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

Big Books for the Week

The Escape Artist by Brad Meltzer (Grand Central: Hachette: LJ starred review) racks up the most holds going into this week. Other titles in demand include:

The Woman Left Behind by Linda Howard (William Morrow: HarperCollins: LJ starred review)

Burn Bright by Patricia Briggs (Ace: Penguin)

As You Wish by Jude Deveraux (MIRA: HarperCollins)

Librarians and Booksellers Suggest

Two LibraryReads titles publish this week:

Burn Bright by Patricia Briggs (Ace: Penguin)
“The latest installment in the Alpha and Omega series. The tension between humans and werewolves is ramping up and Charles and Anna are becoming more deeply involved in Pack business. For readers who enjoy Ilona Andrews and Kelly Armstrong.”—Shana Harrington, Las Vegas Clark County Library District, Las Vegas, NV

Girls Burn Brighter by Shobha Rao (Flatiron: Macmillan: LJ starred review)
“A beautiful tale of survival despite overwhelming destructive forces all around. After her mother’s death, Poornima is left to care for her siblings and father until her arranged marriage. When a free spirited Savitha enters, Poornima begins to imagine a different life. Told in alternating perspectives, the girls’ ambition keeps them going through unimaginable trials.”—Darla Dykstra, Mid-Continent Public Library, Independence, MO

Eight Indie Next titles are forthcoming:

Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions by Mario Giordano, translated by John Brownjohn (HMH)
“Introducing Auntie Poldi, a sixtyish amateur sleuth who stars as the heroine of Giordano’s new series of delicious mysteries. She’s sexy, outrageous, can’t mind her own business, and has just retired to Sicily, where she intends to lay about and drink good wine for the rest of her days on the world’s most fabulous island. Of course, things are soon stirred up by the murder of her hot young handyman, and Poldi becomes deeply involved. Great characters, fun plot, Italian charm — and what could be better reading for the chilly months than a novel set in sun-soaked Sicily? Don’t miss what the Times Literary Supplement calls ‘a masterful treat.’” —Lisa Howorth, Square Books, Oxford, MS

The Last Equation of Isaac Severy: A Novel in Clues by Nova Jacobs (Touchstone: S. & S.)
“Isaac Severy has died and taken the secret of his last mathematical equation with him. Except that he has also hidden clues to a hiding place for this final work and shares these clues with his adopted granddaughter, Hazel, who he has charged with finding his hidden treasure and getting it into the hands of a trusted colleague. But she’s not the only one looking for his equation, and some of the other searchers are dangerous indeed. This inviting mystery allows us to follow along as Hazel makes her way toward the answer, so be prepared to put on your thinking cap and get out your best clue-solving approach — you’ll need all the help you can get. I absolutely loved this debut!”—Linda Bond, Auntie’s Bookstore, Spokane, WA

Registers of Illuminated Villages: Poems by Tarfia Faizullah (Graywolf Press: Macmillan: LJ starred review)
“‘Why do you always ask what can’t be answered?’ Registers of Illuminated Villages is a collection of immense physical, emotional, and spiritual hunger. Faizullah explores the boundaries of open, unending questions as she looks for a timeline for grief, a god to fulfill the duties of a god, and a home that doesn’t resemble home anymore. Contemplative and beautiful, this book should be held close to feel the power of its vulnerability.”—Nicole McCarthy, King’s Books, Tacoma, WA

Speak No Evil by Uzodinma Iweala (Harper: LJ starred review)
“‘This is who I am.’ ‘This is what happened to me.’ These are the simplest of expressions, yet the ability to speak them fully is a privilege not shared by the teenaged protagonists of this novel. Nigerian immigrant and Harvard-accepted aspiring doctor Niru is not able to tell his conservative religious parents that he is gay. The daughter of D.C.’s political elite, Meredith is not able to tell the world what really happened in an alley outside a bar on a hot spring night. Speak No Evil describes how loving relationships are strained, how trust is shattered, and how bodies can be broken when the truth is silenced. This heartbreakingly beautiful story will stay with you for a long time.”—Jill Zimmerman, Literati Bookstore, Ann Arbor, MI

Census by Jesse Ball (Ecco: HarperCollins)
“Jesse Ball, you brilliant weirdo, how did you do it? Census is a novel about everything big, told in the miniature, heart-wrenching tableau of a census. We are grazed by the notion that something is a bit different in this world, breathing down our necks. Sentences inspire double takes, characters jump from the page into life, and a transformative journey is undertaken for both the reader and the characters. As the end of the alphabet approaches, the landscape becomes more haunting, and the reader learns more about love and death than I thought was possible in a single book.”—Halley Parry, Parnassus Books, Nashville, TN

Tomb Song by Julián Herbert (Graywolf Press: Macmillan)
“Julián Herbert’s English-language debut is a stunner. Meshing memoir and essay, Tomb Song is the rough, darkly comic tale of a writer finding his voice while coming to terms with his mother dying. Switching between the past and the present, the author reflects on a childhood spent in poverty and a decade lost to drug use. A rare glimpse into the lower ranks of Mexican society without hyperbole or stereotypes of narco traffickers, Tomb Song is vibrant with humor, passion, and the realization of a family’s profound importance.”—Mark Haber, Brazos Bookstore, Houston, TX

I Found My Tribe: A Memoir by Ruth Fitzmaurice (Bloomsbury USA: Macmillan)
“Life’s journey is not fair. It isn’t. But you cope, as Ruth Fitzmaurice did and does. The book’s short vignettes read like fables — as if the author is above, looking in on herself, her life. Reminiscent of the humor of Anne Lamott and the candor of Joan Didion, I Found My Tribe is a memoir about a resilient woman who finds ways to cope with her husband’s debilitating disease: daydream, become a superhero, swim in the frigid waters of Ireland, and, of course, find her tribe in family and friends.”—Mindy Ostrow, the river’s end bookstore, Oswego, NY

The Woman’s Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote by Elaine Weiss (Viking: Penguin)
“Over the course of two steamy weeks in August 1920, hordes of suffragists, anti-suffragists, lobbyists, and lawmakers descended on Nashville in a fight to make Tennessee the 36th and final state to ratify the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote. This was the final chance, and both sides would do whatever it took to win — bullying, bribery, blackmail, and even kidnapping. I was on the edge of my seat. I had no idea how close the suffragists came to losing. This is narrative nonfiction at its best.”—Lisa Wright, Oblong Books and Music, Millerton, NY

These books and others publishing the week of March 5, 2018, are listed in a downloadable spreadsheet.

In the Media

Entertainment Weekly lists four reasons readers (and readers’ advisors) should be paying attention to Lars Kepler, out this week with The Sandman (Knopf: Random House). The NYT offers more reasons to pay attention below—the book could be the breakout of a “new” must read crime series. The House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea (Little, Brown: Hachette) gets a B+, “generous to the last breath.” Census by Jesse Ball (Ecco: Harper) earns a B+ too: “It will break your heart.” Bachelor Nation: Inside the World of America’s Favorite Guilty Pleasure by Amy Kaufman (Dutton: Penguin: LJ starred review) gets a B-, “it pairs well with a glass of rosé.” Stephanie Wittels Wachs, Everything Is Horrible and Wonderful: A Tragicomic Memoir of Genius, Heroin, Love, and Loss (Sourcebooks), gets interviewed. Finally, a list of “5 Books to Read if You Loved Black Panther.” It is a subset of the list they ran previously ran online.

On “The Must List at #3 is Children of Blood and Bone: The OrÏsha Legacy by Tomi Adeyemi (Henry Holt: Macmillan), “slyly political and astonishingly imaginative..” Annihilation is #4, “a tricky, trippy sci-fi stunner.” Unmasked: A Memoir by Andrew Lloyd Webber (Harper) is #9. Jessica Jones and A Wrinkle in Time both get features. Red Sparrow gets a C review: “It evaporates from your memory five minutes after you walk out of the theater.” The Last Jedi comes out DVD and streaming this month, EW details the “14 scenes left on the cutting-room floor” that are included in the new releases. Book Club gets a spot; it is about a highbrow book club that picks up Fifty Shades of Grey (see the trailer below). Star of the upcoming Deadpool sequel, Zazie Beetz gets a spotlight. EW also has a playlist of soundtracks not to miss from movies, including tracks from Fifty Shades Freed and Black Panther.

People’s Book of the Week is The House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea (Little, Brown: Hachette): a “whirling fiesta of a book.” Speak No Evil by Uzodinma Iweala (Harper: LJ starred review) and I’ll Be Your Blue Sky by Marisa de los Santos (William Morrow: Harper) round out the week’s picks. Text Me When You Get Home: The Evolution and Triumph of Modern Female Friendship by Kayleen Schaefer (Dutton: Penguin), Tomorrow Will Be Different: Love, Loss, And The Fight For Trans Equality by Sarah McBride (Crown Archetype: Random House: LJ starred review) and Bachelor Nation: Inside the World of America’s Favorite Guilty Pleasure by Amy Kaufman (Dutton: Penguin: LJ starred review) are the nonfiction selections.

People‘s “Picks” leads with Jessica Jones. #2 is Red Sparrow, saying of star Jennifer Lawrence, “She may be the greatest star of her generation.” Hello, Dolly!, on Broadway, is #7. It is based on a play by Thornton Wilder. Annihilation is #9: “a radically original experience—dreamlike, enigmatic, frightening.” Also covered are Book Club and Falling with Wings: A Mother’s Story by Dianna De La Garza with Vickie McIntyre (Feiwel & Friends: Macmillan).

Award Winners

The Shape of Water won the Best Picture Oscar and Guillermo del Toro won best Director. The novelization, publishing tomorrow, had a holds ratio of 2:1 before the win but news of the double award might shoot that upwards. Gary Oldman won Best Actor for Darkest Hour. Other book related wins include Call Me by Your Name for Best Adapted Screenplay and Blade Runner 2049 for Best Visual Effects.

The Bram Stoker Awards were announced on Saturday. Ararat by Christopher Golden (St. Martin’s: Macmillan) won for Superior Achievement in a Novel. Paperbacks from Hell: The Twisted History of ’70s and ’80s Horror Fiction by Grady Hendrix (Quirk: Random House: LJ starred review) won for Superior Achievement in Non-Fiction. The full list of winners is online.

Briefly Noted

Janet Maslin reviews The Sandman by Lars Kepler (Knopf: Random House) for the NYT, it is the fourth in the Detective Joona Linna series. The books are being reissued now that there is a bit of space in the Scandinavian crime scene again, reports Maslin, who notes the idea of reissuing all the Linna books “feels like a winner.” She says this first new release “works scarifyingly well as a stand-alone … an adroitly nerve-racking book … With its tight, staccato chapters and cast of dangerous wraiths lurking everywhere [it] is a nonstop fright.” Author Uzodinma Iweala does “The Shortlist” for the paper, gathering tales told by doctors. The paper also reviews, and does not like, Happiness Is a Choice You Make: Lessons from a Year Among the Oldest Old by John Leland (Sarah Crichton Bks: Macmillan): “The morals of the story, forced from the raw material of human lives, quickly overshadow the action and characters.”

The Washington Post reviews The Woman in the Water by Charles Finch (Minotaur: Macmillan), calling the entire series “outstanding” (this is the 11th entry). The paper also lists the best SFF books out this month, has a piece by Brad Meltzer, calls Smoketown: The Untold Story of the Other Great Black Renaissance by Mark Whitaker (S. & S.) “terrific, eminently readable,” and profiles author Sarah McBride, Tomorrow Will Be Different: Love, Loss, And The Fight For Trans Equality (Crown Archetype: Random House: LJ starred review). Behemoth: A History of the Factory and the Making of the Modern World by Joshua B. Freeman (W.W. Norton) gets a nod: it “shows how factories have had an overwhelming influence on the way we work, think, move, play and fight.”

NPR reviews The Three Rooms in Valerie’s Head by David Gaffney, illustrated by Dan Berry (Top Shelf: Random House), saying it is snortingly funny” and A Place of Darkness: The Rhetoric of Horror in Early American Cinema by Kendall R. Phillips (Univ. of Texas), writing that while the book is heavy lifting its “central arguments make for great reading.” NPR also offers features Legends of the Condor Heroes by Jin Yong (MacLehose Press), who the publisher calls “China’s Tolkien.”

Online, Entertainment Weekly profiles Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday (S. & S.: LJ starred review) and Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi (Grove Press: LJ starred review), writing that they “have struck a chord in the literary world … [both] compel us to revisit what we think we know through disarmingly fierce prose.” Also an excerpt of The Displaced: Refugee Writers on Refugee Lives edited by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Abrams).

The Guardian interviews James Wood, has a list of “books to inspire activism,” and has Elizabeth Strout answer their “books that made me” questionnaire.

Vulture lists “6 Books You Should Read This March.”

Bitchmedia has “15 Books Feminists Should Read in March.”

Authors on Air:

Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington will star and executive produce Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng (Pengin), reports Deadline Hollywood. Witherspoon posted on Instagram about it.

NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday interviewed Luis Alberto Urrea, The House of Broken Angels (Little, Brown: Hachette) and Stephanie Wittels Wachs, Everything Is Horrible and Wonderful: A Tragicomic Memoir of Genius, Heroin, Love, and Loss (Sourcebooks). Weekend Edition Sunday interviewed Andrew Lloyd Webber, Unmasked: A Memoir (Harper).

Logan’s Run might be headed to screens again. It is based on the novel by William F. Noland and George Clayton Johnson.

Suspicion by Joseph Finder is being adapted for TV.

Brad Meltzer, The Escape Artist (Grand Central: Hachette: LJ starred review), will be on Late Night with Seth Meyers tonight.

Martha Stewart, Martha’s Flowers: A Practical Guide to Growing, Gathering, and Enjoying with Kevin Sharkey (Clarkson Potter: Random House) will be on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert tonight.

Book Club gets a trailer:

Mary Poppins Returns gets a teaser:

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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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