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

Big Books for the Week

Night Moves by Jonathan Kellerman (Ballantine: Random House) leads holds this week.

Other titles that will be in demand include:

Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella (The Dial Press: Random House)

White Houses by Amy Bloom (Random House: LJ stars)

Poison by John Lescroart (Atria: S. & S.)

Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress by Steven Pinker (Viking: Penguin)

Librarians and Booksellers Suggest

One LibraryReads title publishes this week:

Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella (Dial: Random House)
“Kinsella’s newest heroine has met and married Mr. Right – now how to spend the next 68 years? When Sylvie launches Project Surprise Me, she just might find that there’s always more to learn about the ones you love. Told in Kinsella’s trademark charming, relatable style.” —Ariel Kurst, Great River Regional Library, St. Cloud, MN

Four Indie Next suggestions hit shelves, two from the February list:

Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi (Grove Press: LJ stars)
“A full and arresting examination of the search for a sense of belonging to one’s self, Freshwater reads like the result of a successful dinner party hosted by Chimamanda Adichie, with a guest list featuring Octavia Butler, Neil Gaiman, Salman Rushdie, Helen Oyeyemi, and several preeminent cultural and sociological scholars. Freshwater follows Ada, a child born with ‘a foot on the other side,’ through her early life in Nigeria and her emigration to America, where she is trailed by many forces from the lands she left behind. It gives us new vocabulary and territories for exploring the awkwardness of intersections that we encounter — gender, culture, tradition, history, personal mythology — and how one might go about locating herself in the pull of so many competing influences.” —Sarah Bumstead, Vroman’s Bookstore, Pasadena, CA

White Houses by Amy Bloom (Random House: LJ stars)
“Lorena Hickok, the most prominent female reporter in America, meets Eleanor Roosevelt in 1932 while reporting on Franklin Roosevelt’s first presidential campaign. Almost immediately, Hick and Eleanor connect passionately and deeply, and Hick moves into the White House as ‘First Friend.’ The story of their bond is told with art and grace and a bit of intrigue by the wise and gifted Amy Bloom. A love story and historical novel, based on a true romance and unabashedly sensual, White Houses is extraordinary.” —Cathy Langer, Tattered Cover Book Store, Denver, CO

Two from the March list:

Don’t Skip Out on Me by Willy Vlautin (Harper Perennial)
“Horace Hopper, the Irish-Paiute Indian protagonist in Don’t Skip Out on Me, dreams of erasing the shame of childhood abandonment by reinventing himself as a professional boxer. His boss and surrogate father, an elderly sheep rancher, wrestles with the choices of his own history, and does his best to maintain a way of life that is rapidly disappearing. Vlautin intertwines the lives and fates of these two men in a work of astonishing beauty and heartbreak, and guides the reader to an ending that is as true and real as it gets. Willy Vlautin has been literature’s best-kept secret for far too long. He may well be our own Steinbeck, but with a haunting steel-guitar sensibility all his own.” —Patrick Millikin, The Poisoned Pen Bookstore, Scottsdale, AZ

Some Hell by Patrick Nathan (Graywolf Press: Macmillan)
“The teen years are difficult for most young people, but 14-year-old Colin is having a particularly devastating experience. In the aftermath of his father’s suicide and an epic betrayal by his best friend, Colin tries to come to terms with his budding sexuality and his role in the new dynamics of his troubled family. His father’s diaries and a road trip with his mother open new horizons for Colin as he attempts to find his place in an uncertain future. Author Patrick Nathan takes a brutally honest look at coming of age in the wake of tragedy. Prepare for an unflinching look at the life of the modern family in this stunning debut by a talented and fresh voice in fiction.” —Pamela Klinger-Horn, Excelsior Bay Books, Excelsior, MN

These books and others publishing the week of Feb. 12, 2018, are listed in a downloadable spreadsheet.

In the Media

Entertainment Weekly tops their “Must List” with the TV show 2 Dope Queens. There is a book connection: Phoebe Robinson, You Can’t Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to Explain (Plume: Penguin). Iron Gold by Pierce Brown (Del Rey: Random) is #6: “the best, most surprising sci-fi series you’ve still never read.” In the Books section, An American Marriage by Tayari Jones (Algonquin: Workman: LJ stars) gets an A- and The House of Impossible Beauties by Joseph Cassara (Ecco: HarperCollins) gets a B+. Thrillers are given “fear factor” grades and The Perfect Nanny by Leila Slimani (Penguin) wins, writing it “nails the universal guilt of modern motherhood.” Maggie O’Farrell, I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death (Knopf: Random House), gets a feature and three more memoirs are spotlighted: Mothers of Sparta: A Memoir in Pieces by Dawn Davies (Flatiron Books), Heart Berries: A Memoir by Terese Marie Mailhot (Counterpoint), and The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches From the Border by Francisco Cantú (Riverhead Books).

People Picks names Black Panther as #1. The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah (St. Martin’s) is the Book of the Week: “Think Laura Ingalls Wilder for grown-ups.” How To Stop Time by Matt Haig (Viking: Penguin) and Only Child by Rhiannon Navin (Knopf: Random: LJ stars) also get nods. In nonfiction, People highlights That’s What She Said: What Men Need to Know (and Women Need to Tell Them) About Working Together by Joanne Lipman (William Morrow: Harper), Coffee for One by KJ Fallon (Skyhorse), and The Heart Is a Shifting Sea: Love and Marriage in Mumbai by Elizabeth Flock (Harper). Wallis in Love: The Untold Life of the Duchess of Windsor, the Woman Who Changed the Monarchy by Andrew Morton (Grand Central: Hachette) gets a four-page spread (and the NY Post has the story too).

Briefly Noted





The RUSA/CODES book awards were announced last night. Among the winners on The Notable Books List are Stay with Me by Ayobami Adebayo (Knopf) and Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay (Harper). If All the Seas Were Ink: A Memoir by Ilana Kurshan (St. Martin’s) wins the Sophie Brody Medal. An Extraordinary Union by Alyssa Cole (Kensington) and Kill Creek by Scott Thomas (Inkshares) are some of the winners on The Reading List. The Listen List includes Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney, read by Xe Sands (Macmillan Audio) and The Force by Don Winslow read by Dion Graham (Blackstone Audio). Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan (Scribner: S. & S.) and You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me: A Memoir by Sherman Alexie (Little, Brown: Hachette) win the Andrew Carnegie Medals. The Dartmouth Medal and the Outstanding Reference Sources list were also announced. The Youth Media Awards will be announced today, starting at 10 am ET/8 am MT. SLJ will have a full report.

The NYT reviews Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday (S. & S.: LJ stars), calling it a “novel is so strange and startlingly smart that its mere existence seems like commentary on the state of fiction.” Also an essay on art and Patrick J. Deneen’s Why Liberalism Failed (Yale Univ.). In the Book Review podcast, Laura Lippman talks about Sunburn (William Morrow: Harper: LJ stars) and Tina Jordan talks about diversity in romance novels.

Jason Matthews’s The Kremlin’s Candidate (Scribner: S. & S.) gets reviewed by David Ignatius for The Washington Post, writing “The sex scenes in his books are good, but the surveillance-detection runs are sublime.” Also How To Turn Down a Billion Dollars: The Snapchat Story by Billy Gallagher (St. Martin’s: Macmillan), writing “unlike many Silicon Valley books [it] is much more than mere human drama and tabloid gossip with some tech packaging on it.” The paper also reviews Off the Charts: The Hidden Lives and Lessons of American Child Prodigies by Ann Hulbert (Knopf): “as much an exploration of the mystery of parenting in ‘practice, rather than theory,’ as Hulbert writes, as it is a look at these remarkable children.” The paper reviews Farewell to the Horse: A Cultural History by Ulrich Raulff, translated by Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp (Liveright: Norton), calling it “an eloquent epitaph for the horse’s long relevance to our world.”

Stephen Chbosky, author of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, is writing a new book, a literary horror novel. Titled Imaginary Friend (Grand Central), it will publish in Fall 2019.

USA Today picks “Four tantalizing new mysteries to keep you inside this winter.”

The LA Times celebrates Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness by Edward Abbey (Ballantine: Random House).

Elle profiles Zadie Smith.

The Guardian interviews Karl Ove Knausgaard.

Ron Charles of The Washington Post goes to book club.

The Writers Guild of America Awards are out. Call Me By Your Name wins for best Adapted Screenplay and Big Little Lies wins for best Long Form Adapted.

Authors on Air:

NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday talks with Michael Korda, Catnip: A Love Story (Countryman Press: W.W. Norton) and Ben Austen, High-Risers: Cabrini-Green and the Fate of American Public Housing (Harper). Weekend Edition Sunday interviewed Kayleen Schaefer, Text Me When You Get Home: The Evolution and Triumph of Modern Female Friendship (Dutton: Penguin), giving it a big push. Also Terese Marie Mailhot, Heart Berries: A Memoir (Counterpoint). Morning Edition interviews Judy Blume at 80 and offers love poetry.

The Singapore Grip by J.G. Farrell (NYRB Classics) is headed to the small screen in a six-part series for ITV.

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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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