Run Your Week: Big Books, Sure Bets, & Titles Making News, Sept. 3, 2019 | Book Pulse

This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger leads holds this week. The Booker Prize shortlist is announced; Margaret Atwood, Salman Rushdie, Chigozie Obioma, and Elif Shafak make it through. The CWA Dagger Shortlists are out. LJ continues its Generational Reading Study, this time looking at the reading of Generation Z. "Harry Potter" is removed from a Nashville Catholic school.

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Big Books of the Week

This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger (Atria: S. & S.) leads holds this week.

Other titles in demand include:

Vendetta in Death by J.D. Robb (St. Martin’s: Macmillan)

The Long Call by Ann Cleeves (Minotaur: Macmillan; LJ starred review)

The Secrets We Kept by Lara Prescott (Knopf; LJ starred review)

 

Librarians and Booksellers Suggest

Five LibraryReads selections publish this week:

Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore (Berkley: Penguin; LJ starred review)

“Oxford student Annabelle is knee deep in the suffragette movement. The Duke is wary of supporting a cause not in the crown’s best interest, but can’t deny his attraction to Annabelle. A well-done version of the enemies-to-friends-to-lovers story. Perfect for fans of Juliana Gray and Amanda Quick.” —Amanda Brill, Rowan Public Library, Salisbury, NC

The Long Call by Ann Cleeves (Minotaur: Macmillan; LJ starred review)

“In this new series, the introspective detective Matthew Venn of Devon and his team search for an itinerant worker’s murderer. Connections emerge to Venn’s estranged parents’ religious community and his partner’s workplace. A solid, almost cozy British mystery for fans of Kate Atkinson and Elly Griffiths.” — Carol Melichar, Seminole Couty Public Library, Casselberry, FL

It is also an Indie Next selection: “I absolutely loved The Long Call. In this new mystery, Ann Cleeves introduces us to Inspector Matthew Venn, who embodies his diagram namesake as a character caught between his past and his future. A murder on a beach in Venn’s hometown on the English coast leads to a kidnapping, and as the pacing picks up, the suspects get ever closer to Venn’s personal life. An expertly plotted mystery that will keep readers guessing until the final pages.” — Keith Vient, Politics and Prose Bookstore, Washington, DC

The Secrets We Kept by Lara Prescott (Knopf; LJ starred review)

“Inspired by a true story of Dr. Zhivago. Pasternak had finished his controversial novel and needed to get it out of Russia to be published. A CIA agent posing as a typist is trained by another female operative and the two work to save the Cold War masterpiece. For readers who enjoyed The Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews and Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan.” —Mamie Ney, Auburn Public Library, Auburn, MA

It is also an Indie Next selection: “This perfect historical novel is made of the most alluring ingredients. First, a divine and doomed love affair between Russian author Boris Pasternak and his muse and secretary, Olga Ivinskaya, a woman immortalized in Pasternak’s epic novel Doctor Zhivago, which was banned in Russia for more than 30 years. Second, two American women typists working for CIA and their forbidden love story in the midst of the Cold War and the witch hunt against homosexuals. Lara Prescott brilliantly portrays how a timeless novel like Doctor Zhivago can change course of history. After I finished reading The Secrets We Kept, I pressed the book against my chest, as if I could hear the lovers’ hearts still beating.” — Aggie Zivaljevic, Kepler’s Books, Menlo Park, CA

This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger (Atria: S. & S.)

“Odie and company escape a sadistic boarding school and travel through Depression-era America, meeting angels, devils– and everyone in between–along the way. It’s like Huck Finn and friends meet the Odyssey. For fans of Wiley Cash’s This Dark Road to Mercy and Louise Erdrich’s The Round House. Lori Hench, Baltimore County Public Library, Baltimore, MD

It is also the No. Indie Next pick of the month: “The work of a master storyteller about the making of a young storyteller, This Tender Land is a coming-of-age novel for the ages. It begins in an isolated Dickensian boarding school in Minnesota during the early years of the Depression, then morphs into the story of four runaways in a canoe à la Huckleberry Finn. On the run from their school headmistress and the law, they encounter other wanderers and escapees from life as they canoe towards St. Louis to find their only known relative and a possible home. Odie, his brother Albert, their schoolmate Mose, and newly orphaned Emmy are unforgettable characters in an unforgiving era. Epic, thrilling, and beautifully written, this is storytelling at its very best.” —Renee Barker, The Bookstore of Glen Ellyn, Glen Ellyn, IL

Well Met by Jen DeLuca (Berkley: Penguin)

“Emily has been through a rough patch and needs a new start. Where better to start than a small town that puts on a Ren Faire every year. At first she thinks it’s silly, but a handsome pirate soon changes her mind. For fans of Red, White, & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston.” — Michelle Herring, Naperville Public Library, Naperville, IL

Six additional Indie Next choices hit shelves this week:

Cold Storage by David Koepp (Ecco: Harper)

“Meet Cordyceps Novus, a highly adaptable fungus that just wants one thing: to take over the world. After being contained underground for 40 years, conditions are finally perfect for a comeback. Several floors above, two young night-shift security guards decide to track down the source of the mysterious alarm below. David Koepp’s debut novel is both terrifying and humorous — a thrilling combination. After getting an inside look at the growth and spread of this fungus, I will never look at a mushroom the same way again.” — Mary Salazar, The Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, NC

The Chestnut Man by Soren Sveistrup (Harper; LJ starred review)

“This is the thriller of the year! From the creator of the Scandinavian mini-series The Killing, The Chestnut Man is an unbelievably fast-paced and exciting page-turner. I literally had trouble putting it down so I could go to sleep! A serial killer is on the loose, a cold case kidnapping is brought back to life, and a politician is attacked from all sides. This is the kind of book Thomas Harris would write, and it’s one of the best-plotted mysteries in a long time. What a wonderful group of vivid characters and what a ride! Whew!” — William Carl, An Unlikely Story, Plainville, MA

Axiomatic by Maria Tumarkin (Transit Books)

Axiomatic is as idiosyncratic and brilliant as writing gets. The topics Tumarkin addresses — suicide, intergenerational trauma, friendships, addiction — serve to ask a larger question: as we move through the world, how do we address our effect on one another? This is a book that feels like the best conversation you’ve ever had with the smartest person you’ve ever met. It’s the essence of a before-and-after book: you’re not the same person on the other side. This is the most necessary book I’ve read in some time.” —Thomas Flynn, Volumes Bookcafe, Chicago, IL

Dominicana by Angie Cruz (Flatiron: Macmillan; LJ starred review)

“This is the thriller of the year! From the creator of the Scandinavian mini-series The Killing, The Chestnut Man is an unbelievably fast-paced and exciting page-turner. I literally had trouble putting it down so I could go to sleep! A serial killer is on the loose, a cold case kidnapping is brought back to life, and a politician is attacked from all sides. This is the kind of book Thomas Harris would write, and it’s one of the best-plotted mysteries in a long time. What a wonderful group of vivid characters and what a ride! Whew!” — William Carl, An Unlikely Story, Plainville, MA

The Ungrateful Refugee: What Immigrants Never Tell You by Dina Nayeri (Catapult)

“At a time when some people aim to terrify us with stories about the intentions of those who seek our help, this book brings a timely voice to illustrate what drives people to endure monumental hardships in order to have a chance to reach safety. An engrossing and powerful book that reveals an infrequently heard perspective on the concept of charity, giving, and receiving, The Ungrateful Refugee makes us look at ourselves and our actions as well as those who receive our acts of ‘kindness.’” — Becky Garcia, Malvern Books, Austin, TX

After the Flood by Kassandra Montag (William Morrow: Harper)

“A gripping story of one mother’s harrowing journey to survive a flooded earth and save her daughters from the dangers that surround them. Life after the great flood is treacherous, and lethal groups of raiders steal food, medicine, and children, killing those who would stand in their way. With flawed, relatable characters, After the Flood is a real thought-provoker. It demands you ask yourself: What would I do to survive? This passionate tale of survival and determination is not one to miss.” — Kelli O’Malley, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI

These books and others publishing the week of Sept. 2, 2019, are listed in a downloadable spreadsheet.

In the Media

People foregoes a "Book of the Week" for the books of fall. The list is now online. People’s “Picks” includes the film Official Secrets, based on The Spy Who Tried to Stop a War: Katharine Gun and the Secret Plot to Sanction the Iraq Invasion by Marcia Mitchell, Thomas Mitchell (William Collins: Harper). Genius Foods: Become Smarter, Happier, and More Productive While Protecting Your Brain for Life by Max Lugavere, Paul Grewal, M.D. (HarperWave) gets coverage. The cookbook of the week is Antoni in the Kitchen by Antoni Porowski, Mindy Fox (Rux Martin/HMH).

Reviews

NPR reviews Fly Already: Stories by Etgar Keret (Riverhead: Penguin): “a hit-or-miss collection from a writer who's quite impressive when he's on his game.” Also, The Turn of Midnight by Minette Walters (MIRA: Harper): “Her ability to look pure evil and cruelty in the face distinguishes her psychologically focused novels from some of her peers.” The Ventriloquists by E.R. Ramzipoor (Park Row: Harper): “A carefully woven narrative that combines irony and pathos.” Mind Games by Shana Silver (Swoon Reads: Macmillan): “an absolute blast.” We, the Survivors by Tash Aw (FSG: Macmillan): “focuses intently on social class in contemporary Malaysia.” Palestine +100: Stories from a Century After the Nakba by Basma Ghalayini (Comma Press): “memory and imagination are contested territories.”

The NYT reviews The Secrets We Kept by Lara Prescott (Knopf; LJ starred review): “The true stories within [the novel] are by far the best thing about it. That’s saying a lot … an above-average entry in the I-Knew-Hemingway genre.” Also, Cantoras by Carolina De Robertis (Knopf): “brazenly hopeful … an ode to their will to survive and rebuild.” We, the Survivors by Tash Aw (FSG: Macmillan): “precise stylist; with a few, lean images, he evokes a country on the cusp of change.” Fashionopolis: The Price of Fast Fashion and the Future of Clothes by Dana Thomas (Penguin): “has succeeded in calling attention to the major problems in the $2.4-trillion-a-year industry, in a way that will engage not only the fashion set but also those interested in economics, human rights and climate policy.” Quichotte by Salman Rushdie (Random House; LJ starred review): “a meditation on language itself, beautiful in its simplicity, that pays tribute to the importance of bearing witness.” The Ungrateful Refugee: What Immigrants Never Tell You by Dina Nayeri (Catapult): “uses her first work of nonfiction to remind readers of the pain and horrors refugees face before and long after their settlement.” Dominicana by Angie Cruz (Flatiron: Macmillan; LJ starred review): “offers an intimate portrait of the transactional nature of marriage and the economics of both womanhood and citizenship, one all too familiar to many first-generation Americans.” Maoism: A Global History by Julia Lovell (Knopf): “an impressive, readable and often startling account.” The Sweetest Fruits by Monique Truong (Viking: Penguin): “ Absence will run through the core.” The First Stone by Carsten Jensen, translated by Mark Mussari (Amazon Crossing: Brilliance): “coldly depicts a region that remains stubbornly cast in Kipling’s mold.”

The Washington Post reviews The Pretty One: On Life, Pop Culture, Disability, and Other Reasons to Fall in Love with Me by Keah Brown (Atria: S. & S.): “[an] engaging and necessary collection.” Also, The Yellow House by Sarah M. Broom (Grove Press): “stirring … reads like real-life reporting from a Kafka book.” Bottle Grove by Daniel Handler (Bloomsbury: Macmillan): “Handler seems devoted to making readers put his book down.”

USA Today reviews Fentanyl, Inc.: How Rogue Chemists Are Creating the Deadliest Wave of the Opioid Epidemic by Ben Westhoff (Atlantic Monthly Press), giving it three stars and calling it “an impressive work of investigative journalism.”

September and Fall Lists

Amazon’s announces its September picks.

Entertainment Weekly selects “20 new books to read in September.”

Salon chooses “Read this next: 6 new novels coming in September you won't want to miss.”

Lit Hub picks “10 Books You Should Read This September.”

CrimeReads offers “10 New Books You Should Read This September.”

Vanity Fair has a September list too, topped by Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson (Riverhead: Penguin).

B&N lists the “Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Books of September.”

Lambda Literary posts its “New in September” book list.

Time picks the “42 Most Anticipated Books of Fall.”

People also has a list of Fall reads.

BuzzFeed names “33 Books You’ve Got To Read This Autumn.”

Bustle gathers “The 20 Best New Books Of Fall 2019, According To Authors

The L.A. Times offers “4 new crime books to intrigue you."

USA Today names its books of the week.

Briefly Noted

Reese Witherspoon’s September book pick is The Secrets We Kept by Lara Prescott (Knopf; LJ starred review).

Our Shared Shelf picks Beloved by Toni Morrison (Vintage: Random House) as its September/October read.

The Belletrist YA September book pick is Permanent Record by Mary H.K. Choi (S. & S. Books for Young Readers).

Read with Jenna will announce the Today pick tomorrow. And on that note, NPR covers the power of the celebrity book club.

In Costco Connection, influential book buyer Pennie Clark Ianniciello picks The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer (Vintage: Random House) as her September title. The Buyers Pick is The Girl Who Lived Twice: A Lisbeth Salander novel, continuing Stieg Larsson's Millennium Series by David Lagercrantz (Knopf). There is also a feature on Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don't Know by Malcolm Gladwell (Little, Brown: Hachette).

The Booker Prize shortlist is announced. Margaret Atwood, Salman Rushdie, Chigozie Obioma, and Elif Shafak make it through, among others. The NYT reports as does the Guardian.

The CWA Dagger Shortlists are out.

The L.A. Times has “Immigrant tales to read and embrace.”

BuzzFeed offers “17 Of The Most Can't-Put-Down Books People Have Ever Read.”

Lit Hub offers "Understanding the American Drug Crisis: A Reading List.” Also, Carolina De Robertis, Cantoras (Knopf), creates a reading list of “Five Great Novels of Revolution” for Lit Hub.

Bustle picks “20 Sci-Fi & Fantasy Books From The 2010s That You Definitely Shouldn't Miss.”

LJ continues its Generational Reading Study, this time looking at the reading of Generation Z.

Harry Potter is removed from a Nashville Catholic school because “the pastor felt the series contained ‘actual curses and spells,’ and that reading them risked ‘conjuring evil spirits.’” Entertainment Weekly reports.

Amazon launches another of its Original Stories series, this one is titled Froward and is curated by Blake Crouch. It features both print and audio narration (by actors in shows such as Westworld and Stranger Things) and includes works by N.K. Jemisin, Amor Towles, Andy Weir, Paul Tremblay, and Veronica Roth.

Entertainment Weekly excerpts Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko (Amulet Books: Abrams).

The NYT highlights Bill Cunningham: On the Street: Five Decades of Iconic Photography by New York Times (Clarkson Potter: Random House).

Téa Obreht considers Hemingway in The Atlantic’s “By Heart” series.

The NYT interviews Stephen King. Entertainment Weekly issues a special issue on King.

Vanity Fair features Antoni Porowski, Antoni in the Kitchen (Rux Martin/HMH).

The Atlantic features The Vexations by Caitlin Horrocks (Little, Brown: Hachette; LJ starred review).

Fox features Delilah, One Heart at a Time (RosettaBooks: S. & S.).

The Guardian interviews Malcolm Gladwell, Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don't Know (Little, Brown: Hachette). Also getting interviewed, James Meek, Dreams of Leaving and Remaining (Verso: Random House).

People interviews Rick Ross, Hurricanes: A Memoir (Hanover Square Press: Harper).

Electric Lit interviews Lisa Taddeo, Three Women (Avid Reader: S. & S), also, an interview with Dina Nayeri, The Ungrateful Refugee: What Immigrants Never Tell You (Catapult).

Electric Lit considers book covers.

Shelf Awareness reports that two authors are opening bookstores, Jenny Lawson and Etaf Rum.

The Washington Post writes about how D.C. libraries are helping the homeless.

Barbara Probst Solomon has died. The NYT has an obituary.

Authors on Air

The NYT has a roundup of the details they know about Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

CBS Sunday Morning features Jim Mattis, Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead (Random House) and has a book excerpt. NPR also has coverage.

NPR interviews Renato Rosaldo, The Chasers (Duke Univ). Also, a feature on Just Ask!: Be Different, Be Brave, Be You by Sonia Sotomayor, illustrated by Rafael López (Philomel Books: Penguin).

Deadline Hollywood reports that Dennis Quaid and Queen Latifah will star in the film adaptation of The Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo. Also, a documentary about author Oliver Sacks, Oliver Sacks: His Own Life is getting film festival attention.

Variety has a roundup of the early critical reaction to Joker; it is glowing.

PBS NewsHour posts discussion questions for Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney (Hogarth: Random House; LJ starred review).

The Laundromat gets a trailer.

Sonia Sotomayor, Just Ask!: Be Different, Be Brave, Be You (Philomel Books: Penguin), will be on with Seth Meyers tonight.

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Neal Wyatt

nwyatt@mediasourceinc.com

Neal Wyatt is LJ’s readers’ advisory columnist, contributing The Reader’s Shelf, Book Pulse, and Wyatt’s World columns. She is the coauthor of The Readers’ Advisory Guide to Genre Fiction, 3d ed. (ALA Editions, 2019). Contact her at nwyatt@mediasourceinc.com

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