‘Funny Story’ by Emily Henry Tops Holds Lists | Book Pulse

Funny Story by Emily Henry leads holds this week. Also getting buzz are titles by Sally Hepworth, Elly Griffiths, Douglas Preston, and Nancy Thayer. People’s book of the week is Real Americans by Rachel Khong. Winners of the O. Henry Prize for Short Fiction are announced, as are the CWA Dagger longlists. Kevin Kwan’s Crazy Rich Asians is headed to Broadway as a musical. And philosopher Daniel C. Dennett has died at the age of 82.

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Big Books of the Week

Funny Story by Emily Henry (Berkley; LJ starred review) leads holds this week. Henry answers NYT’s “By the Book” questionnaire and also appears on GMA today.

Other titles in demand include:

Darling Girls by Sally Hepworth (St. Martin’s)

The Last Word by Elly Griffiths (Mariner; LJ starred review)

Extinction by Douglas Preston (Forge)

The Summer We Started Over by Nancy Thayer (Ballantine)

These books and others publishing the week of April 22, 2024, are listed in a downloadable spreadsheet.

Librarians and Booksellers Suggest

Five LibraryReads and five Indie Next picks publish this week:

The Paris Novel by Ruth Reichl (Random) is also an Indie Next pick:

“I long to be a ‘tumbleweed’! Reading a book every day, helping customers, going on errands, enjoying a crepe, and living in the City of Lights! The Paris Novel is an escape into food, art, and couture with mystery and a cast you’ll adore!”—Sara Rishforth, Roundabout Books, Bend, OR

Hall of Fame pick Darling Girls by Sally Hepworth (St. Martin’s) is also an Indie Next pick:

“Sally Hepworth has masterfully crafted another suspense about families, secrets, lies, and love. Three foster sisters struggle to deal with their horrific past when a child’s bones are found under the foster home where they grew up.”—Sharon Davis, Book Bound Bookstore, Blairsville, GA

Hall of Fame pick Funny Story by Emily Henry (Berkley; LJ starred review) is also an Indie Next pick:

“If Emily Henry has thousands of fans, I am one of them. If Emily Henry has one fan, I am that one. If Emily Henry has no fans, I am dead. Daphne and Miles are the comfortable reliability of your dinnertime game show & the warmest quilt of eccentricities. A beautiful friends-to-lovers story.”—Nyawira Nyota, Page 158 Books, Wake Forest, NC

A Game of Lies by Clare Mackintosh (Sourcebooks Landmark) is also a Hall of Fame pick.

Extinction by Douglas Preston (Forge)

“When newlyweds are attacked at Erebus Resort, investigator Frankie Cash and Sheriff Colcord team up to find the killers. There is more going on than meets the eye as the killers carry out more blatant attacks at this unique location featuring resurrected dinosaur species, including a family of Wooly Mammoths. An interesting concept with loads of science.”—Judy G. Sebastian, Eastham Public Library, MA

Two additional Indie Next picks publish this week:

Ocean’s Godori by Elaine U. Cho (Hillman Grad Bks.: Zando)

“Elaine Cho articulates delicate, intergalactic celebrity politics and the nuances of queerness and racism in this incredible space opera, where we follow Ocean and her found-family crew setting off from a distant-future Korea.”—Devon Overley, Loganberry Books, Shaker Heights, OH

A Letter to the Luminous Deep by Sylvie Cathrall (Orbit; LJ starred review)

“Sylvie Cathrall wraps cozy aquatic academia, strange abyssal mysteries, and deeply endearing characters into one delightful epistolary novel that is sure to reel you in! A fun and cozy science fiction/fantasy that pulls at your heartstrings!”—Oli Schmitz, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI

In the Media

People’s book of the week is Real Americans by Rachel Khong (Knopf). Also getting attention are The Backyard Bird Chronicles by Amy Tan (Knopf), and Funny Story by Emily Henry (Berkley; LJ starred review). A “Musical Novels” section includes Colton Gentry’s Third Act by Jeff Zentner (Grand Central), Lucky by Jane Smiley (Knopf), and The Band by Christine Ma-Kellams (Atria). 

The “Picks” section spotlights The Sympathizer, based on the novel by Viet Thanh Nguyen, on HBO Max; and Dead Boy Detectives, based on characters by Neil Gaiman and Matt Wagner, on Netflix. There is a profile of Tom Selleck, whose forthcoming memoir You Never Know, written with Ellis Henican (Dey Street), publishes May 7. The magazine charts the fall of O.J. Simpson and his “fictional” confession, If I Did It: Confessions of the Killer (Beaufort). There is also a feature on Penn Holderness and Kim Holderness, who have written a new book, ADHD Is Awesome: A Guide to (Mostly) Thriving with ADHD (Harper Horizon). People also checks in with the family of Chris Kyle, whose autobiography, American Sniper, inspired the 2014 film starring Bradley Cooper. Plus, a recipe from The Feel Good Foodie Cookbook: 125 Recipes Enhanced with Mediterranean Flavors by Yumna Jawad (Rodale).


NYT reviews Days of Wonder by Caroline Leavitt (Algonquin): “The book is far less about wondrous days than about the tenacity required to survive life’s bad ones. Ultimately—and despite enough melodrama for General Hospital—it heralds the power of steady perseverance, sturdy faith and the raw restorative power of love”; Somehow: Thoughts on Love by Anne Lamott (Riverhead): “Slim as it is, Somehow is flabby and sometimes cringey, defining love variously as ‘how hope takes flight’; ‘a pond or a pool where we teach little kids to swim’; ‘a bench,’ ‘a root system’ and ‘a windbreaker, fashioned of people who sat and listened and got us tea’”; Habsburgs on the Rio Grande: The Rise and Fall of the Second Mexican Empire by Raymond Jonas (Harvard Univ.): “In the end, Maximilian’s story captures a political world in dramatic transition, as traditional institutions—monarchy chief among them—reckoned with doctrines of popular sovereignty”; and The Rulebreaker: The Life and Times of Barbara Walters by Susan Page (S. & S.): “Much of the material in The Rulebreaker has been told before, with persuasive narrative control, by the late television journalist herself in her dishy 2008 memoir, Audition. Don’t let that stop the reader of this thorough, compassionate biography by Susan Page: It’s a valuable document, sobering where Audition aimed for sassy.”

Washington Post reviews three mysteries: Here in Avalon by Tara Isabella Burton (S. & S.), Nightwatching by Tracy Sierra (Pamela Dorman: Viking), and Anna O by Matthew Blake (Harper).

The Atlantic reviews Our Kindred Creatures: How Americans Came To Feel the Way They Do About Animals by Bill Wasik & Monica Murphy (Knopf): “[It] explores the roots of our love for certain creatures—and our indifference toward many others.”

Briefly Noted

Winners of the O. Henry Prize for Short Fiction are announcedLitHub has the list. 

The CWA Daggers longlists have been announced.

Slate talks with David E. Sanger about his new book, New Cold Wars: China’s Rise, Russia’s Invasion, and America’s Struggle To Defend the West, written with Mary K. Brooks (Crown). 

Yulin Kuang discusses her debut novel, How To End a Love Story (Avon; LJ starred review), and adapting Emily Henry, at Vogue.

People shares an excerpt from By the Time You Read: This The Space Between Cheslie’s Smile and Mental Illness by April Simpkins & Cheslie Kryst (Forefront). Simpkins opens up about writing the book after her daughter’s suicide.

Elly Griffiths, The Last Word (Mariner; LJ starred review), recommends “10 Great Books About Books,” at CrimeReads.

Washington Post suggests 10 short books.

The Atlantic shares “Eight Cookbooks Worth Reading Cover to Cover.”

New Yorker lists 15 essential cookbooks.

CrimeReads shares 10 new books for the week

Philosopher Daniel C. Dennett has died at the age of 82. NYT has an obituary. 

Authors on Air

Abraham Verghese discusses his novel The Covenant of Water (Grove; LJ starred review) on CBS Sunday Morning.

Crystal Hana Kim, The Stone Home (Morrow; LJ starred review), appears on B&N's latest Poured Over Podcast.

Kevin Kwan’s Crazy Rich Asians is headed to Broadway as a musicalVariety reports.

April Simpkins, By the Time You Read: This The Space between Cheslie’s Smile and Mental Illness, written with Cheslie Kryst (Forefront), and Matthew Hussey, Love Life: How To Raise Your Standards, Find Your Person, and Live Happily (No Matter What) (Harper), will be on CBS Mornings.

Kwane Stewart, What It Takes To Save a Life: A Veterinarian’s Quest for Healing and Hope (HarperOne), visits with Kelly Clarkson.

Zibby Owens, Blank (Little A), will be on with Tamron Hall.

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