‘A Calamity of Souls’ by David Baldacci Tops Holds | Book Pulse

A Calamity of Souls by David Baldacci leads holds this week. Also getting buzz are titles by James Patterson and Candice Fox, Anthony Horowitz, Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke, and Sara Paretsky. People’s book of the week is My Beloved Monster: Masha, the Half-Wild Rescue Cat Who Rescued Me by Caleb Carr. Salman Rushdie speaks about the attack that almost took his life and writing his new book, Knife: Meditations After an Attempted Murder. As Robert M. Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance turns 50 this year, fans will re-create his famous motorcycle ride. Plus, NYT celebrates 100 years of Simon & Schuster.

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Big Books of the Week

A Calamity of Souls by David Baldacci (Grand Central) leads holds this week.

Other titles in demand include:

The Murder Inn by James Patterson & Candice Fox (Grand Central)

Close to Death by Anthony Horowitz (Harper)

It Had to Be You by Mary Higgins Clark & Alafair Burke (S. & S.)

Pay Dirt by Sara Paretsky (Morrow)

These books and others publishing the week of April 16, 2024, are listed in a downloadable spreadsheet.

Librarians and Booksellers Suggest

Four LibraryReads picks publish this week:

The Hall of Fame pick is One of Us Knows by Alyssa Cole (Morrow; LJ starred review)

The Bonus pick is Indian Burial Ground by Nick Medina (Berkley)

“Following his debut, Sisters of the Lost Nation, Medina gives us another gripping mix of mythology and horror. The plot moves from modern-day mystery to small-town horror as Noemi seeks a fresh start, hoping to move far away from the Louisiana reservation she grew up on. When her long-gone Uncle Louie returns to the reservation, bringing with him a past full of secrets. This nerve-wracking Indigenous tale will chill readers to the bone.”—Kaite Stover, LibraryReads Board

Late Bloomer by Mazey Eddings (St. Martin’s Griffin)

“This sapphic romance is based on an adorable but outlandish scenario, where Opal accidentally buys Pepper’s inheritance (a flower farm). The way they manage their insecurities and neurodiversity and communicate with tenderness is spectacular. Readers will love seeing them grow as they navigate their relationship.”—Danielle Aronowitz, South Plainfield Public Library, NJ

To Gaze Upon Wicked Gods by Molly X. Chang (Del Rey: Ballantine)

“After a Roman prince discovers Ruying’s death power, he uses her sister's addiction to make a deal with Ruying. He needs her to assassinate someone at the top of the food chain, and in return her family will live. The cost of unusual magic, trust issues, attraction to the enemy, and constant action carry this novel.”—Kimberly McGee, Lake Travis Community Library, TX

There are no Indie Next picks this week.

In the Media

People’s book of the week is My Beloved Monster: Masha, the Half-Wild Rescue Cat Who Rescued Me by Caleb Carr (Little, Brown). Also getting attention are The Paris Novel by Ruth Reichl (Random) and The Fellowship of Puzzlemakers by Samuel Burr (Doubleday). “Suspenseful Novels” include You Know What You Did by K. T. Nguyen (Dutton), Days of Wonder by Caroline Leavitt (Algonquin), and Indian Burial Ground by Nick Medina (Berkley). 

The “Picks” section spotlights Netflix’s 3 Body Problem, based on the books by Cixin Liu. Dame Judi Dench is featured, along with her new book, Shakespeare: The Man Who Pays the Rent, written with Brendan O’Hea (St. Martin’s; LJ starred review); People online has an exclusive interview with Dench. Alyse Whitney, Big Dip Energy: 88 Parties in a Bowl for Snacking, Dinner, Dessert, and Beyond!, shares a recipe.


NYT reviews My Beloved Monster: Masha, the Half-Wild Rescue Cat Who Rescued Me by Caleb Carr (Little, Brown): “My Beloved Monster is a loving and lovely, lay-it-all-on-the-line explication of one man’s fierce attachment. If you love cats and feel slightly sheepish about it, it’s a sturdy defense weapon. If you hate them, well, there’s no hope for you.” Washington Post also reviews: “Like all good memoirs—and this is an excellent one—My Beloved Monster is not always for the faint of heart. Because life is not for the faint of heart. But it is worth the emotional investment, and the tissues you will need by the end, to spend time with a writer and cat duo as extraordinary as Masha and Carr.”

NYT also reviews New Cold Wars: China’s Rise, Russia's Invasion, and America’s Struggle To Defend the West by David E. Sanger &Mary K. Brooks (Crown): “New Cold Wars vividly captures the view from Washington. But, as Sanger makes clear, with America no longer an unchallenged hegemon, the fate of the U.S.-led order rests more than ever on the ideas, beliefs and emotions of people far outside the Beltway”; Thorn Tree by Max Ludington (St. Martin’s): “With Thorn Tree, one sees how utopia becomes dystopia, grief becomes art, the creator becomes the destroyer, and how love, to a monster, twists into hate. The story is less a kaleidoscope than a piece of glass shattered into a thousand deadly pieces. Those shards will cut you”; and The Band by Christine Ma-Kellams (Atria): “The story moves fast, almost too fast, given the number of threads that it has to unite, though it does tie them all up elegantly. Ma-Kellams has little to say about K-pop’s sounds, but much about spotlights, labor and alienation.”

Washington Post reviews Muse of Fire: World War I as Seen Through the Lives of the Soldier Poets by Michael Korda (Liveright): “Korda, keenly attuned to the nuances of Britain’s class system and its overlapping literary circles, excels at tracing the bonds of acquaintance, collegiality, amity and sometimes physical attraction that knit these men to one another.” NYT also reviews: “Korda’s group portrait of soldier poets skillfully depicts how different classes of men experienced the Western Front and offers an entry point into a rich seam of under-read war poetry.”

NPR reviews Like Happiness by Ursula Villarreal-Moura (Celadon): “Villarreal-Moura has tapped into something as resonant as it is recognizable, and in Like Happiness has given us a beautiful work of fiction that dwells in the gray areas between celebrity and fan, victim and victimizer, absolution and blame.”

The Guardian reviews All You Need Is Love: An Oral History of the Beatles by Peter Brown & Steven Gaines (St. Martin’s): “Reading the pieces back to back you have the sense of Brown and Gaines jetting between London and New York, like hardboiled crime investigators, in search of evidence of ever more rancour between Klein and John Eastman or Cynthia Lennon and Yoko, all of them proxy battles in the primary war between Lennon and McCartney.”

Briefly Noted

NYT interviews Salman Rushdie, whose new book, Knife: Meditations After an Attempted Murder (Random), takes stock of the 2022 attack that almost killed him.

Hollywood Reporter has a list of winners from last night’s Writers Guild Awards

A new annual PEN Heaney Prize is launched for poetry with a focus on social engagementThe Bookseller reports. 

James Patterson, The Secret Lives of Booksellers and Librarians: True Stories of the Magic of Reading, written with Matt Eversmann (Little, Brown), talks about “book bans and the importance of supporting libraries and bookstores,” with People.

People talks with Myah Ariel about her book When I Think of You (Berkley; LJ starred review) and how connecting with her mother's friend Mary Steenburgen influenced the novel.

FoxNews talks with Nicole Saphier about her new book, Love, Mom: Inspiring Stories Celebrating Motherhood (Broadside). 

At People, Ana Huang talks about her publishing journey and her forthcoming novel, King of Sloth, due out from Bloom Books on April 30.

There is renewed interest in the late O.J. Simpson’s book If I Did It: Confessions of the Killer (Beaufort), which reaches Amazon’s bestseller lists after his death, People reports.

CrimeReads suggests 10 new books for the week.

As Robert M. Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values (Mariner) turns 50 this year, fans will re-create his famous motorcycle ride. USA Today has the story. 

NYT celebrates 100 years of Simon & Schuster.

Authors on Air

Salman Rushdie speaks about writing his new book, Knife: Meditations After an Attempted Murder (Random), on 60 Minutes. Rushdie will be on GMA today and will also visit with Stephen Colbert.

PBS Canvas has a remembrance of award-winning author and artist Faith Ringgold, who has died at the age of 93

NPR’s Books We Love rounds up the best love and romance titles.

Sarah Hart discusses her new book, Once Upon a Prime: The Wondrous Connections Between Mathematics and Literature (Flatiron), with B&N’s Poured Over podcast.

Doris Kearns Goodwin, An Unfinished Love Story: A Personal History of the 1960s (S. & S), and Emma Straub and Susan Straub, Gaga Mistake Day (Rocky Pond). will be on Today.

Valerie Bertinelli, Indulge: Delicious and Decadent Dishes To Enjoy and Share (Harvest; LJ starred review), visits with Drew Barrymore.

Jason Tartick, Talk Money to Me: The 8 Essential Financial Questions to Discuss With Your Partner (HarperCollins Leadership), will be on The Jennifer Hudson Show.

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