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

Big Books for the Week

James Patterson and co-author Candice Fox lead holds this week with Fifty Fifty (Little, Brown).

Also in demand are:

Sunburn by Laura Lippman (William Morrow: Harper; LJ stars)

Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover (Random)

Death of an Honest Man by M. C. Beaton (Grand Central: Hachette)

Down the River unto the Sea by Walter Mosley (Mulholland Books: Hachette)

Librarians and Booksellers Suggest

In a double play, LibraryReads and Indie Next share two picks this week:

Sunburn by Laura Lippman (William Morrow: Harper; LJ stars)
“Polly leaves her husband and child while on a beach vacation and winds up in a small town in Delaware with almost nothing. She gets a job at the local bar and starts a relationship with Adam, someone who seems to have landed in the town by accident as well. As the novel progresses, we learn of Polly’s past and soon you won’t know what to believe. Sunburn is a twisted novel that will suck you in.”—Annice Sevett, New Hanover County Public Library, Wilmington, NC

Sunburn pays homage to the novels of James M. Cain, offering up crooked cops, handsome drifters, and, of course, a femme fatale. Watch the secrets unravel as a runaway wife with an ugly past takes up in a small town. Lovers of noir will delight in the familiar tropes. We know she’s bad, but how bad is she? Will an affair between two untrustworthy people turn into true love? Sunburn is the perfect book to take on that spring break to a sunny locale. Pour the lemonade and lay out your beach towel.”—Sarah Sorensen, Bookbug, Kalamazoo, MI

Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover (Random) is on the LibraryReads Feb. list.
“In her memoir, Westover recounts her childhood growing up in a strict Mormon family, ruled by an erratic father, and living off the grid in Idaho. Westover compellingly sketches her years growing up, her relationships with siblings, encounters in the town nearby, and the events that eventually drove her to leave and pursue formal education. For fans of Jeannette Walls’ The Glass Castle.”—Andrea Gough, Seattle Public Library, Seattle, WA

The Indie Next #1 pick for March: “Tara Westover is barely 30; could she really write a necessary and timely memoir already? Absolutely. Raised largely ‘off the grid’ in rural Idaho—without school, doctor visits, a birth certificate, or even a family consensus on the date of her birth—Tara nevertheless decides she wants to go to college. This is a story in two parts: First, Tara’s childhood working in a dangerous scrapyard alongside her six siblings, her survivalist father, and her mother, a conflicted but talented midwife and healer, while fearing Y2K and the influence of the secular world; then, her departure from her mountain home to receive an education. Both halves of her story are equally fascinating. Educated is a testament to Tara’s brilliance and tenacity, a bittersweet rendering of how family relationships can be cruel or life-saving, and a truly great read from the first page to the last.”—Emilie Sommer, East City Bookshop, Washington, DC

Also on the LibraryReads list is The French Girl by Lexie Elliott (Berkley: Penguin; LJ stars)
“Six friends from Oxford University spend an idyllic week in the French countryside that ends with a missing neighbor, the enigmatic Severine. Fast forward ten years and Severine turns up. Or rather her skeleton does in a well on the property. All six friends are suspects. Will the loyalties hold and who put Severine in the well? This is a fun, taut thriller.”—Jennifer Dayton, Darien Library, Darien, CT

On the Indie Next list is Rosie Colored Glasses by Brianna Wolfson (MIRA: HarperCollins)
“Readers who loved Half Broke Horses will wholly embrace debut author Brianna Wolfson’s Rosie Colored Glasses. Loosely based on Wolfson’s own family story, Rosie Colored Glasses follows 11-year-old Willow through the divorce of her parents, the navigation of two homes, the extreme and outrageous outpourings of love from her mother, Rosie, the stoic steadfastness of her father, and the ultimate realization that Rosie’s behavior, although loving and caring, may not ultimately be healthy for either of them. A quick, powerful read that will stick with you long after you turn the final page.”—Angie Tally, The Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, NC

These books and others publishing the week of Feb. 19, 2018, are listed in a downloadable spreadsheet: Book Pulse 

In the Media

Entertainment Weekly has a double issue celebrating the Oscars. On their Must List at #3 is Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover (Random): “beyond inspiring … gives us major Glass Castle vibes.” #7 is Black Panther, saying that no other superhero film is “as imaginative or boundary-pushing.” Mozart in the Jungle is #10, based on Mozart in the Jungle: Sex, Drugs, and Classical Music by Blair Tindall (Grove). Outlining “Your Next TV Obsessions,” the magazine lists Justin Cronin’s The Passage, which will air on Fox but is still in production. There is a page on Annihilation (based on Jeff VanderMeer’s novel of the same name). The Looming Tower TV show gets a B-minus. It is based on Lawrence Wright’s book of the same name. In Books, Michelle McNamara’s I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer (Harper) gets an A-minus, calling it “a posthumous near-masterwork that feels thrillingly alive.” White Houses by Amy Bloom (Random House: LJ stars) gets an A: “radiant [told by] a cracking storyteller.” Mrs. by Caitlin Macy (Lee Boudreaux: Little, Brown) is compared to Big Little Lies (Amy Einhorn: Putnam; LJ stars). A Good Day for Seppuku: Stories by Kate Braverman (City Lights), “a brutally funny tapestry of family life,” gets a side bar, and Jonathan Abrams’s new book All the Pieces Matter: The Inside Story of The Wire® (Crown Archetype: Random) gets unpacked.

People lead its Picks this week with McMafia, based on the book McMafia: A Journey Through the Global Criminal Underworld by Misha Glenny (Vintage: Random House). #9 is Mozart in the Jungle and #10 is the soundtrack to Black Panther (which was reviewed in glowing terms by NPR). In books, White Houses by Amy Bloom (Random; LJ stars) is the Book of Week: “It’s sensuous, captivating.” I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death by Maggie O’Farrell (Knopf: Random) and Mrs. by Caitlin Macy (Lee Boudreaux: Little, Brown) get nods as well.

Briefly Noted

Roger Rosenblatt reviews Time Pieces: A Dublin Memoir by John Banville (Knopf) for the NYT, writing “Banville remains willfully and gloriously disorganized. The tour he takes us on, while offering a handful of interesting facts about Dublin, is more about moods and states of mind and how they shape, even create, the so-called real world.”

Maureen Corrigan reviews A Dangerous Crossing by Ausma Zehanat Khan (Minotaur: Macmillan), for The Washington Post deciding that while the personal lives and connections of the characters are as tangled as a “hair ball” the mystery itself is “an exciting story that enlightens as much as it entertains.” The paper says Cringeworthy: A Theory of Awkwardness by Melissa Dahl (Portfolio: Penguin) is written with “levity, grace and self-awareness,”  Everything You Love Will Burn: Inside the Rebirth of White Nationalism in America by Vegas Tenold (Nation Books: Hachette), is “a fascinating, disturbing book,” Political Tribes: Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations by Amy Chua (Penguin) is “accessible and provocative,” and George Dohrmann’s Superfans: Into the Heart of Obsessive Sports Fandom (Ballantine: Random) is a “compelling book but with sizable flaws.” The paper also lists forthcoming works on based on earlier books.

NPR reviews The Château by Paul Goldberg (Picador: Macmillan), calling it “a fast-forward screed on our current historical moment, scattered and digressive and insane in the best possible way.”

The Guardian features poet Eileen Myles, Afterglow (a dog memoir) (Grove) and gives a questionnaire to Joyce Carol Oates. They also interview Tara Westover, Educated: A Memoir (Random) and Francisco Cantú, The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches From the Border (Riverhead). Literary Hub interviews Oates as well.

Amy Chozick, (Harper), has an essay on reading in the NYT.

Leon: Protector of the Playground by Jamar Nicholas win the 2018 Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity, an important comics award. Entertainment Weekly also has an essay on diversity in comics.

The NYT has an essay on X-Men comic characters who come out, writing that “The new Marvel series “Iceman” [see Iceman Vol. 1: Thawing Out by Sina Grace (Text) and Alessandro Vitti (art) (Marvel: Hachette)] … is the kind of compact, character-centered superhero comic that people who like the Marvel movies, or read realist graphic novels (like Fun Home) but haven’t embraced capes-and-tights books, can enjoy.”

Curtis Dawkins, the author of The Graybar Hotel: Stories (Scribner: S. & S.; LJ stars), who is an inmate serving a life sentence for murder, is being sued by the state of Michigan for the money he earned on the book.

Lerone Bennett Jr. has died. The author of works on black history and a former editor at Ebony was 89.

Authors on Air:

Black Panther is breaking box office records.

Former FBI Director James Comey has scheduled an interview with ABC news in advance of A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership (Flatiron: Macmillan) publishing on April 17 (which is weeks earlier than originally scheduled due to high interest).

NPR’s All Things Considered interviews Rhiannon Navin, Only Child (Knopf; LJ stars) and Walter Mosley, Down the River Unto the Sea (Mulholland Books: Hachette).

Weekend Edition Saturday interviews Akwaeke Emezi, Freshwater (Grove; LJ stars) and Weekend Edition Sunday interviews Kelly Barnhill, Dreadful Young Ladies And Other Stories (Algonquin: Workman; LJ stars).

Anne Hathaway is set to star in the adaptation of Joan Didion’s The Last Thing He Wanted (Vintage).

George Orwell’s Animal Farm is at the center of a new film starring James Norton (McMafia) and Vanessa Kirby (The Crown), reports Variety.

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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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