Run Your Week: Big Books, Sure Bets, & Titles Making News, Jul. 29, 2019 | Book Pulse

Labyrinth by Catherine Coulter leads holds as the week begins. Seven LibraryReads and Indie Next titles publish this week. True crime gets attention. The Washington Post’s best-seller lists contained errors.

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Big Books of the Week

Labyrinth by Catherine Coulter (Gallery Books) leads holds this week.

Other titles in demand include:

The Poison Jungle (Wings of Fire, Book 13) by Tui T. Sutherland (Scholastic Press)

Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson (William Morrow: Harper; LJ starred review)

Chances Are . . . by Richard Russo (Knopf)

Smokescreen by Iris Johansen (Grand Central: Hachette)

Librarians and Booksellers Suggest

Six LibraryReads choices publish this week:

The Book Charmer by Karen Hawkins (Gallery Books: S. & S.)

“Sarah is the librarian in a small Southern town called Dove Pond. Her magic is matching the right book to the right reader at the right time in their life. Grace is a city girl, new in town and in need of a little magic herself. For readers who enjoyed The Library of Lost and Found andThe Storied Life of A.J. Fikry,.” — Tracy Babiasz, Chapel Hill Public Library, Chapel Hill, NC

The Escape Room by Megan Goldin (St. Martin’s Press: Macmillan)

“Highly successful colleagues Sam, Vincent, Sylvie, and Jules are no strangers to the competitive world of high finance but after they become trapped in an elevator escape room they find themselves having to work together. For readers of Tana French, Karin Slaughter, and Harlan Coben.” — KC Davis, Fairfield Woods Library, Fairfield, CT

It is also an Indie Next pick:

“Megan Goldin’s debut is sheer perfection. I was enthralled, obsessed, and utterly delighted from the gripping first chapter to the very end. The genuine quality of Goldin’s voice is so engaging, you feel like you’re discussing your favorite topics with a best friend. In The Escape Room, four investment bankers trapped in an overheated elevator reach a literal and figurative boiling point as survival becomes questionable. As these deeply flawed central characters fight to keep it together, a mysterious force works behind the glass walls to ensure they leave the elevator changed forever, if they leave at all. I loved every second of this novel and simply cannot wait to tell everyone about it!” — Lauren Messamore, Watermark Books & Café, Wichita, KS

How to Hack a Heartbreak by Kristin Rockaway (Graydon House: Harper)

“It’s no secret that women in the tech world are undervalued and have to work twice as hard for their success. This persistent problem in the tech industry is tackled here in a pithy and engaging way without diminishing its importance. For readers who liked The Assistants by Camille Perri.” —Josie Myers, Greenwood Public Library, Greenwood, IN

Brazen and the Beast: The Bareknuckle Bastards Book II by Sarah MacLean (Avon: Harper)

“Sparks fly when the brash daughter of an earl and the bastard son of a duke are thrown together in Regency London. Strong character development and sizzling love scenes combine for a swoon-worthy read.” — Rosemary Kiladitis, Queens Library, Queensboro Hill, NY

The Chelsea Girls by Fiona Davis (Dutton: Penguin)

“Amid the paranoia of the Red Scare, two women forge an indelible friendship. Davis’ latest historical fiction gem highlights an important chapter of American history against the vivid backdrop of 1950s New York.” —Debbie Lease, Hillsdale Public Library, Hillsdale, NJ

Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson (William Morrow: Harper; LJ starred review)

“Amy’s seemingly perfect life is threatened when she’s confronted by a stranger who knows her darkest secrets. This fast-paced thrill ride hooks you from the first page.” — Terri Smith, Cornelia Library, Mt. Airy, GA

It is also on the Indie Next list:

Never Have I Ever will take you on a breathtaking journey from beginning to end. Jackson weaves a masterful mystery with unexpected twists and turns on every page. The story follows Amy Whey, a Florida housewife with a dark secret safely buried in the past until a stranger shows up to her neighborhood book club and starts a game that hurtles her back into her deepest, most hidden secrets. This story kept me guessing until the very end and still managed to surprise me. This is shaping up to be my favorite novel of the year.” — Dean Hunter, The Fountain Bookstore, Richmond, VA

One more Indie Next selection publishes this week:

Chances Are . . . by Richard Russo (Knopf)

“This book reads like a literary mystery. Forty years ago, a woman disappeared while at a get-together at Martha’s Vineyard. Now, the four friends who were with her have returned to the scene, still driven by a need to know what happened. This latest story by Richard Russo has all the elements that make him one of the most popular authors today: characters we can relate to, settings that we see in our dreams, and a story both perplexing and satisfying. Fans and new readers alike will enjoy diving in.” —Linda Bond, Auntie’s Bookstore, Spokane, WA

These books and others publishing the week of July 29, 2019, are listed in a downloadable spreadsheet.

In the Media

People ’s Book of the Week is The Lager Queen of Minnesota by J. Ryan Stradal (Pamela Dorman Books: Penguin). Also getting attention are You've Been Volunteered by Laurie Gelman (Henry Holt: Macmillan; LJ starred review) and Late Migrations: A Natural History of Love and Loss by Margaret Renkl (Milkweed Editions). There is an interview with George Takei, They Called Us Enemy (Top Shelf Productions: Random House) as well. The Boys makes People’s "Picks" list as does Pennyworth. The Prairie Homestead Cookbook: Simple Recipes for Heritage Cooking in Any Kitchen by Jill Winger (Flatiron: Macmillan) features in the food section.


NPR reviews Jade War by Fonda Lee (Orbit: Hachette; LJ starred review): “a story that is equally sweeping and intimate; a magical, almost operatic crime and family drama.” Also, The Dark Above by Jeremy Finley (St. Martin’s Press: Macmillan): “contains all sorts of intrigue, much of it government-related, involving a secret project run by mad-genius scientist.” Marilou Is Everywhere by Sarah Elaine Smith (Riverhead: Penguin): “Fiction debuts this accomplished don't come along very often … proves that Smith is a writer of immense talent and rare imagination. Her voice is nothing short of angelic, and this novel reads like a miracle.”

The NYT reviews The Escape Room by Megan Goldin (St. Martin’s Press: Macmillan): “a sleek, well-crafted ride to a surprisingly twisty conclusion … The pages turn themselves.”

The Washington Post reviews Three Women by Lisa Taddeo (Avid Reader Press: S. & S.): "extraordinary.” Also, 1941: The Year Germany Lost the War: The Year Germany Lost the War by Andrew Nagorski (S. & S.): “an essential text and a healthy caution for the war planners in Washington today.”

Briefly Noted

USA Today picks books for the week.

NPR considers Cli-Fi classics that are “cautionary tales for today.”

Shondaland chooses “11 Essential Graphic Nonfiction Books of 2019.”

Paste names “The Best Audiobooks of July 2019.”

The NYT surveys “50 States of True Crime: Every state has an infamous crime — and a book about it.” There is a gathering of coffee-table books celebrating Leonardo da Vinci. Also, an essay about the power and solace of comic books. Lastly, a list of “Fiction Filled With Second Chances.”

The L.A. Times selects “7 highly anticipated books to get you through the dog days of August.”

CrimeReads considers “The Evolution of True Crime Memoirs” and “The Crime Novels of Buenos Aires.”

The NYT interviews Peter Kaldheim, Idiot Wind: A Memoir (Canongate Books). Also, an interview with Tom O'Neill, Chaos: Charles Manson, the CIA, and the Secret History of the Sixties (Little, Brown: Hachette).

Time interviews Jack Fairweather, The Volunteer: One Man, an Underground Army, and the Secret Mission to Destroy Auschwitz (Custom House: Harper).

Salon interviews Saladin Ahmed (book list here).

LitHub ’s "Secrets of the Librarians" column spotlights Alison Fraser, University at Buffalo Poetry Collection Curator.

Architectural Digest explores a tiny traveling library in France.

Electric Lit takes a “Literary Road Trip through Southern California.”

Luis Alberto Urrea offers a playlist for The House of Broken Angels (Back Bay Books: Hachette). PBS NewsHour has the tunes.

The Washington Post’s best-seller lists contained errors. The paper is hand-checking a long backlog of lists and posting corrections.

The NYT follows how bookseller Sarah McNally spends her Sundays.

Quartz writes about James Daunt, set to become the new CEO of B&N.

The NYT rounds up some of the “the biggest names in literature” that have reviewed for the books section.

Christian author Joshua Harris apologizes for the content of his books, announces he is getting a divorce, and has lost his faith. The Guardian reports.

Author and physicist Neil deGrasse Tyson will keep his job at the Museum of Natural History Job after an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct. Vanity Fair reports.

A woman has died trying to reach the Into the Wild bus. USA Today reports.

Author Bryan Magee has died. The NYT has an obituary.

Authors on Air

NPR’s On Point features Deep Medicine: How Artificial Intelligence Can Make Healthcare Human Again by Eric Topol (Basic Books: Hachette), sending it soaring on Amazon.

NPR interviews Phyllis Galembo, Phyllis Galembo: Mexico Masks Rituals (Radius Books).

The Guardian focuses on Jeff Bezos and Amazon on its podcast today.

Amazon says a second season of Good Omens is in Neil Gaiman’s hands. Outlander season five won’t air until early 2020. The Handmaid’s Tale gets a fourth season. The Banker’s Wife by Cristina Alger is set for Amazon. Arthur: The Dog Who Crossed the Jungle to Find a Home by Mikael Lindnord is headed to the movies. Pierre Choderlos de Laclos’ Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Dangerous Liaisons) is getting a reboot at Starz. Gossip Girl will focus on a new generation of characters. Deadline Hollywood has all the details.

The Bookseller reports that Milkman by Anna Burns might get adapted.

Amazon names the creative team for Lord of the Rings. Vanity Fair reports.

Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan gest a season 2 teaser.

Looking for Alaska gets a teaser too.

Jojo Rabbit gets a trailer (it is based on Caging Skies by Christine Leunens).

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark features the Jangly Man trailer.

Where'd You Go, Bernadette has a featurette.

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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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