Run Your Week: Big Books, Sure Bets, & Titles Making News, Aug. 5, 2019 | Book Pulse

The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware leads holds this week. New booklists arrive for the week, for August, and for fall. NPR’s Summer Reader Poll features The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin. Librarians and booksellers both suggest The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai and Ruth Ware's newest. N.K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth trilogy is getting adapted into a roleplaying game.


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Big Books of the Week

The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware (Gallery/Scout Press: S. & S.; LJ starred review) leads holds this week.

Other titles in demand include:

A Dangerous Man by Robert Crais (G.P. Putnam's Sons: Penguin)

The Inn by James Patterson with Candice Fox (Little, Brown: Hachette)

Outfox by Sandra Brown (Grand Central: Hachette)

Librarians and Booksellers Suggest

Five LibraryReads picks publish this week:

The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai (Avon: Harper), which is the No. 1 selection for the month:

“An intelligent, multicultural contemporary romance. Rhi, CEO of the Crush dating app, and Samson, NFL star, embark on a joint project that turns into more than just talk. Issues of #MeToo in the tech industry and the NFL’s concussion problem are woven in. For readers of the Forbidden Heart series, Elle Wright, and Alyssa Cole.” — Jessica Werner, The Seattle Public Library, Seattle, WA

It is also an Indie Next choice:

“With a diverse cast of emotionally mature yet complex characters, The Right Swipe delivers an interesting and fun modern love story. Rai’s finger is obviously on the pulse as she engages with current trends such as the #MeToo movement, and she does so masterfully while still creating a fun and enjoyable read. I wish all my beach-and-bath romance novels could be so well-written and inclusive.” — Ellie Frank, 57th Street Books, Chicago, IL

Ellie and the Harpmaker by Hazel Prior (Berkley: Penguin)

“When Ellie walks into the Harp Barn, her life is bound to change. Dan the harpmaker is a sensitive soul who gives Ellie a harp. Ellie’s husband Clive thinks the gift is inappropriate and doesn’t support her desire to play, so she takes lessons behind his back. An engaging and tender book for fans of Fredrik Backman and Graeme Simsion.” — Kathleen Harriott, Punta Gorda Public Library, Punta Gorda, FL

Life and Other Inconveniences by Kristan Higgins (Berkley: Penguin)

“Explores the complex relationships between caregivers and their children, as four generations of one family reflect on their past, and the failing health of the family matriarch looms large. For readers who like fully developed characters with real-world problems, and fans of Jennifer Weiner and Susan Elizabeth Phillips.” — Amanda Kowalcze, Green Hills Public Library District, Palos Hills, IL

The Perfect Wife by JP Delaney (Ballantine: Random House; LJ starred review)

“Abbie wakes up with no memory of how she ended up in the hospital. Her tech wizard husband tells her that after a horrific accident, he spent five years trying to bring her back. But is Abby’s return a miracle of science, or a nightmare? Delaney’s latest psychological thriller keeps you guessing.” — Joan Meis Wilson, Needles Public Library, Needles, CA

The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware (Gallery/Scout Press: S. & S.; LJ starred review)

“Rowan travels to northern Scotland to nanny for a rich, eccentric family; a seemingly perfect job until everything unravels. The isolated location, creepy gothic vibe, unreliable narrator, and brilliant twists keep readers on edge from start to finish in a pulse-pounding read.” — Cyndi Larsen, Avon Free Public Library, Avon, CT

It is also an Indie Next choice:

“Ruth Ware is back and at her dazzling best with The Turn of the Key. This arresting tribute to Henry James set in modern-day remote Scotland posts a nanny in a ‘smart house’ with several recalcitrant children and a garden full of poisonous plants. Who do you trust when everyone seems to be hiding something? Readers will be reading with all the lights on as they race to the climactic ending to see just who is minding who in this engaging summer thriller.” — Pamela Klinger-Horn, Excelsior Bay Books, Excelsior, MN

Additional Indie Next selections include:

Hollow Kingdom by Kira Jane Buxton (Grand Central: Hachette)

“We need more heroes like S.T. — a foul-mouthed, idealistic, moral crow with unquenchable courage — and his sidekick, a befuddled bloodhound. Kira Jane Buxton speaks crow, gull, dog, housecat, and owl with such fluency and poetry that I could not put this book down. Her vision of the zombie apocalypse is a strange and wonderful journey I want to take again and again. I really can’t think of another current novel that conveys such humor, joy, sorrow, and hope so beautifully. Thank you for restoring my faith that this world may live on.” — Dena Kurt, River Lights Bookstore, Dubuque, IA

We Are All Good People Here by Susan Rebecca White (Atria: S. & S.; LJ starred review.)

“I’ve been reading and admiring Susan Rebecca White’s novels since her 2009 debut, Bound South, and her new book is a continuation of her unmatched knack for capturing the essence of her Atlanta upbringing. Adding layers of historical context to the familiar world of her previous works, White tells a moving and thought-provoking story that spans the tumultuous final decades of the American Century. She explores race, class, privilege, and politics through a cast of very human characters ranging across the entire socioeconomic and ideological spectrum. The book bears witness to the evolution in conscience of these times as the reader experiences the evolution of this ambitious, talented writer.” — Frank Reiss, A Cappella Books, Atlanta, GA

The Ghosts of Eden Park: The Bootleg King, the Women Who Pursued Him, and the Murder That Shocked Jazz-Age America by Karen Abbott (Crown: Random House)

“This true crime story reads like a great murder mystery and will have you hooked from the start. Wonderful research pulls you right into the story, in which readers are introduced to George Remus, a bootlegging lawyer/millionaire during the prohibition Jazz Age, and Mabel Walker Willebrandt, who is given the job of prosecutor because the corrupt U.S. Attorney’s office doesn’t think she will pose a threat to their relationship with Remus. Willebrandt will prove them wrong. The tension, greed, and flair of The Ghosts of Eden Park makes this the best nonfiction book of the summer!” — Debbie Scheller, A Likely Story, Sykesville, MD

Summerlings by Lisa Howorth (Doubleday: Random House)

“On the surface, Lisa Howorth’s coming-of-age story follows a group of young friends in a sleepy suburb just outside Washington, D.C., through long lazy summer days punctuated by childhood adventures. Into this setting, where WWII is still a fresh memory for many and the Cold War is heating up daily, she introduces an international cast of supporting characters whose back stories provide fascinating context and drama. By providing the details of the adults’ lives as seen through the boys’ eyes, Howorth creates a larger story while keeping her eight-year-old protagonists front and center. It’s a perfect balance. I loved it!” — Laurie Gillman, East City Bookshop, Washington, DC

These books and others publishing the week of August 5, 2019, are listed in a downloadable spreadsheet.

In the Media

People’s "Book of the Week" is Lady in the Lake by Laura Lippman (William Morrow: Harper). Also getting attention are Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson (William Morrow: Harper; LJ starred review) and Chances Are . . . by Richard Russo (Knopf). “New in Nonfiction” includes I Like to Watch: Arguing My Way Through the TV Revolution by Emily Nussbaum (Random House), Elvis in Vegas: How the King Reinvented the Las Vegas Show by Richard Zoglin (S. & S.), and Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language by Gretchen McCulloch (Riverhead: Penguin). The “Teen Pick” is Symptoms of a Heartbreak by Sona Charaipotra (Imprint: Macmillan). People also has the story of librarian, and crime solver, Rebekah Heath.


NPR reviews Dark Age: Book 5 of the Red Rising Saga by Pierce Brown (Del Rey: Random House): “In this clash of absolutes, this war between purities so tarnished by the means used to defend them, Brown has set in motion a bloody, starving machine — one that will not stop running until it has devoured everyone.” Also, Strange Harvests: The Hidden Histories of Seven Natural Objects by Edward Posnett (Viking: Penguin): “usurps the reader's expectations.” Self / Made by Mat Groom, Eduardo Ferigato, Marcelo Costa (Image): “isn't as profound as he might have hoped [bit] it's intricate and unpredictable enough to be consistently engaging … a fun way to spend an afternoon.” 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): “captivating … provides inspiration. The anthropology of equality tells us that every population is as fully human as any other, and deserving of understanding and compassion.”

Entertainment Weekly reviews two YA novels, one, Symptoms of a Heartbreak by Sona Charaipotra (Imprint: Macmillan), is their July Top Pick. The other is The Merciful Crow by Margaret Owen (Henry Holt: Macmillan), which gets a B grade, “There’s amazingly unique world-building here, not to mention the heartstopping romantic tension and poignant lessons to take away. But The Merciful Crow struggles at times in its pacing.”

The Washington Post reviews Crisis in the Red Zone: The Story of the Deadliest Ebola Outbreak in History, and of the Outbreaks to Come by Richard Preston (Random House): “harrowing, horrifying.” Also, Ellie and the Harpmaker by Hazel Prior (Berkley: Penguin): “melodious, dreamy.” Lastly, the paper runs another entry in its “Book Party” opinion column, looking at political books.

The NYT reviews Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion by Jia Tolentino (Random House; LJ starred review): “absorbing … She writes with an inimitable mix of force, lyricism and internet-honed humor.”

Briefly Noted

USA Today picks its books of the week. gathers “All The New Genre-Bending Books Coming Out in August.” Also “Jo Walton’s Reading List: July 2019.”

Entertainment Weekly suggests “5 comics to read this August: Epic battles on fallen worlds.”

The Millions offers its “August Preview: The Millions Most Anticipated (This Month).”

Lamdba Literary selects its new books for August.

Publishers Weekly issues its round-up of “The Most Anticipated Books of Fall 2019.”

CrimeReads has six books that “Explore the Experience of Veterans.”

In forthcoming book news, USA Today reports that Meghan McCain has an audiobook coming out next year with Audible. It will provide “a ‘blueprint’ for conservative politics while also drawing on what she learned from her father.” The book as yet has no pub. date or title.

NPR’s Summer Reader Poll features The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin (Puffin Books: Penguin) and calls it “one of the most perfect books ever written.”

The Guardian interviews Nafissa Thompson-Spires, Heads of the Colored People: Stories (S. & S.).

NPR offers ways to relive the ‘90s by suggesting “do's and don'ts to recapture the sensibility of the decade's comics and zines.”

The Chicago Tribune (by way of The Washington Post) has “A summer reading list for fans of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.”

Off the Shelf highlights reading pairs between classic novels and newer titles. Also, “11 Swoon-Worthy Love Stories for Non-Romance Readers.”

Bitch Media has “7 Books by Queer Black Writers to Read in Honor of James Baldwin’s Birthday.”

The Verge features JY Yang’s Tensorate series. The site also has the news that N.K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth trilogy is getting adapted into a roleplaying game.

LitHub features Rita Meade, a public librarian based in Brooklyn, NY, in their “Secrets of the Librarians” column.

The finalists for the Washington State Book Award are out.

LitHub reports on the troubles for indie press Curbside Splendor and its authors.

The Daily Beast speculates on John Steinbeck and the CIA.

NYC gets free book vending machines. Eyewitness News 7 reports.

Authors on Air

NPR interviews Sarah Elaine Smith, Marilou Is Everywhere (Riverhead: Penguin).

The NYT Book Review podcast features Carl Hulse, Confirmation Bias: Inside Washington's War Over the Supreme Court, from Scalia's Death to Justice Kavanaugh (Harper) and De'Shawn Charles Winslow, In West Mills (Bloomsbury: Macmillan).

PBS NewsHour has discussion questions for Maxine Hong Kingston’s The Woman Warrior: Memoir of a Girlhood Among Ghosts (Vintage: Random House).

Brian Cox, The Planets (William Collins), will be on with Stephen Colbert tonight.



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