Tessa Bailey’s ‘Fangirl Down’ Tops Holds | Book Pulse

Fangirl Down by Tessa Bailey leads holds this week. Also in demand are titles by James Patterson and James O. Born, Susan Mallery, Kate Quinn and Janie Chang, and Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Nine LibraryReads and five Indie Next picks publish this week. People’s book of the week is The Book of Love by Kelly Link, which NYT calls “profoundly beautiful.” Disney+’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians, based on the books by Rick Riordan, will return for a second season.

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Big Books of the Week

Fangirl Down by Tessa Bailey (Avon) leads holds this week.

Other titles in demand include:

Crosshairs by James Patterson & James O. Born (Little, Brown)

The Summer Book Club by Susan Mallery (Canary Street)

The Phoenix Crown by Kate Quinn & Janie Chang (Morrow)

Simply the Best by Susan Elizabeth Phillips (Avon; LJ starred review)

These books and others publishing the week of February 12, 2024, are listed in a downloadable spreadsheet.

Librarians and Booksellers Suggest

Nine LibraryReads and five Indie Next picks publish this week:

Several Hall of Fame titles arrive, including The Phoenix Crown by Kate Quinn & Janie Chang (Morrow), Simply the Best by Susan Elizabeth Phillips (Avon; LJ starred review), At First Spite by Olivia Dade (Avon; LJ starred review), and Fangirl Down by Tessa Bailey (Avon).

Hall of Fame title What Feasts at Night by T. Kingfisher (Tor Nightfire) is also an Indie Next pick:

“A strangely cozy but creeping novella for fans of ghostly encounters. Kingfisher’s returning characters remain as entertaining and loveable in a new and haunting setting, further building the world they started in What Moves the Dead.”—Isaiah Scandrette, Folio Books, San Francisco, CA

Hall of Fame title The Warm Hands of Ghosts by Katherine Arden (Del Rey: Ballantine; LJ starred review) is also an Indie Next pick:

“If anyone is going to get me to read a WWI novel, it’s Katherine Arden, and thank goodness she did. The pages sparkle with grief and magic, heartbreak and love, death and life. This one will stick with me.”—Margaret McCampbell, Reads & Company, Phoenixville, PA

The Book of Love by Kelly Link (Random)

“Three teens are newly back from the dead. Endowed with mysterious magical powers, they have to figure out how they died and what to do to keep from returning to the world of the dead. A huge cast of characters from the underworld and from their cute New England seaside town help (and hinder) them. This romantic, sexy, funny, and queer novel is recommended for readers who enjoy mythology and magical hijinks.”—Emily Heath, Brooklyn Public Library, NY

It is also an Indie Next pick:

“What can’t Kelly Link do? Seriously, this novel blew me away. It is brimming with magic and surrealism and weirdness (in true Kelly Link fashion), as well as the most heartfelt warmth and intimacy and sincerity. 10s across the board.”—Amali Gordon-Buxbaum, Books Are Magic, Brooklyn, NY

The Fox Wife by Yangsze Choo (Holt) *Good for Book Clubs

“This wonderful weaving of fantasy and folklore builds on ancient lore that foxes can change form into humans. When a young woman is found dead in the snow, Bao, a thoughtful investigator, is hired to explain her death. Rumor has it that foxes might be involved, and Bao follows clues shrouded in mystery to find the story of her death- and more. Highly recommended for fans of fantasy and whodunits that feature vivid characters and settings.”—Mitzi Sherwood, Honey Grove Library, TX

It is also an Indie Next pick:

“This slow burn of a novel is part mystery, part fable, all character. The novel alternates between the stories of Snow, a fox woman seeking revenge, and Bao, a private investigator who can hear lies, until their stories inevitably intertwine.”—Fisher Nash, Carmichael’s Bookstore, Louisville, KY

The Book of Doors by Gareth Brown (Morrow; LJ starred review) *Good for Book Clubs

“Cassie likes her quiet life working in a bookstore in Manhattan. When one of her favorite customers dies in the shop one night, she finds a book in his possession with an inscription to her and the newfound ability that allows her to go through any door and come out wherever she wishes. The book is part of a powerful set of books that several seekers will stop at nothing to obtain. This fantastical time travel novel has several interesting twists- including one final one.”—Jennifer Winberry, Hunterdon County Library, NJ

It is also an Indie Next pick:

“We all know books are metaphoric doors — what if they were literal doors as well? Full of fascinating characters, mystery, and magical books, this debut novel will appeal to fans of The Starless Sea.”—Keith Glaeske, East City Bookshop, Washington, DC

Two additional Indie Next picks publish this week:

I Love You So Much It’s Killing Us Both by Maria Stovall (Soft Skull)

“A beautiful punch in the gut like a mosh pit on a Saturday night. Mariah Stovall’s debut sweeps us into the tender-yet-vicious embrace of teenage friendship, connecting past, present, and future, and the heroes of post-hardcore, punk, and emo.”—Mikey LaFave, Avid Bookshop, Athens, GA

A Wild and Heavenly Place by Robin Oliveira (Putnam)

“I enjoyed this immersive tale of love, heartbreak, and survival spanning Scotland to rugged Seattle in 1879. Lovers strive to overcome adversity in the reversals of fortunes and unbearable hardships that force life-changing decisions.”—Annette Steinmetz, The Well-Read Moose, Coeur d'Alene, ID

In the Media

People’s book of the week is The Book of Love by Kelly Link (Random). Also getting attention are Leaving by Roxana Robinson (Norton) and This Disaster Loves You by Richard Roper (Putnam). A “great non-novels” section highlights This Is the Honey: An Anthology of Contemporary Black Poets, ed. by Kwame Alexander (Little, Brown; LJ starred review), My Side of the River: A Memoir by Elizabeth Camarillo Gutierrez (St. Martin’s), and Neighbors and Other Stories by Diane Oliver (Grove). 

The “Picks” section spotlights Argylle, based on the novel by Elly Conway, and Netflix’s series One Day, based on the novel by David Nicholls. 

There is a feature on the “marvelous life of Billy Dee Williams” and his new memoir, What Have We Here?: Portraits of a Life (Knopf). Plus, recipes from Julius Roberts, The Farm Table (Ten Speed), and Ching-He Huang, Wok for Less: Budget-Friendly Asian Meals in 30 Minutes or Less (Kyle Bks).


NYT reviews Cocktails with George and Martha: Movies, Marriage, and the Making of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? by Philip Gefter (Bloomsbury; LJ starred review): “What a document dump!”; The Book of Love by Kelly Link (Random): “It’s profoundly beautiful, provokes intense emotion, offers up what feel like rooted, incontrovertible truths—but as soon as one tries to repeat them, all that’s left are shapes and textures, the faint outlines of shifting terrain”; The Freaks Came Out To Write: The Definitive History of the Village Voice, the Radical Paper That Changed American Culture by Tricia Romano (PublicAffairs): “Tricia Romano’s oral history of The Village Voice, the most important alternative weekly of the 20th century, is a well-made disco ball of a book—it’s big, discursive, ardent, intellectual and flecked with gossip”; Brought Forth on This Continent: Abraham Lincoln and American Immigration by Harold Holzer (Dutton): “Ujifusa’s thoroughly researched and beautifully written history ends tragically with the outbreak of World War I and the suspension of steamship service across the Atlantic”; and Kubrick: An Odyssey by Robert P. Kolker & Nathan Abrams (Pegasus): “The book is billed as ‘definitive,’ and sure, let’s say it is. It is also touted for the addition of new interviews with family members, and that part is evident.”

Washington Post reviews The Adversary by Michael Crummey (Doubleday): “The Adversary is a beautifully written, immensely powerful and subtly ingenious novel. Its greatest—which is to say, most monstrous—revelations are so discreetly offered that you could miss them; but when you realize them, they practically take your breath away”; and Leaving by Roxana Robinson (Norton): “This lithe novel engrosses. Robinson proves that writers can still evoke the silences and renunciations that thwart desire, and that stars still cross.”

The Guardian reviews Burma Sahib by Paul Theroux (Mariner): “Theroux, like Orwell, is the sharpest observer of the nonsenses of the class system, and he examines the ways that his subject was both snared and appalled by it”; and The House of Broken Bricks by Fiona Williams (Holt), which publishes in the US in April: “The House of Broken Bricks is a tender and powerful novel, all the more profound for its apparent simplicity, and establishes Williams as an exciting and original new voice.”

Briefly Noted

People has an interview with Hollywood writer Stan Zimmerman about his new book, The Girls: From Golden to Gilmore (Indigo River). Hollywood Reporter shares an exclusive excerpt.

Datebook has a Q&A with Lauren Markham, author of A Map of Future Ruins: On Borders and Belonging (Riverhead). 

Comedian Rob Schneider will release You Can Do It!: Speak Your Mind, America (Center Street) on September 24. Deadline reports. 

Shelf Awareness reports from the ABA's Winter Institute.

Washington Post recommends 6 audiobooks for Valentine’s Day

NPR suggests 5 books centering seniors

CrimeReads highlights 10 new books for the week

Elle shares “The Best (and Most Anticipated) Romance Books of 2024, So Far.”

Washington Post explains the romantasy trend

PopSugar talks with Katherine Woodward Thomas about the staying power of her TikTok-trending 2004 book, Calling in “The One” Revised and Expanded: 7 Weeks To Attract the Love of Your Life (Harmony). 

Amazon removes titles about King Charles’s cancer diagnosis after concerns about sham, AI-written biographiesThe Bookseller reports.

Entertainment Weekly shares details from Josh Brolin’s new coffee table book, Dune: Exposures, photos by Greig Fraser (Insight Editions), with poetry about Timothée Chalamet.

Six fantasy authors discuss the year of the dragon. Reactor takes note. 

Ellen Gilchrist, Writer with an Eye on the South’s Foibles, Dies at 88.” NYT has an obituary. 

Authors on Air

Kwame Alexander, editor of This Is the Honey: An Anthology of Contemporary Black Poets (Little, Brown; LJ starred review), talks with PBS Canvas about the anthology.

Curtis Chin appears on PBS Canvas to talk about his new book, Everything I Learned, I Learned in a Chinese Restaurant: A Memoir (Little, Brown).

Disney+’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians, based on the books by Rick Riordan, will return for a second season. USA Today talks with producers. 

Elizabeth Comen, All in Her Head: The Truth and Lies Early Medicine Taught Us About Women’s Bodies and Why It Matters Today (Harper Wave), will be on GMA today. 

Rachel DeAlto, Relatable: How To Connect with Anyone, Anywhere (Even If It Scares You) (Simon Element), visits Tamron Hall.

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