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

Big Books for the Week

City of Endless Night by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child (Grand Central: Hachette) takes the lead on holds lists this week.

Other titles in demand include:

Everything Here Is Beautiful by Mira T. Lee (Pamela Dorman Bks: Penguin)

The Take by Christopher Reich (Mulholland: Hachette)

Iron Gold by Pierce Brown (Del Rey: Random)

Munich by Robert Harris (Knopf)

Red Clocks by Leni Zumas (Little, Brown; LJ stars)

A Treacherous Curse by Deanna Raybourn (Berkley: Penguin; LJ stars)

Librarians and Booksellers Suggest

One LibraryReads choice publishes this week:

Carnegie’s Maid by Marie Benedict (Sourcebooks Landmark)
“Engaging, richly-detailed, biographical, and historical fiction. In 1860s Pittsburgh, Clara, an Irish immigrant, takes a job working as a maid for Andrew Carnegie, with whom she falls in love, and then goes missing.”—Carol Ann Tack, Merrick Library, Merrick, NY

Six Indie Next Picks hit the shelves, from the January and February lists:

Escape Artist: Memoir of A Visionary Artist on Death Row by William A. Noguera (Seven Stories)
“This memoir is rich with sincere storytelling. It is inspiring to know that even in a harsh and unforgiving place like prison, it is possible for someone to produce such a creative expression. Noguera’s art goes beyond the physical bars to express themes that represent his experiences and ideas. Readers will find that Noguera is not only an award-winning visual artist, but also a model of compassion and generosity.”—Alyson Turner, Source Booksellers, Detroit, MI

The Stowaway: A Young Man’s Extraordinary Adventure to Antarctica by Laurie Gwen Shapiro (S. & S.)
“The story of Billy Gawronski, the young man who repeatedly tried to join Richard Byrd’s Antarctic expedition, reads like an adventure novel. The reality of his life is beyond the realm of the wildest imagination. Shapiro brings this resilient and resourceful man to life against the changing world of the Roaring Twenties, and his story perfectly reflects a world undergoing vast change. Combining narrative, science, and portraits of outsized personalities, Shapiro treats the reader to a story that is not only relevant but a total joy.”—Bill Cusumano, Square Books, Oxford, MS

Everything Here Is Beautiful by Mira T. Lee (Pamela Dorman Bks: Penguin)
Everything Here Is Beautiful is a remarkable debut about two sisters and the strength of their bond. At the heart of this story is Lucia — a sister, mother, and woman who struggles with mental illness. Told from alternating points of view, Mira T. Lee gives an honest and emotional look at living with mental illness and its impact on not only your own life but the lives of those you love most. Captivating doesn’t begin to cover this novel. You will find me eagerly waiting on the edge of my seat for the next book by this talented author.”—Kaitlin Smith, Copperfield’s Books, Sebastopol, CA

Red Clocks by Leni Zumas (Little, Brown; LJ stars)
“I never understood what it meant for someone’s writing to be ‘lyrical’ until I picked up Red Clocks. With beautiful prose, Leni Zumas tells the story of a young girl seeking an abortion in a world where abortion is illegal and dangerous; a woman on the quest to have children when in-vitro fertilization is illegal and folks aren’t allowed to adopt without a partner; a woman in a dead-end marriage desperate to escape from her husband and children; and a woman considered a witch by most who provides homeopathic reproductive healthcare, including illegal abortions. Zumas beautifully weaves these stories together and gives each individual a strong and unique voice, while also maintaining suspended disbelief. These characters felt real and this world felt possible. I suspect this will be one of the best books published in 2018.”—Hanna Foster, BookPeople, Austin, TX

The Unmade World by Steve Yarbrough (Unbridled)
“The minute I opened The Unmade World, I was knocked off my feet. The grace with which Steve Yarbrough tells the story of Richard, a journalist from California who loses everything one night, and Bogdan, the down-on-his-luck Polish man who’s the inadvertent cause, is sheer magic. You are in the hands of a master storyteller at the top of his game, and you will eagerly follow him from a dark winter night in Poland to a football stadium in Fresno, through the hearts and minds of a fascinating cast of supporting characters. A stunning, character-driven noir that will appeal to fans of Philip Kerr and Amor Towles, and, without question, Steve Yarbrough.”—Mary Cotton, Newtonville Books, Newton Centre, MA

The Largesse of the Sea Maiden: Stories by Denis Johnson (Random; LJ stars)
“Denis Johnson is one of those writers whose work you read, no matter the topic or reviews. Even in his strangest stories, he manages to conjure just the right turns of phrase to put the reader within his wacky world. I was so excited to get my hands on his posthumously published collection of short stories, which reminds me of his breakout collection, Jesus’ Son. The stories are wry, expertly written, and laced with similarly hazy, under-the-influence characters. It was bittersweet to read his final published works, but he certainly didn’t let us down.”—Courtney Flynn, Trident Booksellers & Café, Boston, MA

These books and others publishing the week of January 15, 2018, are listed in a downloadable spreadsheet.

In the Media

The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story is #1 on Entertainment Weekly‘s The Must List. It is based in part on Vulgar Favors: Andrew Cunanan, Gianni Versace, and the Largest Failed Manhunt in U.S. History by Maureen Orth (Bantam: Random). Neon in Daylight by Hermione Hoby (Catapult) is #3. EW calls it a “luminous, crackling debut.” Number six on the list is Red Clocks by Leni Zumas (Little, Brown; LJ stars), which EW says is “a fascinating read for our current moment in history.” Paddington 2, based on the beloved children’s books, lands at #9. The magazine features The Alienist adaptation and in a summary of what is debuting at the Sundance Film Festival, spotlights Yardie, Ophelia, The Catcher Was a Spy, and Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot, each of which is based on a book of the same name. Other films with plenty of book connections include RBG, about Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Our New President, about Donald Trump. The second season of The Handmaid’s Tale also gets a first look. In other books, they give a B+ to Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff (Holt), an A to The Largesse of the Sea Maiden: Stories, feature coffee table cookbooks, and give a full page to The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn (William Morrow: HarperCollins; LJ stars) and The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen (St. Martin’s).

People also lists The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story as their #1 People Picks. Number three is I Am Not Your Negro, which aired on PBS yesterday (there is a book connection: I Am Not Your Negro: A Companion Edition to the Documentary Film Directed by Raoul Peck by James Baldwin and Raoul Peck (Vintage). Black Lightning is #7, Blade Runner 2049 is #8, and at #10 is Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams. Their Book of the Week is Oliver Loving by Stefan Merrill Block (Flatiron; LJ stars). Grist Mill Road by Christopher J. Yates (Picador) and This Could Hurt by Jillian Medoff (Harper; LJ stars) also get nods. People also features three nonfiction titles: 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.), Tell Me More: Stories About the 12 Hardest Things I’m Learning to Say by Kelly Corrigan (Random), and Off the Charts: The Hidden Lives and Lessons of American Child Prodigies by Ann Hulbert (Knopf). The magazine gives a two-page spread to Fire and Fury and goes into detail about The Post.

Briefly Noted

The Largesse of the Sea Maiden: Stories by Denis Johnson (Random; LJ stars) gets focused review attention. Daily NYT reviewer Dwight Garner writes that it is not as strong as his earlier short story collection Jesus’s Son; “These stories drift, but Johnson finesses his way through them, his prose vernacular and elevated at the same time. One can say about this book what one narrator says about the poems of a writer he loves: ‘They were the real thing, line after line of the real thing.’” Entertainment Weekly gives it an A, calling it “a posthumous masterpiece.” The LA Times says it is “full of beautiful, imperfect and wonderfully damaged men. Men who don’t expect to live in the future,’ men haunted by their pasts, men trying to find a place in the present.” LitHub has a recording of Nick Offerman reading one of the stories.

Entertainment Weekly offers a joint review of The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn (William Morrow: HarperCollins; LJ stars) and The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen (St. Martin’s), giving the first a B+ and the second a B- and writing that the genre as a whole is “steering into the steep curve of a long downslide.”

The Washington Post reviews Grist Mill Road by Christopher J. Yates (Picador), writing it is achieved “with extraordinary skill” and is “even more compelling” than his debut, Black Chalk. NPR reviews as well, deciding that Black Chalk is better but this newest “packs a slow-burn punch.”

In a timely review (and one close to their home) The Washington Post considers The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner by Daniel Ellsberg (Bloomsbury: Macmillan), the man who released the Pentagon Papers. “The book’s exposés, such as they are, offer for historians not much that is new or revelatory, but casual readers will probably be shocked by just how boneheaded and illogical much of the Cold War’s grand strategy really was.”

The paper also has an outlook review of Goddess of Anarchy: The Life and Times of Lucy Parsons, American Radical by Jacqueline Jones (Basic: Hachette), saying it is a “richly researched and engagingly written biography [that] establishes Parsons’s rightful place in the pantheon of American radicals.”

The Post also reviews King Zeno: A Novel by Nathaniel Rich (MCD: Macmillan), writing “Like a meal at one of New Orleans’ famed eateries [it] offers a groaning board of tasty literary treats.”

The LA Times is not keen on The Stowaway: A Young Man’s Extraordinary Adventure to Antarctica by Laurie Gwen Shapiro (S. & S.), writing “pushed beyond an elevator pitch [the] high concept stalls.” Faring better is Red Clocks by Leni Zumas (Little, Brown; LJ stars). The paper writes it “ends up feeling like an enjoyable puzzle that is fundamentally unsolvable, some of its pieces playfully misplaced along the way.”

The NYT profiles Robert Menasse, the winner of the German Book Prize and interviews Philip Roth.

NPR profiles poet Kaveh Akbar.

Stephen King wins the 2018 PEN America Literary Service Award.

The NAACP Image Awards have been announced. The awards include multiple categories for literature including Outstanding Literary Work, The Annotated African American Folktales by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Maria Tatar (Liveright: W.W. Norton), and Outstanding Literary Work, Debut, No One Is Coming to Save Us by Stephanie Powell Watts (Ecco: Harper).

A comedian takes a pot shot at the romance genre and ends up live-tweeting and loving the novel he mocked. Related: POPSUGAR has a list of “13 of the Sexiest, Sweetest Romances to Kick Off Your New Year.”

Vogue offers “7 Nonfiction Books to Change Your Life in 2018.”

Vulture (from New York magazine) has a list of “10 of the Most Exciting Book Releases for 2018.”

USA Today reviews The Girls in the Picture by Melanie Benjamin (Delacorte) writing, “In the era of #MeToo, Girls could not be more timely —or troubling— about the treatment of women in the workplace.”

Authors on Air:

NPR’s Weekend Edition interviews Leila Slimani, The Perfect Nanny (Penguin), and Leni Zumas, Red Clocks by Leni Zumas (Little, Brown; LJ stars).

Ijeoma Oluo, So You Want to Talk About Race (Seal: Hachette), was on several public radio stations, sending her book soaring on the Amazon charts.

POPSUGAR has a new adaptation list, the “8 Books That Are About To Become Your New Favorite TV Shows in 2018.” They did the same with films earlier this month.

A trailer is out for The Terror, the AMC adaptation of the Dan Simmons novel of the same name. It premieres on March 26th. A tie-in edition comes out on Feb. 20.

The Handmaid’s Tale gears up for season two, which will premier on April 25.

In related news, Margaret Atwood is caught in a social media storm over her comments about the #MeToo movement.

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