‘The Paradise Problem’ by Christina Lauren Tops Holds Lists | Book Pulse

The Paradise Problem by Christina Lauren leads holds this week. Also getting buzz are titles by Harlan Coben, Miranda July, Jenn McKinlay, and Katee Robert. Four LibraryReads and four Indie Next picks publish this week. People’s book of the week is Shanghailanders by Juli Min. The Wales Book of the Year shortlist is announced. Madhur Jaffrey’s landmark Invitation to Indian Cooking celebrates 50 years.

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Big Books of the Week

The Paradise Problem by Christina Lauren (Gallery; LJ starred review) leads holds this week. 

Other titles in demand include:

Think Twice by Harlan Coben (Grand Central)

All Fours by Miranda July (Riverhead)

Love at First Book by Jenn McKinlay (Berkley)

Blood on the Tide by Katee Robert (Berkley)

These books and others publishing the week of May 13, 2024, are listed in a downloadable spreadsheet.

Librarians and Booksellers Suggest

Four LibraryReads and four Indie Next picks publish this week:

Love at First Book by Jenn McKinlay (Berkley), is a Hall of Fame pick.

Hall of Fame pick The Paradise Problem by Christina Lauren (Gallery; LJ starred review) is also an Indie Next pick:

“A fake marriage trope with hints of Succession, all of the spice, and set on a beautiful private island? Sign me up! This had the predictability of a romance with enough intrigue to entertain. Christina Lauren just keep getting better!”—Amy Dickinson, Book Ends Winchester, Winchester, MA

Long After We Are Gone by Terah Shelton Harris (Sourcebooks Landmark) *Good for Book Clubs

“This is a moving story about four siblings trying to hold onto their family property after their father dies. Secrets and dubious life choices threaten to break the family apart. Each sibling experiences a journey of despair followed by self-discovery and self-determination, seeking what truly matters while they face devastating loss. An engaging and satisfying read, featuring believable, complex characters.”—Monica McAbee, PGCMLS Surratts Clinton, MD

When Among Crows by Veronica Roth (Tor)

“This painful and fascinating but ultimately hopeful urban fantasy set in Chicago is a packed novella steeped in Slavic folklore. Dymitr, is on a quest to retrieve a guarded plant that might relieve the demon Ala of a deadly curse so he can bargain with her for a hint on how to seek an audience with Baba Yaga herself.”—Jessica Trotter, Capital Area District Libraries, MI

It is also an Indie Next pick:

“Veronica Roth masterfully blends myth, modern-day Chicago, and the magic of the old country in this enthralling tale. This was the fantasy novella I didn’t know I needed!”—Sammie Virella, Anderson’s Bookshops, Naperville, IL

Two additionl Indie Next picks publish this week:

Woodworm by Layla Martinez, tr. by Sophie Hughes & Annie McDermott (Two Lines)

“Martínez bends a haunting to her will. Woodworm is an offbeat tale about intergenerational trauma, classism, and the measures we take to grasp at anything resembling justice. I could taste its righteous malevolence; I savored every word.”—Lauren Abesames, Wind City Books, Casper, WY

All Fours by Miranda July (Riverhead)

“A compulsively readable novel that follows a middle-aged artist as she undergoes a sexual and spiritual awakening. I loved this meditation on aging, restlessness, isolation, obsession, and the trials and triumphs of self-reinvention.”—Caitlyn Lyles, Hooked Community, Lansing, MI

In the Media

People’s book of the week is Shanghailanders by Juli Min (Spiegel & Grau). Also getting attention are This Strange Eventful History by Claire Messud (Norton) and Blue Ruin by Hari Kunrzu (Knopf). “Missing Persons Fiction” includes The Red Grove by Tessa Fontaine (Farrar), Very Bad Company by Emma Rosenblum (Flatiron), and The Return of Ellie Black by Emiko Jean (S. & S.). 

The “Picks” section spotlights Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes, based on the novel Planet of the Apes by Pierre Boulle, Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire on AMC, Shardlake, based on the books by C.J. Sansom on Hulu, A Man in Full, based on the novel by Tom Wolfe on Netflix, and all the latest on Bridgerton’s third season on Netflix. There is a feature on Brittney Griner and her memoir, Coming Home, written with Michelle Burford (Knopf). Plus, recipes from Sat Bains, Eat to Your Heart’s Content: Recipes To Improve Your Heart Health from an Award-Winning Chef & Heart Attack Survivor (Kyle Bks.), Tyler Florence, American Grill: 125 Recipes for Mastering Live Fire (Abrams), and Phoebe Lapine, Carbivore: 130 Healthy Recipes To Stop Fearing Carbs and Embrace the Comfort Foods You Love (Hachette Go).


NYT reviews All Fours by Miranda July (Riverhead): “Hatred is fear-based, of course—and you come to understand that the main character’s real journey will not be on Route 66, but the path to self-acceptance. In order to ride shotgun comfortably, though, you have to accept her preoccupation with the reflection in the rearview mirror; her indifference to any current affairs but her own”; We Were the Universe by Kimberly King Parsons (Knopf): “Parsons has gifted us with a profound, gutsy tale of grief’s dismantling power”; The Infernal Machine: A True Story of Dynamite, Terror, and the Rise of the Modern Detective by Steven Johnson (Crown): “Johnson lays out the worlds of the bombers and their pursuers in admirable detail and with sturdy prose graced by an occasional light touch, as in his discussion of Reaper Works, a manufacturing company with an unenviable record of worker deaths and injuries”; Late Admissions: Confessions of a Black Conservative by Glenn Loury (Norton): “You don’t finish Late Admissions particularly liking Loury, or admiring him. He’s sorry about a lot of the things he’s done. But it’s to his credit that he doesn’t gin up a false catharsis, a ready-made Today Show moment of abiding contrition”; Challenger: A True Story of Heroism and Disaster on the Edge of Space by Adam Higginbotham (Avid Reader/S. & S.): “For cynical Americans, disaster buffs and engineers, Challenger will be a quick, devastating read. In Higginbotham’s deft hands, the human element—sometimes heroic, sometimes cloaked in doublespeak and bluster—shines through the many technical aspects of this story, a constant reminder that every decision was made by people weighing risks versus expediency, their minds distorted by power, money, politics and yes-men”; Fat Leonard: How One Man Bribed, Bilked, and Seduced the U.S. Navy by Craig Whitlock (S. & S.): “In Fat Leonard, a masterly investigation into one of the Navy’s worst scandals in modern times, the Washington Post journalist Craig Whitlock brings to bear 10 years of research to show how Francis came to be known as Leonard the Legend, Mr. Make-It-Happen, Fat Bastard, and, most of all, as Fat Leonard”; Last House by Jessica Shattuck (Morrow): “Maybe the ‘comfort and ease’ of the Taylors’ marriage, Bet thinks early on, ‘diminished a certain excitement and offered honesty in its place.’ The same might be said of this admirable, ambitious novel”; and This Strange Eventful History by Claire Messud (Norton): “Readers of Claire Messud’s other superbly written novels will recognize the agile precision of her prose in her newest one, This Strange Eventful History, and some will nod at the mention of North Africa.”

NPR reviews Amphibious Soul : Finding the Wild in a Tame World by Craig Foster (Harper One): “Foster's writing is rooted in his own learning from an array of mentors, including Indigenous individuals, and in a wish to share and spread his joy in nature. A spirit of generosity suffuses the book.”

Washington Post reviews The World Is Yours: The Story of Scarface by Glenn Kenny (Hanover Square: Harlequin): The World Is Yours isn’t the first book-length examination of Scarface; Nat Segaloff’s Say Hello to My Little Friend was published last year, following Ken Tucker’s “Scarface Nation” in 2008. But Kenny’s book comes off as authoritative, the final word on the subject. At least for now”; A Fatal Inheritance: How a Family Misfortune Revealed a Deadly Medical Mystery by Lawrence Ingrassia (Holt): A Fatal Inheritance is not a beach book; reading about the agonized families can be both painful and frustrating, given there still is no cure for the disorder. But readers will be rewarded with a detailed look at the high—and all-too-human—stakes of cancer research”; and No Going Back: The Truth on What’s Wrong with Politics and How We Move America Forward  by Kristi Noem (Center Street): "For a few glorious pages, Noem feels like a Flannery O’Connor character with tax cuts. Honestly, as someone who had to endure all 260 pages of No Going Back, I wish Noem had shot more dogs—or me."

Briefly Noted

People recommends the best books to read in May.

CrimeReads suggests 10 new books for the week.

The Wales Book of the Year shortlist is announcedBBC has details.

The Cape Cod Book Festival will launch November 1. 

CNN explores “The birth of the beach read.”

The Guardian has an interview with Miranda July about her new book, All Fours (Riverhead). People shares an excerpt of the novel.

NYT features author Lauren Groff and her new Gainesville, FL, bookstore, the Lynx, which she opened in response to surging book bans.

At Psychology Today, Lawrence R. Samuel, Literacy in America A Cultural History of the Past Century (Rowman & Littlefield), notes that reading is a basic human drive.

NYT talks with Zoë Schlanger about her new book, The Light Eaters: How the Unseen World of Plant Intelligence Offers a New Understanding of Life on Earth (Harper).

Johann Hari, Magic Pill: The Extraordinary Benefits and Disturbing Risks of the New Weight-Loss Drugs (Crown; LJ starred review), writes about Japan’s food culture in an essay for Time

People puts the Bridgerton books in order and shares how they differ from the Netflix show.

Authors on Air

On PBS CanvasMadhur Jaffrey discusses the legacy of her pioneering cookbook, An Invitation to Indian Cooking (Knopf), as it marks its 50th anniversary.

On NPR’s Fresh AirViet Thanh Nguyen discusses his book The Sympathizer (Grove; LJ starred review) and his escape from Vietnam.

Harlan Coben, Think Twice (Grand Central), visits CBS Mornings today. 

Rocco DiSpirito, Everyday Delicious: 30 Minute(ish) Home-Cooked Meals Made Simple (Rodale), will appear on The Talk.

Whoopi Goldberg, Bits and Pieces: My Mother, My Brother, and Me (Blackstone), will visit The Kelly Clarkson Show

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