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


Big Books for the Week

Continuing her reign, Danielle Steel once again leads the holds count with Fall from Grace (Delacorte: Random House).

Other titles with strong demand this week include:

The Wife by Alafair Burke (Harper).

Sisters Like Us by Susan Mallery (MIRA: Harper).

Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan (Atria/Emily Bestler Books: LJ stars).

Need to Know by Karen Cleveland (Ballantine Books: LJ stars).

All-American Murder: The Rise and Fall of Aaron Hernandez, the Superstar Whose Life Ended on Murderers’ Row by James Patterson and Alex Abramovich with Mike Harvkey (Little, Brown).

Librarians and Booksellers Suggest

One LibraryReads choice publishes this week: Eternal Life by Dara Horn (W.W. Norton: LJ stars)

“Ever since she made a deal to save her son’s life in Roman-occupied Jerusalem, Rachel has been doomed to live eternally. When one of her grandchildren tries to study the secret of her longevity and asks for a DNA sample, her world spins out of control.”—Kimberly McGee, Lake Travis Library, Austin, TX

It is also an Indie Next pick:
Eternal Life is a stunningly moving and lively investigation of mortality. It is also a story of profound love — young love, eternal love, and the love of parents for their children. Rachel, whose inability to die animates the plot, is a strong, willful, and complex woman. Dara Horn, whom I have long admired, infuses the book with her profound knowledge of Judaism, without ever becoming dull or didactic. This is an ode to the joys, sorrows, and brevity of existence as seen through the improbable lens of eternal life—and it made me cry! Highly recommended.”—Lilla Weinberger, Readers’ Books, Sonoma, CA

There are two additional Indie Next selections for the week:

Need to Know by Karen Cleveland (Ballantine Books: LJ stars)
“Vivian Miller is a CIA analyst working on Russian sleeper cells. She is good at her job, and dedicated. But what she discovers will blow apart everything she thought she knew about her life. What do you do when the choice is country or family? How do you protect your children—and Vivian cares deeply about her children—while walking a tightrope between two superpowers? What do you do when the betrayer is closer than you could have ever imagined? There are twists and turns aplenty as Vivian steps into a dangerous game that could destroy everything she loves and values. Karen Cleveland keeps the tension going right to the very last page.”—Deon Stonehouse, Sunriver Books, Sunriver, OR

The Mitford Murders by Jessica Fellowes (Minotaur Books: Macmillan)
“I am not the main mystery reader in my household, but I loved The Mitford Murders. With perfect timing for all things Great Britain, Jessica Fellowes definitely deserves her uncle Julian’s blessing to place the real-life Mitfords in a fictional Downton Abbey-like setting. It absolutely kept me guessing and satisfied all my English cravings. Well, at least until the royal wedding in May!”—Sue Roegge, Chapter2Books, Hudson, WI

These books and others publishing the week of January 22, 2018, are listed in a downloadable spreadsheet.

In the Media

Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan (Atria/Emily Bestler Books: LJ stars) is People‘s Book of the Week. The magazine calls it “a nuanced story line perfectly in tune with our #metoo times.” The Perfect Nanny by Leila Slimani (Penguin) and I Love You Too Much by Alicia Drake (Little, Brown) get nods as well. People calls Slimani’s book a “slim dagger of a novel…. You won’t move until you reach the last page.” Drake’s book is called “exquisite … an astute and poignant portrait.” The magazine lists The Alienist TV adaptation at # 2 on their “Pick” list, writing it is “sure-footed…and spiked with sinister detail.” The adaptation of Horse Soldiers, 12 Strong, comes in at #3: “a satisfying, meat-and-potatoes war movie…a modern western of elemental emotions and images.” People‘s own true crime TV series, Alaskan Temptress, self-promotes at #7. There are several older books on the case: Deadly Angel: The Bizarre True Story of Alaska’s Killer Stripper by Fred Rosen (Harper) and Seduced by Evil: The True Story of a Gorgeous Stripper-Turned-Suburban-Mom, Her Secret Past, and a Ruthless Murder by Michael Fleeman (St. Martin’s True Crime). Blue Planet II swims in at #9. There is a tie-in to the lavish BBC production, Blue Planet II: A New World of Hidden Depths by James Honeyborne and Mark Brownlow (BBC Books). In other book-related coverage, Nick Nolte gets a three-page spread. His new memoir Rebel: My Life Outside the Lines (William Morrow: Harper) publishes this week. Entertainment Weekly has not yet published. We will report their picks once they do. Look online for stories such as “10 essential LGBTQ books to read after seeing Call Me By Your Name.”

Briefly Noted

Elena Ferrante’s first column in The Guardian is out, about beginnings.

The Screen Actors Guild Awards were given last night. In book-connected wins Gary Oldman took home the statue for Darkest Hour while Nicole Kidman and Alexander Skarsgård did so for Big Little Lies.

The Edgar Award nominees are out. The winners will be announced on April 26.

The NYT reports that the Chinese police have seized “a Hong Kong-based book publisher with Swedish citizenship” for the second time, “snatched from a train bound for Beijing under the eyes of two Swedish diplomats.”

Author Naomi Alderman reviews Red Clocks by Leni Zumas (Little, Brown; LJ stars) for the NYT, calling it “highly absorbing.”

The Washington Post reviews The Heart of the Constitution: How the Bill of Rights became the Bill of Rights by Gerard Magliocca (Oxford UP), praising the way it can help start needed debate. Author William Giraldi reviews The Largesse of the Sea Maiden: Stories by Denis Johnson (Random; LJ stars), calling it “a benediction. Herein are those unmistakable Johnsonian questers and wastrels, narcotized poets and cons, ragged pilgrims ill fit for society, all of them conveyed in prose tingling from the concussion of the sacred and profane, with a sensibility beautifully receptive to bursts of black humor.”

Together We Rise: Behind the Scenes at the Protest Heard Around the World by the Organizers of the Women’s March and Condé Nast (Dey Street: HarperCollins) gets 3.5 stars, out of 4, in a USA Today review. The paper writes “It incorporates a stunning visual history, with stirring portraits of defiance and sweeping crowd shots that capture the scope of dissent in sea after sea of pink knit hats.” The paper also reviews All-American Murder: The Rise and Fall of Aaron Hernandez, the Superstar Whose Life Ended on Murderers’ Row by James Patterson and Alex Abramovich with Mike Harvkey (Little, Brown): it “is as ‘ripped from the headlines’ as it gets.”

LA Times interviews Stefan Merrill Block, author of Oliver Loving (Flatiron; LJ stars). The Guardian interviews Amy Tan and profiles Margaret Atwood. The NYT profiles A.J. Finn, The Woman in the Window (William Morrow: HarperCollins; LJ stars).

Bustle offers an insider look at the job of book designer and Vox does the same for audiobook narrators—with excellent RA advice at the end.

The LoanStars list for February is out.

Authors on Air

Michael Wolff will be on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah tonight.

John le Carré was on 60 Minutes last night.

A.J. Finn was on NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday, so was Patrick Sharkey, Uneasy Peace: The Great Crime Decline, the Renewal of City Life, and the Next War on Violence (W.W. Norton). Andrea Claudia Hoffmann, co-author of A Gift from Darkness (Other Press) was on Weekend Edition Sunday.

The Alienist begins today on TNT. The Hollywood Reporter writes it “isn’t necessarily the medium-redefining story it could have been, nor the buzzy re-imagining of serial killer lore the book briefly felt like. Instead, The Alienist plays like a time-traveling installment of True Detectivedelivering in sumptuous period production values and strong ensemble casting what it maybe lacks in freshness.”

Out of Sundance, Colette gets a rave review in The Guardianexhilarating, funny, inspiring and (remember: corsets!) gorgeous, too.”

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