Run Your Week: Big Books, Sure Bets, & Titles Making News, Sept. 9, 2019 | Book Pulse

The Testaments: The Sequel to The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood leads holds this week and is still getting plenty of buzz. However, She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey sweeps in and gives Atwood a run for her money in terms of attention. Doctor Sleep gets a trailer. Joker wins the top prize at the Venice Film Festival.

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Big Books of the Week

The Testaments: The Sequel to The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (Nan A. Talese: Random House) leads holds this week.

Other titles in demand include:

Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don't Know by Malcolm Gladwell (Little, Brown: Hachette).

The Institute by Stephen King (Scribner: S. & S.)

Killer Instinct by James Patterson, with Howard Roughan (Little, Brown: Hachette)

Librarians and Booksellers Suggest

Two LibraryReads titles publish this week:

Don't You Forget About Me by Mhairi McFarlane (William Morrow: Harper)

“Aspiring writer Georgina, broke and a mess, gets a job at a bar owned by Lucas, whose heart she broke in high school. This fresh, funny story has just the right amount of sexual tension, and well-developed, relatable characters. A must-read for rom-com fans of Jane Green and Mary Kay Andrews.”—Theresa Bond, Middlesex Public Library, Middlesex, NJ

Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs?: Big Questions from Tiny Mortals About Death by Caitlin Doughty, illustrated by Dianné Ruz (W.W. Norton)

“Mortician Doughty’s latest explores everything you always wanted to know about death but were afraid to ask. From learning why corpses change color to whether you could preserve yourself in amber, readers who enjoy asking weird and wild questions will love this book.”— Erin Manning, Westlake Porter Public Library, Westlake, OH

Five Indie Next selections publish this week:

Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir ( Macmillan)

Gideon the Ninth is an epic science fantasy that if delivered into the hands of enough people will set the world on fire as it hasn’t been since The Hunger Games. Brilliance doesn’t come close to explaining Tamsyn Muir’s narrative where no single word is wasted or her engineering of a world with characters that end up belonging to you wholeheartedly even long after the last page. With fierce independence and hysterical wit, and laced with moments of pure heartbreaking tenderness and loyalty, Gideon and Harrow’s relationship simultaneously digs under your skin and tugs at your heartstrings. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.” — Nichole Cousins, Still North Books & Bar, Hanover, NH

The Last Train to London by Meg Waite Clayton (Harper)

“Based on a real heroine of the Dutch resistance and scrupulously researched, The Last Train to London brings to vivid life the extraordinary bravery of one fiercely dedicated childless woman who is attempting to save the lives of literally thousands of innocent children as Hitler marshals his forces across Europe. By writing the Kindertransport story as a novel, Meg Waite Clayton captures the humanity of the young victims and the inhumanity of those who were ‘just following orders’ more than any biography could. A memorable addition to the literature of World War II and one that is eerily relevant to present-day migrant struggles the world over.” — Marion Abbott, Mrs. Dalloway’s Literary & Garden Arts, Berkeley, CA

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow (Redhook: Hachette)

“This is one of the most beautifully written pieces of magical fiction I’ve ever read. I was obsessed with the book within the first two pages. Take an unforgettable journey with January Scaller through doors of lost worlds and heart-wrenching love stories. This book shows just how much power a story can hold, especially with the right storyteller at the helm. I could re-read this book countless times and still find new treasures that speak to me!” —Alexa Butler, Beach Books, Seaside, OR

Ducks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellmann

“In 2019’s most ambitious novel, Lucy Ellmann puts us in the mind of one of literature’s most overlooked characters: an average woman and mother doing her best in a world that respects neither women nor mothers. Rambunctiously political, tenderly personal, and profoundly humanist, Ellmann’s simple respect for her protagonist’s thoughts, feelings, faults, and successes is revolutionary. And on top of everything else in this towering achievement of a novel, you’ll find yourself desperately rooting for a mountain lion.” —Josh Cook, Porter Square Books, Cambridge, MA

Bloomland by John Englehardt (Dzanc Books)

“Englehardt’s stunning debut is not for the faint of heart; within the first few pages, a shooting occurs in the library of a fictional southern college. But the story is less about this horrific event than it is about the period leading up to it, and what happens to three different people — a student, a professor, and the shooter himself — in the aftermath. In prose that is vivid, specific, and wildly original, Englehardt shows how grief, disillusionment, and, in some cases, resilience take his characters’ lives in surprising directions. This is SO good.” — Erika VanDam, RoscoeBooks, Chicago, IL

These books and others publishing the week of Sept. 9, 2019, are listed in a downloadable spreadsheet.

In the Media

People ’s Book of the Week is Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don't Know by Malcolm Gladwell (Little, Brown: Hachette). Also getting coverage are Dominicana by Angie Cruz (Flatiron: Macmillan; LJ starred review) and Pretty Guilty Women by Gina LaManna (Sourcebooks Landmark). There is a Q&A with Tatiana Schlossberg, Inconspicuous Consumption: The Environmental Impact You Don't Know You Have (Grand Central: Hachette). On the “Picks” list is It: Chapter Two and Archibald's Next Big Thing. The food section highlights Game-Day Eats: 100 Recipes for Homegating Like a Pro by Eddie Jackson (Harper) and The Vegan 8: 100 Simple, Delicious Recipes Made with 8 Ingredients or Less by Brandi Doming (Oxmoor House).


NPR reviews She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement by Jodi Kantor, Megan Twohey (Penguin): “tells the inside story of their remarkable reporting, from the first exploratory phone calls to a mounting trail of evidence to a final faceoff with a belligerent Weinstein at The New York Times headquarters.” Also, Permanent Record by Mary H.K. Choi (S. & S. Books for Young Readers): “it's about that murky time between high school and everything that comes after, where you're asked to make huge decisions that will affect the rest of your life but you have no idea what you actually want.” Quichotte by Salman Rushdie (Random House; LJ starred review): “as a book, is a mess. But it is a beautiful mess. A resonant mess. A daring mess. An absolute mess that somehow hangs together anyway through digressions and departures, looooong stretches of didactic, narrated passages on history and immigration and the opioid crisis, shifts in POV and, you know, reality.” Are You Listening? by Tillie Walden (First Second: Macmillan): “details seem to manifest and disintegrate according to the characters' states of mind. It's not just a neat effect; it's an expression of Walden's theme.” Apple, Tree: Writers on Their Parents edited by Lise Funderburg (Univ. Nebraska): "a relaxed, pleasant reading experience, more like dinner-party conversation than a panel discussion.” No Ivy League by Hazel Newlevant (Lion Forge): “It's such a radical challenge, in fact, that you have to change your whole perspective to notice it at all … Why give your attention to such a humble story? That's the most radical question of all.” Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don't Know by Malcolm Gladwell (Little, Brown: Hachette): “a sweeping survey tour of miscommunication, through stories ripped from the headlines and history books. It's a fascinating, if sometimes meandering journey.”

The Washington Post reviews She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement by Jodi Kantor, Megan Twohey (Penguin): “an instant classic of investigative journalism.” Also, Fly Already: Stories by Etgar Keret (Riverhead: Penguin): “this collection features some of the darkest imagery Keret has brought to print to date.” Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don't Know by Malcolm Gladwell (Little, Brown: Hachette): “Depending on the reader, these connections are either entertaining and insightful or wild and tendentious, even misleading.” The Swallows by Lisa Lutz (Ballantine: Random House): “wants to be both John le Carré and Doris Lessing. It’s an odd combination that perhaps not surprisingly doesn’t quite come together.” Rumaan Alam reviews Gun Island by Amitav Ghosh (FSG: Macmillan): “The confidence with which he shapes a good, old-fashioned diversion around these particular poles is instructive. Escapism has its virtues, but a book unafraid of ideas can be bracing.”

Author Susan Faludi reviews She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement by Jodi Kantor, Megan Twohey (Penguin) for the NYT, writing it is “less about the man and more about his surround-sound 'complicity machine' of board members and lawyers, human resource officers and P.R. flaks, tabloid publishers and entertainment reporters who kept him rampaging with impunity years after his behavior had become an open secret. Kantor and Twohey instinctively understand the dangers of the Harvey-as-Monster story line — and the importance of refocusing our attention on structures of power.” Also, The Institute by Stephen King (Scribner: S. & S.): “The right words are all we have in this world, and King too rarely pauses to search for them. He can access a good deal of genuine chrome-wheeled magic as a writer, but he reaches too often for the canned and frozen stuff, for the dried spices, for word-clusters that fell off the back of a Sysco truck.” Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber by Mike Isaac (W.W. Norton): “Isaac is great at the ticktock of events as they unfold, but his best work comes when he steps back to examine the bigger picture.”

Entertainment Weekly reviews Quichotte by Salman Rushdie (Random House; LJ starred review), giving it an A- and writing “Rushdie weaves together all of his subjects, sharply observed, with extraordinary elegance and wit.”

Briefly Noted

The Barnes & Nobel book club book for September is Margaret Atwood's The Testaments.

Vulture ’s “Read Like the Wind” newsletter arrives.

USA Today picks its books of the week.

The NYT features Akwaeke Emezi, Pet (Make Me a World: Random House; SLJ starred review).

Entertainment Weekly has an interview with Margaret Atwood.

The Guardian interviews Stephen King, The Institute (Scribner: S. & S.). The paper also interviews Attica Locke, Heaven, My Home (Mulholland Books: Hachette), Samantha Power, The Education of an Idealist: A Memoir (Dey Street Books: Harper), Jennifer Gunter, The Vagina Bible: The Vulva and the Vagina: Separating the Myth from the Medicine (Citadel: Random House), and Daniel Mallory Ortberg, Something That May Shock and Discredit You (Atria: S. & S.).

Electric Lit interviews Monique Truong, The Sweetest Fruits (Viking: Penguin).

The NYT interviews Amitav Ghosh, Gun Island (FSG: Macmillan).

The Millions interviews Chris Ware, Rusty Brown (Pantheon: Random House; LJ starred review).

Gizmodo interviews Randall Munroe, How To: Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems (Riverhead: Penguin).

LitHub interviews Lucy Ellmann, Ducks, Newburyport (Biblioasis; LJ starred review).

The NYT features new reporting in She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement by Jodi Kantor, Megan Twohey (Penguin).

Brain Pickings features I Like You by Sandol Stoddard Warburg, illustrated by Jacqueline Chwast (HMH Books for Young Readers) and sales jump.

Walter Mosley writes an opinion piece for the NYT, entitled “Why I Quit the Writers’ Room.” Deadline has a report.

The Guardian excerpts Agent Running in the Field by John le Carré (Viking: Penguin).

Book Riot excerpts The Perfect Escape by Suzanne Park (Sourcebooks Fire).

Vulture has an audio excerpt of Ann Dowd reading The Testaments by Margaret Atwood (Random House Audio).

The Atlantic features Joe Country by Mick Herron (Soho Crime: Random House).

Slate spotlights How to Fight Anti-Semitism by Bari Weiss (Crown: Random House).

Bustle suggests “7 Young Adult Books Out In Autumn 2019 In The UK That'll Keep You Busy Until Christmas.” Also, “20 New Horror Books For Readers Who Take Spooky Season Seriously.” And “10 New #MeToo Movement Books To Read In Fall 2019.”

Paste picks the 10 best Stephen King novels.

The Atlantic spotlights books about menopause.

Book Riot offers read-alikes for The Goldfinch.

The Ned Kelly Awards are announced.

The shortlist for the Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction is out.

Mother Jones reports that a tell-all book about Trump is being held up by the Defense Department.

Locus reports that The Campbell Conference is now known as the Gunn Center Conference.

OneZero writes “Almost Everything About Goodreads Is Broken.”

The NYT looks at the habits of authors on its bestseller lists.

The Guardian considers time between sequels.

Authors on Air

CBS Sunday Morning features Margaret Atwood. They also offer an excerpt of the novel.

NPR interviews Margaret Atwood. Also, an interview with Lara Prescott, The Secrets We Kept (Knopf; LJ starred review).

PBS NewsHour interviews Dana Thomas, Fashionopolis: The Price of Fast Fashion and the Future of Clothes (Penguin). There is also a piece on the new Magic School Bus show. reports that Cixin Liu’s Supernova Era is headed for the movies and Charlie Jane Anders’s The City in the Middle of the Night has been optioned.

The Hollywood Reporter writes that Will Smith is adapting Marcus Sakey’s Brilliance.

Deadline reports that Mama’s Boy: A Story From Our Americas by Dustin Lance Black is heading to the movies.

Vanity Fair features The Personal History of David Copperfield. Deadline has more on the film too.

Joker wins the top prize at the Venice Film Festival. The NYT reports.

Doctor Sleep gets a trailer.

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