Reese Witherspoon’s New Book Club Pick | Book Pulse

Book Clubs

Reese Witherspoon picks Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone by Brené Brown (Random House) as her newest book club pick.

Briefly Noted

Jennifer Szalai, the new daily reviewer for the NYT, looks at two books on the political landscape: Trumpocracy: The Corruption of the American Republic by David Frum (Harper) and How Democracies Die by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt (Crown). On Frum’s book she writes “The book seems to have been written in haste, a patchwork of bits and pieces from his Atlantic columns, additional examples of Trumpian malfeasance, and new ways of expressing old outrage.” Of Levitsky and Ziblatt’s efforts she says, “our current moment is so fraught that How Democracies Die is never dull, even if the writing can be.”

The Guardian reviews How Democracies Die as well, calling it an “excellent book, which manages to be scholarly and readable, alarming and level-headed.” Levitsky and Ziblatt’s book is soaring up the Amazon sales charts but is behind one more new book on a similar topic, It’s Even Worse Than You Think: What the Trump Administration Is Doing to America by David Cay Johnston (S. & S.).

Michael Dirda of The Washington Post considers Gnomon by Nick Harkaway (Knopf), writing “Despite the richness of its invention and virtuosic tricksiness, Gnomon is probably a bit too long. Still, it means to dazzle and it does, while also raising serious questions about identity, privacy, human rights and the just society.”

Entertainment Weekly reports that the Versace family is continuing their complaints against American Crime Story. The family has issued a second statement that reads in part: “Of all the possible portrayals of [Gianni Versace’s] life and legacy, it is sad and reprehensible that the producers have chosen to present the distorted and bogus version created by Maureen Orth.” Orth is the author of Vulgar Favors: Andrew Cunanan, Gianni Versace, and the Largest Failed Manhunt in U.S. History (Bantam: Random House). The show begins Jan. 17 on FX.

LitHub offers the first half of their “Most Anticipated Crime, Mystery, And Thriller Titles of 2018” list; it covers through June and highlights a few beyond.

In Fire and Fury news today, the Associated Press reports that 29,000 copies have sold in its first weekend, placing it “at No. 1 on The New York Times’ hardcover nonfiction list in the edition that runs on Jan. 21.” (It is also #1 on the USA Today list, released this morning). That count does not include orders that have yet to be shipped, so the figure will grow over the coming weeks. Taking a different approach, The Guardian asks why the cover is so ugly and, building off that story, they link to an older one about how design is credited with helping to save print books. Vox offers a primer on the factors that must be calculated when picking a print run.

Authors on Air: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, co-author of Becoming Kareem: Growing Up on and off the Court (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: SLJ stars), will be on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah tonight.

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


  1. Hello:
    I want to send my book “I Am At An Age,” to Reese Witherspoon. I have read she is welcoming books by women about women. I wrote this when I was 50 years old. The book is about the power of a woman’s presence. I am now 83 years old and not much time to pursue my dream of having this produced into a one woman play! My other books are on my website. This is my story and I am sticking to it!
    Have a day full of smiles.

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