More Best Books | Book Pulse

More Best Books

The Guardian has released its best books of the year list—with a twist: they asked authors to pick the titles (part one, part two). They are also asking fans to weigh in; on Dec. 30th, they will run the titles readers wrote in to rave about.

Briefly Noted

The NYT reviews Fiona Mozley’s debut, Elmet (Algonquin Books: Workman), writing “Mozley’s language is often subtle, but her protagonist is not. Physically, John might as well be Jack Reacher, the invincible hulk who wanders through Lee Child’s best-selling series of thrillers.… But despite the book’s frequent attention to realistic details, it is securely situated in fable territory, and Mozley’s sheer storytelling confidence sends the reader sailing past almost every speed bump.” The paper also offers a roundup of cookbooks, surveys the top photography books, and has Joyce Carol Oates review Ali: A Life by Jonathan Eig (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) while Francine Prose evaluates Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell by David Yaffe (Sarah Crichton Books: Farrar, Straus & Giroux).

The Washington Post reviews P.D. James’s Sleep No More: Six Murderous Tales (Knopf: Random House), calling it “quite wonderful.” They also review Snow Falling (Adams Media: Simon & Schuster), the romance novel written by Jane Gloriana Villanueva, the fictional author on the TV show Jane the Virgin, writing “Snow Falling essentially moves the basic plot of Jane the Virgin to the early 20th century. But what works well on the show doesn’t always make a convincing story line in the book.” However, they also say for fans, “it might be just the thing for a cold winter’s night between episodes.”

NPR reviews The Green Hand and Other Stories by Nicole Claveloux, translated by Donald Nicholson Smith (New York Review Comics: Random House) (LJ stars).

USA Today reviews, but is not overly impressed with, Why Bob Dylan Matters by Richard F. Thomas (Dey Street Books: HarperCollins). They are equally reserved about Darker: Fifty Shades Darker as Told by Christian by E L James (Vintage: Random House).

The Library of Congress puts a rare manuscript online.

Authors on Air: Esther Perel, The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity (Harper: HarperCollins) was on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah last night.

NPR’s All Things Considered interviews Megan Hunter, The End We Start From (Grove Press) and Weekend Edition Sunday interviews Emily Kaiser Thelin, Unforgettable: The Bold Flavors of Paula Wolfert’s Renegade Life (Grand Central Life & Style: Hachette).

Deadline Hollywood offers an early glimpse of Patrick Melrose, writing “The five-part drama will be set in the south of France in the 1960s, New York in the 1980s and Britain in the early 2000s and each episode will be based on one [Edward] St. Aubyn novel.”

NPR’s All Things Considered considers The Man Who Invented Christmas, pointing out the same team is behind April’s debut of the adaptation of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.

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Neal Wyatt About Neal Wyatt

Neal Wyatt is LJ's reader's advisory columnist. She writes The Reader's Shelf, RA Crossroads, Book Pulse, and Wyatt's World columns. She is currently revising The Readers' Advisory Guide to Genre Fiction, 3d ed. (ALA Editions, 2018). Contact her at

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