New Book Clubs | Book Pulse

Book Clubs

The PBS NewsHour starts a book club with the NYT, Now Read This. Their opening title is Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward (Scribner) for which they offer discussion questions.

David Bowie’s son has also started a book club, based on his dad’s favorite books. The first pick is Peter Ackroyd’s Hawksmoor (Joyce Carol Oates reviewed it in 1986 for the NYT, calling it “a witty and macabre work of the imagination, intricately plotted, obsessive in its much-reiterated concerns with mankind’s fallen nature.”)

Briefly Noted

Jacqueline Woodson is named National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature.

Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff (Holt) dominated news coverage overnight. The book, not out until Jan. 9, is full of insider details about the Trump campaign and presidency. The Guardian has a summary and New York Magazine printed an excerpt.

Janet Maslin reviews The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn (William Morrow: HarperCollins; LJ stars) for the NYT. She generally likes it, writing “The rocket fuel propelling The Woman in the Window, the first stratosphere-ready mystery of 2018, is expertise” and says, “A book that’s as devious as this novel will delight anyone who’s been disappointed too often.”

USA Today reviews it as well, giving it 3 out of 4 stars and writing for all its “silly” melodrama, “there’s something irresistible about this made-for-the-movies tingler. Finn knows how to pleasurably wind us up.”

Marilyn Stasio returns with her NYT Crime column, leading off by appreciating Robicheaux by James Lee Burke (S. & S.). The paper also gathers books on subways and Istanbul and writes an obituary for Fred Bass, the owner of the famous Strand Bookstore in NYC. Librarians likely recall the literary quiz given to job applicants.

Washington Post reviewer Michael Dirda considers An Uncommon Reader: A Life of Edward Garnett, Mentor and Editor of Literary Genius by Helen Smith (FSG), saying it is “uncommonly good reading, and anyone interested in Edwardian fiction, the history of publishing or literary biography will find it a treat.”

The spouses of two authors who wrote memoirs about dying have fallen in love. Entertainment Weekly includes one of the memoirs on their new list of “20 books that will change your life.” Coincidentally, an author who wrote his own memoir about death, David Giffels, supplies LitHub with “5 Books On Death And Mortality.”

Authors on Air

Dan Harris, Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics: A 10% Happier How-to Book (Spiegel & Grau), featured on NPR’s Morning Edition today. He will be on The View tomorrow.

In a bit of forward planning, LitHub has “35 Literary Adaptations to Look Forward to in 2018.”

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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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