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New York Times Bestsellers
Week of June 13, 2021
FICTION
#1  (Last Week: - • Weeks on List: 1)  
Golden Girl
Book Jacket   Elin Hilderbrand
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780593201213 In this new addition to the Regency-set "Westcott" series, recently widowed Lydia Tavernor wants Someone To Cherish but would rather have a lover than a husband after the numbing servitude of marriage to Rev. Isaiah Tavernor. In Brenner's Blush, college senior Sadie Bailey discovers that straitlaced Grandma Vivian once ran a book club devoted to scandalous women's fiction. To find respite from griefover her grandfather's death, Marisa Rosso travels to a seaside Cornish village, where she helps locals save their beloved bakery (well known to Colgan's fans) in Sunrise by the Sea (100,000-copy paperback and 30,000-copy hardcover first printing). On the Terminal Ward at the Glasgow Princess Royal Hospital, life-hungry 17-year-old Lenni joins forces with 83-year-old rebel Margot in debuter Cronin's The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot (150,000-copy paperback and 25,000-copy hardcover first printing). With The Paper Palace, Heller, HBO head of drama, turns in a first novel about a woman who makes a momentous and long-overdue decision one bright Cape Cod morning. Diagnosed with a terminal illness, newly married Lauren decides to leave her husband 12 letters to guide him through the first year without her in Higgins's Pack Up the Moon. Killed in a hit-and-run in Nantucket, novelist Vivi is given heavenly permission to spend a year watching over her children, her best friend, and her ex-husband in Hilderbrand's Golden Girl (750,000-copy first printing). In Phillips's When Stars Collide, opera diva Olivia Shore and Thaddeus Walker Bowman Owens, backup quarterback for the Chicago Stars, are paired on a nationwide tour promoting a luxury watch brand with tumultuous results (150,000-copy first printing). Debuter Ray's The Missing Treasures of Amy Ashton features a once-aspiring artist now running from a tragedy in her life by simply collecting beautiful objects—until the collection-conscious little boy whose family moves in next door makes her rethink things (100,000-copy first printing).
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#2  (Last Week: - • Weeks on List: 1)  
Malibu Rising
Book Jacket   Taylor Jenkins Reid
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9781524798659 It's August 1983 in Malibu, CA, time for Nina Riva's annual wrap-up-the-summer party, where everyone gathers to rub tanned shoulders the supermodel; her brothers, champion surfer Jay and photographer Hud; and beloved little sister Kit.But this year, everyone has secrets that lead to a house in flames by morning. From the author of the multi-best-booked, New York Times best-selling Daisy Jones & The Six, the basis of the Amazon series.
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9781524798659 Reid (Daisy Jones and the Six) unfurls a fast-paced and addictive story of a group of celebrity siblings in Malibu. There’s model Nina Riva, pro surfer Jay, photographer Hudson, and Kit, an aspiring professional surfer. The Rivas’ absentee philandering father, Mick, won over their mother, June, with a sultry singing voice that propelled him to stratospheric fame in the 1950s. This setup launches the novel’s two braided timelines: Mick and June’s love story and tragic unraveling, and the narrative of what happens on Saturday, Aug. 27, 1983: the day of the Riva siblings’ legendary annual party. Everyone who’s anyone in Los Angeles attends, the rule being, “If you were cool enough to know about the party, you were cool enough to come to the party.” The author capably tracks the siblings’ emotionally fraught journeys—especially that of Nina, whose husband has run off just before the party—and evokes a bygone Malibu’s natural and social hazards in sharp, descriptive writing, connected by a leitmotif of fire. “Malibu catches fire. It is simply what Malibu does from time to time,” the opening lines read, foreshadowing disaster. Reid’s handling of the various arcs is impressive, but the novel’s climactic scenes verge on melodramatic. Still, this page-turning indulgence hits the spot. (May)
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#3  (Last Week: 2 • Weeks on List: 5)  
The Last Thing He Told Me
 Laura Dave
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. 9781501171345 When a devoted husband and father disappears, his wife and daughter set out to find him. Hannah Hall is deeply in love with her husband of one year, Owen Michaels. She’s also determined to win over his 16-year-old daughter, Bailey, who has made it very clear that she’s not thrilled with her new stepmother. Despite the drama, the family is mostly a happy one. They live in a lovely houseboat in Sausalito; Hannah is a woodturner whose handmade furniture brings in high-dollar clientele; and Owen works for The Shop, a successful tech firm. Their lives are shattered, however, when Hannah receives a note saying “Protect her” and can’t reach Owen by phone. Then there’s the bag full of cash Bailey finds in her school locker and the shocking news that The Shop’s CEO has been taken into custody. Hannah learns that the FBI has been investigating the firm for about a year regarding some hot new software they took to market before it was fully functional, falsifying their financial statements. Hannah refuses to believe her husband is involved in the fraud, and a U.S. marshal assigned to the case claims Owen isn’t a suspect. Hannah doesn’t know whom to trust, though, and she and Bailey resolve to root out the clues that might lead to Owen. They must also learn to trust one another. Hannah’s narrative alternates past and present, detailing her early days with Owen alongside her current hunt for him, and author Dave throws in a touch of danger and a few surprises. But what really drives the story is the evolving nature of Hannah and Bailey’s relationship, which is by turns poignant and frustrating but always realistic. Light on suspense but still a solid page-turner. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. When a devoted husband and father disappears, his wife and daughter set out to find him.Hannah Hall is deeply in love with her husband of one year, Owen Michaels. Shes also determined to win over his 16-year-old daughter, Bailey, who has made it very clear that shes not thrilled with her new stepmother. Despite the drama, the family is mostly a happy one. They live in a lovely houseboat in Sausalito; Hannah is a woodturner whose handmade furniture brings in high-dollar clientele; and Owen works for The Shop, a successful tech firm. Their lives are shattered, however, when Hannah receives a note saying Protect her and cant reach Owen by phone. Then theres the bag full of cash Bailey finds in her school locker and the shocking news that The Shops CEO has been taken into custody. Hannah learns that the FBI has been investigating the firm for about a year regarding some hot new software they took to market before it was fully functional, falsifying their financial statements. Hannah refuses to believe her husband is involved in the fraud, and a U.S. marshal assigned to the case claims Owen isnt a suspect. Hannah doesnt know whom to trust, though, and she and Bailey resolve to root out the clues that might lead to Owen. They must also learn to trust one another. Hannahs narrative alternates past and present, detailing her early days with Owen alongside her current hunt for him, and author Dave throws in a touch of danger and a few surprises. But what really drives the story is the evolving nature of Hannah and Baileys relationship, which is by turns poignant and frustrating but always realistic.Light on suspense but still a solid page-turner. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
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#4  (Last Week: 3 • Weeks on List: 6)  
Sooley
 John Grisham
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780385547680 Grisham (A Time for Mercy) shoots an airball in this sappy novel about a South Sudanese teen’s journey from his impoverished home to the world of American sports. Samuel Sooleymon, 17, described as the best basketball player in his village of Lotta, is invited to try out for South Sudan’s national basketball team amid the civil war’s relative peace. Despite undeveloped passing and shooting skills, Sooleymon’s natural athleticism appeals to the national team’s coach, Ecko Lam. With Sooleymon away in the U.S. for an exhibition game, a rebel rampage through Lotta is described in grisly detail, with the fate of his family uncertain. When Sooleymon learns of the attack, he’s determined to return home, but Lam convinces him there’s nothing he can do. Eventually, he accepts a full scholarship at North Carolina Central, where he’s nicknamed Sooley, dedicates himself to practicing, and determines to gain attention from the NBA so he can earn the money needed to bring his family to the U.S. As Sooley’s star begins to rise, though, Grisham tosses in a jarring tragic episode, and clunky foreshadowing and thin characters, such as Sooley’s love interest, don’t help. This is a disappointing outing from a writer capable of much better. Agent: David Gernert, the Gernert Co. (Apr.)
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#5  (Last Week: 1 • Weeks on List: 2)  
Legacy
Book Jacket   Nora Roberts
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. Roberts sticks to formula in this romantic thrillerwhich should please fans and newcomers alike.The only daughter of a woman with a wildly successful fitness company, 7-year-old Adrian Rizzo is used to traveling with her mother for videos and photo shoots, the child star of the brand. But everything changes one night when a man breaks into their house, confronts her mother for destroying his marriage, and then dies in a fall down the stairs. Adrian spends the summer with her beloved grandparents, enjoying the idyllic pace of small-town life and making some strong connections. Several years later, teenage Adrian gains the confidence to start her own business with the help of some high school misfits who become her best friends. Fast-forward a few years: Adrians grandmother dies in an accident followed by the death of a friend's wife. Adrian decides to move in with her grandfather and to finally make a home. As frequently happens in Roberts novels, Adrian's friends all end up living nearby, and they create a loyal, loving network that sees them all through marriage, birth, loss, success, and the other touchstones of maturity. In the background lurks a threat, though: For years, Adrian has been receiving disturbing letters signed only "The Poet," and they begin to arrive more frequently. Adrians perfect, messy, successful lifeand blossoming relationshipmay be in danger from this psychopath, but her friends and family will be there to support and protect her to the happiest of endings. If you're a fan of Roberts thrillers, the structure of this novel will bring few surprises, but the familiarity is comforting. Roberts strength has always been her ability to create likable, complex characters, and this crew is even more appealing than mostthey are never whiny in insecurity or snobbish in success; rather, they provide unwavering support for each others ups and downs.The most comforting of comfort-food readingwith a few chills for fun. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9781250272935 Adrian Rizzo, the protagonist of this melodramatic thriller from bestseller Roberts (Hideaway), first meets her father, Jonathan Bennett, a university professor with a reputation for forcing sex on his students, at age seven when he barges into the Georgetown townhouse where she lives with her nanny, Mimi, and her mother, Lina Rizzo, a fitness expert with a successful business called Yoga Baby. After hitting Mimi, Jon attacks Adrian and Lina. Fighting back, Lina kills Jon by pushing him over a second-floor railing. Though the death is ruled self-defense, Lina, fearing the negative publicity, sends Adrian to her parents in the small town of Traveler’s Creek, Md. Meanwhile, Lina’s career soars, and Adrian’s summer with her loving grandparents is idyllic. Years later, Lina and Adrian, now a teenager, resettle in New York, where Adrian starts her own fitness company. But each February, Adrian receives a creepy poem coinciding with a woman’s murder in different parts of the country. Roberts knows how to entertain, but the plot follows formula and the gimmicky killer emerges as a caricature with transparent motives. Established fans will best appreciate this one. Agent: Amy Berkower, Writers House. (May)
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. 9781250272935 Roberts sticks to formula in this romantic thriller—which should please fans and newcomers alike. The only daughter of a woman with a wildly successful fitness company, 7-year-old Adrian Rizzo is used to traveling with her mother for videos and photo shoots, the child star of the brand. But everything changes one night when a man breaks into their house, confronts her mother for destroying his marriage, and then dies in a fall down the stairs. Adrian spends the summer with her beloved grandparents, enjoying the idyllic pace of small-town life and making some strong connections. Several years later, teenage Adrian gains the confidence to start her own business with the help of some high school misfits who become her best friends. Fast-forward a few years: Adrian’s grandmother dies in an accident followed by the death of a friend's wife. Adrian decides to move in with her grandfather and to finally make a home. As frequently happens in Roberts’ novels, Adrian's friends all end up living nearby, and they create a loyal, loving network that sees them all through marriage, birth, loss, success, and the other touchstones of maturity. In the background lurks a threat, though: For years, Adrian has been receiving disturbing letters signed only "The Poet," and they begin to arrive more frequently. Adrian’s perfect, messy, successful life—and blossoming relationship—may be in danger from this psychopath, but her friends and family will be there to support and protect her to the happiest of endings. If you're a fan of Roberts’ thrillers, the structure of this novel will bring few surprises, but the familiarity is comforting. Roberts’ strength has always been her ability to create likable, complex characters, and this crew is even more appealing than most—they are never whiny in insecurity or snobbish in success; rather, they provide unwavering support for each other’s ups and downs. The most comforting of comfort-food reading—with a few chills for fun. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9781250272935 Very nearly murdered by her father when she first met him at age seven—fortunately, her mother, Lina, intervened—Adrian Rizzo was raised by her grandparents while Lina went on the road to promote her fitness brand. A decade later, Adrian has her own successful fitness and workout videos, but then threats start arriving. With a million-copy first printing.
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#6  (Last Week: - • Weeks on List: 1)  
The Other Black Girl
Book Jacket   Zakiya Dalila Harris
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9781982160135 Fed up with being the only Black employee at Wagner Books, editorial assistant Nella Rogers is cheered when another young Black woman is finally hired. Soon, though, Hazel is overshadowing Nella, but even worse are the notes on Nella's desk saying "LEAVE WAGNER. NOW." A big-buzzing, thriller-edged literary debut; with a 150,000-copy first printing.
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#7  (Last Week: 6 • Weeks on List: 27)  
The Midnight Library
 Matt Haig
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780525559474 Nora Seed believes her life is made up of wrong choices. She didn’t become an Olympic swimmer; she quit her brother’s band; she left her fiancι two days before the wedding. Living with crippling disappointment and situational depression, Nora decides that the only right choice for her is to end her existence. But “between life and death there is a midnight library,” a library that contains multiple volumes of the lives she could have had if she had made different choices. With the help of the friendly librarian Mrs. Elm, Nora tries on these lives in hopes of finding one where she will truly be happy. In the process, Nora finds that life is made of choices of both little and big consequence, and sometimes the choice to believe in oneself is both the biggest and smallest decision a person can make. Haig’s latest (after the nonfiction collection Notes on a Nervous Planet, 2019) is a stunning contemporary story that explores the choices that make up a life, and the regrets that can stifle it. A compelling novel that will resonate with readers.
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. An unhappy woman who tries to commit suicide finds herself in a mysterious library that allows her to explore new lives.How far would you go to address every regret you ever had? Thats the question at the heart of Haigs latest novel, which imagines the plane between life and death as a vast library filled with books detailing every existence a person could have. Thrust into this mysterious way station is Nora Seed, a depressed and desperate woman estranged from her family and friends. Nora has just lost her job, and her cat is dead. Believing she has no reason to go on, she writes a farewell note and takes an overdose of antidepressants. But instead of waking up in heaven, hell, or eternal nothingness, she finds herself in a library filled with books that offer her a chance to experience an infinite number of new lives. Guided by Mrs. Elm, her former school librarian, she can pull a book from the shelf and enter a new existenceas a country pub owner with her ex-boyfriend, as a researcher on an Arctic island, as a rock star singing in stadiums full of screaming fans. But how will she know which life will make her happy? This book isn't heavy on hows; you wont need an advanced degree in quantum physics or string theory to follow its simple yet fantastical logic. Predicting the path Nora will ultimately choose isnt difficult, either. Haig treats the subject of suicide with a light touch, and the books playful tone will be welcome to readers who like their fantasies sweet if a little too forgettable.A whimsical fantasy about learning whats important in life. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. 9780525559474 An unhappy woman who tries to commit suicide finds herself in a mysterious library that allows her to explore new lives. How far would you go to address every regret you ever had? That’s the question at the heart of Haig’s latest novel, which imagines the plane between life and death as a vast library filled with books detailing every existence a person could have. Thrust into this mysterious way station is Nora Seed, a depressed and desperate woman estranged from her family and friends. Nora has just lost her job, and her cat is dead. Believing she has no reason to go on, she writes a farewell note and takes an overdose of antidepressants. But instead of waking up in heaven, hell, or eternal nothingness, she finds herself in a library filled with books that offer her a chance to experience an infinite number of new lives. Guided by Mrs. Elm, her former school librarian, she can pull a book from the shelf and enter a new existence—as a country pub owner with her ex-boyfriend, as a researcher on an Arctic island, as a rock star singing in stadiums full of screaming fans. But how will she know which life will make her happy? This book isn't heavy on hows; you won’t need an advanced degree in quantum physics or string theory to follow its simple yet fantastical logic. Predicting the path Nora will ultimately choose isn’t difficult, either. Haig treats the subject of suicide with a light touch, and the book’s playful tone will be welcome to readers who like their fantasies sweet if a little too forgettable. A whimsical fantasy about learning what’s important in life. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780525559474 Nora Seed believes her life is made up of wrong choices. She didn’t become an Olympic swimmer; she quit her brother’s band; she left her fiancι two days before the wedding. Living with crippling disappointment and situational depression, Nora decides that the only right choice for her is to end her existence. But “between life and death there is a midnight library,” a library that contains multiple volumes of the lives she could have had if she had made different choices. With the help of the friendly librarian Mrs. Elm, Nora tries on these lives in hopes of finding one where she will truly be happy. In the process, Nora finds that life is made of choices of both little and big consequence, and sometimes the choice to believe in oneself is both the biggest and smallest decision a person can make. Haig’s latest (after the nonfiction collection Notes on a Nervous Planet, 2019) is a stunning contemporary story that explores the choices that make up a life, and the regrets that can stifle it. A compelling novel that will resonate with readers.
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780525559474 Haig (How to Stop Time) draws on quantum wave theory in this charming if sometimes laborious account of the many possible lives of a depressed woman. Nora, in her mid-30s and living in the small English town of Bedford, suffers from “situational depression”—though, as she wryly observes, “It’s just that I keep on having new... situations.” After she gets fired from her job and her cat dies, she attempts suicide, only to wake up in a book-lined liminal zone, where she is guided by a librarian: “Between life and death there is a library... Every book provides a chance to try another life you could have lived.” There, Nora discovers what would have happened had she not abandoned her promising swimming career, called off her engagement, or left the rock band she started with her brother. Each time an alternate life disappoints or doesn’t feel quite right, Nora exits, reappearing in the library to continue browsing for the perfect story. While the formula grows repetitive, the set changes provide novelty, as Haig whisks Nora from Australian beaches to a South American rock concert tour to an Arctic encounter with a polar bear. Haig’s agreeable narrative voice and imagination will reward readers who take this book off the shelf. (Sept.)
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780525559474 If you could live your life over again, would you make the same choices? Nora Seed is depressed: Her best friend has ghosted her from the other side of the world; she is estranged from her brother; she just got fired; and her cat died. Suicide seems to be the answer, but instead of dying, she awakens in a library of infinite books, all about the lives she could have lived. There she meets her school librarian, who guides her first to her "Book of Regrets," where she sees every choice she made, while the rest of the books take her on journeys to visit her potential lives. What if, instead of quitting the band, she became a rock star? Or instead of leaving school, she became a world-renowned glaciologist? Nora gets to live these alternative lives, the goal being to find the life that will make her happy. But happiness, even in this fantasy, still proves elusive; perhaps that wasn't the goal after all. VERDICT Haig (How To Stop Time) takes readers on a journey of quantum physics that will have them feeling that they actually understand the theory. Most reminiscent of Ken Grimwood's Replay.—Stacy Alesi, Eugene M. & Christine E. Lynn Lib., Lynn Univ., Boca Raton, FL
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#8  (Last Week: 4 • Weeks on List: 5)  
Project Hail Mary
 Andy Weir
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780593135204 For those who found Artemis (2017) to be something of a letdown after his much-loved The Martian (2014), Weir returns with gusto. The sun is dying, abruptly and rapidly. Within decades, humanity is going to be wiped out. Survival of the species depends on a lone astronaut who is far from home, unsure of where he is or how to tackle the monumental task that lies before him. Weir’s scientific and technical savvy lends the proceedings an air of authenticity, and his portrayal of an ordinary man full of fear and self-doubt thrust into the role of humanity's last hope strikes just the right note. In many ways, this is a thematic sequel to The Martian; both are stories of individuals battling for survival against extraordinary odds and dealing with loneliness and desperation. In Artemis, it seemed like Weir was trying too hard, but here his writing flows naturally, and his characters and dialogue crackle with energy. Weir is no longer the self-published wunderkind of The Martian; with this novel, he takes place as a genuine star in the mainstream sf world.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Weir returns to the style and themes of his mega-hit debut, The Martian.
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. Weirs latest is a page-turning interstellar thrill ride that follows a junior high school teacherturnedreluctant astronaut at the center of a desperate mission to save humankind from a looming extinction event.Ryland Grace was a once-promising molecular biologist who wrote a controversial academic paper contesting the assumption that life requires liquid water. Now disgraced, he works as a junior high science teacher in San Francisco. His previous theories, however, make him the perfect researcher for a multinational task force that's trying to understand how and why the sun is suddenly dimming at an alarming rate. A barely detectable line of light that rises from the suns north pole and curves toward Venus is inexplicably draining the star of power. According to scientists, an instant ice age is all but inevitable within a few decades. All the other stars in proximity to the sun seem to be suffering with the same afflictionexcept Tau Ceti. An unwilling last-minute replacement as part of a three-person mission heading to Tau Ceti in hopes of finding an answer, Ryland finds himself awakening from an induced coma on the spaceship with two dead crewmates and a spotty memory. With time running out for humankind, he discovers an alien spacecraft in the vicinity of his ship with a strange traveler on a similar quest. Although hard scientific speculation fuels the storyline, the real power lies in the many jaw-dropping plot twists, the relentless tension, and the extraordinary dynamic between Ryland and the alien (whom he nicknames Rocky because of its carapace of oxidized minerals and metallic alloy bones). Readers may find themselves consuming this emotionally intense and thematically profound novel in one stay-up-all-night-until-your-eyes-bleed sitting.An unforgettable story of survival and the power of friendshipnothing short of a science-fiction masterwork. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780593135204 For those who found Artemis (2017) to be something of a letdown after his much-loved The Martian (2014), Weir returns with gusto. The sun is dying, abruptly and rapidly. Within decades, humanity is going to be wiped out. Survival of the species depends on a lone astronaut who is far from home, unsure of where he is or how to tackle the monumental task that lies before him. Weir’s scientific and technical savvy lends the proceedings an air of authenticity, and his portrayal of an ordinary man full of fear and self-doubt thrust into the role of humanity's last hope strikes just the right note. In many ways, this is a thematic sequel to The Martian; both are stories of individuals battling for survival against extraordinary odds and dealing with loneliness and desperation. In Artemis, it seemed like Weir was trying too hard, but here his writing flows naturally, and his characters and dialogue crackle with energy. Weir is no longer the self-published wunderkind of The Martian; with this novel, he takes place as a genuine star in the mainstream sf world.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Weir returns to the style and themes of his mega-hit debut, The Martian.
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. 9780593135204 Weir’s latest is a page-turning interstellar thrill ride that follows a junior high school teacher–turned–reluctant astronaut at the center of a desperate mission to save humankind from a looming extinction event. Ryland Grace was a once-promising molecular biologist who wrote a controversial academic paper contesting the assumption that life requires liquid water. Now disgraced, he works as a junior high science teacher in San Francisco. His previous theories, however, make him the perfect researcher for a multinational task force that's trying to understand how and why the sun is suddenly dimming at an alarming rate. A barely detectable line of light that rises from the sun’s north pole and curves toward Venus is inexplicably draining the star of power. According to scientists, an “instant ice age” is all but inevitable within a few decades. All the other stars in proximity to the sun seem to be suffering with the same affliction—except Tau Ceti. An unwilling last-minute replacement as part of a three-person mission heading to Tau Ceti in hopes of finding an answer, Ryland finds himself awakening from an induced coma on the spaceship with two dead crewmates and a spotty memory. With time running out for humankind, he discovers an alien spacecraft in the vicinity of his ship with a strange traveler on a similar quest. Although hard scientific speculation fuels the storyline, the real power lies in the many jaw-dropping plot twists, the relentless tension, and the extraordinary dynamic between Ryland and the alien (whom he nicknames Rocky because of its carapace of oxidized minerals and metallic alloy bones). Readers may find themselves consuming this emotionally intense and thematically profound novel in one stay-up-all-night-until-your-eyes-bleed sitting. An unforgettable story of survival and the power of friendship—nothing short of a science-fiction masterwork. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780593135204 Bestseller Weir (The Martian) delivers a suspenseful portrait of human ingenuity and resilience in this powerful narrative of a desperate effort to save Earth. Ryland Grace awakens from a coma with no memories of his identity or how he came to be alone on a spaceship. Weir creates instant engagement by toggling between Grace’s efforts to make sense of his present circumstances and flashbacks that gradually paint an unsettling picture of his life before. Grace worked as a microbiologist until the negative response to his theory that water may not be required to sustain alien life drove him from his research to a job teaching middle school science. That career is disrupted, however, after astronomers discover that the sun is losing heat, imperiling the future of humanity. The cause seems to be a microscopic life-form that feeds on the star’s energy, and Grace is drafted into the international team of scientists working to combat the impending catastrophe. Weir cleverly doles out pieces of Grace’s backstory and information about the mission that landed him in space, tossing in curveballs and judiciously using humor to break the tension as the story builds to an unexpectedly moving ending. This is a winner. Agent: David Fugate, LaunchBooks Literary. (May)
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#9  (Last Week: 7 • Weeks on List: 10)  
The Hill We Climb
Book Jacket   Amanda Gorman
#10  (Last Week: 5 • Weeks on List: 4)  
While Justice Sleeps
Book Jacket   Stacey Abrams
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. A progressive superstar pens her first political thriller.Anyone who follows the news knows Abrams as a politician and voting rights activist. She's less well known as a novelist. Using the pseudonym Selena Montgomery, Abrams has published several works of romantic suspense. Her new novel begins when Supreme Court Justice Howard Wynn falls into a coma. His clerk Avery Keene is shocked to discover that her boss has made her his legal guardian and granted her power of attorney. The fate of one of the most powerful men in the world is in her handsand her life is in danger. Abrams gives us nefarious doings in the world of biotech, a president with autocratic tendencies and questionable ethics, and a young woman struggling to unravel a conspiracy while staying one step ahead of the people who want her out of the way. Unfortunately, the author doesn't weave these intriguing elements into an enjoyable whole. Abrams makes some odd word choices, such as this: The intricate knot she had twisted into her hair that morning bobbed cunningly as she neared her office. The adverb cunningly is mystifying, and Abrams uses it in a similar way later on. There are disorienting shifts in point of view. And Abrams lavishes a great deal of attention on details that simply dont matter, which makes the pace painfully slow. This is a fatal flaw in a suspense novel, but it may not be the most frustrating aspect of this book. For a protagonist who has gotten where she is by being smart, Avery makes some stunningly poor decisions. For example, the fact that she has a photographic memory is an important plot point and is clearly a factor in Justice Wynns decision to enlist her help. When she finds a piece of paper upon which is printed a long string of characters and the words "BURN UPON REVIEW," Avery memorizes the lines of numbers and lettersand then, even though she knows shes being surveilled, she snaps a shot of the paper with her phone, thereby making the whole business of setting it on fire quite pointless. More of a curiosity for political junkies than a satisfying story of international intrigue. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. 9780385546577 A progressive superstar pens her first political thriller. Anyone who follows the news knows Abrams as a politician and voting rights activist. She's less well known as a novelist. Using the pseudonym Selena Montgomery, Abrams has published several works of romantic suspense. Her new novel begins when Supreme Court Justice Howard Wynn falls into a coma. His clerk Avery Keene is shocked to discover that her boss has made her his legal guardian and granted her power of attorney. The fate of one of the most powerful men in the world is in her hands—and her life is in danger. Abrams gives us nefarious doings in the world of biotech, a president with autocratic tendencies and questionable ethics, and a young woman struggling to unravel a conspiracy while staying one step ahead of the people who want her out of the way. Unfortunately, the author doesn't weave these intriguing elements into an enjoyable whole. Abrams makes some odd word choices, such as this: “The intricate knot she had twisted into her hair that morning bobbed cunningly as she neared her office.” The adverb cunningly is mystifying, and Abrams uses it in a similar way later on. There are disorienting shifts in point of view. And Abrams lavishes a great deal of attention on details that simply don’t matter, which makes the pace painfully slow. This is a fatal flaw in a suspense novel, but it may not be the most frustrating aspect of this book. For a protagonist who has gotten where she is by being smart, Avery makes some stunningly poor decisions. For example, the fact that she has a photographic memory is an important plot point and is clearly a factor in Justice Wynn’s decision to enlist her help. When she finds a piece of paper upon which is printed a long string of characters and the words "BURN UPON REVIEW," Avery memorizes the lines of numbers and letters—and then, even though she knows she’s being surveilled, she snaps a shot of the paper with her phone, thereby making the whole business of setting it on fire quite pointless. More of a curiosity for political junkies than a satisfying story of international intrigue. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780385546577 In When Justice Sleeps, Abrams takes a break from her considerable political responsibilities to craft a legal thriller featuring Avery Keene, who clerks for Supreme Court Justice Wynn and takes over the background investigation of a key case when he falls into a coma. In Hairpin Bridge, Adams's No Exit follow-up, Lena Nguyen doesn't believe that estranged twin sister Cambry committed suicide; otherwise, she likely wouldn't have called 911 16 times before her death (100,000-copy first printing). In Hummel's Lesson in Red, follow-up to the Reese's Book Club x Hello Sunshine pick Still Lives, Maggie Richter faces another artworld mystery. In Edgar-nominated, New York Times best-selling author McCreight's Friends Like These, a bachelor party in the Catskills is a cover for a staged intervention to help one of the guests, but someone ends up dead (75,000-copy first printing). Abducted from her found-religion parents' isolated Arkansas homestead and returned unharmed yet still treated as damaged, teenage Sarabeth gladly makes her exit, but in International Thriller Writer Award winner McHugh's What's Done in Darkness, she gets called back five years later to help with a copycat crime. Following Mangin's nationally best-selling Tangerine, Palace of the Drowned stars flailing British novelist Frankie Croy, who is staying in a friend's vacant Venice palazzo in 1966 while struggling to regain her early writing promise and doesn't quite trust a fan who comes her way (200,000-copy first printing). Having had a huge international best seller with The Silent Patient, Michaelides aims for another winner in his Untitled new work (one-million-copy first printing). Following the New York Times best-selling, Reese Witherspoon-optioned Something in the Water, Steadman returns with The Disappearing Act, about a British actress who realizes that she's the only witness to the disappearance of a woman she auditioned with during Hollywood's harried pilot season.
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#1  (Last Week: - • Weeks on List: 1)  
How The Word Is Passed
 Clint Smith
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780316492935 Atlantic staff writer Smith travels the country, moving from his native New Orleans to Monticello; the Whitney Plantation, which aims to preserve the experience of those enslaved; Angola, a former plantation in Louisiana that now serves as a maximum-security prison; and downtown Manhattan, where people were bought and sold. His aim: to show that slavery has been central to the making of America.
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#2  (Last Week: 1 • Weeks on List: 5)  
Killing The Mob
 Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard
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What Happened To You?
Book Jacket   Bruce D. Perry and Oprah Winfrey
#4  (Last Week: - • Weeks on List: 1)  
After The Fall
Book Jacket   Ben Rhodes
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9781984856050 Former deputy national security adviser to President Barack Obama and New York Times best-selling author of The World as It Is, Rhodes began traveling the world in 2017 so that he could better understand what was happening in his own country. He found rising nationalism, authoritarianism, and disinformation—and the will to fight back.
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The Premonition
 Michael Lewis
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The Anthropocene Reviewed
 John Green
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#7  (Last Week: 4 • Weeks on List: 33)  
Greenlights
Book Jacket   Matthew McConaughey
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. 9780593139134 All right, all right, all right: The affable, laconic actor delivers a combination of memoir and self-help book. “This is an approach book,” writes McConaughey, adding that it contains “philosophies that can be objectively understood, and if you choose, subjectively adopted, by either changing your reality, or changing how you see it. This is a playbook, based on adventures in my life.” Some of those philosophies come in the form of apothegms: “When you can design your own weather, blow in the breeze”; “Simplify, focus, conserve to liberate.” Others come in the form of sometimes rambling stories that never take the shortest route from point A to point B, as when he recounts a dream-spurred, challenging visit to the Malian musician Ali Farka Tourι, who offered a significant lesson in how disagreement can be expressed politely and without rancor. Fans of McConaughey will enjoy his memories—which line up squarely with other accounts in Melissa Maerz’s recent oral history, Alright, Alright, Alright—of his debut in Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused, to which he contributed not just that signature phrase, but also a kind of too-cool-for-school hipness that dissolves a bit upon realizing that he’s an older guy on the prowl for teenage girls. McConaughey’s prep to settle into the role of Wooderson involved inhabiting the mind of a dude who digs cars, rock ’n’ roll, and “chicks,” and he ran with it, reminding readers that the film originally had only three scripted scenes for his character. The lesson: “Do one thing well, then another. Once, then once more.” It’s clear that the author is a thoughtful man, even an intellectual of sorts, though without the earnestness of Ethan Hawke or James Franco. Though some of the sentiments are greeting card–ish, this book is entertaining and full of good lessons. A conversational, pleasurable look into McConaughey’s life and thought. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. All right, all right, all right: The affable, laconic actor delivers a combination of memoir and self-help book.This is an approach book, writes McConaughey, adding that it contains philosophies that can be objectively understood, and if you choose, subjectively adopted, by either changing your reality, or changing how you see it. This is a playbook, based on adventures in my life. Some of those philosophies come in the form of apothegms: When you can design your own weather, blow in the breeze; Simplify, focus, conserve to liberate. Others come in the form of sometimes rambling stories that never take the shortest route from point A to point B, as when he recounts a dream-spurred, challenging visit to the Malian musician Ali Farka Tour, who offered a significant lesson in how disagreement can be expressed politely and without rancor. Fans of McConaughey will enjoy his memorieswhich line up squarely with other accounts in Melissa Maerzs recent oral history, Alright, Alright, Alrightof his debut in Richard Linklaters Dazed and Confused, to which he contributed not just that signature phrase, but also a kind of too-cool-for-school hipness that dissolves a bit upon realizing that hes an older guy on the prowl for teenage girls. McConaugheys prep to settle into the role of Wooderson involved inhabiting the mind of a dude who digs cars, rock n roll, and chicks, and he ran with it, reminding readers that the film originally had only three scripted scenes for his character. The lesson: Do one thing well, then another. Once, then once more. Its clear that the author is a thoughtful man, even an intellectual of sorts, though without the earnestness of Ethan Hawke or James Franco. Though some of the sentiments are greeting cardish, this book is entertaining and full of good lessons.A conversational, pleasurable look into McConaugheys life and thought. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
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#8  (Last Week: 7 • Weeks on List: 6)  
The Bomber Mafia
Book Jacket   Malcolm Gladwell
 
#9  (Last Week: - • Weeks on List: 1)  
Somebody's Daughter
 Ashley C. Ford
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#10  (Last Week: 12 • Weeks on List: 65)  
Untamed
 Glennon Doyle
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9781984801258 Motivational speaker Doyle (Love Warrior) writes of divorcing her husband, finding love with Olympic soccer player Abby Wambach, and coming out to family and fans in this inspirational memoir. Doyle's previous book concerned her attempt to heal her strained relationship with her husband, Craig, after she learned he cheated on her, and here she picks up the narrative a few years later, as she starts fresh with the attitude that it’s better to disappoint other people than to disappoint oneself. She talks about meeting Abby, while still married to Craig, at a book conference and instantly falling for her (“I put my hand on her arm. Electrical currents”), dissolving her marriage and raising her three kids in a blended family with Abby and Craig, and pulling back from her Christian faith. “I will not stay, not ever again—in a room or conversation or relationship or institution that requires me to abandon myself,” Doyle declares. The book is filled with hopeful messages and encourages women to reject the status quo and follow their intuition. “It’s a lifelong battle for a woman to stay whole and free in a world hell bent on caging her,” she writes. This testament to female empowerment and self-love, with an endearing coming-out story at the center, will delight readers. (Mar.)
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9781984801258 Doyle is an activist, speaker, and best-selling author. Those who are new to her work may be pleasantly surprised to discover how much her powerful personality shines through every page. She is a terrific storyteller: personable, engaging, and likable. Her honesty can be disarming. She reveals at the start that four years ago when she was still married to her husband and the mother of three children, she fell in love with a woman, which not only upended her life for the better, it also made her feel alive for the first time since she was 10 years old. “Ten is when children begin to let go of who they are in order to become what the world expects them to be,” she writes. She became bulimic and was admitted to a mental hospital. "I understand myself differently now,” she says. Whether discussing her children or the world outside, challenging conformity, confronting misogyny, or standing up to religious bigotry, her goal as a memoirist (and as a person) is to defy expectations and to help others break out of their cultural cages so that everyone can find their own version of humanity. A bracing jolt of honesty from someone who knows what she wants to say and isn’t afraid to say it.WOMEN IN FOCUS
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780593209738 Activist, feminist, and inspirational speaker Doyle explores her journey from self-loathing through her search for perfection and then to finding and listening to her untamed inner truth. She points out that society has very strict rules and beliefs about behaviors based on gender, religion, and origin, and that our parents, our friends, and the media tame us by telling us how we should act, who we should be regardless of what is wild, natural, and free. As a floundering young adult struggling with anorexia, alcoholism, and self-destructive behaviors, Doyle discovered that she was pregnant. She decided to get married, settle down, and straighten out her life. After years of throwing herself into childcare and church, she found that she was unable to forgive her husband for having an affair. After counseling, promises, and a tour promoting a book about overcoming adversity, Doyle unexpectedly found herself attracted to a kind, exciting woman. Now her former husband, her new wife, and Doyle raise their kids in an unconventional but fulfilling manner. In this memoir, Doyle shares entertaining glimpses into episodes of her life that released her from being the nice girl who followed the codes, did everything for her kids, and lived within the world's preconceived notions. She extols the evil of gender roles both boys and girls are expected to fit into and elucidates her hands-off approach to allowing her children to be themselves—even in moments when she may not like them. Often humorous and even self-deprecating, the author writes and reads as if she is giving a series of only partially sequential speeches on a variety of topics. As concepts overlap, listeners will hear numerous repetitions of phrases and reiterations of the author's positions, but the overall effect is as if she is just conversing with them. VERDICT Doyle narrates as well, providing an engaging performance that may inspire listeners to wonder who they really are, how they have been tamed, and what they can do to break away from what feels wrong.—Lisa Youngblood, Harker Heights P.L., TX
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. "Four years ago," she writes, "married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman." That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections"Caged," "Keys," "Freedom"the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author's girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a "caged girl made for wide-open skies." She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into "drinking, drugging, and purging," Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she'd been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband's infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she'd never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she's admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of "cream cheese parenting," which is about "giving your children the best of everything." The author's fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle's therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a "dangerous distraction." Ultimately, the narrative is an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency.Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
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