Run Your Week: Big Books, Sure Bets, & Titles Making News, Oct. 1, 2018 | Book Pulse

A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult leads holds this week. Stephen Colbert has a new book forthcoming, Whose Boat Is This Boat?: Comments That Don’t Help in the Aftermath of a Hurricane. Entertainment Weekly features the adaptation of the Agatha Raisin series. Chrissy Teigen, Cravings: Hungry for More, and Transcription by Kate Atkinson both get focused coverage. Book awards are in the news again.

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Big Books of the Week

A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult (Ballantine Books: Random House; LJ starred review) tops holds this week, by a landslide.

Other titles in demand include:

Alaskan Holiday by Debbie Macomber (Ballantine Books: Random House)

Virgil Wander by Leif Enger (Grove Press; LJ starred review)

The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain (St. Martin's Press: Macmillan)

All You Can Ever Know: A Memoir by Nicole Chung (Catapult; LJ starred review)

The Dead Ringer: An Agatha Raisin Mystery by M. C. Beaton (Minotaur: Macmillan)

The Fifth Risk: Undoing Democracy by Michael Lewis (W.W. Norton)

9 From the Nine Worlds by Rick Riordan (Disney-Hyperion: Hachette)

Librarians and Booksellers Suggest

LibraryReads picks four titles publishing this week:

Consumed by J.R. Ward (Gallery Books: S. & S.)

“This first book in Ward’s newest series featuring firefighters in New Brunswick, NJ, includes well-crafted macho heroes, tough female characters, and believable relationships. Readers will be excited to see where this series goes. For fans of Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series and readers who like gritty and steamy suspense.” — Kelsey Hudson, Middleton Public Library, Middleton, WI

The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain (St. Martin's Press: Macmillan)

“In 1970, young and recently widowed Carly learns that the baby she is carrying has a fatal birth defect. Enter her quirky but lovable brother-in-law, who proposes a highly improbable solution: travel to the future where a medical procedure exists to save her unborn child. This twisty story with well-developed characters is highly recommended, but with a trigger warning for mothers. A good crossover title for domestic fiction and science fiction readers, and fans of Kristin Hannah, Jodi Picoult, and Chris Bohjalian.” — Erica Naranjo, Sacramento Public Library, Sacramento, CA

Virgil Wander by Leif Enger (Grove Press; LJ starred review)

“Virgil Wander survives a car crash with some speech and memory problems, and encounters a kite-flying stranger searching for information about his long-lost son. Enger explores and intricately layers the feelings and stories of an entire town full of people, each trying to survive their own life-changing experiences. A good pick for readers who enjoy quirky characters and for fans of Kent Haruf.” — Elizabeth Isabelle, DeKalb County Public Library System, DeKalb, GA

It is also the #1 Indie Next pick of the month:

“From the fated flight of Virgil Wander’s Pontiac into the frigid waters of Lake Superior to an encounter with Rune, an enigmatic kite enthusiast searching for word of a long-lost son, and other interactions with the citizens of Greenstone, Minnesota, Leif Enger’s new novel is a most welcome, albeit quirky, story of words and people lost and found. Lovers of Peace Like a River, rejoice! Enger is back with another enchanting and enriching tale of community and revival, with his ever-deft touch of magic and grace. A perfect remedy for those whose hearts ache from our present reality, Virgil Wander is a treasure to be shared with all readers.” —Mark Nichols, Bank Square Books, Mystic, CT

A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult (Ballantine Books: Random House; LJ starred review)

“This harrowing and insightful novel unwinds backwards in time over the course of a day during a tense hostage situation at a Mississippi women’s clinic and is told through multiple points of view: the gunman, the hostage negotiator, patients, clinic staff, and a right to life advocate. All sides of the abortion issue are explored with compassion through the characters’ stories, helping readers empathize and connect. Fans of Picoult’s issue-driven novels will not be disappointed.” — Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA (Note: With this book, Picoult becomes LibraryRead's first Hall of Fame Author).

It is also an Indie Next selection:

“Once again, Jodi Picoult tackles a highly charged social issue head on with compassion and insight. The characters in A Spark of Light offer readers insight into the varied and complex issues surrounding the pro-choice/pro-life debate. Although I know where I stand on the issue, I finished this novel with a greater understanding of how a person could hold beliefs different from my own. I hope this book becomes required reading for high schools across the country as well as a reading group favorite!” — Andrea Avantaggio, Maria’s Bookshop, Durango, CO

Additionally on the Indie Next list are:

All You Can Ever Know: A Memoir by Nicole Chung (Catapult; LJ starred review)
“Nicole Chung’s memoir is a moving account of a young woman’s gradually evolving understanding of family and of herself as she uncovers the truth about the circumstances behind her adoption. Refusing the false dichotomy of adoption as inherently positive or negative, she reminds us that adoption is a fact and that it’s always complicated. This is an extraordinary account, told with candor and empathy. Though the transracial adoption of Asian Americans into white families and communities is common, few books have been written from the perspective of the adoptee. Chung has much to teach us, and readers approaching this book with a heart as open as hers will find much to nourish them here.” — Karen Maeda Allman, The Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle, WA

There Will Be No Miracles Here: A Memoir by Casey Gerald (Riverhead: Penguin)
“Casey Gerald’s There Will Be No Miracles Here might very well — and rightfully so — come to be considered one of the great memoirs of African American experience in America. Gerald recounts his childhood and life beginning with his early years in Dallas, which were rife with family drama, religious questioning, and grappling with his sexuality, through his football career at Yale. In his meditative, lyrical, and ruminative tone, Gerald questions American identity, myth, and success. His conversational and conspiratorial style is undergirded by a proficient, experimental, and stylish set of literary techniques.” — Margaret Grace Myers, Books Are Magic, Brooklyn, NY

1,000 Books to Read Before You Die: A Life-Changing List by James Mustich (Workman; LJ starred review):
“Irresistible! A book about books! What a joy to read a thoughtfully complied list of the 1,000 books James Mustich thought most important. Many of my favorites are found among the pages, along with new suggestions to investigate. It is great fun to read about Mustich’s impressions of some of my favorites, such as works by Charles Dickens, Edward Abbey, Henry James, and Anne Tyler. With so many books to choose from, you will surely find some new treasure to enjoy or be reminded of an old pleasure to revisit.” — Deon Stonehouse, Sunriver Books & Music, Sunriver, OR

These books and others publishing the week of October 1, 2018, are listed in a downloadable spreadsheet.

 

In the Media

Entertainment Weekly's book coverage opens with Transcription by Kate Atkinson (Little, Brown: Hachette; LJ starred review). Also featured is The Rhythm Section: A Stephanie Patrick Thriller by Mark Burnell (Picador: Macmillan), getting adapted into a film debuting in February. There is an interview with Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally, The Greatest Love Story Ever Told: An Oral History (Dutton: Penguin).All You Can Ever Know: A Memoir by Nicole Chung (Catapult; LJ starred review) gets a B+. What We Keep: 150 People Share the One Object that Brings Them Joy, Magic, and Meaning by Bill Shapiro, Naomi Wax (Running Press: Hachette) and American Like Me: Reflections on Life Between Cultures by America Ferrera (Gallery Books: S. & S.) get featured.

In New & Notable are Full Disclosure by Stormy Daniels (St. Martin's Press: Macmillan), Always Look on theBright Side of Life: A Sortabiography by Eric Idle (Crown Archetype: Random House), A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult (Ballantine Books: Random House; LJ starred review), Gone So Long by Andre Dubus III (W.W. Norton; LJ starred review), Waiting for Eden by Elliot Ackerman (Knopf; LJ starred review), There Will Be No Miracles Here: A Memoir by Casey Gerald (Riverhead: Penguin), and Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen by Jose Antonio Vargas (Dey Street: Harper).

EW puts Fame: The Hijacking of Reality by Justine Bateman (Akashic Books) at No. 3 on its "Must List." No. 5 is Anthony Bourdain's Hungry Ghosts by Anthony Bourdain, Joel Rose, illustrated by Alberto Ponticelli, Irene Koh (Berger Books: Random House). No. 9 is The Old Man & The Gun. Finally, the magazine's Fall Horror Preview spotlights a few book-connected offerings: Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween, Anna and the Apocalypse, and Piercing.

People's cover story is on Chrissy Teigen, Cravings: Hungry for More (Clarkson Potter: Random House). The Book of the Week isTranscription by Kate Atkinson (Little, Brown: Hachette; LJ starred review). In Best New Books are How to Be a Good Creature: A Memoir in Thirteen Animals by Sy Montgomery, illustrated by Rebecca Green (HMH) and American Like Me: Reflections on Life Between Cultures by America Ferrera (Gallery Books: S. & S.).

Under "Perfect for Your Book Club!" are The DreamDaughter by Diane Chamberlain (St. Martin's: Macmillan), In Pieces by Sally Field (Grand Central: Hachette), and A Star Is Born (Turner Classic Movies): Judy Garland and the Film that Got Away by Lorna Luft, Jeffrey Vance (Running Press: Hachette).

The only book related title in People's Picks is King Lear. In a section on Food Faves, in addition to Teigen, are Magnolia Table: A Collection of Recipes for Gathering by Joanna Gaines, Marah Stets (William Morrow Cookbooks: Harper) and Carla Hall's Soul Food: Everyday and Celebration by Carla Hall, Genevieve Ko (Harper Wave). Clint Harp, Handcrafted: A Woodworker's Story (Touchstone: S. & S.) and Gisele Bündchen, Lessons: My Path to a Meaningful Life (Avery: Penguin), also get coverage.

Reviews

The NYT reviews American Prison: A Reporter's Undercover Journey into the Business of Punishment by Shane Bauer (Penguin): asks "What is it like to work — or serve time — in a prison where nobody is in charge?"

The Washington Post reviews Behind the Throne: A Domestic History of the British Royal Household by Adrian Tinniswood (Basic Books; LJ starred review): "his style is so restrained he could be a scientist describing the practices of a remote Amazonian tribe or family of mountain gorillas. And the effect is at times wonderfully, if unintentionally, droll." Mr. Trump's Wild Ride: The Thrills, Chills, Screams, and Occasional Blackouts of an Extraordinary Presidency by Major Garrett (All Points Books: Macmillan): "excellentjournalism, an early draft of our current history." Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World by Anand Giridharadas (Knopf): "impassioned ... so readable." How Schools Work: An Inside Account of Failure and Success from One of the Nation's Longest-Serving Secretaries of Education by Arne Duncan (S. & S.): "a readable recounting of the personal and professional back story that led to Duncan’s priorities as education secretary." The paper also circles back to Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America by Beth Macy (Little, Brown: Hachette).

NPR reviews Check, Please!: # Hockey by Ngozi Ukazu (First Second: Macmillan; SLJ starred review): "its quality of suspended animation — of a moment preserved in quivering perfection — gives this comic a tension, and thus an interest, more compelling than its happy-go-lucky façade suggests." Also, Where's the Dude?: The Great Movie Spotting Challenge by Sharm Murugiah, Adam Woodward (Laurence King: Chronicle): "a book that, however diverting, feels too chaotic." Crudo by Olivia Laing (W.W. Norton): "a news novel, and a Twitter novel, and a historical-record novel ... It's a romantic comedy, in that it ends with a wedding. The prose is extravagantly beautiful, like the dahlia-filled garden ... It's also exceptionally funny."

The LA Times reviews Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth by Sarah Smarsh (Scribner: S. & S.): "a personal, decades-long story of America’s coordinated assault on its underclass."

Briefly Noted

Entertainment Weekly picks "20 new books to read in October."

LitHub names its books for October (look for more lists here this week).

USA Today selects the books of the week.

Entertainment Weekly runs its "Hot Stuff" Romance column.

Paste picks the best book covers from last month.

Stephen Colbert has a new book forthcoming, Whose Boat Is This Boat?: Comments That Don’t Help in the Aftermath of a Hurricane by The Staff of the Late Show with Stephen Colbert (S. & S.). Entertainment Weeklyhas the details.

The LA Times considers award alternatives to the Nobel and suggest Tom Stoppard should win in 2019. In related news, Time reports that the man at the center of the scandal that halted the award has been sentenced to "two years in prison for a rape in 2011."

The Women's Prize for Fiction will now charge a fee for making its longlist. Small publishers react negatively. The Bookseller has details.

The NYT features mystery author Joe Ide as his newest IQ novel publishes, Wrecked (Mulholland Books: Hachette). In the Style section, Chidera Eggerue, author of What a Time to Be Alone: The Slumflower's Guide to Why You Are Already Enough (Quadrille Publishing: Chronicle), gets a spotlight.

Vanity Fair interviews Wendy Goodman, May I Come In?: Discovering the World in Other People's Houses (Abrams).

The New Statesman has a short feature on illustrator Quentin Blake.

The Guardian puts Malcolm Gladwell and Ben Fountain in conversation, has William Boyd write about whole-life novels, and interviews Adam Cohen about his father's last book, The Flame: Poems Notebooks Lyrics Drawings by Leonard Cohen (FSG: Macmillan).

Paste excerpts A Place for Wolves by Kosoko Jackson (Sourcebooks Fire) andThe Quiet You Carry by Nikki Barthelmess (Flux).

NPR features Burning Down the Haus: Punk Rock, Revolution, and the Fall of the Berlin Wall by Tim Mohr (Algonquin: Workman).

Matthew Weiner, author of Heather, theTotality and the creator of Mad Men, gets interviewed in Vanity Fair, including on the sexual misconduct allegations that came to light a year ago.

The NYT reports on book banning in Kuwait.

Famed publisher Inge Feltrinelli has died. The NYT has a profile.

Authors on Air

Deadline Hollywood reports on a number of adaptations. The Butchers of Berlin by Chris Petit (S. & S.) is headed to TV. The Prom Goer's Interstellar Excursion by Chris McCoy (Ember: Random House) is getting adapted into a movie. Debriefing the President: The Interrogation of Saddam Hussein by John Nixon (Blue Rider Press: Penguin) is as well. The Editor by Steven Rowley gets optioned for a film. Netflix plans two new SF series based on comics: the October Faction by Steve Niles and Damien Worm and Ben Dunn's manga series Warrior Nun Areala.

The Queen of the World airs tonight on HBO. It is a companion documentary to the new book of the same name by Robert Hardman, which publishes in the US on Jan. 1, 2019 from Pegasus Books: ISBN 9781643130026.

NPR interviews by Andrea Warner, Buffy Sainte-Marie: The Authorized Biography (Greystone Books).

Entertainment Weekly features the adaptation of the Agatha Raisin series.

Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally, The Greatest Love Story Ever Told: An Oral History (Dutton: Penguin), will be on The Tonight Show this evening and on The View this afternoon.

Eric Idle, Always Look on the Bright Side of Life: A Sortabiography (Crown Archetype: Random House), will be on with Stephen Colbert.

Holmes and Watsongets a trailer.

 

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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 nwyatt@mediasourceinc.com.

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