‘Identity’ by Nora Roberts Tops Holds Lists | Book Pulse

Identity by Nora Roberts leads holds this week. Also popular are The Senator’s Wife by Liv Constantine and Bad Summer People by Emma Rosenblum, which is also People’s book of the week. One LibraryReads and three Indie Next picks publish this week. The Water Diviner by Zahran Alqasmi (Rashm) wins $50,000 2023 International Prize for Arabic Fiction. The Washington Post previews this season’s best baseball books. Plus, tributes pour in for British author Martin Amis who died at the age of 73.

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Big Books of the Week

Identity by Nora Roberts (St. Martin’s) leads holds this week.

Other titles in demand include:

The Senator’s Wife by Liv Constantine (Bantam)

Bad Summer People by Emma Rosenblum (Flatiron)

Tom Clancy Flash Point by Don Bentley (Putnam)

Rogue Justice by Stacey Abrams (Doubleday)

The Poisoner’s Ring by Kelley Armstrong (Minotaur; LJ starred review)

These books and others publishing the week of May 22, 2023 are listed in a downloadable spreadsheet.

Awards, News & Remembering Martin Amis

British author Martin Amis has died at 73.The Guardian has an obituary, plus tributes and reflections from friends and colleagues.

NPR has more on his life. NYT, the Washington Post, USA Today and LA Times also share remembrances. 

NYT has a guide to Amis’s books, and the Washington Post shares “where to start” with Amis’s writing.

The Water Diviner by Zahran Alqasmi (Rashm) wins the $50,000 2023 International Prize for Arabic Fiction. Publishing Perspectives has details.

Germany’s Bookwire will distribute Arabookverse digital contentPublishing Perspectives reports. 

Locus reports on the controversy over Bloomsbury’s paperback edition cover of Sara J. Maas’s House of Earth and Blood, which uses an AI-generated image.

Novelist Hank Green announced a cancer diagnosis. The Washington Post reports. 

Librarians and Booksellers Suggest

One LibraryReads and three Indie Next picks publish this week:

The Senator’s Wife by Liv Constantine (Bantam)

“After her husband was murdered, Sloane never expected to find happiness, but she did…with Whit, who was married to her husband’s killer. Whit considerately hires an aide for Sloane, who has a chronic illness, to help her recover from major surgery. But as she suffers debilitating flare-ups and Whit exhibits suspicious behavior, Sloane wonders whether she will ever get her life back. This thriller will keep readers up well after bedtime.”—Chris Markley, Kingsport Public Library

Three Indie Next picks publish this week:

The Lost Journals of Sacajewea by Debra Magpie Earling (Milkweed)

“A much anticipated and gorgeous book from Debra Magpie Earling. The Lost Journals of Sacajewea is immersive and engaging, drawing the reader into a new way of seeing what we think of know of the story of Sacajewea.”—Mara Panich, Fact & Fiction Downtown, Missoula, MT

The Book of Charlie: Wisdom from the Remarkable American Life of a 109-Year-Old Man by David Von Drehle (S. & S.)

“Charlie White’s life of 109 years reads like fiction! A story, not without tragedy, of the wild, heroic, and sometimes dangerous adventures of Charlie White. He lived his own advice: Work hard. Spread joy. Take a chance. Enjoy wonder.”—Jeri Kay Thomas, 2 Dandelions Bookshop, Brighton, MI

The Late Americans by Brandon Taylor (Riverhead)

“With writing that is equal parts piercing and tender, this novel shifts through a cast of grad students and laborers, lovers and friends—many of them queer men—as they navigate sex, money, art, and uncertain modern life in Iowa City.”—Owen Elphick, Main Point Books, Wayne, PA

In The Media

People’s book of the week is Bad Summer People by Emma Rosenblum (Flatiron). Also getting attention are The Postcard by Anne Berest, tr. by Tina Kover (Europa; LJ starred review), and I Didn’t Do It by Jaime Lynn Hendricks (Scarlet). A “New in Nonfiction” section highlights Glimmer: A Story of Survival, Hope, and Healing by Kimberly Shannon Murphy (Harper Wave), Brave the Wild River: The Untold Story of Two Women Who Mapped the Botany of the Grand Canyon by Melissa L. Sevigny (Norton), and Flawless: Lessons in Looks and Culture from the K-Beauty Capital by Elise Hu (Dutton). 

The “Picks” section highlights American Born Chinese, based on the graphic novel by Gene Luen Yang on Disney+. There is a summer TV preview and a feature on Hot and Bothered: What No One Tells You About Menopause and How To Feel Like Yourself Again by Jancee Dunn (Putnam). People online shares the author’s 10 tips for making it through perimenopause. Plus, there is a Q&A with Brie Larson, who stars in Apple TV+'s series adaptation of Bonnie Garmus’s Lessons in Chemistry.


The Washington Post reviews A Line in the Sand by Kevin Powers (Little, Brown): A Line in the Sand succeeds not because of its outrage or suspense, but because of its brilliantly nuanced depiction of how veterans deal with coming home to a nation that is, in many ways, as treacherous as a war zone”; and Fires in the Dark: Healing the Unquiet Mind by Kay Redfield Jamison (Knopf): “Jamison is a beautiful writer, with a vast store of knowledge…. Her book contains a blueprint for finding a way out of darkness—a great gift for anyone who sometimes struggles to overcome psychic pain.” 

NYT reviews The Late Americans by Brandon Taylor (Riverhead): “Taylor has written a bleak book with flashes of beauty, circling a hothouse of young people on the brink of transplantation into the harsh outside world. His ear for dialogue is exquisitely sensitive”; and NB by J.C.: A Walk Through the Times Literary Supplement by James Campbell (Paul Dry Bks.): “He was interested in everything. When he needed material for a column, he would sometimes walk to a bookstore, buy something unusual and write about its contents. He made it work.”

The Guardian reviews The Imposters by Tom Rachman (Little, Brown): ”His first novel, The Imperfectionists, focused on journalists. Here he offers a convoluted study of a different sort of writer, the ageing novelist Dora, in a treatment that is not unfeeling, though needlessly contorted.” The Guardian also reviews the work of the 2023 International Booker prize shortlist

Briefly Noted

The Washington Post talks with former FBI Director James Comey about his debut crime novel, Central Park West (Mysterious Pr.), due out next week. 

NYT has an interview with Kay Redfield Jamison about her new book, Fires in the Dark: Healing the Unquiet Mind (Knopf). 

USA Today shares 5 books for the week.

CrimeReads has 10 new books for the week

Poets&Writers explores the data behind literary prizes

Vulture gives an update on the in-progress Britney Spears memoir.

Tor shares “Can’t-Miss Indie Press Speculative Fiction for May and June 2023.”

The Washington Post previews this season’s best baseball books

Authors On Air

NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday chats with scholar Hana Videen, author of the new book, The Wordhord: Daily Life in Old English (Princeton Univ.). 

NPR’s Morning Edition talks with Keith Ellison about his new book, Break the Wheel: Ending the Cycle of Police Violence (Twelve: Grand Central). 

Gillian Anderson and Jason Isaacs will star in the film adaptation of Raynor Winn’s memoir, The Salt Path (Penguin Bks.).

PBS Canvas shares how memoir writing has become a more accessible form for the people to pass down their stories

Samantha Irby, author of Quietly Hostile: Essays (Vintage), discusses her new book with NPR’s Fresh Air


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