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

Big Books for the Week

Only a handful of books publish this holiday week, but a few to watch are:

The Wanted by Robert Crais (Putnam: Penguin; LJ stars)

Death at Nuremberg by W.E.B. Griffin and William E. Butterworth IV (Putnam: Penguin)

Now That You Mention It by Kristan Higgins (HQN: Harper Collins)

The Art of Running in Heels by Rachel Gibson (Avon: Harper Collins; LJ stars)

(Note: No librarian or bookseller picks publish this week)

In the Media

People picks Enchantress of Numbers: A Novel of Ada Lovelace by Jennifer Chiaverini (Dutton: Penguin) as its “Book of the Week.” Nora Roberts’s Year One: Chronicles of the One, Book 1 (St. Martin’s; LJ stars) and Robert Bausch’s In the Fall They Come Back (Bloomsbury USA: Macmillan) are also featured.

Entertainment Weekly runs a double issue on the best and worst of the year. They have already posted their best books list online; in their “Worst” list they include Heather, the Totality by Matthew Weiner (Little, Brown: Hachette).

Looking Forward to 2018

Entertainment Weekly peeks into the new year with their list of “The 50 most anticipated books of 2018,” including new books by Stephen King, Nick Harkaway, and Tayari Jones.

Bustle offers “14 Debut Books By Women Coming Out In 2018 That You Need In Your TBR Pile” as well as “13 Books From Indie Publishers To Look Forward To In 2018.”

The Washington Post has a list of the best leadership books coming in 2018.

Briefly Noted

N.K. Jemisin returns with her newest Otherworldly column for the NYT. After praising the first half of Nora Robert’s Year One: Chronicles of the One, Book 1 (St. Martin’s) by writing, “In power and poignancy, this segment…is a match for end-of-the-world classics like Stephen King’s The Stand, Nevil Shute’s On the Beach and the better zombie apocalypses,” she says the second half is not at all good, creating a book that is “a story of shallow people, striving for not all that much, in an implausible world. A frustrating disappointment.” She is far happier with Winter of Ice and Iron by Rachel Neumeier (Saga: S. & S.), of which she writes, “The characters hook; the writing holds. It’s comfort food, but more satisfying than most.”

Pico Iyer offers a lyrical and unnerving review of Ghosts of the Tsunami: Death and Life in Japan’s Disaster Zone by Richard Lloyd Parry (MCD: Macmillan), writing “A strikingly vivid, even visceral writer, Lloyd Parry sweeps away distractions…to offer tightly focused and consuming human stories.”

Dwight Garner also reviews books on death: The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter by Margareta Magnusson (Scribner: S. & S.) and The Southern Sympathy Cookbook: Funeral Food with a Twist by Perre Coleman Magness (Countryman: Norton). Of the first, Garner writes that it is “a fond and wise little book.” He is less fond of the second work, saying, “It’s really just a moderately good general Southern cookbook with a canny marketing strategy.”

Parul Sehgal is not impressed with The Nothing by Hanif Kureishi (Faber & Faber), calling it “a mound of words presented to us as a novel, a situation passing as a story … sour and shallow.”

The paper offers books on earthquakes and woolly mammoths as well as two more best of the year lists: “Business Books Worth Reading,” featuring Janesville: An American Story by Amy Goldstein (S. & S.; LJ stars), and “The Best Poetry of 2017,” leading with The Complete Poems of A.R. Ammons: Volume 1 1955-1977 and Volume 2 1978-2005 by A.R. Ammons, edited by Robert M. West (Norton). The Washington Post‘s poetry column also appreciates Ammons.

Vulture, from NY Magazine, offers their best of the year picks too, including Best Thrillers, Romances, and Fantasy novels. They also pick the best dust jackets.

The Washington Post‘s Ron Charles loves The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce (Random), writing Joyce “offers something like the pleasure of A.A. Milne for adults. She has a kind of sweetness that’s never saccharine, a kind of simplicity that’s never simplistic.”

The paper also reviews Cartoon County: My Father and His Friends in the Golden Age of Make-Believe by Cullen Murphy (FSG: Macmillan), calling it “excellent” and writing, “To use the word ‘charming’ might sound condescending, but this book is seriously charming.”

The paper also reviews Molly Keane: A Life by Sally Phipps (Virago: Hachette), calling it an “engaging if uneven biography” and The Extra Woman: How Marjorie Hillis Led a Generation of Women to Live Alone and Like It by Joanna Scutts (Liveright: Norton), writing, “Scutts frames Hillis as both a pioneer and a product of her time, rising out of the Great Depression with other aspirational peddlers of the American Dream, including Napoleon Hill and Dale Carnegie.”

LitHub continues its countdown of the top literary stories of the year, at #31 is Bill Clinton and James Patterson’s forthcoming co-written novel The President is Missing (Hachette and Random). Showtime already has film rights.

Entertainment Weekly interviews Sarah MacLean about her forthcoming book, Wicked and the Wallflower: Bareknuckle Bastards Book 1 (Avon: HarperCollins).

USA Today highlights celebrities that offer book suggestions, including Reese Witherspoon’s most recent pick, The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine (HarperCollins; LJ stars). Virginia Stanley of Harper calls it “twisty, juicy stuff. Great characters, snappy dialogue, and one crazy ending … [an] addictive read.”

Bustle offers read-alikes for those who enjoyed The Last Jedi and The Shape of Water.

Victoria Schwab talks about her favorite books.

The Library of Congress will no longer archive Twitter exhaustively, but change to “selective” tweets, as they do with websites.

Want to keep up with what the NYT thinks is noteworthy in the reading year? There is a calendar for that.

Authors on Air
NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday discusses Bollywood Kitchen: Home-Cooked Indian Meals Paired with Unforgettable Bollywood Films by Sri Rao (HMH) while Weekend Edition Sunday featured Emily Wilson’s translation of The Odyssey by Homer (Norton). Wilson’s book is also the subject of Slate’s newest Audio Book Club.

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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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