Banned Books Week Launches Amid Rising Challenges | Book Pulse

Banned Books Week launches amid rising book challenges. The National Book Award longlists are announced along with the winners of the 2022 Ignyte Awards. The Bullet That Missed by Richard Osman tops holds this week. Six LibraryReads and seven Indie Next picks publish this week. Plus, People's book of the week is Solito by Javier Zamora.

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Awards & Banned Books Week

As Banned Books Week launches, ALA reports that total book challenges in 2022 are on pace to exceed 2021 record. LJ reports

USA Today writes “Preserving the freedom to read: After 40 years of Banned Book Week, librarians craft new plan to fight back.”

NYT shares “Advocacy Groups Are Helping Drive a Rise in Book Bans.”

FoxNews has interviews with Director of the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom, Deborah Caldwell-Stone, and Will Creeley, from the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression.

USA Today has 51 banned books to read now.

The National Book Awards longlists are announced.  LA Times has coverage.

The 2022 Ignyte Award Winners are announced. Tor has details.

Big Books of the Week

The Bullet That Missed: A Thursday Murder Club Mystery by Richard Osman (Pamela Dorman: Viking) leads holds this week.

Other titles in demand include:

Lucy by the Sea by Elizabeth Strout (Random)

Dreamland by Nicholas Sparks (Random)

Sweetwater and the Witch by Jayne Castle (Berkley)

Maybe Now by Colleen Hoover (Atria)

These books and others publishing the week of September 19, 2022 ,are listed in a downloadable spreadsheet.

Librarians and Booksellers Suggest

Six LibraryReads and seven Indie Next picks publish this week:

Lucy by the Sea by Elizabeth Strout (Random)

“In March 2020, the pandemic forces Lucy Barton to move from Manhattan to a small town in Maine with her ex- husband William. Once she gets over the shock of this unexpected uprooting, Lucy reconnects with William as they navigate this period of isolation and fear together. While those familiar with Lucy from previous books will enjoy seeing her mature, this story also stands alone for new readers.”—Nancy Eggert, Chicago Public Library, Chicago, IL

It is also an Indie Next pick:

“I’ve read quite a few pandemic books in the last year, but this one stands out. Strout has produced a meditation on memory as much as a character study as Lucy, William, and their neighbors grapple with the pandemic and political divides.”—Emily Crowe, An Unlikely Story, Plainville, MA

Drunk on Love by Jasmine Guillory (Berkley; LJ starred review)

“Margot is stressed out from running her family’s winery. Luke is burned out by his hi-tech job in Silicon Valley. So both are happy to enjoy what they believe to be a perfect one-night stand. However, the next day is awkward when Margot finds out Luke is the winery’s new hire. This sparkling romance will give readers a taste of the world of winemaking in Napa Valley.”—Ann-Marie Braithwaite, New York Public Library, New York, NY

A Merry Little Meet Cute by Julie Murphy and Sierra Simone (Avon; LJ starred review)

"Christmas movie star Bee is forbidden to disclose she is also an adult film star. Co-star Nolan is trying to prove he can be a responsible actor. Sparks fly, they cannot keep their hands off each other. Murphy's diverse characterizations paired with Simone's off-the-charts sexy scenes make for a romantic and steamy happily-ever-after, brimming with sex and body positivity."—Alicia Ahlvers, Henrico County Public Library, Henrico, VA

It is also an Indie Next pick:

“What do you get when Julie Murphy and Sierra Simone co-write a rom-com? You get the story of an adult film star and a former bad-boy boybander in a Hallmark-style holiday movie. It’s a sex-positive, body-postive romance full of good cheer!”—Cathy Berner, Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, TX

The Kiss Curse by Erin Sterling (Avon)

"Gwyn owns the Graves Glen's witchcraft shop, and life is good until Wells Penhallow comes back to create havoc at the school and in town. Sterling is very good at the love/hate relationship with a great pinch of wit, and the spell is cast for a fun rom-com. "— Kimberly McGee, Lake Travis Library, Austin, TX

It is also an Indie Next pick:

“If you swooned over The Ex Hex, the sequel is here! This time featuring Gwen (and Sir Purrcival) with more witchy hijinks, quirky characters, and steamy scenes. This is an absolute Halloween treat; there better be a third book next year!”—Carrie Deming, The Dog Eared Book, Palmyra, NY

Ghost Eaters by Clay McLeod Chapman (Quirk)

“Chapman puts a new spin on ghost stories with a tale of a drug that allows people to be ‘haunted’ by dead loved ones. Featuring a strong subplot about the roots of colonization, this excellent horror novel examines being addicted to grief and the lengths some go to hang onto those they love. For fans of Paul Tremblay and Grady Hendrix.”—Rosemary Kiladitis, Queens Public Library, Corona, NY

It is also an Indie Next pick:

“A dark and chilling story about a group of friends who discover an addictive drug that allows them to see dead people. Well, more like forces, and it gets intense. This was impossible to put down, but please read it with the lights on!”—Laura Harvey, Copper Dog Books, Beverly, MA

The Bullet That Missed: A Thursday Murder Club Mystery by Richard Osman (Pamela Dorman: Viking)

“The Thursday Murder Club cracks open the decade-old death of a journalist who was hot on the trail of a fraud scheme when she was murdered. Another hilarious mystery featuring the quirky (but highly effective) quartet and all their friends. For fans of Julia Chapman and SJ Bennett.”—Sarah Walker, Indianapolis Public Library, Indianapolis, IN

It is also an Indie Next pick:

“The third installment of the Thursday Murder Club is every bit as enjoyable as the first two. In The Bullet That Missed, the aging sleuths investigate the apparent murder of a TV presenter whose body was never found. Highly recommended!—Carol Schneck Varner, Schuler Books, Okemos, MI

Two additional Indie Next picks publish this week:

Less Is Lost by Andrew Sean Greer (Little, Brown)

“The sincerity, heart, and pitch perfect humor that made me love Less are stronger than ever in the sequel. A beautiful, entertaining, and life-affirming read that’ll leave you smiling and pondering how to make the most of your life.”—David Vogel, Literati Bookstore, Ann Arbor, MI

Tell Me I’m An Artist by Chelsea Martin (Soft Skull)

“Martin completely nails what it’s like to be in a creative space that is quietly but heavily divided by class. Who can focus on creativity when they worry about making rent? The protagonist is written with such care and insight.”—Audrey Kohler, BookWoman, Austin, TX

In the Media

The People "Picks" book of the week is Solito by Javier Zamora (Hogarth). Also getting attention are The Old Place by Bobby Finger (Putnam), and The Marriage Portrait by Maggie O’Farrell (Knopf). A “New in Nonfiction” section highlights A Place Called Home: A Memoir by David Ambroz (Legacy Lit: Hachette),  Like a Rolling Stone: A Memoir by Jann S. Wenner (Little, Brown; LJ starred review), and The Year of the Puppy: How Dogs Become Themselves by Alexandra Horowitz (Viking).

The “Picks” section spotlights Pinocchio, based on The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi, on Disney+, and Recipes for Love and Murder, based on the novel by Sally Andrew on Acorn TV. The cover feature honors Queen Elizabeth II’s life and reign. Plus, there is a feature on Nina Totenberg’s friendship with Ruth Bader Ginsburg as recounted in her book, Dinners with Ruth: A Memoir on the Power of Friendships (S. & S.).


NYT reviews The Complicities by Stacey D’Erasmo (Algonquin): “is a tricky and absorbing tale about crime, punishment and the lies we tell ourselves.” And, Bold Ventures: Thirteen Tales of Architectural Tragedy by Charlotte Van den Broeck, tr. by David McKay (Other Pr.): “The suicidal-architect conceit turns out to be something of a facade for a blend of memoir, travelogue and philosophical tract.” Also, We Are Proud Boys: How a Right-Wing Street Gang Ushered in a New Era of American Extremism by Andy B. Campbell (Hachette): “Campbell has covered the Proud Boys and similar groups for HuffPost. His book feels somewhat hasty.” And, Less Is Lost by Andrew Sean Greer (Little, Brown): “The writer’s life is the novel’s quiet subject. Less has given Greer fertile ground, and he reaps what he’s sown.” And, A System So Magnificent It Is Blinding by Amanda Svensson, tr. by Nichola Smalley (Scribe US): “At the heart of Svensson’s tumultuous epic lies a perennial query: Are our lives simply random intersections of space and time, or are they part of a grand master plan of the universe, where we are all but cosmic marionettes and nothing is coincidence?” Plus, The Book of Goose by Yiyun Li (Farrar): “The most propulsively entertaining of Li's novels, The Book of Goose is an existential fable that illuminates the tangle of motives behind our writing of stories: to apprehend and avenge the truth of our own being, to make people know what it feels like to be us, to memorialize the people we keep alive in the provincial villages of our hearts.” Finally, Getting Lost by Annie Ernaux, tr. by Alison L. Strayer (Seven Stories Pr.): “The almost primitive directness of her voice is bracing. It’s as if she’s carving each sentence onto the surface of a table with a knife.”

The Guardian reviews Fen, Bog and Swamp: A Short History of Peatland Destruction and Its Role in the Climate Crisis by Annie Proulx (Scribner): “Proulx argues for a radical humbleness in the face of complex ecosystems that we cannot begin to understand, let alone replicate.”

Briefly Noted

USA Today picks five books for the week.

CrimeReads suggests 10 books out this week.

The Washington Post shares 4 witchy sci-fi and fantasy books.

Entertainment Weekly posts the best dystopian novels of all time.

B&N shares the “Best Audiobooks to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.”

The Millions releases its top 10 for August 2022.

The Atlantic shares tips for a successful book club.

People shares details from Willie Nelson’s new memoir, Me and Paul: Untold Stories of a Fabled Friendship, written with David Ritz (Harper Horizon).

Salon talks with Betty Gilpin about her new memoir, All the Women in My Brain: And Other Concerns (Flatiron), and mental health.

NYT has a feature on author Jenny Xie and her new book, The Rupture Tense: Poems (Graywolf).

Vanity Fair has a Q&A with Mia Mercado, She’s Nice Though: Essays on Being Bad at Being Good (HarperOne), and the “social contract of niceness.”

“Diane Noomin, the underground cartoonist behind DiDi Glitz, dies at 75.” The Washington Post has an obituary.

Authors On Air

PBS Canvas features Dallas Mavericks' CEO Cynt Marshall on her new book, You’ve Been Chosen: Thriving Through the Unexpected (Ballantine), resilience, and authenticity.

NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday talks with reporters Peter Baker and Susan Glasser about their new bookThe Divider: Trump in the White House, 2017-2021 (Doubleday), and its lessons for the future.

CBS Sunday Morning features The Book Report: Fall picks from Washington Post critic Ron Charles.


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