Run Your Week: Big Books, Sure Bets, & Titles Making News, Sept. 30, 2019 | Book Pulse

Bloody Genius by John Sandford leads holds this week. The October Read with Jenna title is The Dutch House by Ann Patchett. It is a busy morning for forthcoming book news, including Susanna Clarke's Piranesi and Yaa Gyasi's Transcendent Kingdom. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chelsea Clinton are making a splash with The Book of Gutsy Women. Spider-Man stays in the MCU.

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Big Books of the Week

Bloody Genius by John Sandford (G.P. Putnam’s Sons: Penguin; LJ starred review) leads holds this week.

Other titles in demand include:

The 19th Christmas by James Patterson, Maxine Paetro (Little, Brown: Hachette)

A Mrs. Miracle Christmas by Debbie Macomber (Ballantine Books: Random House)

Quantum by Patricia Cornwell (Thomas & Mercer)

Librarians and Booksellers Suggest

Six LibraryReads titles publish this week, several are also Indie Next picks:

The Butterfly Girl by Rene Denfeld (Harper)

“Denfield’s writing is like lyrical poetry, with every word captivating. Add to this an amazing mystery, a plethora of suspense, and an ending that exceeds all expectations, and we have another 5 star book. For fans of What She Knew by Gilly Macmillan and Love You More by Lisa Gardner.” —Cyndi Larsen, Avon Free Public Library, Avon, CT

“Rene Denfeld has done it again: written a mystery that sucks you in and thoroughly absorbs you until you’re done. We pick up the story with Naomi Cottle, who has been searching for the sister she left behind when she escaped the clutches of their childhood kidnapper. Haunted by guilt, her search leads her back to her hometown, where a number of young girls have been murdered. By chance or by fate, she encounters Celia, a 12-year-old girl living on the streets, who may be the key to everything—including finding her sister and a rapacious killer. Heart-wrenching, thought-provoking, and utterly unputdownable, this really should be the gold standard for mysteries.” — Destinee Hodge, East City Bookshop, Washington, DC

Cilka's Journey by Heather Morris (St. Martin’s Press: Macmillan)

“A powerful follow-up to The Tattooist of Auschwitz, this story begins after the liberation of Auschwitz, when Cilka is sentenced by the Soviet liberators to 15 years in one of Stalin’s Siberian labor gulags. From one death camp to another–for doing what was needed to survive. For fans of Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly and We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter.” — Don Crankshaw, Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library, Evansville, IN

Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky (Grand Central: Hachette)

“Christopher and his mom run from an abusive boyfriend and seek peace and quiet in a new town. Instead, Christopher becomes agitated and sneaks out at night, doing anything a “nice man” tells him to do. This is pure horror, a classic battle of good and evil, and a must for fans of Stephen King, Joe Hill, and Paul Tremblay.” — Kimberly McGee, Lake Travis Community Library, Austin, TX

Imaginary Friend has, in my humble opinion, already earned its spot on the top shelf of classic horror novels. Reminiscent of Stephen King’s It and Neil Gaiman’s Coraline, it is one of the most compulsively terrifying, eerily uncanny novels of our time. Once you pick up this book, you won’t put it down until you’ve devoured it whole (or, should I say, it has devoured you), and once finished, you will feel the dangerous urge to turn to the first page and start all over again. It is an utterly original masterpiece of fear. Thank you, Stephen Chbosky, for the lost sleep and the goosebumps! Signed, a hard-to-scare horror fanatic.” —Tianna Moxley, the river’s end bookstore, Oswego, NY

The Library of the Unwritten by A. J. Hackwith (Ace: Penguin; LJ starred review)

“The ideas of books never actually written possess dangerous potential and power. They are kept in the Library of the Unwritten in Hell. Determined librarians tend the library keeping watch for escaped characters, angels and demons. For fans of Genevieve Cogman or Neil Gaiman.” — Jessica Trotter, Capital Area District Library, Lansing, MI

Full Throttle: Stories by Joe Hill (William Morrow: Harper)

“Hill’s short story collection hits the sweet spot: thirteen supernatural tales that satisfy but also leave you wanting a tiny bit more. He also discusses the inspiration for each story, allowing fans more insight into his process.” —Mahogany Skillings, Richland Library, Columbia, SC

“What a ride! This book of stories (two written with Stephen King) is a fast ride through Hill’s considerable imagination. He takes us through 13 stories of suspense, from the back of a motorcycle and outrunning a murderous semi-truck driver to an American sea monster, then on to a young girl who befriends a machine, and ending with, well, the end of the world. His stories are reminiscent of a certain well-known horror writer, but are clearly his own brand of terror. I enjoyed each of them and wished that some might morph into full-length books because it was hard to let them go. I always look forward to Hill’s books, and this one did not disappoint.” — Sarah Harmuth Letke, Redbery Books, Cable, WI

Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory (Berkley: Penguin; LJ starred review)

“An irresistible Christmas fantasy about a woman of a certain age who falls for the queen of England’s private secretary on a visit to the U.K. Guillory describes Britain so well, and it was great to read a popular romance novel starring an older protagonist.” — Megan Sanks, Glenview Public Library, Glenview, IL

Three more Indie Next books hit shelves this week as well:

The Topeka School by Ben Lerner (FSG: Macmillan)

“It’s the late ’90s in Topeka, and high school senior Adam Gordon is partying, going to school, and preparing for a national speech and debate competition—living a life he expects to reflect back upon with irony and detachment in some urbane, imaginary future. Lerner shifts between perspectives, stealing stylistic bits from autofiction and documentary; he reinvents the way narrative can place the moments of our lives in the context of history, both global and hyper-local, exploring how history inflicts trauma onto us and how we, in turn, inflict that trauma back onto history. And he does all this while toying with language and the spaces where it breaks down as we attempt to self-define. Simply put, The Topeka School is a work of genius.” — Chris Lee, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI

How to Catch a Mole: Wisdom from a Life Lived in Nature by Marc Hamer (Greystone Books)

“Sublimely touching (and with the softest of hands), this book has that balance of warmth and cold that makes for good nature writing. Hamer’s observations demonstrate both a refusal to look away and a tender love for the environment around him. His memoir of a life spent catching moles waxes and wanes, at times gruesome, sensual, violent, and awestruck. This is a book for fans of the way that Mary Oliver lived and talked about her life.” —Afton Montgomery, Tattered Cover Book Store, Denver, CO

Toil & Trouble: A Memoir by Augusten Burroughs (St. Martin’s Press: Macmillan)

“Augusten Burroughs never ceases to amaze his readers with his honest stories, and Toil & Trouble won’t disappoint his fans! A gift shared with his mother, witchcraft has been passed down his family tree and has guided his life. Moving from the city life to the wilds of Connecticut, Burroughs’ gift guides him and husband Christopher to the right place at the right time—and saves them with a little premonition! You are invited (perhaps welcomed?) to be skeptical, but once you finish the book you might just wonder why you ever were.” — Jennifer Kandarian, Books on the Square, Providence, RI

These books and others publishing the week of Sept. 30, 2019, are listed in a downloadable spreadsheet.

In the Media

People’s "Book of the Week" is The Dutch House by Ann Patchett (Harper). Also getting attention are The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates (One World; LJ starred review) and Inside Out: A Memoir by Demi Moore (Harper). "New in Paperback" are The Fabulous Bouvier Sisters: The Tragic and Glamorous Lives of Jackie and Lee by Sam Kashner, Nancy Schoenberger (Harper), Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women's Anger by Rebecca Traister (S. & S.), and Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty (Flatiron Books: Macmillan). The “Kid Pick” is Best Friends by Shannon Hale, illustrated by LeUyen Pham (First Second: Macmillan). Chanel Miller, Know My Name: A Memoir (Viking: Penguin), gets a feature. Melissa Hartwig Urban, The Whole30 Friends & Family: 150 Recipes for Every Social Occasion (HMH) does too. “People 50 Food Faves” includes Whoopi Goldberg’s The Unqualified Hostess: I do it my way so you can too! (Rizzoli), the explosion cake by Amirah Kassem, Power of Sprinkles: A Cake Book by the Founder of Flour Shop (Abrams), Antoni Porowskis Antoni in the Kitchen (Rux Martin/HMH), The Official Downton Abbey Cookbook by Annie Gray, (Weldon Owen: S. & S.), A Feast of Ice and Fire: The Official Game of Thrones Companion Cookbook by Chelsea Monroe-Cassel, Sariann Lehrer (Bantam: Penguin), The Bob's Burgers Burger Book: Real Recipes for Joke Burgers by Loren Bouchard, Cole Bowden (Universe: Rizzoli), Outlander Kitchen: The Official Outlander Companion Cookbook by Theresa Carle-Sanders (Delacorte: Pegnuin), and Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking by Samin Nosrat (S. & S.; LJ starred review). She is also the editor of The Best American Food Writing 2019 (Mariner Books: HMH). People includes The Devil Wears Prada, the musical on its “5 Things We’re Talking About This Week” list. Stumptown makes the “People Picks” list. Lastly, there is a spotlight on Over the Top: A Raw Journey to Self-Love by Jonathan Van Ness (HarperOne).


The NYT reviews Breathe: A Letter to My Sons by (Imani Perry, Beacon Press: Random House; LJ starred review): “a parent’s unflinching demand, born of inherited trauma and love, for her children’s right simply to be possible.” Also, Syria's Secret Library: Reading and Redemption in a Town Under Siege by Mike Thomson (PublicAffairs: Hachette): “a compassionate and inspiring portrait.” In Hoffa's Shadow: A Stepfather, a Disappearance in Detroit, and My Search for the Truth by Jack Goldsmith (FSG: Macmillan): “he never really does piece together what happened to Hoffa. Some frustrated readers may find this to be better for Goldsmith’s conscience than satisfying. Still ... Goldsmith’s quest becomes less about solving a mystery than a meditation on the complicated and occasionally bittersweet love between fathers and sons.” To Build a Better World: Choices to End the Cold War and Create a Global Commonwealth by Philip Zelikow, Condoleezza Rice (Twelve: Hachette): “What, one is forced to ask, should be made of a work that is so scrupulous in historical analysis yet so impoverished in critical self-reflection?” Also in the paper, a dual review of biographies of Hitler and a focus on Antoni Porowskis Antoni in the Kitchen (Rux Martin/HMH).

NPR reviews The Incompletes by Sergio Chejfec, translated by Heather Cleary (Open Letter): “In the end you'll stumble out of the book, a bit dazed, wondering what the hell you just read, but it's an enjoyable trek if you like beautiful sentences.” Also, No Judgments by Meg Cabot (William Morrow: Harper): “half spirited roman à clef, half Hallmark-sweet romance.” Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell (Wednesday Books: Macmillan): “It's flashy and fun and full of adventure, but underneath all of that lurk difficult questions about identity and colonialism.”

The Washington Post reviews The Nature of Life and Death: Every Body Leaves a Trace by Patricia Wiltshire (G.P. Putnam’s Sons: Penguin): “one of those extraordinary books that will appeal to almost everyone.” Also, Face It: A Memoir by Debbie Harry (Dey Street Books: HarperCollins): “If she sometimes comes across as self-interested, so what? She was a young woman who fell under the spell of New York and made herself into the performer she always knew she’d become, one who went on to cast her own spell on millions of listeners.” Dead Blondes and Bad Mothers: Monstrosity, Patriarchy, and the Fear of Female Power by Sady Doyle (Melville House: Random House; LJ starred review): “more cri de coeur than rigorous study.” Make My Day: Movie Culture in the Age of Reagan by J. Hoberman (The New Press): “explores Reagan’s movie-steeped worldview along with the dramatic cultural shifts reflected in the films of the era.” The Enigma of Clarence Thomas by Corey Robin (Metropolitan Books: Macmillan): “Despite Robin’s valuable efforts, Thomas remains, in so many ways, an enigma.” All the Powers of Earth: The Political Life of Abraham Lincoln Vol. III, 1856-1860 by Sidney Blumenthal (S. & S.; LJ starred reviews): “Anyone seeking historical drama with overt ties to modern politics should turn the pages.” The paper also has a dual review of books on whistleblowers.

Briefly Noted

USA Today picks five books for the week. selects “Must-Read Speculative Short Fiction: September 2019.”

Bustle names “15 Essential Novels Of The #MeToo Movement.” Also, a reading list for fans of The Good Place.

The October Read with Jenna title is The Dutch House by Ann Patchett (Harper).

The San Francisco Chronicle profiles Jasmine Guillory, Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory (Berkley: Penguin; LJ starred review).

NPR writes about Renia's Diary: A Holocaust Journal by Renia Spiegel (St. Martin’s Press: Macmillan).

The NYT features Debbie Harry, Face It: A Memoir (Dey Street Books: HarperCollins).

The Atlantic has “What Ta-Nehisi Coates Wants to Remember.”

The Guardian interviews Chris Ware, Rusty Brown (Pantheon: Random House; LJ starred review). Also, Serhii Plokhy, Forgotten Bastards of the Eastern Front: American Airmen behind the Soviet Lines and the Collapse of the Grand Alliance (Oxford).

Entertainment Weekly interviews Lucy Parker, author of the London Celebrities series. Also, Sophia Chang, The Baddest Bitch in the Room (Audible).

LJ ’s Tom Batten interviews Kim Deitch.

Jamel Brinkley, A Lucky Man: Stories (Graywolf) answers the Book Marks Questionnaire.

Vanity Fair has a conversation between authors Mary-Louise Parker and Leslie Jamison.

Electric Lit showcases Grease Bats by Archie Bongiovanni (BOOM! Box: S. & S.).

Wired features Lost Transmissions: Science Fiction and Fantasy's Untold, Underground, and Forgotten History by Desirina Boskovich (Abrams).

The Millions excerpts The River at Night by Kevin Huizenga (Drawn and Quarterly: Macmillan).

The Hollywood Reporter spotlights Letters from Hollywood: Inside the Private World of Classic American Moviemaking by Rocky Lang, Barbara Hall (Abrams).

In forthcoming books news, The Guardian reports that Susanna Clarke, author of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, will publish a second novel, to be titled Piranesi. It will come out in Sept. 2020. USA Today features Hello, Neighbor!: The Kind and Caring World of Mister Rogers by Matthew Cordell (Neal Porter Books, May 2020.) HuffPost reports that Nancy Pelosi’s daughter is writing a book, The Nancy Pelosi Way: Advice on Success, Leadership, and Politics from America’s Most Powerful Woman by Christine Pelosi (Skyhorse). The Bookseller reports that Man Booker-winning Anne Enright will publish Actress in 2020. W.W. Norton has the U.S. rights. Yaa Gyasi is publishing Transcendent Kingdom, coming out in July 2020 from Knopf. Page Six reports that Dolly Parton has a book deal with Chronicle Books and Recorded Books. No word yet on what kind of book it will be.

The Guardian writes about A Quick Ting On, “a groundbreaking new non-fiction series focused on the black British community, all written by young black British writers.” On a related note, the UK publishing house Gollancz and author Ben Aaronovitch announced a new award for British BAME authors writing SFF.

LeVar Burton will host the National Book Awards.

CrimeReads picks the best book covers of September.

Authors on Air

CBS Sunday Morning interviews Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chelsea Clinton, The Book of Gutsy Women: Favorite Stories of Courage and Resilience (S. & S.). There is also video. The book is soaring. The show also features a piece about Jeannie Gaffigan, When Life Gives You Pears: The Healing Power of Family, Faith, and Funny People (Grand Central: Hachette). Sales jumped as well. Lonnie Bunch, author and Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution,  picks five objects of note. His new book, A Fool's Errand: Creating the National Museum of African American History and Culture in the Age of Bush, Obama, and Trump (Smithsonian Books: Random House) came out last week. CBS Sunday Morning has an excerpt. There is also coverage of actress, singer, and author Olivia Newton-John, Don't Stop Believin' (Gallery Books: S. & S.).

Spider-Man is now back in the Marvel Cinematic Universe with a third film. Variety has details. On a related note, Sony is making a film featuring Madame Web. The Hollywood Reporter has that news.

The Irishman, based on I Heard You Paint Houses: Frank "The Irishman" Sheeran & Closing the Case on Jimmy Hoffa by Charles Brandt (Steerforth Press), debuted at the New York Film Festival. Reaction is glowing. Variety sums it up but also says it is a problem for Netflix. Here is a look at early reactions from Deadline.

NPR interviews Chris Ware, Rusty Brown (Pantheon: Random House; LJ starred review). Also, Stephen Chbosky, Imaginary Friend (Grand Central: Hachette), Brittany Luby and Michaela Goade, Encounter (Little, Brown: Hachette), Tracy Chevalier, A Single Thread (Viking), and David Cameron, For the Record (Harper).

Deadline reports that the Pretty Little Liars spinoff, The Perfectionists, is canceled. Kristin Levine’s The Lions of Little Rock is optioned. William Knoedelseder’s Bitter Brew sells rights.

Tonight, Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chelsea Clinton, The Book of Gutsy Women: Favorite Stories of Courage and Resilience (S. & S.), will be on with Stephen Colbert. Jonathan Van Ness, Over the Top: A Raw Journey to Self-Love (HarperOne), will be on with Jimmy Kimmel.

BBC’s The War of the Worlds gets a trailer.

The King’s Man gets a trailer.

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