'Sea of Tranquility' by Emily St. John Mandel Tops Holds Lists | Book Pulse

Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel leads holds this week and garners an adaptation at HBO Max. Carry On: Reflections For A New Generation by John Lewis with Kabir Sehgal, read by Don Cheadle, won the Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album. The 2022 O. Henry Prize for Short Fiction winners are announced. An anthology of the winners, The Best Short Stories 2022: The O. Henry Prize Winners ed. by Valeria Luiselli, will publish September 13th. Six Library Reads and twelve Indie Next picks publish this week. People's book of the week is What Happened to the Bennetts by Lisa Scottoline. April's Costco Connection features Girls of Flight City by Lorraine Heath, The Dark Hours by Michael Connelly, a Wheel of Time boxed set by Robert Jordan, and The Mayfair Bookshop by Eliza Knight.

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Big Books of the Week

Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel (Knopf) leads holds this week.

Other titles in demand include:

The Flames of Hope (Wings of Fire, Book 15) by Tui T. Sutherland (Scholastic)

The Candy House by Jennifer Egan (Scribner; LJ starred review)

The Younger Wife by Sally Hepworth (St. Martin’s)

A Family Affair by Robyn Carr (MIRA)

These books and others publishing the week of Apr. 4th, 2022 are listed in a downloadable spreadsheet.


Carry On: Reflections For A New Generation by John Lewis with Kabir Sehgal, read by Don Cheadle (Hachette Audio), won the Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album.

The 2022 O. Henry Prize for Short Fiction winners are announced. LitHub has the story. An anthology of the winners, The Best Short Stories 2022: The O. Henry Prize Winners ed. by Valeria Luiselli (Anchor), will publish September 13th.  

The 33rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards are announced. Entertainment Weekly has coverage.

Librarians and Booksellers Suggest

Six Library Reads and twelve Indie Next picks publish this week:

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus (Doubleday)

“In the 50s and early 60s when women were viewed as little more than chattel for men’s convenience, Elizabeth Zott had the temerity to become a chemist. With complex and wonderful characters, her story is funny, sad, enraging, hopeful, and will have readers cheering for every character and all women everywhere. For fans of Where'd You Go Bernadette?, The Rosie Project, and Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine.”—Judy G. Sebastian, Eastham Public Library, Eastham, MA

It is also an Indie Next pick:

“Protagonist Elizabeth Zott's confrontations with 1960s patriarchy will resonate with women who lived it, but how she gets by while staying true to herself will inspire women of all ages. Read it — and give copies to all your friends!”—Ellen Klein, Hooray for Books!, Alexandria, VA

To Marry and to Meddle by Martha Waters (Atria)

“After six seasons, Emily's only suitor is a gambling house owner whose father owes a lot of money. Fortunately, Julian wants to marry her to elevate him in society, which will lead to more respectable people coming to his theater. He proposes a marriage of convenience, and of course, love has to find its way. A fun, witty romance for fans of Bridgerton and A Rogue of One’s Own.”—Claire Sherman, Clearwater Countryside Library, Clearwater, FL

Portrait of a Thief by Grace D. Li (Tiny Reparations Books)

“Li’s debut novel is a fun heist book focusing on five Chinese-American college students recruited to steal artwork from Western museums and return them to China. The book looks at issues of diaspora, colonization, and the character’s different relationships with culture and identity. Give to readers who liked The Verifiers and Skin Deep.”—Allie Williams, Camarillo Library, Camarillo, CA

Sister Stardust by Jane Green (Hanover Square Press)

“Teen Claire leaves England for Marrakech and falls in with charismatic socialite Talitha Getty and her coterie of rock stars, fashion icons, and millionaires amid a buffet of sex, drugs, and alcohol. Fans of Daisy Jones and the Six will find much to love in this book, beautifully told in a manic pace that takes you down the rabbit hole of the swinging ’60s.”—Kimberly McGee, Lake Travis Community Library, Austin, TX

It is also an Indie Next pick:

“It’s the ‘60s. There is sex, drugs, and rock and roll, all beautifully written in lush detail by the incomparable Jane Green, who has crafted her first work of biographical fiction about the life of Talitha Getty. It is pure perfection.”—Dallas Strawn, Litchfield Books, Pawleys Island, SC

The Wedding Crasher by Mia Sosa (Avon)

“After Solange stops Dean’s wedding of convenience, they start a mutually beneficial fake relationship: Dean can make partner at his law firm and Solange can get her meddlesome family off her case. With heart, laughs, and characters you’ll fall in love with, this follow up to The Worst Best Man is perfect for fans of Casey McQuiston and Talia Hibbert.”—Jillian Hayes, Queens Public Library, Jamaica, NY

Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel (Knopf)

“In 2400, Gaspery works at the Time Institute where he investigates the nature of reality. This book pieces together the human experience beautifully. A compelling read for time travel and sci-fi fans. The characters and insights about living through a pandemic made this a page turner! For fans of Cloud Cuckoo Land and Recursion.”—Andie Conn, Mid-Continent Public Library, Kansas City, MO

It is also the #1 Indie Next pick for April:

“A gem of a novel, spiraling out of place and time to shape our present hopes and anxieties into a story of peace and resilience. Mandel weaves effortlessly between historical and science fiction and is a master of immersive storytelling.” —Dan Brewster, Prologue Bookshop, Columbus, OH

The Younger Wife by Sally Hepworth (St. Martin’s)

“This domestic thriller ratchets up the suspense from the beginning and never lets go. It opens at a wedding where something awful took place. The story backtracks as we learn about all the members of the family. Good character development with lots of twists to propel the story.”—Debbie Lease, Hillsdale Public Library, Hillsdale, NJ

It is also an Indie Next pick:

“Mothers, daughters, wives, and friends, secrets kept and revealed. I'm still dissecting and remembering these relationships days after reading. Part psychological page turner, part family drama — lean back and wonder with me.”—Veronica Berkey, Fables Books, Goshen, IN

Eight additional Indie Next picks publish this week:

Four Treasures of the Sky by Jenny Tinghui Zhang (Flatiron; LJ starred review)

“A stunning debut! Four Treasures of the Sky is pointed, heartbreaking, and breathtakingly beautiful. Indisputably a masterpiece, and I am already looking forward to whatever journey Zhang wants to take us on next.”—Kari Johnson, Shakespeare & Co., New York, NY

Memphis by Tara M. Stringfellow (Dial)

“Centering Black joy above all, Stringfellow’s life-affirming debut follows three generations of unforgettable women in a gifted but tested family. Readers will cry, laugh, and sing. I hope we read Stringfellow for a long, long time.”—Katie Williamson, Square Books, Oxford, MS

Young Mungo by Douglas Stuart (Grove; LJ starred review)

“A truly devastating story told in decadent, layered prose. You cannot help but to love and want the best for Mungo in the hyper-masculine, violent world he lives in. I want to protect these characters and their love with all that I have.”—Mallory Melton, BookPeople, Austin, TX

Time Is a Mother by Ocean Vuong (Penguin Pr.; LJ starred review)

“Ocean Vuong comes home in his second full-length collection, exploring grief, violence, masculinity and queer life in America. Whether shoveling snow, reversing time, or losing his mother, Vuong will crack you open and heal you.”—Owen Elphick, Main Point Books, Wayne, PA

Let's Not Do That Again by Grant Ginder (Henry Holt & Co.)

“Politics, family dysfunction, drug addiction, bad behavior — what could possibly go wrong? This extremely readable novel about a New York City political family will grab you right away. The perfect antidote to today’s headlines.”—Terry Gilman, Creating Conversations, Redondo Beach, CA

The Sign for Home by Blair Fell (Atria: Emily Bestler Books)

“Unforgettable and completely unique! Fell illuminates DeafBlind life in Arlo Dilly, who will steal your heart as he journeys to experience life, independence, and to break free of those who having been holding him back. A must read!”—Maxwell Gregory, Madison Street Books, Chicago, IL

Easy Beauty : A Memoir by Chloé Cooper Jones (Avid Reader Pr.: S.& S.)

“The subtitle ‘memoir’ doesn't do justice to this spectacular, sui generis meditation on art, disability, parenting, and travel. It's about more than memory — it's about living in the now and creating the future we want for our children.”—Rebekah Shoaf, Boogie Down Books, Bronx, NY

The Candy House by Jennifer Egan (Scribner; LJ starred review)

“Egan weaves together these seemingly disparate characters and storylines into a stunning ending. The Candy House is about family, connection, legacy, technology, and so much more. It is her best work yet.”—Ariana Paliobagis, Country Bookshelf, Bozeman, MT



In the Media

The People "Picks" book of the week is What Happened to the Bennetts by Lisa Scottoline (Putnam). Also getting attention are Young Mungo by Douglas Stuart (Grove; LJ starred review), and Let's Not Do That Again by Grant Ginder (Henry Holt & Co.).

“New Memoirs” highlight Never Simple: A Memoir by Liz Scheier (Henry Holt, & Co.), Ten Steps to Nanette: A Memoir Situation by Hannah Gadsby (Ballantine; LJ starred review), and Stories I Might Regret Telling You: A Memoir by Martha Wainwright (Hachette). There is also feature on Molly Shannon, Hello, Molly! (Ecco), written with Sean Wilsey.


NYT reviews Four Treasures of the Sky by Jenny Tinghui Zhang (Flatiron; LJ starred review): "Throughout the novel, Zhang adopts a stylistic tic of avoiding contractions. The inevitable formality of this device is offset by her exuberant prose, but it hampers her dialogue with a generic stiffness that undercuts the variety and individuality of speakers. "  And, Bodies on the Line: At the Front Lines of the Fight to Protect Abortion in America by Lauren Rankin (Counterpoint): "With the great breadth of case studies she conveys, Rankin leaves little room to explore the thornier questions she glances past." Also, Riverman: An American Odyssey by Ben McGrath (Knopf): "In one sense McGrath never solves the mystery that opens his book: He doesn’t recover the body. But he does something at least as impressive from a journalistic perspective: He recovers the person, and he restores him to life on the page."

USA Today reviews The Candy House by Jennifer Egan (Scribner; LJ starred review), giving it 3 out of 4 stars: “Egan’s audacity is welcome. Anything that’s a challenge to the algorithm is a gift to humanity – and to fiction. No question, being online has done a number on us.”

The Washington Post reviews Sicker in the Head: More Conversations About Life and Comedy by Judd Apatow (Random): “Apatow is self-deprecating to a fault. At one point, he dismisses his films as “ridiculous,” but they are not. His characters may act ridiculous, but the films themselves tackle the weightiest of issues — love, family, how to become a mensch — with a Harold Ramis-like empathy.”

The Guardian reviews Young Mungo by Douglas Stuart (Grove; LJ starred review): “I sobbed my way through Shuggie Bain and sobbed again as Young Mungo made its way towards an ending whose inevitability only serves to heighten its tragedy. If the first novel announced Stuart as a novelist of great promise, this confirms him as a prodigious talent.”

Briefly Noted

April’s Costco Connection is out with buyers’ picks: Girls of Flight City: Inspired by True Events, a Novel of WWII, the Royal Air Force, and Texas by Lorraine Heath (Morrow), and The Dark Hours by Michael Connelly (Grand Central), out tomorrow in paperback. Also, the Wheel of Time Paperback Boxed Set I: The Eye of the World, The Great Hunt, The Dragon Reborn by Robert Jordan (Tor). Plus, the suggested book club read is The Mayfair Bookshop by Eliza Knight (Morrow).

LA Times has an interview with Jennifer Egan about her book, The Candy House (Scribner; LJ starred review), imagination, and “fulfilling a reader’s craving.”

USA Today talks with Brandi Carlile about her memoir Broken Horses (Crown), out in paperback next week. 

FoxNews's Shannon Bream talks about her new bookThe Mothers and Daughters of the Bible Speak: Lessons on Faith from Nine Biblical Families (Broadside). 

Silvia Moreno-Garcia and Lavie Tidhar discuss Hollywood’s influence on great fantasy fiction, at The Washington Post.

The Washington Post shares the best-reviewed books in March

NYT previews new science fiction and fantasy novels.

USA Today rounds up the best rom-coms for April and picks five books for the week.

CrimeReads suggests 10 books out this week.

Authors On Air

CBS Sunday Morning interviews Valerie Biden Owens about her new book, Growing Up Biden (Celadon).

NPR’s Morning Edition talks with Ocean Vuong about grief and discovery in his new book, Time Is a Mother (Penguin Pr.; LJ starred review).

NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday talks with Jenny Tinghui Zhang about her novel, Four Treasures of the Sky (Flatiron; LJ starred review).

NPR’s It’s Been A Minute talks with Dylan Marron, Conversations with People Who Hate Me: 12 Things I Learned from Talking to Internet Strangers (Atria), about how to talk with people with opposing views.

Emily St. John's Sea of Tranquility (Knopf) and The Glass Hotel (Knopf; LJ starred review) are getting adaptations at HBO MaxDeadline reports. 

Judd Apatow, Sicker in the Head: More Conversations About Life and Comedy (Random), visits with Kelly Clarkson today and Seth Meyers tomorrow. Allegra Hyde, Eleutheria (Vintage), will visit Seth Meyers and Elizabeth Alexander, The Trayvon Generation (Grand Central; LJ starred review), will visit Stephen Colbert tomorrow. 

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