‘The Women’ by Kristin Hannah Tops Holds Lists | Book Pulse

Kristin Hannah’s The Women leads holds this week and is also People’s book of the week. Other buzzy books include titles by Ali Hazelwood, Freida McFadden, and Jonathan Kellerman. Michelle Obama wins the Grammy for best spoken word album, for the narration of her book, The Light We Carry, and J. Ivy’s The Light Inside wins for best spoken word poetry album. Audiofile announces the February 2024 Earphones Award winners. The March Indie Next preview is out, featuring #1 pick Wandering Stars by Tommy Orange. B&N’s book club selects Dolly Alderton’s Good Material for February, and GMA picks Kiley Reid’s Come and Get It.

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Big Books of the Week

The Women by Kristin Hannah (St. Martin’s) leads holds this week.

Other titles in demand include:

Bride by Ali Hazelwood (Berkley; LJ starred review)

The Teacher by Freida McFadden (Sourcebooks; LJ starred review)

The Ghost Orchid by Jonathan Kellerman (Ballantine)

These books and others publishing the week of February 5, 2024, are listed in a downloadable spreadsheet.

Librarians and Booksellers Suggest

Seven LibraryReads and five Indie Next picks publish this week:

Hall of Fame pick Bride by Ali Hazelwood (Berkley; LJ starred review) is also the #1 Indie Next pick:

“Thank you Ali Hazelwood! Her books are wonderful, romantic book escapes. Add some paranormal spice and you have my kind of perfect! Bride is the great start of a new paranormal world full of werewolves, vampires, and humans.”—Revati Kilaparti, Old Firehouse Books, Fort Collins, CO

Hall of Fame pick The Women by Kristin Hannah (St. Martin’s) is also an Indie Next pick:

“Kristin Hannah’s latest book, The Women, will garner her a whole legion of new readers. This historical fiction set during the Vietnam War is based on the story of a young nurse stationed at the front lines. Raw, powerful, and compelling.”—Liz Welter, Novel Bay Booksellers, Sturgeon Bay, WI

A Love Song for Ricki Wilde by Tia Williams (Grand Central; LJ starred review)

“Ricki has been given an opportunity to achieve her dreams. Ezra is looking for an opportunity to be himself. They were destined to meet! With flashbacks to the Harlem Renaissance, this entertaining read is both modern and classic and does not disappoint. (Do yourself a favor and play some jazz in the background while reading.)”—Tonya Pearl, Memphis Public Library, TN

Why We Read: On Bookworms, Libraries, and Just One More Page Before Lights Out by Shannon Reed (Hanover Square: Harlequin)

“What makes someone a capital-R Reader? What appeal factors draw us in to a special book? Reed, an essayist, teacher, and voracious reader, shares memories from her life as a bookworm as well as charming stories about the ways in which books have impacted the generations of students she's worked with. Readers will be smitten with this introspective, humorous, and lovely book.”—Kaite Stover, LibraryReads Board Member

When Grumpy Met Sunshine by Charlotte Stein (St. Martin’s Griffin; LJ starred review)

“When Mabel meets ex-footballer Alfie to discuss ghostwriting his memoirs, it doesn't go well. After he convinces her to work with him, the press gets involved, and they decide to pretend to be a couple. Filled with playful banter, embarrassing mishaps, and believable, respectful relationship building, this is great rom-com.”—Lea Stapleton, Richland Library, SC

The Teacher by Freida McFadden (Sourcebooks; LJ starred review)

“Eve, a married high school math teacher, has been warned that Addie, a teenage student coping with trauma and alienation from her fellow classmates, could not be trusted. Inappropriate conduct soon occurs. The twists and turns in this psychological thriller will leave the reader with a deep feeling of unease.”—Kristin Skinner, Flat River Community Library, MI

The Tainted Cup by Robert Jackson Bennett (Del Rey: Ballantine; LJ starred review)

“In a world where leviathan blood allows people to acquire amazing abilities, a brilliant investigator, Ana, and her sidekick in training, an “engraver” named Din capable of recalling details with amazing accuracy, work together to uncover the culprit behind the grisly death of a wealthy official. As the investigation progresses, Din becomes increasingly worried that Ana will see through his own deceptions. This hugely enjoyable fantasy and mystery blend will leave readers eager for another installment.”—Mara Bandy Fass, Champaign Public Library, IL

It is also an Indie Next pick:

“Robert Jackson Bennett’s books always sound so intriguing. The Tainted Cup is the first I’ve read, and I’m so glad I did. His utterly original world and refreshing premise put me into an entirely new reality, and I enjoyed every second of it!”—Heather Herbaugh, Mitzi’s Books, Rapid City, SD

Two additional Indie Next picks publish this week:

The Antique Hunter’s Guide to Murder by C.L. Miller (Atria)

“Charming and cozy, this murder mystery plus antique treasure hunt manages to be both a page-turner and a comfort read. Miller delivers twists and turns along with a satisfying tale of a woman rediscovering her talents and her strength.”—Colleen Schneider Cameron, Read Between the Lynes, Woodstock, IL

Love Novel by Ivana Sajko, tr. by Mima Simic (Biblioasis)

“Claustrophobic and cutting, this is an honest portrait of a modern marriage and all the tender, violent actions that love can extract. This novel also excellently comments on the unlivable conditions we’re collectively spiraling towards.”—Torrin Nelson, Queen Anne Book Company, Seattle, WA

In the Media

People’s book of the week is The Women by Kristin Hannah (St. Martin’s). Also getting attention are A Love Song for Ricki Wilde by Tia Williams (Grand Central; LJ starred review) and Greta & Valdin by Rebecca K Reilly (Avid Reader/S. & S.). A “Different Kind of Love” section highlights Get the Picture: A Mind-Bending Journey Among the Inspired Artists and Obsessive Art Fiends Who Taught Me How To See by Bianca Bosker (Viking), Bride by Ali Hazelwood (Berkley; LJ starred review), and Cahokia Jazz by Francis Spufford (Scribner). 

The “Picks” section spotlights Prime Video’s Expats, based on Janice Y. K. Lee’s The Expatriates (Penguin Bks.), and The Tiger’s Apprentice, based on the novel by Laurence Yep. There is a feature on the true story behind Feud: Capote vs. The Swans on FX, plus a booklist online.

HGTV star Tarek El Moussa shares his story in Flip Your Life: How To Find Opportunity in Distress—in Real Estate, Business, and Life (Hachette Go). Audrey Hepburn's legendary style is explored in the new book, Audrey Hepburn in Paris by Meghan Friedlander & Luca Dotti (Harvest). People Online has more. Plus, recipes arrive from Nancy Silverton, The Cookie That Changed My Life: And More Than 100 Other Classic Cakes, Cookies, Muffins, and Pies That Will Change Yours, written with Carolynn Carreno (Knopf), and Danielle Kartes, Butter, Flour, Sugar, Joy: Simple Sweet Desserts for Everyone (Sourcebooks).


NYT reviews Are You Prepared for the Storm of Love Making?: Letters of Love and Lust from the White House by Dorothy Hoobler & Thomas Hoobler (S. & S.): “Seeing our presidents as lovers does not undo the evil that many of them presided over, but it adds color to characters too often rendered in black and white”; I Heard Her Call My Name: A Memoir of Transition by Lucy Sante (Penguin Pr.): “It’s a story worth following, to watch her ring the bells that will still ring. Her sharpness and sanity, moodiness and skepticism are the appeal”; Ordinary Human Failings by Megan Nolan (Little, Brown): “Toward the end of the novel, Carmel looks back on her interlude in the hotel as ‘a time and place that felt so sodden with misery and darkness.’ That’s a fair description of the reader’s experience, too”; Everyone Who Is Gone Is Here: The United States, Central America, and the Making of a Crisis by Jonathan Blitzer (Penguin Pr.): “Conflicts over immigration often arise from similarity rather than difference, and the strangers at our border have a familiar history that Blitzer tells in meticulous and vivid detail”; Trondheim by Cormac James (Bellevue Literary): “Much of Trondheim, the third novel by the Irish writer Cormac James, is set in the I.C.U., a place of terrible dread. But hospital time has a particular and peculiar quality, and Trondheim is dedicated to capturing the way it unfolds”; Burma Sahib by Paul Theroux (Mariner): “Theroux is now in his early 80s and this novel is one of his finest, in a long and redoubtable oeuvre. The talent is in remarkable shape”; and The Bishop and the Butterfly: Murder, Politics, and the End of the Jazz Age by Michael Wolraich (Union Square & Co.): “Unlike the sensationalist reporters of the era, Wolraich manages to handle even the seediest of underworlds with reportorial spareness and elegance, treating his material more as a nonfiction political thriller than a true-crime whodunit.” Plus, more reviews from the weekend in the NYT books section.

Washington Post reviews Smoke Kings by Jahmal Mayfield (Melville House): “Smoke Kings is an impressive for a debut, unafraid of addressing issues most people would prefer to ignore. There may be ongoing attempts to change the history of this country into a pacifying fantasy, but fearless writers like Mayfield are a good sign that the truth will remain, and inform, and just maybe lead us somewhere better”; and The Story of The Bee Gees: Children of the World by Bob Stanley (Pegasus; LJ starred review): “This book, like the others, is both a fanboy’s love letter and a detailed, what-did-they-take-with-their-tea account of the musicians’ daily lives, but why devote 400 pages to a single group that shouldn’t have succeeded but did, beyond their and everyone else’s expectations?

Briefly Noted

Michelle Obama wins the Grammy for best spoken word album, for the narration of her book, The Light We Carry (Books on Tape; LJ starred review). People has the story. J. Ivy’s The Light Inside won for best spoken word poetry album. Variety has a full list of winners

Audiofile announces the February 2024 Earphones Award winners

Amazon editors select the best books of February

The March Indie Next preview is out, featuring #1 pick Wandering Stars by Tommy Orange (Knopf).

CrimeReads has 10 new books for the week.

B&N selects Dolly Alderton’s Good Material (Knopf) as its February book club pick. It is also the Read with Jenna pick. 

GMA’s book club picks Kiley Reid’s Come and Get It (Putnam) for February. 

Publisher’s Weekly reports on Spotify’s exponential audiobook growth.

NYT features Percival Everett’s Erasure (Graywolf), the novel behind the film American Fiction.

Authors on Air

George Pelecanos discusses his new story collection, Owning Up (Mulholland), and no-knock warrants, with NPR’s Morning Edition.

Joy-Ann Reid, Medgar and Myrlie: Medgar Evers and the Love Story That Awakened America (Mariner), will be on The View today. She will also visit Good Morning America and Stephen Colbert tomorrow.

Tabitha Brown, I Did a New Thing: 30 Days to Living Free (Morrow), will visit Drew Barrymore today.

Crystal Hefner, Only Say Good Things: Surviving Playboy and Finding Myself (Grand Central), and Michelle Horton, Dear Sister: A Memoir of Secrets, Survival, and Unbreakable Bonds (Grand Central, LJ starred review), will be on Tamron Hall.

Bernie Sanders, It’s OK To Be Angry About Capitalism (Crown), will be on Late Night with Seth Meyers.

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