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

Big Books for the Week

After Anna by Lisa Scottoline (St. Martin’s) leads holds this week.

Other titles in demand include:

Shoot First by Stuart Woods (Putnam)

The Sixth Day by Catherine Coulter and J.T. Ellison (Gallery: S. & S.)

The Cutting Edge by Jeffery Deaver (Grand Central: Hachette)

Macbeth by Jo Nesbø (Hogarth: Random)

Librarians and Booksellers Suggest

Circe by Madeline Miller (Little, Brown) is the No. 1 LibraryReads pick for April:
Circe follows the banished witch daughter of the Titans as she practices her powers for an inevitable conflict with one of Olympus’s most vindictive gods. I found myself pondering motherhood, mortality, and feminism. For readers of historical and mythological drama or anyone who loves a strong female lead.—McKelle George, Salt Lake City Public Library, Salt Lake, UT

It is also an Indie Next selection for April:
“This remarkable journey into mythology brings the ancient gods directly and viscerally into the present. Circe is a perfect mashup of elegant language, glorious storytelling, and exquisitely modern sensibilities. Miller’s telling left me awed and moved by Circe and her story, all while wishing I could invite her over for a glass of wine on the porch. How this amazing author so perfectly melds the human and the divine, creating a story both immediate and epic, is dazzling.”—Beth Albrecht, The Magic Tree Bookstore, Oak Park, IL

One further LibraryReads pick publishes this week, Unbury Carol by Josh Malerman (Del Rey: Random; LJ starred review)
“This horror novel, set in the Old West, is creepy, atmospheric, and suspenseful. A husband has nefarious plans for his comatose wife Carol. James Moxie, a legendary outlaw, sets off on the Trail to save her. Hot on James’ tail is a sinister hitman with a thirst for murder-by-fire and a supernatural entity, Rot, who wants to collect Carol.”—Sonia Reppe, Stickney-Forest View Public Library, Stickney, IL

Also publishing this week and on the Indie Next list are:

And Now We Have Everything: On Motherhood Before I Was Ready by Meaghan O’Connell (Little, Brown)
“Times have changed, women have changed, and, naturally, the experience of young(ish) motherhood has changed as well. I often tell people that becoming a mother was equal parts wonderful and abysmally dark and get blank stares, but here it is: a tale like mine, articulated with clarity and wit! I’m excited to be able to recommend this honest and relatable account of modern pregnancy and motherhood.”—Cristina Russell, Books & Books, Coral Gables, FL

Country Dark by Chris Offutt (Grove; LJ starred review)
Country Dark spans 1954 to 1971, opening with Tucker’s return home from the Korean War, where he had special training in killing other men, to rural Kentucky near the Ohio border, where he takes up a job as a driver in a bootlegging operation. Tucker is devoted to his rural home life and to his young wife and children, and once their way of life is threatened, he understands he may have to employ his wartime skills to keep it together. Chris Offutt’s new novel is almost impossible not to race through, but it also must be savored for its artful but unpretentious phrasing, and for its many surprises, which we won’t talk about here.”—Richard Howorth, Square Books, Oxford, MS

After Anna by Lisa Scottoline (St. Martin’s)
“The twists and turns of Scottoline’s new family thriller kept me captivated as a reader, spouse, and parent. After Anna is the story of a family torn apart by the return of the wife’s beautiful teenage daughter, Anna, who then is brutally murdered. With this event, Maggie not only loses her daughter, but her world is turned upside down by the possibility that her husband might be the killer. After Anna kept me guessing about who was telling the truth in this once-normal marriage. Scottoline is a master thriller writer, and her dazzling prose breathes life into her vibrant characters. Not only will the author’s extensive fan base love After Anna, but new readers will enjoy it as well. I cannot wait to put it in their hands!” —P.K. Sindwani, Towne Book Center & Café, Collegeville, PA

These books and others publishing the week of April 9, 2018, are listed in a downloadable spreadsheet: Book Pulse 4_9_18.

In the Media

Look Alive Out There: Essays by Sloane Crosley (MCD: Macmillan) is People‘s book of the Week. Also featured are I Was Anastasia by Ariel Lawhon (Doubleday) and Women in Sunlight by Frances Mayes (Crown). In nonfiction People spotlights Dear Madam President: An Open Letter to the Women Who Will Run the World by Jennifer Palmieri (Grand Central: Hachette), The Recovering: Intoxication and Its Aftermath by Leslie Jamison (Little, Brown), and My American Dream: A Life of Love, Family, and Food by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich (Knopf). The screen adaptation of Howards End lands at No. 8 on People‘s Picks list while No 10 is You Were Never Really Here, an adaptation of the book of the same name by Jonathan Ames. There is a tie-in.

Entertainment Weekly ran a double issue last week; look online for stories this week such as Sarah J. Maas writing about catwoman, Catwoman: Soulstealer (Random House Books for Young Readers), as part of the DC Icons series, each penned by a YA author.


Mary Roach reviews Rocket Men: The Daring Odyssey of Apollo 8 and the Astronauts Who Made Man’s First Journey to the Moon by Robert Kurson (Random; LJ starred review) for The Washington Post, calling it “close-to-the-bone adventure-telling on a par with Alfred Lansing’s Endurance and Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air. It’s as close to a movie as writing gets.” The paper also considers Macbeth by Jo Nesbø (Hogarth: Random): “the fun comes from watching a crack storyteller put his noir stamp on one of Shakespeare’s greatest tragedies.” Of No Immediate Danger: Volume One of Carbon Ideologies by William T. Vollmann (Viking), the paper writes “It is a feverish, sprawling archive of who we are, and what we’ve wrought.” Finally a political talk radio star reviews The Trump White House: Changing the Rules of the Game by Ronald Kessler (Crown Forum: Random): “Kessler… gets almost everything down—good and bad—of Season One of the Trump presidency.”

The NYT reviews Circe by Madeline Miller (Little, Brown): “a bold and subversive retelling.” Also reviewed is No Turning Back: Life, Loss, and Hope in Wartime Syria by Rania Abouzeid (Norton), “Abouzeid’s remarkable journalistic and literary work has given us, at last, a book worthy of the enormous tragedy that is Syria.” Adam Hochschild reviews Never Remember: Searching for Stalin’s Gulags in Putin’s Russia by Masha Gessen and Misha Friedman (Columbia Global Reports): “It is a grim reminder that once again, as in the 1930s, all over the world authoritarian strongmen are riding high.” Barbara Kingsolver reviews The Overstory by Richard Powers (Norton), writing that in this “monumental novel [Powers] accomplishes what few living writers… could attempt.”

NPR reviews Darwin Comes to Town: How the Urban Jungle Drives Evolution by Menno Schilthuizen (Picador: Macmillan): “a vivid portrait of a world changing to survive us.” Also The Recovering: Intoxication and Its Aftermath by Leslie Jamison (Little, Brown), writing the memoir of addition is interesting because that author “was so fully there, in her own thronged and fraught mind, illuminating it from the inside.”


NPR interviews Alisha Rai, Hurts to Love You (Avon: Harper), who talks about the lack of diversity in Romance. RWA has released a statement about inclusivity.

The RITA finalists are out. The winners will be announced on July 19.

Briefly Noted

LitHub runs a feature on Gregory Pardlo, Air Traffic: A Memoir of Ambition and Manhood in America (Knopf).

The L.A. Times features Carlos Magdalena, The Plant Messiah: Adventures in Search of the World’s Rarest Species (Doubleday).

Town & Country excerpts Go Ask Ali: Half-Baked Advice (and Free Lemonade) by Ali Wentworth (Harper).

Entertainment Weekly interviews comics writer Mark Millar (The Magic Order, Kick-Ass, Kingsman).

USA Today interviews Francisco CantúThe Line Becomes a River: Dispatches From the Border (Riverhead).

The Guardian interviews Rose Tremain. Her most recent book is The Gustav Sonata (Norton).

Vogue interviews Sean Penn, Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff (Atria: S. & S.). He plans another book. The magazine also interviews Leslie Jamison, The Recovering: Intoxication and Its Aftermath (Little, Brown).

Electric Lit interviews Rebecca Kauffman, The Gunners (Counterpoint).

LitHub excerpts Natural Causes: An Epidemic of Wellness, the Certainty of Dying, and Killing Ourselves to Live Longer by Barbara Ehrenreich (Twelve: Hachette).

Politico features publishing and politics. And on that note, Ron Charles talks bad novels and politics and the L.A. Times writes about poetry and gun violence.

The NYT reports on the activism of bookstores in Germany.

Eater reports on author Julia Turshen’s efforts to bring diversity to the world of cookbooks. She offers a reading list (scroll down) and a database.

The Guardian has “five books to understand the Irish border.

Maureen Dowd of the NYT runs a column that highlights Love Rules: How to Find a Real Relationship in a Digital World by Joanna Coles (Harper).

Authors on Air

Vanity Fair has a feature on Sandra Oh and Killing Eve (it is based on the Luke Jennings’s Villanelle novellas; there is a tie-in).

The Atlantic reviews Howard’s End, calling it “lavish… masterly… relevant.”

NPR’s All Things Considered interviews Meg Wolitzer, The Female Persuasion (Riverhead: Penguin; LJ starred review).

Weekend Edition Sunday interviews Jo Nesbø, Macbeth (Hogarth: Random) and James J. Sexton, If You’re in My Office, It’s Already Too Late: A Divorce Lawyer’s Guide to Staying Together (Holt: Macmillan).

CNN gives a bump to The Death of Democracy: Hitler’s Rise to Power and the Downfall of the Weimar Republic by Benjamin Carter Hett (Holt: Macmillan).

Madeleine Albright, Fascism: A Warning (Harper), and Giada De Laurentiis, Giada’s Italy: My Recipes for La Dolce Vita (Clarkson Potter), will be on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert tonight.

Tyra Banks, Perfect Is Boring: 10 Things My Crazy, Fierce Mama Taught Me About Beauty, Booty, and Being a Boss by Banks and Carolyn London (TarcherPerigee: Penguin), will be on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah and The View.

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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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