Run Your Week: Big Books, Sure Bets, & Titles Making News, July 8, 2019 | Book Pulse

Under Currents by Nora Roberts leads holds this week. Backlash by Brad Thor tops the bestsellers lists. The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman and Three Women by Lisa Taddeo are the top books librarians and booksellers suggest for the week (and are the picks for best of the month as well.) MAD magazine will cease publishing new content. Mulan gets a trailer.

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Big Books of the Week

Under Currents by Nora Roberts (St. Martin’s: Macmillan) leads holds this week.

Other titles in demand include:

Three Women by Lisa Taddeo (Avid Reader: S. & S.)

Knife: A New Harry Hole Novel by Jo Nesbo (Knopf)

The Golden Hour by Beatriz Williams (William Morrow: Harper)

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman (Berkley: Penguin)

The Chain by Adrian McKinty (Mulholland: Hachette)

The Shameless by Ace Atkins (G.P. Putnam’s Sons: Penguin; LJ starred review)

New to the Bestseller Lists

[Links for the week: NYT Hardcover Fiction Best Sellers | NYT Hardcover Nonfiction Best Sellers | USA Today Best-Selling Books]








Backlash by Brad Thor (Atria/ Emily Bestler Books: S. & S.) sets out for revenge at No. 1 on the USA Today Best-Selling Books list and No. 2 on the NYT Hardcover Fiction Best Sellers list.

Lost and Found by Danielle Steel (Delacorte: Random House) hits the road at No. 3 on the USA Today Best-Selling Books list and No. 4 on the NYT Hardcover Fiction Best Sellers list.

Breathless: (Steel Brothers Saga Book 10) by Helen Hardt (Waterhouse Press) takes the No. 5 spot on the USA Today Best-Selling Books list.

Big Sky by Kate Atkinson (Little, Brown: Hachette) continues the series at No. 8 on the NYT Hardcover Fiction Best Sellers list and No. 14 on the USA Today Best-Selling Books list.

The Bad Guys in The Big Bad Wolf (The Bad Guys #9) by Aaron Blabey (Scholastic) lands at No. 9 on the USA Today Best-Selling Books list.

The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo (Doubleday) considers family at No. 13 on the NYT Hardcover Fiction Best Sellers list.

Say No to the Duke: The Wildes of Lindow Castle by Eloisa James (Avon: Harper; LJ starred review) holds No. 13 on the USA Today Best-Selling Books list.

Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes (Ballantine: Random House) slides onto the NYT Hardcover Fiction Best Sellers list at No. 15.


The Sixth Man: A Memoir by Andre Iguodala (Blue Rider Press: Penguin) plays the game at No. 6 on the NYT Hardcover Nonfiction Best Sellers list.

The Man Who Sold America: Trump and the Unraveling of the American Story by Joy-Ann Reid (William Morrow: Harper) considers the presidency at No. 9 on the NYT Hardcover Nonfiction Best Sellers list.

Librarians and Booksellers Suggest

There is only one LibraryReads title publishing this week, but it is the “Top Pick” of the month: The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman (Berkley: Penguin)

“Nina likes her bookish life just fine. She works in a bookstore and is on a highly competitive trivia team. She is funny and snarky and great company (says this reader). Suddenly, a father she never knew dies and leaves her with a pack of brothers and sisters and Nina may be forced out of her comfortable reading chair. For readers who enjoyed Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey and The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald.” —Eileen Curley, Hagaman Public Library, East Haven, CT

It is also an Indie Next selection:

“What a joyous, charming, funny, and beautiful celebration of books and the people who love them. There is so much detail in both the wonderful, wide-ranging cast of characters and in the setting. Quirky in the very best sense of the word. I will certainly return to the world of Nina Hill again and again.” —Leah Koch, The Ripped Bodice, Culver City, CA

Nine additional Indie Next picks publish this week, including the top pick for the month, Three Women by Lisa Taddeo (Avid Reader: S. & S.)

“I can’t recall the last time I’ve been reading a work of nonfiction and woken up excited purely by the fact that, today, I would get to read more. Compulsive and psychologically riveting, Three Women reads like a novel. I couldn’t keep from dog-earing its pages each time Taddeo perfectly expressed something I’d felt but never had the words for. In Sloane, Maggie, and Lina, I recognized aspects of myself — namely the desire for connection and for love. When three women tell their uncensored truth, they can liberate a nation. I feel deeply grateful to Lisa Taddeo for giving us this gift of raw authenticity.” —Michaela Carter, Peregrine Book Company, Prescott, AZ

Stay and Fight by Madeline ffitch (FSG: Macmillan)

“From the first page of this debut novel set deep in Appalachia, we know that Stay and Fight is aptly named, for the way it explores the constant struggle of its characters to stay where they are while fighting for a better existence. ffitch expertly shows us the romantic, albeit brutally raw, reality of living off the grid (on one’s own terms, most importantly), a feat she somehow accomplishes in the most modestly ambitious way. Stay and Fight is fantastic.” —Caridad Cole, Community Bookstore, Brooklyn, NY

Late Migrations: A Natural History of Love and Loss by Margaret Renkl (Milkweed Editions)

“Margaret Renkl feels the lives and struggles of each creature that enters her yard as keenly as she feels the paths followed by her mother, grandmother, her people. Learning to accept the sometimes harsh, always lush natural world may crack open a window to acceptance of our own losses. In Late Migrations, we welcome new life, mourn its passing, and honor it along the way.” —Kat Baird, The Book Bin, Corvallis, OR

The Need by Helen Phillips (S. & S.)

“I firmly believe I will be hard-pressed to pick up a book in 2019 I love more than The Need, a genre-bending novel that explores motherhood and identity. Molly is the most authentic character I’ve had the pleasure of reading in quite some time, accompanied by baby Ben and lively Viv, the most fully realized fictional four-year-old ever. Is The Need a fever dream, a psychological thriller, a cosmic twist of fate unveiling a parallel world? The author leaves her readers to wonder while highlighting the dualities of domestic life. In gorgeous prose, Phillips shows how the mundane is often revealed to be just that, but sometimes that mundanity is sacred. A deeply immersive human story.” —Hanna Yost, Northshire Bookstore, Manchester Center, VT

The Lightest Object in the Universe by Kimi Eisele (Algonquin: Workman)

“Instead of focusing on what is dark and terrifying like most dystopian novels, love lights the way in The Lightest Object in the Universe . Following a cataclysmic event, Beatrix is working with her neighbors to rebuild their community, while former school principal Carson travels across the country on foot to reach the woman he knows is his soul mate. Their individual stories are trying yet hopeful and celebrate the best parts of humanity. Highly recommended for book clubs and fans of dystopian literature.” —Beth Seufer Buss, Bookmarks, Winston-Salem, NC

The Last Book Party by Karen Dukess (Henry Holt: Macmillan)

“Oh, to have the wisdom and perspective of age when one is young. In 1987, Eve Rosen joins an elite seaside community as the summer assistant for a prestigious author. As their relationship turns from professional to personal, Eve gains more insight into the publishing world than she ever thought possible. Full of wistful yearning for a time long ago, The Last Book Party is a tribute to youth and its folly, all wrapped up in a gorgeous novel.” —Pamela Klinger-Horn, Excelsior Bay Books, Excelsior, MN

Say Say Say by Lila Savage (Knopf)

Say Say Say is a small and subtle debut novel that packs an emotional wallop. Lila Savage’s writing is so beautiful and vulnerable it’s impossible to put down. This is the kind of novel that shines with such honesty and compassion you feel the need re-evaluate your life right along with the main character, Ella. I eagerly await reading anything else Savage writes.” —Katerina Argyres, Bookshop West Portal, San Francisco, CA

Under Currents by Nora Roberts (St. Martin’s: Macmillan)

“I know Nora Roberts is a prolific author with many titles under her belt, but every time I pick up a new one it’s pure magic, and Under Currents was no different. I love how Nora didn’t pull her punches during the hard moments and tough times, but the novel was still beautifully balanced with the sweet romance that developed. Without a doubt, Under Currents is a new Nora Roberts favorite. Whether they are old fans or new, I hope romance readers (and others!) will give this book a try. They won’t be disappointed.” —Kimberly Huynh, Blue Bunny Books and Toys, Dedham, MA

The Saturday Night Ghost Club by Craig Davidson (Penguin)

“Good ghost stories are never really about ghosts. They are about memories, lessons learned, unfinished business, broken promises, potential unfulfilled, unthinkable tragedy, and everything that happened before we came on the scene. The Saturday Night Ghost Club is about all of these things and more. A heaping scoop of ’80s nostalgia provides a solid and comfortable backdrop for the story of a kid growing up and learning that adults (even familiar loved ones) have complicated lives and histories of their own.” —Jen Richter, Inkwood Books, Haddonfield, NJ

These books and others publishing the week of July 8, 2019, are listed in a downloadable spreadsheet.

In the Media

The Chain by Adrian McKinty (Mulholland: Hachette) is People’s “Book of the Week.” Also getting attention are The Gifted School by Bruce Holsinger (Riverhead: Penguin) and Never Look Back by Alison Gaylin (William Morrow: Harper; LJ starred review). “New in Nonfiction” includes Reckoning: The Epic Battle Against Sexual Abuse and Harassment by Linda Hirshman (HMH), Beneath the Tamarind Tree: A Story of Courage, Family, and the Lost Schoolgirls of Boko Haram by Isha Sesay (Dey Street Books: Harper), and What Do We Need Men For?: A Modest Proposal by E. Jean Carroll (St. Martin’s Press: Macmillan). For “Road Trip Audio” it is Lessons From Lucy: The Simple Joys of an Old, Happy Dog (Unabridged) written and read by Dave Barry (S. & S. Audio). There is a feature on JFK Jr., highlighting America's Reluctant Prince: The Life of John F. Kennedy Jr. by Steven M. Gillon (Dutton: Penguin). Lastly, People’s “Picks” include Stranger Things, Spider-Man: Far From Home, Harlots, and Call Me by Your Name.

Entertainment Weekly launches its first “digital cover” focused solely on Spider-Man: Far From Home. As MediaPost reports, with its decision to go to monthly issues, EW also planned “Weeklong and monthly digital packages [and] digital-only feature reporting and in-depth guides about tentpole events.” This is an example of what to expect.


The NYT reviews I Like To Watch: Arguing My Way Through the TV Revolution by Emily Nussbaum (Random House): “This is confident, dauntless criticism — smart and spiky, brilliantly sure of itself and the medium it depicts. But as appealing and seductive as it is, it lugs some of its own baggage too.” Also, The Ice at the End of the World: An Epic Journey into Greenland's Buried Past and Our Perilous Future by Jon Gertner (Random House): “this wild and viral obsession … is the most compelling thing about it.” Maggie Brown & Others: Stories by Peter Orner (Little, Brown: Hachette): “his work is … without pretense, powerfully aware of how difficult it is to capture experience on the page.” If: The Untold Story of Kipling's American Years by Christopher Benfey (Penguin): “eloquently argues not only that Kipling’s engagement with the United States made him the writer he became, but that he lavishly returned the favor.” The Need by Helen Phillips (S. & S.): “frightening and maddening and full of dark comedy.” Stay and Fight by Madeline ffitch (FSG: Macmillan): “hasn’t refuted the frontier novel so much as added a new chapter to an old saga. Just like the American pioneers the author might like to disown, her characters achieve independence, but fall far short of utopia.”

The Washington Post reviews American Predator: The Hunt for the Most Meticulous Serial Killer of the 21st Century by Maureen Callahan (Viking: Penguin; LJ starred review): “a fine book — exhaustively researched and candid without being prurient — that should be as illuminating to law-enforcement as it is fascinating to the general reader.” Also, Young Castro: The Making of a Revolutionary by Jonathan M. Hansen (S. & S.): “measured and occasionally indulgent, meticulous and readable at the same time.” Reckoning: The Epic Battle Against Sexual Abuse and Harassment by Linda Hirshman (HMH): “After finishing “Reckoning,” readers might have more questions than they did going in. And perhaps it’s just a matter of time until scholars have enough distance to see #MeToo clearly.”

NPR reviews Symptoms of a Heartbreak by Sona Charaipotra (Imprint: Macmillan): “you will feel satisfaction, joy, and hope — and some of that hope will be for a sequel.” Also, The Ghost Clause by Howard Norman (HMH): “everything about Howard Norman is elegant.” Star Spangled Scandal: Sex, Murder, and the Trial that Changed America by Chris DeRose (Regnery): “leaves you with larger questions and observations about more than America's long-running obsession with crime.” Wanderers by Chuck Wendig (Del Rey: Random House): “A dystopian, apocalyptic novel that comfortably occupies a space between horror and science fiction.”

Briefly Noted

USA Today picks the “Best books of the year so far: USA TODAY's best-reviewed titles of 2019.”

The NYT rounds up books that transports readers to the beach. The Crime column is out, and also, the paper recommends 10 titles for the week.

The Verge offers 12 books to read after binging on Stranger Things.

Electric Lit gathers “6 Video Games That Feel Like Reading a Novel.”

Remezcla suggests “From Comics to Poetry: 7 Anthologies That Explore a Range of Latino Experiences.”

The Millions selects “Ten Books Every Creative Person Should Read.”

In its “Read More Women” column, Electric Lit features Tochi Onyebuchi recommending “African Visions of the Future by Women and Nonbinary Authors.”

NPR’s July Romance column is out, celebrating their focus on funny books, it features titles that will “Keep You Laughing.”

The Millions highlights “Must-Read Poetry” for July.

Politico asks “40 political heavy hitters” what they are reading this summer. features the June edition of Jo Walton’s reading list.

Viet Thanh Nguyen has started a Twitter thread asking for “3 living or recently dead authors that everyone should read” highlighting non-US authors.

Vanity Fair picks summer reads (and pairs them with sunglasses).

LitHub reminds readers of “5 Books You May Have Missed in June.”

The Washington Post considers veteran’s memoirs.

Jezebel’s “Shelf Life” column is out (it considers backlist titles, “because good books don’t go bad”).

MAD magazine will cease publishing new content, after issue No. 10. Some content will continue according to DC, “After issue #10 this fall there will no longer be new content -- except for the end-of-year specials which will always be all new… starting with issue #11 the magazine will feature classic, best-of and nostalgic content from the last 67 years." ABC News has details.

The NYT has a story on “Literary fiction ... increasingly borrowing from the horror genre to explore the fears and anxieties of modern motherhood.”

CrimeReads writes “It’s Time For Urban Fiction To Get Some Respect.”

Lisa Taddeo writes about her book Three Women (Avid Reader Press: S. & S.) for The Washington Post. Also, The NYT profiles Taddeo.

Karen Dukess and Taylor Jenkins Reid have a conversation “about writing female-centric period pieces.” Entertainment Weekly has the story.

The Guardian interviews David Nicholls (booklist here).

Bud Selig, For the Good of the Game: The Inside Story of the Surprising and Dramatic Transformation of Major League Baseball (William Morrow: Harper; LJ starred review), goes “By the Book” for the NYT.

The Guardian interviews Adrian McKinty, The Chain (Mulholland: Hachette). Also, an interview with Jokha Alharthi, Celestial Bodies (Catapult).

NPR interviews Bruce Holsinger, The Gifted School (Riverhead: Penguin).

Book Marks interviews Melissa Gasparotto of the NYPL as part of its “Secrets of the Librarians” column.

The Chicago Tribune features the new U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo.

O, The Oprah Magazine features E. Jean Carroll, What Do We Need Men For?: A Modest Proposal (St. Martin’s Press: Macmillan). The Atlantic has a piece as well.

The New Yorker has new work by Mary Gaitskill and also an interview.

Vanity Fair excerpts Four Friends: Promising Lives Cut Short by William D. Cohan (Flatiron: Macmillan).

The Verge excerpts The Last Astronaut by David Wellington (Orbit: Hachette).

LitHub has Ruth Reichl celebrating M.F.K. Fisher.

The NYT takes a literary road trip to the islands of Assateague and Chincoteague in Virginia, home of Marguerite Henry’s Misty of Chincoteague.

Andrew Feldman, Ernesto: The Untold Story of Hemingway in Revolutionary Cuba (Melville House), writes a piece for Salon entitled “Searching for Ernest Hemingway in Cuba.”

The L.A. Times writes about how “Spanish literature animates the ghosts of its embattled history.”

PEN America asks authors to share “reflections on the crisis surrounding the treatment of immigrants, asylum seekers, and those living in the United States without documentation.”

Rachel Hollis says that her publisher, Thomas Nelson, an imprint of HarperCollins, wanted her to cut a chapter that celebrated diversity and inclusion from Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are so You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be. The Washington Post has details.

The George Washington Prize finalists have been announced. It is an award to know when working with history readers who enjoy works on early American history.

The Guardian writes the The Staunch prize is facing more backlash from authors “after organisers said the genre could bias jurors” in rape trials.

NPR reports on Microsoft erasing its e-library content, focusing on how DRM works.

The StarTribune is considering if readers “finish every book” they begin.

Gillian Flynn “slams theory novel is related to missing woman case.” Entertainment Weekly reports.

Marie Ponsot has died. The NYT has an obituary.

Authors on Air

Anna Karenina is headed to TV again. Netflix has a brief first look at their Dracula reboot. A new comic starring Edgar Allan Poe is in the works. The comic Cannon Busters by LeSean Thomas is set for Netflix too. Deadline Hollywood reports.

The Mask might be getting a reboot, with a female comedian in the lead. Forbes has details. lists “Almost Every SFF/Horror/Comic Book Adaptation in the Works.”

The Guardian asks if there is “such a thing as an ‘unfilmable’ book?

PBS NewsHour highlights the new Toni Morrison documentary. The show also interviews Arthur C. Brooks , Love Your Enemies: How Decent People Can Save America from the Culture of Contempt (Broadside Books: Harper).

NPR features Blue Muse: Timothy Duffy's Southern Photographs by Timothy Duff (Univ. of North Carolina).

Nancy Pearl interviews Sujata Massey, The Satapur Moonstone (Soho Crime; LJ starred review) on her Book Lust TV show.

The Hollywood Reporter considers what the end of The Walking Dead comic means to the TV series.

Mulan, the new live-action Disney remake, gets a trailer.

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