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

Big Books for the Week

Nora Roberts clears the field this week, overwhelmingly leading in holds counts with Year One: Chronicles of the One, Book 1 (St. Martin’s) (LJ stars).

Other titles that will be in demand include:

The Demon Crown: A Sigma Force Novel by James Rollins (William Morrow: HarperCollins)

Persepolis Rising by James S. A. Corey (Orbit: Hachette)

Elmet by Fiona Mozley (Algonquin: Workman)

No Time to Spare: Thinking About What Matters by Ursula K. Le Guin
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Booksellers Suggest

Seven Indie Next picks publish this week:

Three Daughters of Eve by Elif Shafak (Bloomsbury USA: Macmillan)
“Elif Shafak’s Three Daughters of Eve depicts a sophisticated and compelling story of modern Istanbul. Peri is now a rich and glamorous woman living a comfortable life. While suffering through a tedious dinner party with the international elite, she ponders her days as a student at Oxford, when her life was profoundly impacted by two friends and a charismatic professor. As a young, unformed student, Peri felt lost in her search for faith and self. Looking back on these years from the perspective of adulthood, Peri must confront her past before it collides with the present. Compelling, poignant, and highly relevant, Three Daughters of Eve is a modern exploration of identity in a changing world.”—Pamela Klinger-Horn, Excelsior Bay Books, Excelsior, MN

Year One: Chronicles of the One, Book 1 by Nora Roberts (St. Martin’s)
“This new novel from legendary romance author Nora Roberts feels entirely fresh and utterly compelling. A plague that starts on a small farm manages to destroy almost the entire human population on Earth, and those who are left find themselves changed — some for better, some for worse. The scattered bits of humanity that remain struggle to fight the chaos that descends, as some characters — Lana and Max, Arlys and Fred, and Rachel and Jonah — find themselves immune to the plague. This fabulous departure from Roberts’ usual storytelling is refreshing and compulsively readable!”—Annie Carl, The Neverending Bookshop, Bothell, WA

The Ice House by Laura Lee Smith (Grove)
“Laura Lee Smith continues to impress with her second novel, The Ice House. It’s a lovely story full of heart and wry humor that manages to convey life in all its rich, messy, tragic wonder. Johnny MacKinnon has it good but seems to be on the verge of losing it all. The ice company he runs in Florida is in trouble with OSHA, and then he discovers that he may have a brain tumor. While he is supposed to be taking it easy as he waits to find out the diagnosis, Johnny decides he must try to mend his estranged relationship with his son in Scotland and with the granddaughter he’s never met. The result is a touching, funny, heartbreaking ride you won’t soon forget.”—Cody Morrison, Square Books, Oxford, MS

The Vanishing Season by Joanna Schaffhausen (Minotaur: Macmillan)
“Officer Ellery Hathaway is the ultimate damaged character. Kidnapped at age 14 and tortured by a serial killer before being rescued by FBI agent Reed Markham, Hathaway is now a woman who fiercely protects her privacy. But, every year on her birthday, three people have disappeared, and no one, including the sheriff, believes they are connected. To get to the bottom of the mystery, Hathaway reaches out to Markham. The Vanishing Season is a thriller, a police procedural, and a psychological study of PTSD and workforce burnout. It is a look at serial killers and the impossibility of knowing who will become one and why. But, most of all, The Vanishing Season is a terrific read that you won’t be able to put down once you start.”—Nancy McFarlane, Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC

Elmet by Fiona Mozley (Algonquin: Workman)
Elmet is a great read. The writing is beautiful, and I found myself totally entranced by both the characters and the scenery. I’m stilling mulling over the end. I love having something to think through after finishing a story!”—Randy Schiller, Left Bank Books, St. Louis, MO

Ultraluminous by Katherine Faw (MCD: Macmillan)
“No one is just one thing. Take K, for instance: She spends her days getting just high enough and managing the men who pay her for sex. Time passes in a blur of heroin, hedonism, and risky sushi from Duane Reade, but underneath that routine is something else. And it is this something else that is with K all the time, throughout the manicures and the art films and the stain on the ceiling above her bed and the memories of what came before. Who is K, really? Ultraluminous is raw, hideous, and beautiful, an open wound of a book.”—Lauren Peugh, Powell’s Books, Portland, OR

Exact Thinking in Demented Times: The Vienna Circle and the Epic Quest for the Foundations of Science by Karl Sigmund (Basic Books: Hachette)
“When the heirs of physicists and philosophers Ernst Mach and Ludwig Boltzmann came together in Vienna, little did they realize that their intellectual enterprise would figure so greatly in the annals of history and science. Over the years, the group, corralled by Moritz Schlick and Hans Hahn, grew to include such names as Kurt Godel, Karl Popper, and Ludwig Wittgenstein. Sigmund provides a vivid account of the personalities involved in these debates on the philosophy of science and whether philosophy belongs in science, and breathes new life and energy into this important time period. In this extremely readable and accessible volume, Sigmund’s familiarity with the Vienna Circle makes for fascinating observations about the people who made this part of science history possible.”—Raul Chapa, BookPeople, Austin, TX

The above titles and more publishing this week are listed in our downloadable spreadsheet, here: Book_Pulse_Nov_20_2017

In the Media

Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan (Atria/Emily Bestler Books: S. & S.) makes Entertainment Weekly’s Must List at #3 and the comics series Doomsday Clock, which brings “Watchmen characters in contact with Superman and Batman (and others) hits at #5. EW says it “has a lot to say about the state of superheroes.” Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle also gets featured coverage and, in the book review section, Improv Nation: How We Made a Great American Art by Sam Wasson (Eamon Dolan: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) gets an A-, Ursula K. Le Guin gets interviewed, and Quackery: A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything by Lydia Kang and Nate Pedersen (Workman) gets a small feature.

People’s Book of the Week is Elmet by Fiona Mozley (Algonquin: Workman), they call it a “dazzling debut” that “feels steeped in a … primitive, violent past [with] seductively poetic prose.” Also featured are Roomies by Christina Lauren (Gallery: S. & S.) and The Dead Moms Club: A Memoir about Death, Grief, and Surviving the Mother of All Losses by Kate Spencer (Seal: Hachette).

Comedian and actress Tiffany Haddish, The Last Black Unicorn (Gallery: S. & S.), gets a feature while the magazine also spotlights recipes from several cookbooks: Pretty Fun: Creating and Celebrating a Lifetime of Tradition by Kate Hudson (Dey Street: HarperCollins), Lidia’s Celebrate Like an Italian: 220 Foolproof Recipes That Make Every Meal a Party: A Cookbook by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich and Tanya Bastianich Manuali (Knopf), and Basics to Brilliance by Donna Hay (HarperCollins).

Briefly Noted

The NYT offers three books on the Internet and reviews another photography book about our last president, Obama: The Call of History by Peter Baker (New York Times/Callaway: Abrams). The paper also reviews It’s All Relative: Adventures Up and Down the World’s Family Tree by A.J. Jacobs (S. & S.), opening the relatively positive review with: “In a regularly best-selling way, A.J. Jacobs writes stunt books. Or quest-stunt books, is more like it. Or humorous quest-stunt books is most like it.” They also focus on The Collector of Lives: Giorgio Vasari and the Invention of Art by Ingrid Rowland and Noah Charney (Norton) and for Buffy fans they review Slayers & Vampires: The Complete Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of Buffy & Angel by Edward Gross and Mark A. Altman (Tor). Finally, Amy Bloom reviews Christmas: A Biography by Judith Flanders (Thomas Dunne: Macmillan).

Emma Cline, The Girls, is caught, as the NYT puts it in an “unusual and dramatic legal clash [that] is far from a standard copyright complaint.”

The Washington Post reviews The Second Coming of the KKK: The Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s and the American Political Tradition by Linda Gordon (Liveright: Norton), writing “two-time Bancroft Prize-winning historian Linda Gordon tells this illuminating and timely tale with meticulous research.” Expect lots of attention; reviews are lined up for Gordon’s book from several important sources. Maureen Corrigan reviews The Big Book of the Continental Op by Dashiell Hammett, edited by Richard Layman and Julie M. Rivett (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard: Random), opening with “Have I got a treat for those who prefer to celebrate their holidays in hard-boiled, rather than Hallmark, style.” The paper also reviews Hoover: An Extraordinary Life in Extraordinary Times by Kenneth Whyte (Knopf), writing, “Whyte is an impressive stylist with a penchant for explaining political history to contemporary readers. This well-researched volume proves that Hoover, far from being a political failure, should be rightfully acknowledged as the father of New Deal liberalism and modern conservatism.”

USA Today looks at The Best American Comics 2017 edited by Ben Katchor (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) and finds “10 gorgeous holiday gift books ready for wrapping.“

Laura Miller of Slate gets to Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts, and Fake News by Kevin Young (Graywolf: Macmillan), writing “By turns brilliant and frustrating, Bunk is nevertheless that rare thing, a trove of fresh and persuasive insights.”

The LA Times reviews Insidious Intent by Val McDermid (Atlantic Monthly), saying that it “shows Val McDermid deserves her Queen of Crime crown.“ They also feature Andy Weir.

Authors on Air: NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday talks with Fiona Mozley, Elmet (Algonquin: Workman) while the Sunday edition interviews Gregory Maguire, Hiddensee: A Tale of the Once and Future Nutcracker (William Morrow: HarperCollins).

CLICK HERE to receive daily Book Pulse alerts in your inbox

SELF-eLearn More
SELF-e is an innovative collaboration between Library Journal and BiblioBoard® that enables authors and libraries to work together and expose notable self-published ebooks to voracious readers looking to discover something new. Finally, a simple and effective way to catalog and provide access to ebooks by local authors and build a community around indie writing!
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

Comment Policy:
  1. Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  2. Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  3. Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  4. Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media, per our Terms of Use.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through (though some comments with links to multiple URLs are held for spam-check moderation by the system). If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.

We accept clean XHTML in comments, but don't overdo it and please limit the number of links submitted in your comment. For more info, see the full Terms of Use.

Speak Your Mind