Run Your Week: Big Books, Sure Bets, & Titles Making News | Book Pulse

Big Books for the Week

The holds leader this week is The People vs. Alex Cross by James Patterson (Little, Brown: Hachette).

Other titles that will be in demand include:

The Story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg (Random House)

The Whispering Room: A Jane Hawk Novel by Dean Koontz (Bantam: Random House)

Secrets of Cavendon by Barbara Taylor Bradford (St. Martin’s Press: Macmillan)

Librarians and Booksellers Suggest

Two LibraryReads selections publish this week:

Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Caroline Fraser (Metropolitan Books: Macmillan)
“This book, written by the editor of the Library of America edition of the Little House books, is a thoroughly researched biography of not only Laura Ingalls Wilder, but of her daughter, Rose. Using unpublished manuscripts, letters, financial records, and more, Fraser gives fresh insight into the life of a woman beloved to many. Intensively researched, this is definitely a fascinating read, and one that I plan on reading again — maybe the next time I re-read the Little House series.” —Jennifer Ohzourk, St. Louis Public Library, St. Louis, MO

The Story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg (Random House)
“Arthur meets Maddy when he’s visiting his dead wife in the cemetery; he eats lunch there every day. Maddy is a high school senior who’s got a hopeless crush on a jerk. Warm-hearted Arthur reaches out to Maddy in a totally open way, as Maddy’s parents seem uninvolved at best. The Story of Arthur Truluv is one of those rare coming-of-age novels that is just as much about the end of life as it is about growing up.” —Michelle Beckes, Tulsa City County Library, Tulsa, OK

It is also an Indie Next selection:

“If ever there were a perfect ointment to soothe the increasing incivility of today’s world, Elizabeth Berg’s The Story of Arthur Truluv could provide that salve. A warm story about elderly neighbors Arthur and Lucille and a teenage outsider, Maddy, this book demonstrates that all love and kindness have not disappeared, that there are pockets of caring living in certain people. Complete with cemeteries, warm cranberry-nut bars, a bully boyfriend, loneliness, and a baseball bat, Arthur Truluv is the right book at the right time. Let your heart soar!” —Nancy Simpson-Brice, Book Vault, Oskaloosa, IA

Two additional Indie Next picks publish this week as well:

Silence: In the Age of Noise by Erling Kagge, translated by Becky L. Crook (Pantheon: Random House)
“Kagge’s deceptively simple meditation on silence complicates something we all think we understand. Quoting from a wide range of artists and thinkers, Kagge constructs a graceful mosaic of definitions, statements, and paradoxes. We all have a ‘primal need for’ silence, Kagge states, and in this noisy world, it’s ‘the new luxury.’ Though it’s found inside of us, Kagge, an explorer and publisher, traveled to Japan to look for it in meditation and yoga; he walked to Antarctica in search of it, spending 50 days alone. Made up of 33 brief sections and ending in a blank page, Kagge leaves plenty of room for the reader’s own reflections, demonstrating the kind of active engagement he believes silence invites.” —Laurie Greer, Politics and Prose, Washington, DC

The Whispering Room: A Jane Hawk Novel by Dean Koontz (Bantam: Random House)
“If you haven’t read Dean Koontz’s exciting new action-thriller series, you must! The first was The Silent Corner, and now, with The Whispering Room, I was totally blown away! Koontz is a master of the thriller, and FBI agent Jane Hawke is a kick-ass kind of woman that you will root for all the way!” —Stephanie Crowe, Page and Palette, Fairhope, AL


The above titles and others publishing this week are listed here: Book_Pulse_Nov_20_2017_xlsx.

In the Media

The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity, and My Fight Against the Islamic State by Nadia Murad (Tim Duggan Books: Random House) is People‘s “Book of the Week.” Joe Biden’s Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose (Flatiron: Macmillan) and Tina Brown’s The Vanity Fair Diaries: 1983-1992 (Henry Holt: Macmillan) round out the magazine’s “The Best New Books” for the week choices. Two’s Company: A Fifty-Year Romance with Lessons Learned in Love, Life & Business by Suzanne Somers (Harmony: Random House) is mentioned in a feature story on the former sitcom star. Finally, it is the magazine’s “sexiest” issue and they pick some books, including the Outlander series and Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair by Pablo Neruda, translated by W. S. Merwin (Penguin Classics: Penguin).

Entertainment Weekly‘s next print issue arrives after Thanksgiving. Look online for stories. The documentary So Much Damage: How Image Comics Changed the World premieres on the SYFY website today. The company published the Youngblood, Spawn, and ShadowHawk series. The magazine also posts an excerpt of Canto Bight (Star Wars): Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi by Saladin Ahmed, Rae Carson, Mira Grant, and John Jackson Miller (Del Rey: Random House) and reports that C.B. Cebulski is the new editor-in-chief at Marvel Comics.

Briefly Noted

In a sign the publishing season is closing down for the holidays, The New York Times circles back to review a number of books that have been out for a while, including George and Lizzie by Nancy Pearl (Touchstone: Simon & Schuster) (here) and Real American: A Memoir by Julie Lythcott-Haims (Henry Holt: Macmillan) (here). In new books they review John Banville’s Mrs Osmond (Knopf: Random House), Tina Brown’s The Vanity Fair Diaries: 1983-1992 (Henry Holt: Macmillan) (here), and Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Caroline Fraser (Metropolitan Books: Macmillan) (here).

The paper also offers a handful of audiobook reviews, including author Gin Phillips’s (Fierce Kingdom) take on Kenneth Branagh reading Murder on the Orient Express (HarperAudio). Phillips writes “The conjuring power of Branagh’s voice is the perfect complement to the wit and breadth of Christie’s.” Also covered are short story collections, including Catapult: Stories by Emily Fridlund (Sarabande Books).

Helping readers understand the debate on taxes, the NYT rounds up three books and helping readers understand rock stars, they interview David Hepworth, author of Uncommon People: The Rise and Fall of the Rock Stars (Henry Holt: Macmillan). The LA Times also features.

Finally, the paper supplies a reading list for those traveling to Detroit.

In further musical news, Why Bob Dylan Matters by Richard F. Thomas (Dey Street Books: HarperCollins) tops the USA Today list of “5 new books you won’t want to miss this week” and both People and USA Today focus on The Anthology Part 1, The First Five Years by Garth Brooks (Pearl Records).

Author Madeline Miller (The Song of Achilles) reviews The Odyssey by Homer; translated by Emily Wilson (W.W. Norton) for The Washington Post, writing “It is rare to find a translation that is at once so effortlessly easy to read and so rigorously considered.” Wilson is the first woman to offer an English translation of the epic.

The Story of the Jews Volume Two: Belonging: 1492-1900 by Simon Schama (Ecco: HarperCollins) also gets coverage in the Post: “The Story of the Jews dazzles with the art and alchemy of an adventure novel.” The paper reviews God: A Human History by Reza Aslan (Random House) and Bible Nation: The United States of Hobby Lobby by Candida R. Moss and Joel S. Baden (Princeton UP), which received an LJ starred review back in September.

Author Sam Kean (The Disappearing Spoon) reviews A New Map of Wonders: A Journey in Search of Modern Marvels by Caspar Henderson (University of Chicago Press) for The Wall Street Journal; the paper lists the best five books on “total war in the Pacific” and appreciates Ursula K. Le Guin.

Authors on Air: NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday interviewed John Banville, Mrs Osmond (Knopf: Random House); Weekend Edition Sunday interviewed Cathy Otten, With Ash on Their Faces: Yezidi Women and the Islamic State (OR Books); and All Things Considered interviewed Joe Biden, Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose (Flatiron: Macmillan). The Salt featured Kachka: A Return to Russian Cooking by Bonnie Frumkin Morales, Deena Prichep and Leela Cyd (Flatiron: Macmillan).

The Man Who Invented Christmas opens on November 22. There is a tie-in: The Man Who Invented Christmas by Les Standiford (Broadway Books: Random House). Librarians looking for display ideas can include Mr. Dickens and His Carol: A Novel of Christmas Past by Samantha Silva (Flatiron Books: Macmillan). It also focuses on the creation of the famous holiday story.

Ava DuVernay’s A Wrinkle in Time adaptation gets another trailer. It gave the book a push and is currently trending on YouTube.

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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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