, but there is nectar to glean.” Armies of Deliverance: A New History of the Civil War by Elizabeth R. Varon (Oxford): “This is some of the finest battle writing around, and a sweeping analysis of both United States and Confederate strategy and tactics.” The Great Successor: The Divinely Perfect Destiny of Brilliant Comrade Kim Jong Un by Anna Fifield (PublicAffairs: Hachette): “essential reading.” Honorable Exit: How a Few Brave Americans Risked All to Save Our Vietnamese Allies at the End of the War by Thurston Clarke (Doubleday: Random House): “serious, well-researched and engaging attempt to relate the story of the last days of South Vietnam.” Fall; or, Dodge in Hell by Neal Stephenson (William Morrow: Harper; LJ starred review): “Although its plot points are many and captivating, it is more metaphysical.” The Verge weighs in as well.

Briefly Noted

USA Today selects “5 books to not miss” this week.

O, The Oprah Magazine picks “28 of the Best Beach Reads of 2019.”

The ChicagoTribune gathers “25 hottest new books for summer.”

The Verge has “11 new science fiction and fantasy books to check out in late June.”

NPR’s June Romance column is out.

PBS NewsHour offers “10 books besides To Kill a Mockingbird that tackle racial injustice.”

Marking its 50th anniversary, Jill Lepore surveys moon landing books for the NYT.

Ling Ma, Severance (FSG: Macmillan), wins the 2019 Young Lions Fiction Award. LitHub reports. Here are all the finalists.

The Long Take: A noir narrative by Robin Robertson (Knopf) wins the 2019 Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction. Here is the shortlist.

Bitch Media focuses on Reckoning: The Epic Battle Against Sexual Abuse and Harassment by Linda Hirshman (HMH).

Time spotlights This Is Not A Drill: An Extinction Rebellion Handbook by Extinction Rebellion (Penguin).

Entertainment Weekly interviews John Waters, Mr. Know-It-All: The Tarnished Wisdom of a Filth Elder (FSG: Macmillan)

The NYT interviews Laurence Scott, Picnic Comma Lightning: The Experience of Reality in the Twenty-First Century (W.W. Norton).

The Guardian interviews Kate Atkinson, Big Sky (Little, Brown: Hachette)

Book Marks features Lynn Lobash, Assistant Director of Readers Services at the New York Public Library, in their "Secrets of the Librarians" column.

HuffPost spotlights Charlie Jane Anders, The City in the Middle of the Night (Tor Books: Macmillan; LJ starred review).

Vanity Fair features A.M. Homes, Days of Awe: Stories (Penguin).

The New Yorker focuses on Liu Cixin, Supernova Era (Tor Books: Macmillan).

The Guardian writes about “the vicious war over young adult books.”

The StarTribune reports on readers sharing books.

Locus Magazine writes that an unfinished manuscript by Anthony Burgess has been discovered.

The NYT features reactions to a new image of Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis, one of the most important authors in Brazilian history.

Entertainment Weekly reports on a new comic that connects Wolverine and Captain America.

Russell Shorto, The Island at the Center of the World: The Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan and the Forgotten Colony That Shaped America (Vintage: Random House), takes readers on a trip through the Hudson Valley for the NYT.

Via press release, new novel in The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins is forthcoming from Scholastic. In the press release, Collins says “With this book, I wanted to explore the state of nature, who we are, and what we perceive is required for our survival. The reconstruction period ten years after the war, commonly referred to as the Dark Days—as the country of Panem struggles back to its feet—provides fertile ground for characters to grapple with these questions and thereby define their views of humanity.” More detail, including the title, to follow. The novel will publish on May 19, 2020.

Susannah Hunnewell, the publisher of The Paris Review, has died. Keith Botsford, “a globe-trotting, multilingual and multifaceted man of letters who became a longtime collaborator with Saul Bellow” has died. Espionage novelist Anthony Price has died. The NYT has obituaries. Kevin Killian has died. Lambda Literary has an obituary.

Authors on Air

On the NYT Book Review podcast are Robert Macfarlane, Underland: A Deep Time Journey (W.W. Norton; LJ starred review), and Julia Phillips, Disappearing Earth (Knopf; LJ starred review).

NPR interviews Taffy Brodesser-Akner, Fleishman Is in Trouble (Random House), also, an interview with Ayaz Virji, Love Thy Neighbor: A Muslim Doctor's Struggle for Home in Rural America (Convergent Books: Random House). Lastly, an interview with Randy Ribay, Patron Saints of Nothing (Kokila: Penguin).

NPR’s The Salt features We Are La Cocina: Recipes in Pursuit of the American Dream by Caleb Zigas, Leticia Landa (Chronicle Books).

Elizabeth Is Missing by Emma Healey is getting adapted by the BBC. The Guillermo del Toro adaptation of Nightmare Alley by William Lindsay Gresham might star Bradley Cooper. Deadline Hollywood reports.

Anthony Bourdain’s Hungry Ghosts is getting adapted into an animated series. Eater has details.

Preet Bharara, Doing Justice: A Prosecutor's Thoughts on Crime, Punishment, and the Rule of Law (Knopf), will be on with Stephen Colbert tonight.

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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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