Run Your Week: Big Books, Sure Bets, & Titles Making News, Aug. 19, 2019 | Book Pulse

The Last Widow by Karin Slaughter leads holds this week. Author Paule Marshall has died. The Calculating Stars: A Lady Astronaut Novel by Mary Robinette Kowal wins the Hugo Award. George R.R. Martin talks about how he feels free now that HBO's GOT is over. Several political books feature in forthcoming news.

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Big Books of the Week

The Last Widow by Karin Slaughter (William Morrow; LJ starred review) leads holds this week.

Other titles in demand include:

Old Bones by Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child (Grand Central: Hachette)

The Whisper Man by Alex North (Celadon Books: Macmillan)

Tidelands by Philippa Gregory (Atria Books: S. & S.; LJ starred review)


Librarians and Booksellers Suggest

There are three LibraryReads picks for the week:

The Warehouse by Rob Hart (Crown: Random House; LJ starred review)

“Paxton and Zinnia are new employees at Cloud where they work, live, and have their productivity and location tracked through their smartwatches. Gibson is the dying industrialist who created the Cloud company and is touring the country visiting his facilities. This near-future dystopian sci-fi thriller made me leery of ever shopping online again. For fans ofThe Circle by Dave Eggers andNotes from the Internet Apocalypse by Wayne Gladstone.” — Dan Brooks, Wake County Public Library, Raleigh, NC

The Last Widow by Karin Slaughter (William Morrow: Harper; LJ starred review)

“A fast-paced thriller in the Will Trent series has Will and Sara trying to prevent a deadly epidemic. The book tells the story of what is happening to three different people during the same short time periods, as they are unaware of the actions of the others. For readers who enjoy Tana French and John Sanford.” — Susanne Guide, Union County Public Library, Liberty, IN

The Whisper Man by Alex North (Celadon Books: Macmillan)

“Tom and his son Jake move to Featherbank to rebuild their life after the death of Tom’s wife; unknown to them, the town has a dark history and another little boy has gone missing and Jake begins to hear whispers in his new house. For fans of Joe Hill and Paul Tremblay.” —Jennifer Winberry, Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, NJ

It is also an Indie Next choice:

“A creepy, sinister, can’t-put-it-down story of a town that survives and then relives the crimes of a child serial killer. For those who love psychological thrillers (with the absence of gore but plenty of plot twists and turns), The Whisper Man is a grand ride into the minds of those who kill and those who are victims. You’ll find yourself looking over your shoulder when reading this book. Don’t stand too close to an open window...” —Helen Gregory, Maria’s Bookshop, Durango, CO

There are two additional Indie Next selections for the week as well:

Machine by Susan Steinberg (Graywolf Press: Macmillan)

Machine is like no book I have encountered before. Lyrically written prose slowly uncovers the details of the mysterious death of one of the young local girls in a small vacation town. In snippets, we see this world through the perspective of another girl, who is shocking in her honesty about how she navigates life as a young woman in this community of locals versus summer residents. Haunting and beautifully constructed.” — Hillary Smith, Copperfield’s Books, Sebastopol, CA

Tidelands by Philippa Gregory (Atria Books: S. & S.; LJ starred review)

“Philippa Gregory never fails to create beautifully written stories that suck you in and transport you back to the time and place the book is set. As always, her latest novel, Tidelands, is obviously thoroughly researched, with many historical facts sprinkled throughout. I highly recommend this book for fans of historical fiction.” — Lisa Smegal, Rivendell Bookstore, Abilene, KS

These books and others publishing the week of August 19, 2019, are listed in a downloadable spreadsheet.

In the Media

Entertainment Weekly’s September issue is out. On “The Must List” is World of Warcraft Classic, the game. There are comics and books in its multiverse. Also on the list, Year of the Monkey by Patti Smith (Knopf; LJ starred review) and The Institute by Stephen King (Scribner: S. & S.). There is a report on Comic-Con and one on the TV show Raising Dion. As part of that, a list of comic books headed to TV, including Stumptown, Watchmen, and Stargirl. There is a feature on James McAvoy, one of the stars of It, Chapter Two and one on Francine Pascal, author of the Sweet Valley High books. In book reviews is the already online review of Inland by Téa Obreht (Random House; LJ starred review), which EW gave an A and called “the rare novel with a perfect ending.” Also reviewed, Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson (Riverhead: Penguin), which gets an A-. Going Dutch by James Gregor (S. & S.) gets a B+, The Secrets We Kept by Lara Prescott (Knopf; LJ starred review) earns an A-, A Door in the Earth by Amy Waldman (Little, Brown: Hachette) lands a B+, and Akin by Emma Donoghue Little, Brown: Hachette) gets a B. There is a look into the “wild plot reveals” of Trust Exercise by Susan Choi (Henry Holt: Macmillan), Fleishman Is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner (Random House), and The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead (Doubleday: Random House). EW calls David Yoon, Frankly in Love (G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers: Penguin; SLJ starred review), “YA’s Next Superstar” and offers a list of his pop culture influences. There is also a report on LGBTQ books for middle school readers and the resistance the books and authors are getting. Closing out book coverage is a suggestion that Heaven, My Home by Attica Locke (Mulholland Books: Hachette) get optioned. In films, there is a look a the costumes for the Downton Abbey film. In TV, there is a preview of the Emmys.

The Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall (S. & S.; LJ starred review) is People’s “Book of the Week.” Also getting attention are The Oysterville Sewing Circle by Susan Wiggs (William Morrow: Harper) and And How Are You, Dr. Sacks?: A Biographical Memoir of Oliver Sacks by Lawrence Weschler (FSG: Macmillan). The “Picks” list includes Where'd You Go Bernadette? and Blinded by the Light. People also has an interview with Elle Fanning about reading The Baby-Sitters Club books for Audible. Book coverage ends with a feature on Toni Morrison.


The Washington Post reviews gods with a little g by Tupelo Hassman (FSG: Macmillan): “readers may wish for a sequel, becoming evangelists for a writer with heart.” Also, Gods of the Upper Air: How a Circle of Renegade Anthropologists Reinvented Race, Sex, and Gender in the Twentieth Century by Charles King (Doubleday: Random House): “timely history.” The Long Southern Strategy: How Chasing White Voters in the South Changed American Politics by Angie Maxwell, Todd Shields (Oxford): “The book’s greatest strength is its lengthy examination of the alliance the GOP developed with the Southern Baptist Convention … an institution that justified segregation, denied equal rights to women, demonized homosexuality, preserved Prohibition.The Trouble with Gravity: Solving the Mystery Beneath Our Feet by Richard Panek (HMH): “dizzying.” Last Witnesses: An Oral History of the Children of World War II by Svetlana Alexievich (Random House): “why is a book of such unremitting misery so compulsively readable? Beethoven: The Relentless Revolutionary by John Clubbe (W.W. Norton): “a thoughtful cultural history that takes into account the times in which Beethoven lived and worked — and they were times of revolution.”

NPR reviews Do You Dream of Terra-Two? by Temi Oh (Gallery/Saga Press: S. & S.): “This is the heartbeat of Do You Dream the quick/slow quick/slow rhythm of plot and language ... a maze of flashbacks, alternate viewpoints, character changes and time jumps.” Also, Black Light: Stories by Kimberly King Parsons (Vintage: Random House): “She writes with the unpredictable power of a firecracker … Every story in this collection is beyond remarkable, and Parsons proves herself to be a gutsy country-punk poet with a keen eye and a stubbornly unique sensibility.” The Silence Between Us by Alison Gervais (Blink: Harper): “eminently un-put-down-able.” gods with a little g by Tupelo Hassman (FSG: Macmillan): “sweet and triumphant.” Black Card by Chris L. Terry (Catapult): “hilariously searing.” The Warlow Experiment by Alix Nathan (Doubleday: Random House): “the dark side of the manor house, a microcosmic exploration of a system where one person, by accident of birth, controls the fate of many.” There is also a report on the Myth Adventures series by Robert Asprin.

Briefly Noted

The Hugo Awards are out. The Calculating Stars: A Lady Astronaut Novel by Mary Robinette Kowal (Tor: Macmillan) continues it reign, winning Best Novel. This after winning both the Nebula and the Locus awards as well. has the full list of winners and the nominees. LJ has links to the reviews of the nominees and winners. B&N has a good report on the awards as well.

Olivia Laing wins the James Tait Black award for her debut novel Crudo (W.W. Norton) and decides to split her prize money with the shortlist writers. The Guardian reports.

See You in the Piazza: New Places to Discover in Italy by Frances Mayes (Crown: Random House) is getting buzz from CBS Sunday Morning.

USA Today picks its books of the week.

Book Marks highlights “13 Books That Will Actually Make You Laugh Out Loud.”

CrimeReads offers “The Past, Present, and Future of the Eco-Thriller.”

Barnes & Noble is writing about Romance book numbers. Sales are up 31% this summer. Also, a look at book covers over the decades. Shelf Awareness reports on B&N’s findings.

Anita Felicelli, Chimerica (WTAW Press), offers “12 Books That Prove the Literary/Genre Distinction is Bogus” for Electric Lit.

The Guardian ask “Darkly funny, desperate and full of rage: what makes a millennial novel?

The Guardian interviews George R.R. Martin, who says “having the show finish is freeing, because I’m at my own pace now.” Also, an interview with Angie Kim, Miracle Creek (Sarah Crichton Books: Macmillan; LJ starred review) and one with Louise Doughty (booklist here). Lastly, an interview with Suketu Mehta, This Land Is Our Land: An Immigrant's Manifesto (FSG: Macmillan).

The NYT interviews Nicci Gerrard, The Last Ocean: A Journey Through Memory and Forgetting (Penguin). The paper also looks inside its bestseller list, and finds out what scares Ruth Ware. In its “At War” newsletter, an interview with Tom Gersbeck, a retired Marine Corps E.O.D. officer and author of Practical Military Ordnance Identification. The "Shortlist" focuses on debut novels “About Families Fractured by Abuse, Displacement or Death.”

The NYT Magazine features James Ellroy.

Grub Street features Lazarus Lynch, Son of a Southern Chef: Cook with Soul (Avery: Penguin).

HuffPost interviews BJ Miller, A Beginner's Guide to the End: Practical Advice for Living Life and Facing Death (S. & S.).

Salon writes about Steve Cavanagh, Thirteen: The Serial Killer Isn't on Trial. He's on the Jury (Flatiron Books: Macmillan), and Adrian McKinty, The Chain (Mulholland Books: Hachette), and “How growing up in Northern Ireland's Troubles shaped them.”

In forthcoming book news, Mark Halperin, the political analyst who lost his jobs during the height of the #Metoo era, now has a book deal with Regan Arts (S. & S.) to publish How to Beat Trump: America’s Top Political Strategists on What It Will Take which is based on interviews with top Democratic strategists. The book is due in November. Politico Playbook has details and The Daily Beast has a wrap-up of the fallout that has followed the announcement. The Washington Post has a story as well. Also, Fox News reports that Congressman Dan Crenshaw has a big book deal with Hachette. Hachette’s website lists Safety Off: Life Lessons for an Unpredictable and Unsafe World, forthcoming in 2021under Crenshaw’s name, but details are scant. Lastly, The Washington Post writes about the forthcoming Free, Melania: The Unauthorized Biography by Kate Bennett (Flatiron: Macmillan). excerpts Angel Mage by Garth Nix (Katherine Tegen: Harper).

The New York Post reports that Ghislaine Maxwell, the woman connected to Jeffery Epstein, was spotted reading in a fast food restaurant in L.A. The book, The Book of Honor: The Secret Lives and Deaths of CIA Operatives by Ted Gup (Anchor: Random House) sold out on Amazon, prompting the author to write about that for The Washington Post.

Art Spiegelman was to write an introduction for the new Folio Society edition of Marvel comics, but he withdrew it after Marvel tried to censor its contents. The Guardian reports. The essay is here.

The NYT writes about Amazon and fake books. Also, the paper considers libraries that are tourist attractions and features Amazing Books & Records bookstore in Pittsburgh.

The L.A. Times looks at the Philip K. Dick archives.

Paule Marshall has died. USA Today, L.A. Times, and the NYT have obituaries.

Authors on Air

Deadline Hollywood reports that Amy Ephron’s The Other Side of the Wall is getting adapted into a live-action feature film.

Variety reports that Kevin Smith is creating an anime He-Man series for Netflix.

PBS NewsHour interviews Ben Folds A Dream About Lightning Bugs: A Life of Music and Cheap Lessons (Ballantine: Random House) and has a musical tour of his influences and development.

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