Run Your Week: Big Books, Sure Bets, & Titles Making News, Sept. 16, 2019 | Book Pulse

Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson leads holds this week. The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An Investigation by Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly is making news. Julián Is a Mermaid by Jessica Love wins the Klaus Flugge prize while the the National Book Foundation gives the 2019 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters to Edmund White. Anne Rivers Siddons has died.

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Big Books of the Week

Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson (Riverhead) leads holds this week.

Other titles in demand include:

What Rose Forgot by Nevada Barr (Minotaur; LJ starred review)

A Little Hatred by Joe Abercrombie (Orbit)

Land of Wolves by Craig Johnson (Viking)

A Single Thread by Tracy Chevalier (Viking)

Librarians and Booksellers Suggest

The monthly top pick on both the LibraryReads and the Indie Next lists publishes this week: Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson (Riverhead)

“A rich, multigenerational weaving of two families, starting at Melody’s coming-of-age party. She wears the dress her mother didn’t get to wear because she was pregnant with Melody at the time. Alternating narration moves forward and backward in time, reflecting on family, desire, identity, and parenthood. For fans of Jesmyn Ward and Brit Bennett.” — Julie Graham, Yakima Valley Libraries, Yakima Valley, WA

“Although you can read Jacqueline Woodson’s newest novel over the course of one evening, there is nothing breezy about the richness of its story, nothing short about the depth of its characters, nothing quick about the way this book stays with you after you finish reading. Told through five distinct voices, Red at the Bone tracks an African American family through time and place as an unexpected pregnancy upends and reshapes family and class expectations as well as individual trajectories. Ultimately, the novel is about legacy in every sense of the word. And since Woodson’s writing packs the emotional punch of an epic in a novella number of pages, the legacy of her book is to be read over and over and over again.” — Kelly Brown, Magic City Books, Tulsa, OK

Also on the Indie Next list this week:

A Cosmology of Monsters by Shaun Hamill (Pantheon)

“When is the last time a horror novel was both scary and charming? A Cosmology of Monsters is that book! Riffing on themes from H.P. Lovecraft and Ray Bradbury, Hamill weaves a complex tale of lost cities, haunted Halloween attractions, and doorways to other worlds. I really enjoyed this literary horror story, which starts out as a love story (don’t ALL good horror tales?) and grows progressively creepier. The book posits the questions: Who are the real monsters, and why do we love to be scared? Truly an uber-creepy yet delightful homage. I loved it.” — William Carl, An Unlikely Story, Plainville, MA

Opioid, Indiana by Brian Allen Carr (Soho Press)

“You’ll read this book in one breathless sitting, but the story will stay with you. Riggle, the 17-year-old orphaned protagonist, is exactly what we all need. He’s on a deadline but out of cell phone data to search for answers. Toggling between his memory and the present, he must discern for himself what he feels, how he will survive, and how he will process his grief; in so doing, he is able to better empathize with everyone he encounters. Riggle is also very funny and filled with all of the wonderful contradictions that make us human. Opioid, Indiana is vulnerable and unflinching. It’s a beautiful, original story.” — Tiffany Lauderdale Phillips, Wild Geese Books, Franklin, IN

These books and others publishing the week of Sept. 16, 2019, are listed in a downloadable spreadsheet.

In the Media

The October issue of Entertainment Weekly is out. The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates (One World; LJ starred review) opens book coverage. Grand Union: Stories by Zadie Smith (Penguin), The Dutch House by Ann Patchett (Harper), The Topeka School by Ben Lerner (FSG), The World That We Knew by Alice Hoffman (S. & S.), Carrie Fisher: A Life on the Edge: A Life on the Edge by Sheila Weller (Sarah Crichton Books: Macmillan), and Make It Scream, Make It Burn: Essays by Leslie Jamison (Little, Brown: Hachette) also get coverage. Jeff Gordinier, Hungry: Eating, Road-Tripping, and Risking It All with the Greatest Chef in the World (Tim Duggan Books) suggests food books. On the “Must List” are Dear Girls: Intimate Tales, Untold Secrets & Advice for Living Your Best Life by Ali Wong (Random House), The Testaments: The Sequel to The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (Nan A. Talese; LJ starred review), and Find Me by André Aciman (FSG). In adaptation news, coverage centers on: Dickinson, Truth Be Told, The Mandalorian, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, Looking for Alaska, Raising Dion, Unbelievable, His Dark Materials, Watchmen, Dublin Murders, The Walking Dead, Batwoman, Black Lightning, Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, Riverdale, Nancy Drew, Treadstone, Stumptown, Mrs. Fletcher, and Downton Abbey. Lastly, details of the Toronto International Film Festival.

People’s “Book of the Week” is The Testaments: The Sequel to The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (Nan A. Talese; LJ starred review), also getting attention are The Institute by Stephen King (Scribner) and The Secrets We Kept by Lara Prescott (Knopf; LJ starred review). People asks stars what they are reading: Naomi Watts says Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love by Dani Shapiro (Knopf), Jesse Eisenberg names Turtles All the Way Down by John Green (Dutton Books for Young Readers), and Angela Basset is reading Respect: The Life of Aretha Franklin by David Ritz (Little, Brown; LJ starred review). There is an interview with Margaret Atwood, a Q&A with Mel Robbins, and a profile of Alton Brown. The “Picks” list highlights Joker, Lego Jurassic World: Legend of Isla Nublar, and Unbelievable. The cookbook coverage this week spotlights Sababa: Fresh, Sunny Flavors From My Israeli Kitchen by Adeena Sussman (Avery).


The NYT reviews The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An Investigation by Robin Pogrebin, Kate Kelly (Portfolio): “the authors do in fact turn up a few new revelations about the assault accusations against Kavanaugh. But their real work is to smooth out the main story, create a fuller picture of Kavanaugh himself, place him in relation to Blasey Ford and put the minor players in motion, so that the confirmation showdown has a kind of cinematic inevitability.” The paper has more here. That extra coverage, in the form of an essay by the authors, has led to new calls for Kavanaugh’s impeachment. Also, Sontag: Her Life and Work by Benjamin Moser (Ecco): “Hefty both in size and in interpretive bandwidth ... a landmark biography, the first major reintroduction of an incomparable literary heavyweight to the public since her death 15 years ago.” Yale Needs Women: How the First Group of Girls Rewrote the Rules of an Ivy League Giant by Anne Gardiner Perkins (Sourcebooks; LJ starred review): “lively and engaging.” Some Places More Than Others by Renée Watson (Bloomsbury Children’s Books; SLJ starred review): “these very relatable stories could be the high points and lows of any family struggling through today’s world.” My Jasper June by Laurel Snyder (Walden Pond Press): “marvelous … haunting, absorbing … a wholly original book that marries ideas about grief in a family with an exploration of the uses of a secret hideaway.” Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson (Riverhead): "profoundly moving."

NPR reviews Don't You Forget About Me by Mhairi McFarlane (William Morrow): “a page-turner about a heroine with a laugh-out-loud voice, an endearing romance, and, as the British say, lashings of drama.” Also, Homesick by Jennifer Croft (Unnamed Press): “boundary-pushing, or boundary-expanding … a hybrid, mixing photography and impressionistic autobiographical writing to tell the story of Croft's artistic coming of age.” The Divers' Game by Jesse Ball (Ecco): “If dystopian stories serve as thought experiments, the best ones also function as heart experiments. And with The Divers' Game, Jesse Ball has unsettlingly accomplished both.” Transaction Man: The Rise of the Deal and the Decline of the American Dream by Nicholas Lemann (FSG; LJ starred review): “mighty relevant.” The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow (Redhook): “one for the favorites shelf. It will lead you on a journey through books within books, worlds within worlds, mysteries within mysteries, until, finally, you reach a deep breath taken after a perfectly satisfying last page.” Something Deeply Hidden: Quantum Worlds and the Emergence of Spacetime by Sean Carroll (Dutton): “an excellent guide through the frontiers of physics for interested laypeople.” The Accusation: Blood Libel in an American Town by Edward Berenson (W.W. Norton): “Despite the book's title and blurb, which suggest it might be a historical true crime narrative à la Karen Abbott or Erik Larson, Berenson's book is far more concerned with the history and context of the accusation leveled against Jews for centuries than with the single incident.” Lastly, NPR runs its September Romance column.

The Washington Post reviews The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An Investigation by Robin Pogrebin, Kate Kelly (Portfolio): “alternately heartbreaking and rage-inducing.” Permanent Record by Edward Snowden (Metropolitan Books): “While Snowden is not completely forthcoming in his account of one of the most serious security breaches in U.S. history, he provides glimpses of his tradecraft.” The Secrets We Kept by Lara Prescott (Knopf; LJ starred review): “a pleasurable, inspiring way to absorb unsung history.” Guts by Raina Telgemeier (Graphix): “delivers on a Telgemeier trademark: capturing the universal experience of navigating the ever-tenuous social structure at school. Friendship triangles and false perceptions heighten the classroom and cafeteria drama.”

Briefly Noted

Julián Is a Mermaid by Jessica Love (Candlewick; SLJ starred review) wins “the prestigious Klaus Flugge prize, which goes to the most exciting and promising newcomer to picture book illustration.” The Guardian has details.

The National Book Foundation is giving the 2019 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters to Edmund White.

Esquire picks the best fall books.

NPR has three YA books for fall.

The LA Times selects “11 anticipated music books” for the fall.

Entertainment Weekly has a preview of Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns: The Golden Child. The story also features Cursed by Thomas Wheeler, illustrated by Frank Miller (S. & S. Books for Young Readers) which is already set for Netflix.

The NYT has an opinion piece that considers the fiction and nonfiction of Margaret Atwood’s dystopia.

NPR features Tools and Weapons: The Promise and the Peril of the Digital Age by Brad Smith, Carol Ann Browne (Penguin). Also, a piece on fire lookouts, technology, and literature.

The LA Times picks Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years by Julie Andrews with Emma Walton Hamilton (Hachette) as their next book club title.

Entertainment Weekly excerpts Carrie Fisher: A Life on the Edge: A Life on the Edge by Sheila Weller (Sarah Crichton Books: Macmillan).

Vanity Fair features The Enigma of Clarence Thomas by Corey Robin (Metropolitan Books).

Charles Wright gets the spotlight in Slate: “Too often black artists are anointed as geniuses and then, afterward, rarely heard from.”

The Guardian interviews Lisa Appignanesi (booklist here).

Time interviews Jim Mattis, Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead (Random House).

Tom Roston, The Most Spectacular Restaurant in the World: The Twin Towers, Windows on the World, and the Rebirth of New York  (Abrams), writes an essay in Vanity Fair.

The Los Angeles Review of Books considers Emily Dickinson’s poetry and Harvard’s claim to rights.

The Washington Post reports on books banned by state prisons.

The Guardian writes about how authors deal with social media.

Author Richard Conniff (booklist here) writes about digital literary theft.

The NYT reports on Arthur Rimbaud’s popularity and his hometown of Charleville, France.

No-deal Brexit and its impact on indie publishers is covered in The Bookseller.

Anne Rivers Siddons has died. The NYT has an obituary, as does USA Today.

Jean Edward Smith has died. The NYT has an obituary.

Gyorgy Konrad has died. The NYT has an obituary.

Authors on Air

The Washington Post looks at The Goldfinch, book and film.

Entertainment Weekly digs into the His Dark Materials adaptation.

NPR features Permanent Record by Edward Snowden (Metropolitan Books). The Guardian has an interview.

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngzoi Adichie is set for HBO Max, with Lupita Nyong’o to star. Paste has details. writes about the cast of Suicide Squad.

Deadline reports that Clifford D. Simak’s Way Station is headed to Netflix. More Agatha Christie films are on the way. Author Lilly Singh lines up her guests for her late night debut. Rumer Godden’s Black Narcissus is headed to TV. Jojo Rabbit wins the Toronto’s Grolsch People’s Choice Award. Game of Thrones and The Handmaid’s Tale win Creative Arts Emmy Awards.

Jimmy Kimmel will feature Malcolm Gladwell, Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don't Know (Little, Brown: Hachette) as well as Whitney Cummings, I’m Fine…And Other Lies (G.P. Putnam), and Henry Winkler.

Senator Kamala Harris, The Truths We Hold: An American Journey (Penguin), and Lilly Singh, How to Be a Bawse: A Guide to Conquering Life (Ballantine), will be on with Jimmy Fallon.

Neil Patrick Harris, The Magic Misfits: The Minor Third (Little, Brown: Hachette), will appear with James Corden.

Sonia Sotomayor, Just Ask!: Be Different, Be Brave, Be You (Philomel Books: Penguin), will be on the Daily Show.

Watchmen gets another trailer. So does Castlerock, season 2.

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