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

Big Books for the Week

The Cast by Danielle Steel (Delacorte: Random) leads holds this week.

Other titles in demand include:

Princess: A Private Novel by James Patterson, Rees Jones (Grand Central: Hachette)

War Storm by Victoria Aveyard (HarperTeen)

By Invitation Only by Dorothea Benton Frank (William Morrow: Harper)

The Favorite Sister by Jessica Knoll (S. & S.)

The Dark Angel by Elly Griffiths (HMH; LJ starred review)

Librarians and Booksellers Suggest

Four LibraryReads picks publish this week:

Paper Ghosts by Julia Heaberlin (Ballantine: Random)
“Grace has spent years secretly investigating the disappearance of her older sister. Grace’s prime suspect is Carl Feldman, a photographer, who has been acquitted of the crime and now suffers from dementia. Grace decides that a road trip may jog Carl’s memory.” —Galen Cunniff, Scituate Town Library, Scituate, MA

The Favorite Sister by Jessica Knoll (S. & S.)
“Perfect for the reality TV addicted, this book is gossip laden, full of edge, and contains plenty of surprises.” —Sharon Layburn, Huntington Public Library, Huntington Station, NY

Tin Man by Sarah Winman (G.P. Putnam: Penguin)
“A beautifully written story of love, loss, grief, friendship, and acceptance. The story winds in and out of time in a figure eight like waves reaching shore and receding again.” —Donna Burger, Bryant Library, Roslyn, NY

It is also an Indie Next selection:

“Michael loves Ellis, Ellis loves Annie, and Annie loves them both. Yet Sarah Winman’s blistering novel Tin Man is anything but the usual love triangle. Instead, Winman asks us to consider what remains of love after its object is gone. She crowds this spare little book, set in London, Oxford, and the south of France, with vivid portraits of loss and mourning. At once terse and expansive, Tin Man is a firework flashing in the night — gone too soon but burned forever into the reader’s memory.” —David Enyeart, Common Good Books, St. Paul, MN

The Ensemble by Aja Gabel (Riverhead: Penguin; LJ starred review)
“Set against the backdrop of the highly competitive and merciless world of classical music, this brilliantly written debut is an exquisite portrait of a group friendship spanning decades. Gabel weaves a lyrical tale of four young musician’s journeys and their complex, yet resilient, relationships with each other. For fans of The Interestings, A Little Life, and A Secret History.”—Mayleen Kelley, JV Fletcher Library, Westford MA

Also an Indie Next pick:

“My goodness, I love the quartet of flawed and wonderful characters Aja Gabel brings to life. I felt the heartbreak and triumph each time the ensemble performed. The Ensemble captures everything from the relentless rehearsals to the particular hand injuries musicians worry over to the conflict within the group. Henry, Daniel, Jana, and Britt are each characters unto themselves, but together they create a fifth character: the quartet itself. An inventive novel about the lives of musicians and the world they inhabit, full of tension, ambition, confusion, and loyalty. The Ensemble is a remarkable achievement.” —Sarah Bagby, Watermark Books, Wichita, KS

One last Indie Next pick for the week:

How to Walk Away by Katherine Center (St. Martin’s)
How to Walk Away deals with a tragic situation evoking emotions of despair, humor, pity, and love. Margaret has a full life, a wonderful boyfriend, a new job, and an exciting future, but this is all taken away when a plane accident leaves her paralyzed. Katherine Center creates a character so vivid that the reader can relate to her denial, self-pity, humor, and, finally, her acceptance as she copes with her new reality and begins to truly understand herself, what she is capable of doing, and whom she is capable of loving. This is a heartwarming and sensitive story that captivated me from beginning to end.” —Fran Duke, Where the Sidewalk Ends, Chatham, MA

These books and others publishing the week of May 14, 2018, are listed in a downloadable spreadsheet.

In the Media

People Pick’s leads with Little Women. My Ex-Life by Stephen McCauley (Flatiron: Macmillan) is the book of the week with a spotlight on Paul Simon: The Life by Robert Hilburn (S. & S.) and Warlight by Michael Ondaatje (Knopf) as well. People calls Ondaatje’s book “By turns lyrical and wrenching.”

In a brief summary of new nonfiction the magazine nods to Rick Bragg’s The Best Cook in the World: Tales from My Momma’s Table (Knopf; LJ starred review), Tip of the Iceberg: My 3,000-Mile Journey Around Wild Alaska, the Last Great American Frontier by Mark Adams (Dutton), and Zora Neale Hurston’s Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo (Amistad: Harper).

Book Club stars get interviewed and in food, there is a recipe from SOUL: A Chef’s Culinary Evolution in 150 Recipes by Todd Richards (Southern Living: Time) and Secrets of the Southern Table: A Food Lover’s Tour of the Global South by Virginia Willis (HMH).

The Kid Pick is Sophie Blackall’s Hello Lighthouse (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: Hachette; SLJ starred review): “exquisitely illustrated.”

Entertainment Weekly has not released their newest issue. We will have a summary as soon as it does. In the meantime, look online for stories such as Ronan Farrow will expand his reporting on sexual harassment into a new book, Catch and Kill (Little, Brown).


Author Cynthia Ozick reviews Last Stories by William Trevor (Viking; LJ starred review) for The New York Times: “the supreme master of his honest art.” Over the weekend the paper gathered “3 Books on Modern Parenting” and “8 of the Worst Moms in Literature.” Also reviewed were: St. Petersburg: Madness, Murder, and Art on the Banks of the Neva by Jonathan Miles (Pegasus: W.W. Norton; LJ starred review), Rebecca Kauffman’s, The Gunners (Counterpoint), The Island that Disappeared: The Lost History of the Mayflower’s Sister Ship and Its Rival Puritan Colony by Tom Feiling (Melville House: Random), Battleship Yamato: Of War, Beauty and Irony by Jan Morris (Liveright: Norton), Memento Park by Mark Sarvas (FSG; LJ starred review), and Tadzio Koelb’s Trenton Makes (Doubleday: Random).

The Washington Post reviewed A Million Drops by Victor del Árbol, translated by Lisa Dillman (Other Press: Random; LJ starred review), calling it “darkly engrossing.” More reviews from over the weekend: The Happiness Curve: Why Life Gets Better After 50 by Jonathan Rauch (Thomas Dunne: Macmillan), Condoleezza Rice, Amy B. Zegart’s Political Risk: How Businesses and Organizations Can Anticipate Global Insecurity (Twelve), Gilbert King’s Beneath a Ruthless Sun (Riverhead), Tiger Woods by Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian (S. & S.), and Make Trouble: Standing Up, Speaking Out, and Finding the Courage to Lead—My Life Story by Cecile Richards (Touchstone: S. & S).

NPR reviews Rubik by Elizabeth Tan (The Unnamed Press), “It’s the kind of book that reminds you of nights … when you discussed Big Concepts like Life and the Universe and Reality with your friends, and fell asleep with your mind gently buzzing.”

Briefly Noted

The Guardian interviews Jesmyn Ward and Michael Chabon.

L.A. Times interviews William T. Vollmann, No Good Alternative: Volume Two of Carbon Ideologies (Viking: Penguin).

Salon interviews Marcia Gay Harden, The Seasons of My Mother: A Memoir of Love, Family, and Flowers (Atria: S. & S.).

James S.A. Corey is launching a new space opera. It will not be set in the same world as The Expanse. The Verge has the story plus an update on The Expanse, in print on and screen.

NPR picks 3 Romance novels to try, including the YA novel My So-Called Bollywood Life by
Nisha Sharma (Crown Books for Young Readers: Random): “bright, sassy, and totally charming” and Courtney Milan’s After the Wedding (CreateSpace): “everything you want romance to be.”

Vulture explores Autofiction, as practiced by Sheila Heti, Ben Lerner, and Tao Lin.

Elle reports on Tessa Fontaine, The Electric Woman: A Memoir in Death-Defying Acts (FSG: Macmillan).

Vanity Fair excerpts Robin by Dave Itzkoff (Holt: Macmillan; LJ starred review). USA Today highlights the biography’s revelations.

David L. Ulin, The Lost Art of Reading: Books and Resistance in a Troubled Time (Sasquatch Books: Random), writes about the lack of a Nobel Prize in literature in 2018: “It’s an insult to readers and writers alike.”

Signature makes a list of “10 Books on Legendary and Mythic Cities and the Nature of Memory.”

Vulture lists “Leslie Odom Jr.’s 10 Favorite Books.”

The Verge reports on a new documentary about Ursula K. Le Guin, Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin. and Imaginary Worlds have interviewed the filmmaker. A trailer is out:

Authors on Air

Time reports on the history of Little Women. NPR has a story too.

1A interviews Michael Hayden, The Assault on Intelligence: American National Security in an Age of Lies (Penguin).

Michael Pollan, How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence (Penguin) will be on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert tonight and some of the stars of Book Club will be on The Talk and Live with Kelly and Ryan.

The Hollywood Reporter runs down the new TV shows of the fall season. Included is Roswell, New Mexico, based on Melinda Metz’s “Roswell High” series and The Passage, based on Justin Cronin’s novel.

NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday interviews Stephen Greenblatt, Tyrant: Shakespeare on Politics (W.W. Norton). Weekend Edition Sunday interviews Dave Zirin, Jim Brown: Last Man Standing (Blue Rider Press: Pegnuin) and Jessica Knolls, The Favorite Sister (S. & S.).

All Things Considered interviews Jez Burrows, Dictionary Stories: Short Fictions and Other Findings (Harper).

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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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