‘Wish You Were Here’ by Jodi Picoult Tops Holds Lists | Book Pulse

Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult leads holds this week. One LibraryReads pick and seven Indie Next picks publish this week. People's book of the week is Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan. Best Of 2021 lists roll in, including NPR’s “Books We Love,” formerly known as Book Concierge. Interviews arrive with National Book Award Winner Jason Mott, Diana Gabaldon, Mel Brooks, and actress Sharon Gless. The House of Gucci adaptation gets coverage and Jules Verne’s Journey to the Centre of the Earth will get screen treatment. Plus, tributes continue for Stephen Sondheim, who died at the age of 91.  

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Big Books of the Week

Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult (Ballantine) leads holds this week. 

Other titles in demand include:

Cat Kid Comic Club: Perspectives (Cat Kid Comic Club #2) by Dav Pilkey (Graphix: Scholastic)

Autopsy (Kay Scarpetta, Bk. 25) by Patricia Cornwell (Morrow; LJ starred review)

Leviathan Falls by James S. A. Corey (Orbit: Hachette)

The Midnight Lock by Jeffery Deaver (Putnam)

These books and others publishing the week of November 29, 2021, are listed in a downloadable spreadsheet.

Best Of 2021 Lists Arrive

NPR’s “Books We Love,” formerly known as Book Concierge, has returned for 2021 with more than 2,800 recommendations from NPR staff and trusted critics.

NYT picks 100 Notable Books of 2021.

NYPL releases its Best Books of 2021.

The Financial Times names its Best Books of the Year 2021.

Vogue shares their Best Books to Read in 2021.

Librarians and Booksellers Suggest

One Library Reads pick and seven Indie Next picks publish this week:

Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult (Ballantine)

“Picoult has written an intriguing tale of Diana and a few weeks when COVID changes her life. Diana’s relationships make this story interesting.The author’s description of the Galapagos, NYC, COVID, and life during this period are on target. For fans of Liane Moriarty and Sue Monk Kidd.”—Gail Christensen, Kitsap Regional Library, Bremerton, WA

It is also an Indie Next selection:

“Jodi Picoult continues to amaze us with her masterful storytelling. This time she tackles the difficult subject of COVID with a touching and emotional story. There is a beauty of the human spirit that comes through loud and clear.”—Kathy Morrison, Newtown Bookshop, Newtown, PA

Six additional Indie Next selections arrive this week, including #1 pick:

Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan (Grove; LJ starred review)

“Claire Keegan works magic in this small novel about a truly good man in 1985 Ireland, and the difficult decision he faces at Christmastime. Keegan captures the extraordinary courage required to live an ordinary life with honor.”—John Lynn, The Kennett Bookhouse, Kennett Square, PA

A Thing of Beauty: Travels in Mythical and Modern Greece by Peter Fiennes (Oneworld Publications: S. & S.)

“I really enjoyed this mashup of travel writing, musings on Greek mythology, and thoughts about climate change and its effect on our world. Fiennes drew me in with his study of Lord Byron and from there I was happy to pop in on his travels.”—Kate Storhoff, Bookmarks, Winston-Salem, NC

Sex Cult Nun: Breaking Away from the Children of God, a Wild, Radical Religious Cult by Faith Jones (Morrow; LJ starred review)

Sex Cult Nun offers a shocking glimpse into the Children of God cult from its founder’s granddaughter. In a shocking yet hopeful memoir, Jones details her journey to leaving the world she knows to find agency and her dreams.”—Nikita Imafidon, Raven Book Store, Lawrence, KS

The Postmistress of Paris by Meg Waite Clayton (Harper; LJ starred review)

“This is a beautifully written story filled with nuanced and compelling characters. Clayton draws the reader into the harrowing world of a young American woman determined to help artists and others flee Vichy France.”—Jean Forstner, Kepler’s Books, Menlo Park, CA

Dava Shastri's Last Day by Kirthana Ramisetti (Grand Central)

“I’m a fan of obituaries—a life whittled down to a handful of words reveals a great deal. In Dava Shastri’s Last Day, we see the glorious backfire of secretly outliving your deepest secrets. Intriguing, fast-paced, thought provoking.”—Ashley Warlick, M. Judson Booksellers & Storytellers, Greenville, SC

People from My Neighborhood by Hiromi Kawakami, tr. by Ted Goossen (Soft Skull)

“Hiromi Kawakami writes like no one else. She seamlessly mixes fairytales and folklore into the reality of everyday life with an innocent dreamlike quality. It is a sheer joy to read her, and People from My Neighborhood is no exception.”—Rachel Brewer, Carmichael’s Bookstore, Louisville, KY

In the Media

The People “Picks” book of the week is Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan (Grove; LJ starred review). Also getting attention are Sex Cult Nun: Breaking Away from the Children of God, a Wild, Radical Religious Cult by Faith Jones (Morrow; LJ starred review), and Trust by Domenico Starnone, tr. by Jhumpa Lahiri (Europa Editions). A “New in Paperback” section highlights Is This Anything? by Jerry Seinfeld (S.&S), The Singles Table (Marriage, Bk. 3) by Sara Desai (Berkley), and Everything We Didn’t Say by Nicole Baart (Atria). The “Kid Pick” is Stuntboy, in the Meantime by Jason Reynolds, illus. by Raúl the Third (Atheneum/Caitlyn Dloughy Books).

The “Picks” section highlights the film, House of Gucci, based on the book, The House of Gucci: A True Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed by Sara Gay Forden (Custom House). The cover feature spotlights Vanessa Lachey, Life from Scratch: Family Traditions That Start with You, written with Dina Gachman (HarperOne). Plus, the co-owners of Maman Bakeries, Maman: The Cookbook: All-Day Recipes to Warm Your Heart (Clarkson Potter), and Carla Lalli Music, That Sounds So Good: 100 Real-Life Recipes for Every Day of the Week (Clarkson Potter), share cookie recipes. 


NPR reviews Jade Legacy (Green Bone Saga, Bk. 3) by Fonda Lee (Orbit: LJ starred review): “Mostly you get hooked because Lee has created a world that feels as real and logical and lived-in as the one outside the covers…They are terrible temptations, these books. You pick them up and it's hard to put them down.”

The Washington Post reviews Something More Than Night by Kim Newman (Titan Books: PRH): “Beneath the Gothic extravagance of its plot, the book’s success rests on a foundation of seamlessly integrated research and convincing, empathetic characterizations."  Also, The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity by David Graeber and David Wengrow (Farrar): “Graeber and Wengrow tell a dazzling array of stories about civilizations across many continents and thousands of years, all of which are grappling with what it means to be free.” And, Betrayal: The Final Act of the Trump Show by Jonathan Karl (Dutton): “Unless Congress can reassert its power, investigate the events of Jan. 6, and punish all guilty parties, it is difficult to escape Karl’s conclusion that Trump’s lies about his loss, and the Republicans’ continuing admiration of his authoritarian leadership, will end up destroying the spirit and the conventions of American democracy.” Also, The Least of Us: True Tales of America and Hope in the Time of Fentanyl and Meth by Sam Quinones (Bloomsbury; LJ starred review): “Quinones’s greatest accomplishment is to understand these newly dangerous drug markets as just one more consequence of a disastrously under-regulated corporate capitalism in the 2000s.” Plus, Woke Racism: How a New Religion Has Betrayed Black America (Portfolio): “a standard-issue tirade against ‘cancel culture,’ a Bill Maher routine without the jokes or a Tucker Carlson segment without the bow tie and smirk. The alleged twist here is that it’s a Black man saying it this time. Even that has been done better and less hamhandedly by the past few years of Dave Chappelle’s career.” Lastly, These Precious Days: Essays by Ann Patchett (Harper; LJ starred review): “Whether she turns her gaze to her three fathers, her beautiful mother, her husband’s delight in piloting a plane, or her friendships, there’s a generosity in the way she not only looks at the world but invites the reader in to stay for a while.”

Briefly Noted

Former Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper sues the Department of Defense for improperly blocking significant portions of his upcoming memoir, A Sacred Oath, due out in May from HarperCollins. The NYT reports.

Entertainment Weekly headlines "Rape conviction overturned for man at center of Alice Sebold memoir Lucky."  Vulture, LitHub, and Associated Press also cover the story. 

The 2022 Grammy nominations are out, including nods for Best Spoken Word Album. Aftermath by LeVar Burton (Hachette Audio), Carry On: Reflections for a New Generation from John Lewis, (Hachette Audio), and A Promised Land by Barack Obama (Random House Audio) are all in the running. 

The Rumpus has an interview with Jason Mott, about his National Book Award winning novel, Hell of a Book (Dutton). 

Mel Brooks talks to The New Yorker about writing his memoirAll About Me! (Ballantine: Penguin Random House), at the age of 95. 

Diana Gabaldon, author of Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone (Delacorte), talks with Parade about her new book and shares reading recommendations for 2022.

LA Times considers books that show how “Mexicans have fought for a better California for 171 years.”

The Canada Post honors Margaret Atwood with a special stamp. CBC reports.

The Atlantic’s “Books Briefing” considers “Rewriting the History of American Food.”

USA Today picks five books for the week.

CrimeReads suggests 10 books out this week.

NYT recommends “8 New Books Coming in December.”

CrimeReads explores Tasmanian crime fiction. 

BookRiot suggests how to set up “your own mini-reading intensive.” Also, an article on “how to prepare for 2022 book challenges.”  Plus, a look ahead to 12 book festivals and conventions in 2022.

Tributes for Stephen Sondheim continue from Town&Country, and The GuardianVanity Fair salutes Sondheim and has an obituary, and The Atlantic writes about what he “knew about endings.” 

Authors On Air

CBS Sunday Morning talks with actress Sharon Gless about her career and new memoir, Apparently There Were Complaints (S. & S). Also, the show features “The Book Report: Recommendations from Washington Post critic Ron Charles.” Plus, Sunday Morning remembers Stephen Sondheim

NPR’s All Things Considered talks with Sara Gay Forden about the new film, House of Gucci, based on her book, The House of Gucci: A True Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed (Custom House). T&C shares how Patrizia Reggiani Became The Black Widow.

Jules Verne’s Journey to the Centre of the Earth will get a new adaptation as Around the World in 80 Days gets a second season. Variety has the story.

The Book Riot Podcast shares holiday reading recommendations

ElectricLit recommends 11 literary podcasts.

John McWhorter, Woke Racism: How a New Religion Has Betrayed Black America (Portfolio), will be on The View tomorrow and Kal Penn, You Can’t Be Serious (Gallery), will be on The Late Late Show

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