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

Big Books for the Week

The Outsider by Stephen King (Scribner: S. & S.) leads holds this week.

Other titles in demand include:

The Restless Wave: Good Times, Just Causes, Great Fights, and Other Appreciations by John McCain with Mark Salter (S. & S.)

The High Season by Judy Blundell (Random; LJ starred review)

Beach House Reunion by Mary Alice Monroe (Gallery: S. & S.; LJ starred review)

Librarians and Booksellers Suggest

The #1 LibraryReads pick for May publishes this week, Furyborn by Claire Legrand (Sourcebooks)

“Fierce, independent women full of rage, determination, and fire. The first novel in the Empirium trilogy holds appeal for both young adult and adult readers. For fans of Game of Thrones, Once Upon a Time, and The Hunger Games.” —Kristin Friberg, Princeton Library, Princeton, NJ

Three Indie Next choices hit shelves as well:

MEM by Bethany C. Morrow (The Unnamed Press)

“Adding fictional scientific breakthroughs to a glittering era of history is a setup for a great plot, but it takes an artist’s hand to carry it beyond its initial gimmick. Bethany C. Morrow’s examination of memory, desire, and what makes us human flourishes in its alternative historical setting. Her writing is as well-paced as her plot, in which the Mems develop beyond their creator’s intentions and the most evolved of them suffers at our least-evolved hands. Morrow’s novel has a beauty to it that underlines its critical depth and heart-racing conclusion.” —Hannah Oliver Depp, WORD, Brooklyn, NY

Well, That Escalated Quickly: Memoirs and Mistakes of an Accidental Activist by Franchesca Ramsey (Grand Central: Hachette)

“Franchesca Ramsey hadn’t planned to be an activist, but that was before her insightful and seriously funny YouTube video What White Girls Say…to Black Girls was viewed more than 12 million times. She was inundated with media requests along with both fan and hate mail. After some missteps, she decided to use her voice and her talent to fight injustice. Determined to provide ways for us to listen to each other, Ramsey, who will soon have a show on Comedy Central, has written an insightful book that brings us laughter as well as tools for understanding our differences and our shared humanity.” —Elaine Petrocelli, Book Passage, Corte Madera, CA

The High Season by Judy Blundell (Random; LJ starred review)

“What would you do to keep your home by the sea on Long Island? Maybe rent it out for the summer in order to get some cash to pay the bills? But what if the person who rents the house this summer is out to get more than the house? Ruthie’s about to find out what she’s capable of when the rich and famous Adeline Clay takes over her nest. The parties, invited guests, and nasty business keep building, until, finally, Ruthie reaches the end of her patience and there’s only one thing left to do. You’ll be glad you decided to go along on this ride!” —Linda Bond, Auntie’s Bookstore, Spokane, WA

These books and others publishing the week of May 21, 2018, are listed in a downloadable spreadsheet.

In the Media

No. 3 on Entertainment Weekly‘s Must List is Pretend I’m Dead by Jen Beagin (Scribner: S. & S.), calling it a “spiky first novel.” (Cover spotters might start noticing a trend). No. 5 is The High Season by Judy Blundell (Random; which comes with tips by Blundell on the key ingredients for a beach read). No. 6 is the second season of 13 Reasons Why. No. 8 is Vida, a new TV show based on the short story “Pour Vida” by Richard Villegas Jr.

In the Books section, EW features Michael Chabon and offers an overview of biographies of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. They also have a feature on Tom Wolfe, including his essential works.

The magazine runs a feature on Stephen King’s The Outsider (Scribner: S. & S.), which they say is “poised to be the summer’s spookiest read.” Book Club and Deadpool 2 both get B reviews, while the adaptation of Boy Erased: A Memoir of Identity, Faith, and Family by Garrard Conley (Riverhead: Penguin) gets a first look. There is a Q&A with Ian McEwan and Saoirse Ronan of On Chesil Beach. Also a first look at Noelle Stevenson’s She-Ra: Princess of Power. Stevenson is the comics creator famous for Nimona and Lumberjanes.

The Favorite Sister by Jessica Knoll (S. & S.) is People’s Book of the Week: “Deliciously savage and wildly entertaining.” Also getting attention are Dave Itzkoff’s Robin (Holt: Macmillan; LJ starred review) and Michael Pollan’s How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence (Penguin). Last Stories by William Trevor (Viking; LJ starred review), That Kind of Mother by Rumaan Alam (Ecco), and The Optimistic Decade by Heather Abel (Algonquin: Workman) get nods as well.

People Picks is jam packed with book related works this week: Deadpool 2 is No. 1, followed by Fahrenheit 451 at No.2. Book Club is No. 6 and 13 Reasons Why is No. 7. On Chesil Beach is No. 9.


The 2017 Nebula Awards have been announced. N.K. Jemisin’s The Stone Sky won best novel. She won the Hugo award for each of the previous two books in the trilogy. Peter S. Beagle became a Grand Master. has the full list of nominees for advisors looking for key authors and sure bet possibilities.

The Crime Fest awards are also out. It is an eclectic mix of categories, and UK based, but the nominees and winners reads like a who’s who of Crime fiction.


The NYT reviews Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou (Knopf), calling it a story told “virtually to perfection.”

Over the weekend, The Washington Post reviewed: The Watergate: Inside America’s Most Infamous Address by Joseph Rodota (William Morrow: Harper). Eisenhower vs. Warren: The Battle for Civil Rights and Liberties by James F. Simon (Liveright: Norton). President Carter: The White House Years by Stuart E. Eizenstat (Thomas Dunne: Macmillan; LJ starred review). To Change the Church: Pope Francis and the Future of Catholicism by Ross Douthat (S. & S.). War on Peace: The End of Diplomacy and the Decline of American Influence by Ronan Farrow (Norton). The Mirage Factory: Illusion, Imagination, and the Invention of Los Angeles by Gary Krist (Crown: Random).

NPR reviews From Twinkle, with Love by Sandhya Menon (Simon Pulse: S. & S.; SLJ starred review), calling it “utterly charming.”

Briefly Noted

A new illustrated collection of Ursula K. Le Guin’s Earthsea books, with art by Charles Vess, is forthcoming this October. The Verge has an illustrated report.

Entertainment Weekly excerpts The Outsider by Stephen King (Scribner: S. & S.) and King posted a new short story leading up to his book’s pub. date.

Jennifer Egan announces she is working on a companion to Goon Squad. Vulture has the story, quoting her as saying: “The question is, can I take the same structural approach and have nothing about time or music, and these peripheral characters and do something that stands on it’s own? If I can’t I won’t publish it. I have a lot of first-draft material. It’s definitely not within the same cast of characters but their children or — the whole idea is to follow curiosity.”

USA Today picks “5 books you won’t want to miss this week.”

The NYT wonders about the real setting of The Great Gatsby.

Sarah Jessica Parker posts about the newest title from her imprint, SJP for Hogarth, A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza.

The Guardian surveys the “best European fiction” coming soon; it is a list that highlights translated works. On a similar note Book Riot posts a link to a diversity spreadsheet for adult titles (here). They hope to make LibraryReads more diverse but the list is excellent as well for display ideas, book lists, and book club possibilities.

Still glowing in the wake of the royal wedding (or need to re-stock a display)? The Guardian offers “five books about royal marriages.” Entertainment Weekly has “15 books to read if you can’t get enough of the royal wedding.” Shondaland has a list too.

Entertainment Weekly has a list of the books recommended in the film Book Club and Parade magazine asks the movie’s stars about the books that matter to them. Jane Fonda’s list helps move Anne Lamott’s Traveling Mercies (Anchor: Random) up the Amazon sales ranks.

The Guardian writes about book collecting, specifically works by women.

Ivy Pochoda writes about Piper Weiss‘s You All Grow Up and Leave Me: A Memoir of Teenage Obsession (William Morrow) for the LA Times.

The Guardian interviews Andrew Sean Greer, Less (Lee Boudreaux Books: Hachette; LJ starred review) and Nick Drnaso, the graphic novelist who created Sabrina (Drawn and Quarterly). The paper also asks some bookish questions of Taiye Selasi, Ghana Must Go (Penguin; LJ starred review).

Entertainment Weekly has the cover reveal of Marissa Meyer’s forthcoming Archenemies (Feiwel & Friends: Macmillan; Nov. 6, 2018), the sequel to Renegades.

Paste has the cover for Sangu Mandanna‘s A Spark of White Fire (Sky Pony Press).

The Verge features a video about the influence of SF jacket art on the genre itself.

Nancy Pearl interviews travel writer Thomas Swick, The Joys of Travel: And Stories That Illuminate Them (Skyhorse).

Authors on Air

NPR Weekend Edition Saturday interviews Al Roker, Ruthless Tide: The Heroes and Villains of the Johnstown Flood, America’s Astonishing Gilded Age Disaster (William Morrow: Harper).

Mark Salter, co-author with John McCain of The Restless Wave: Good Times, Just Causes, Great Fights, and Other Appreciations (S. & S.), will be on The View today.

As a heads up, PBS’s The Great American Read begins tomorrow.

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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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