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New York Times Bestsellers
Week of January 13, 2019
FICTION
#1  (Last Week: 5 • Weeks on List: 18)  
Where The Crawdads Sing
Book Jacket   Delia Owens
#2  (Last Week: - • Weeks on List: 1)  
Verses For The Dead
Book Jacket   Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
 
#3  (Last Week: 1 • Weeks on List: 11)  
The Reckoning
 John Grisham
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#4  (Last Week: 2 • Weeks on List: 7)  
Fire And Blood
 George RR Martin
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#5  (Last Week: 3 • Weeks on List: 12)  
Every Breath
Book Jacket   Nicholas Sparks
#6  (Last Week: - • Weeks on List: 6)  
Circe
Book Jacket   Madeline Miller
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780316556347 Having reinterpreted Homer's Iliad in her Orange Prize-winning The Song of -Achilles, Miller now turns her attention to the -Odyssey from the perspective of Circe, the sorceress who changed Odysseus's men into swine. The daughter of the sun god Helios and the nymph Perse, Circe is despised by her parents and siblings for her less-than-divine abilities. Seeking comfort in human companionship, she discovers her own special powers of witchcraft when she turns Glaucus, the mortal man she loves, into a sea god. But Circe's tranformation of Scylla, her rival for Glaucos's affections, into a monster, leads to her banishment to the deserted island of Aiaia. Over the centuries, she hones her magical skills while encountering some of the most famous figures in classical mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus, Medea, and, of course, the crafty Odysseus. Along the way, Circe evolves into the powerful witch feared by the Olympian gods. But after a lifetime of lonely immortality, is this enough for Circe? Her final act of transformation will move and surprise readers. VERDICT This beautifully written and absorbing tale of gods and mortals will delight Miller's many fans and have them reaching for Edith Hamilton's Mythology. [See Prepub Alert, 10/22/17; "Editors' Spring Picks," LJ 2/1/17.]-Wilda Williams, Library Journal © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780316556347 In her stirring follow-up to the Orange Prize-winning The Song of Achilles (2011), Miller beautifully voices the experiences of the legendary sorceress Circe. The misfit daughter of the Greek sun god, Helios, her powers are weak and her speech too much like a mortal's. But her unexpected talents in witchcraft prove threatening to the Titans' realm, leading to her banishment to the remote island of Aiaia. There she resides, carefully perfecting her herb lore, until her solitude is disrupted by visitors both human and divine. With poetic eloquence (the days moved slowly, dropping like petals from a blown rose) and fine dramatic pacing, Miller smoothly knits together the classic stories of the Minotaur, the monster Scylla, the witch Medea (Circe's niece), events from Homer's Odyssey, and more, all reimagined from a strong-minded woman's viewpoint. Circe's potential rival, Odysseus' wife, Penelope, is another memorable character, and the novel speaks to women's agency, war's traumatic aftermath, and how strength emerges from emotional growth. This immersive blend of literary fiction and mythological fantasy demonstrates that the Greek myths are still very relevant today.--Johnson, Sarah Copyright 2018 Booklist
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780316556347 Miller follows her impressive debut (The Song of Achilles) with a spirited novel about Circe's evolution from insignificant nymph to formidable witch best known for turning Odysseus's sailors into swine. Her narrative begins with a description of growing up the awkward daughter of Helios, the sun god. She does not discover her gift for pharmakeia (the art of using herbs and spells) until she transforms her first love, a poor fisherman, into a god. When he rejects her in favor of vain Scylla, Circe turns Scylla into a sea monster. Now considered dangerous, Circe is exiled to an island, where she experiments with local flora and fauna. After returning from a visit to Crete to help her sister give birth to the Minotaur, Circe is joined on the island by errant nymphs sentenced to do their penance in her service. By the time Odysseus's ship arrives, winding its way home from the Trojan War, Circe reigns over a prosperous household. Welcome guests enjoy her hospitality; unwelcome guests are turned into wild pigs. Neither the goddess Athena nor the deadliest poison known to man makes Circe flinch. Weaving together Homer's tale with other sources, Miller crafts a classic story of female empowerment. She paints an uncompromising portrait of a superheroine who learns to wield divine power while coming to understand what it means to be mortal. Agent: Julie Barer, the Book Group. (Apr.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
School Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780316556347 Circe, daughter of the sun god Helios, mightiest of the Titans, was a peculiar child who had few of the gifts the demigods enjoyed, and she was despised by her parents and numerous sisters for her deficits. What she lacked in godlike ability, though, she compensated for with a gift for herbology and witchcraft. When she is rejected by her first love, the mortal Glaucos-who pines instead for the beautiful nymph Scylla-Circe casts a spell that turns Scylla into a hideous sea creature. For her transgression, Circe is banished by Zeus to an island, where she survives alone until Odysseus, "son of Laertes, the great traveler, prince of wiles and tricks," lands upon her shores and is seduced by her. Drawing on the mythology of the classical world, Miller deftly weaves episodes of war, treachery, monsters, gods, demigods, heroes, and mortals into her second novel of the ancient world (after the Orange Prize-winning The Song of Achilles). Prometheus and Medea are among those who also make an appearance here. VERDICT This absorbing and atmospheric read will appeal to lovers of Greek mythology.-Jane Henriksen Baird, formerly at Anchorage Public Library, AK © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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#7  (Last Week: 9 • Weeks on List: 9)  
Nine Perfect Strangers
 Liane Moriarty
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#8  (Last Week: 4 • Weeks on List: 7)  
Target: Alex Cross
 James Patterson
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#9  (Last Week: - • Weeks on List: 1)  
A Delicate Touch
Book Jacket   Stuart Woods
#10  (Last Week: 12 • Weeks on List: 9)  
Dark Sacred Night
Book Jacket   Michael Connelly
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780316484800 LAPD Det. RenAce Ballard, first seen in 2017's The Late Show, makes a welcome return in this outstanding, complex police procedural. Relegated to the night shift at the Hollywood Station following a sexual harassment suit against her former lieutenant, Ballard works her cases with a quiet focus and intensity. Late one night, Ballard surprises a man looking through some old case files. It turns out to be retired LAPD detective Harry Bosch, now working cold cases for the San Fernando PD. After Bosch leaves, Ballard takes a look at the file, detailing the unsolved 2009 murder of Daisy Clayton, a 15-year-old runaway. The slain girl was the daughter of a recovering addict, who has been taken in by Bosch. Ballard is hooked, and begins working the case with Bosch. Meanwhile, Bosch's investigation into another cold case, the execution-style killing of a 52-year-old gang leader, has put the detective squarely in the sights of Varrio San Fer 13, one of the valley's most violent gangs. Bosch and Ballard, both outsiders with complicated pasts, form a perfect partnership in this high spot of Edgar-winner Connelly's long and distinguished career. Agent: Philip Spitzer, Philip G. Spitzer Literary. (Oct.) c Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780316484800 *Starred Review* Of the myriad things Connelly does superbly as a crime writer, perhaps one of the least heralded is his ability to bring characters together from different series. Many writers have attempted this gambit, but too often it winds up feeling artificial, like a mere guest-star turn. Not so with Connelly, who first brought then-LAPD detective Harry Bosch together with lawyer Mickey Haller, adding backstory and depth to both characters, and who now introduces Harry to Renée Ballard, from The Late Show (2017). Bosch is retired from the LAPD now and working cold cases for the San Fernando PD, while Ballard continues to toil on the night shift. They meet when Harry is discovered by Renée doing some surreptitious snooping in department files. Harry can't stay away from an extremely cold case involving the rape and murder of a teenage prostitute in Hollywood; Renée, intrigued by the case and with her own reasons for pursuing abusers and killers of women, teams up with Harry off the books. Meanwhile, both cops have cases on their front burners that could play havoc with their lives and careers. Connelly does what he has always done over 31 previous novels, from taking extreme care with procedural detail, showing cops digging for facts wherever they can be found, through getting inside his characters' heads and revealing a nest of ambiguity as well as dark sides ever eager to express themselves. So it happens here, as Bosch, attempting to follow his personal creed ""Everybody counts or nobody counts"" wanders into some very deep water. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: A guaranteed chart-topper again for Connelly, as the success of the Amazon Prime series Bosch heads into production for its fifth season, creating more synergy for the books, which continue as strong as ever.--Bill Ott Copyright 2018 Booklist
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780316484800 Night shift detective Renée Ballard (The Late Show) of the LAPD Hollywood Division returns from a scene early one morning to find a stranger rummaging through an office file cabinet. She soon learns that the man is retired detective Harry Bosch, and he's looking into the cold case murder of a teenage girl. After reading up on the case, Ballard approaches Bosch and offers to help. She learns that the dead girl was the daughter of a woman living in Bosch's house-a woman he met while working undercover as a pill shill (Two Kinds of Truths). Digging through field interview cards from nearly a decade before, the detectives uncover a lead. At the same time, Ballard is working a homicide and Bosch is looking into a gang killing for the San Fernando Police Department. Despite a structural formula of parallel story lines similar to other recent Bosch entries, the partnership between the detectives makes it feel fresh. Bosch's reckless instincts are tempered by Ballard's by-the-books attitude. VERDICT Mystery-suspense readers will not only enjoy this quick read but will look forward to the duo's continuing partnership. [See Prepub Alert, 4/23/18.]-Vicki Briner, Broomfield, CO © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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NONFICTION
#1  (Last Week: 1 • Weeks on List: 8)  
Becoming
 Michelle Obama
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#2  (Last Week: 3 • Weeks on List: 46)  
Educated
 Tara Westover
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780399590504 Raised on a secluded family compound in Idaho, Westover was seven before realizing the biggest difference between her family and others was not their remote home, or their Mormon religion-but that "we don't go to school." Westover helped the family maintain a minimalist existence through construction, scrapping, and midwifery, no matter how many injuries she sustained. But when the author's wounds go untreated, leaving her mother mentally compromised and herself an object of abuse, cracks in her upbringing began to appear. Westover's brother Tyler is the first to leave home for college, later encouraging her to do the same. "There's a world out there, Tara...it will look a lot different once Dad is no longer whispering his view of it in your ear." Starting her academic career at Brigham Young University, Westover continued to earn academic achievements, including a PhD in history from Cambridge University. VERDICT Explicit descriptions of abuse can make for difficult reading, but for a student who started from a point of near illiteracy, Westover's writing is lyrical and literary in style. With no real comparison memoir, this joins the small number of Mormon exposés of recent years. [See "Editors' Spring Picks," p. 29.-Ed.]-Jessica Bushore, Xenia, OH © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780399590504 To the Westovers, public education was the quickest way to put yourself on the wrong path. By the time the author, the youngest Westover, had come along, her devout Mormon parents had pulled all of their seven children out of school, preferring to teach just the essentials: a little bit of reading, a lot of scripture, and the importance of family and a hard day's work. Westover's debut memoir details how her isolated upbringing in the mountains of Idaho led to an unexpected outcome: Cambridge, Harvard, and a PhD. Though Westover's entrance into academia is remarkable, at its heart, her memoir is a family history: not just a tale of overcoming but an uncertain elegy to the life that she ultimately rejected. Westover manages both tenderness and a savage honesty that spares no one, not even herself: nowhere is this more powerful than in her relationship with her brother Shawn, her abuser and closest friend. In its keen exploration of family, history, and the narratives we create for ourselves, Educated becomes more than just a success story.--Winterroth, Amanda Copyright 2018 Booklist
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780399590504 A girl claws her way out of a claustrophobic, violent fundamentalist family into an elite academic career in this searing debut memoir. Westover recounts her upbringing with six siblings on an Idaho farm dominated by her father Gene (a pseudonym), a devout Mormon with a paranoid streak who tried to live off the grid, kept four children (including the author) out of school, refused to countenance doctors (Westover's mother, Faye, was an unlicensed midwife who sold homeopathic medicines), and stockpiled supplies and guns for the end-time. Westover was forced to work from the age of 11 in Gene's scrap and construction businesses under incredibly dangerous conditions; the grisly narrative includes lost fingers, several cases of severe brain trauma, and two horrible burns that Faye treated with herbal remedies. Thickening the dysfunction was the author's bullying brother, who physically brutalized her for wearing makeup and other immodest behaviors. When she finally escaped the toxic atmosphere of dogma, suspicion, and patriarchy to attend college and then grad school at Cambridge, her identity crisis precipitated a heartbreaking rupture. Westover's vivid prose makes this saga of the pressures of conformity and self-assertion that warp a family seem both terrifying and ordinary. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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#3  (Last Week: 2 • Weeks on List: 5)  
The Point Of It All
Book Jacket   Charles Krauthammer,
#4  (Last Week: - • Weeks on List: 8)  
The Library Book
Book Jacket   Susan Orlean
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9781476740188 New Yorker staff writer Orlean (Rin Tin Tin) doubles as an investigative reporter and an institutional historian in this sprawling account of the 1986 fire at the Los Angeles Central Public Library. On April 29, 1986, just before 11 a.m., a fire broke out in the stacks of the main branch and burned for seven hours, destroying 400,000 books and damaging hundreds of thousands more. Harry Peak, the man police believed started the fire, was arrested but never charged. Orlean's investigation into the fire-Was it arson? Why would Peak, a struggling actor and frequent patron of the library, want to burn it down?-leads her down the library's aisles of history, as she seeks out books on the flawed science of arson forensics along with titles from California serial killer Richard Ramirez's reading list to better understand the minds of psychopaths. Along the way, she introduces readers to California Public Library system staffers, among them Arin Kasparian, on the circulation desk; Kren Malone, director of the main branch; and Glen Creason, a senior librarian whose tenure spans "the fire [and] the AIDS crisis, which killed 11 librarians." Midway through, Orlean reveals her own motivation for her return to long-form journalism: her mother's dementia has made her acutely aware of how memories are doomed to be forgotten unless they're recorded. This is a persuasive reminder of the importance of libraries, whose shared spaces house historical treasures built with the common good in mind. (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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#5  (Last Week: 5 • Weeks on List: 12)  
Brief Answers To The Big Questions
 Stephen Hawking
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#6  (Last Week: 4 • Weeks on List: 13)  
Killing The Ss
 Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard
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#7  (Last Week: - • Weeks on List: 12)  
Bad Blood
Book Jacket   John Carreyrou
#8  (Last Week: 7 • Weeks on List: 16)  
Leadership
Book Jacket   Doris Kearns Goodwin
 
#9  (Last Week: 11 • Weeks on List: 12)  
The Fifth Risk
 Michael Lewis
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#10  (Last Week: 15 • Weeks on List: 79)  
Astrophysics For People In A Hurry
 Neil deGrasse Tyson
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780393609394 With several best-selling books under his belt, along with multiple service awards and honorary doctorates, Tyson has become one of the most popular science spokesmen since Carl Sagan, whose famous Cosmos miniseries Tyson rebooted for 13 episodes in 2014. In his latest work, Tyson offers a breezy but scientifically grounded overview of his primary field of expertise, astrophysics, skillfully tailored to increase lay readers' understanding of topics such as the big bang and relativity in time to better appreciate the next astronomical discovery or blockbuster science-fiction movie. Twelve bite-size, lucidly written chapters cover the fundamentals of inflation theory, gravity, dark matter, black holes, and the surprising reasons planets and suns are round. Tyson also gives star billing to some of science's most famous innovators, such as Newton and Einstein, dissecting how they developed their signature theories. A final, elegiac chapter extols the virtues of having a cosmic perspective to lighten the burdens of living. Even readers normally averse to anything to do with physics or chemistry will find Tyson's wittily delivered explanations compelling and disarmingly entertaining.--Hays, Carl Copyright 2017 Booklist
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780393609394 Author and astrophysicist Tyson (director, Hayden Planetarium, New York) has revisited, modified, consolidated, and, in some cases, updated a number of essays from his Universe column from Natural History magazine. Twelve independent chapters address topics such as the origin and development of the universe, dark matter and dark energy, and how both technology and location (spatial and temporal) influence our understanding of the cosmos. The astrophysicist's enthusiasm and sense of humor remain undiminished; few other science popularizers would think of writing, "I don't know about you, but the planet Saturn pops into my mind with every bite of a hamburger I take." Tyson is promoting this book as a quick and convenient introduction to the universe for people with scant free time, although readers will benefit from prior exposure to the physical sciences. Subject coverage overlaps unavoidably with the author's acclaimed Welcome to the Universe: An Astrophysical Tour (cowritten by J. -Richard Gott and Michael A. Strauss), but this newer title is more literary. VERDICT Those seeking pleasure reading--Tyson fans and newcomers alike-will enjoy this caper through the cosmos. [See -Prepub Alert, 11/21/16.]-Nancy R. Curtis, Univ. of Maine Lib., Orono © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
School Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780393609394 Celebrity scientist Tyson's profound intellect is matched by his charm and wit. In this slim title, he attempts to explain some of the most complex astrophysics concepts in layman's terms. Readers should be prepared for a challenging yet edifying experience from the get-go: "In the beginning.all the space and all the matter and all the energy of the known universe was contained in a volume less than one-trillionth the size of the period that ends this sentence." Tyson riffs on topics such as gravity, the speed and makeup of light, the shape of space, and dark matter, maintaining as chatty a tone as possible as he tries to make these important principles comprehensible to the uninitiated. VERDICT Likely to resonate the most with those with a scientific bent, but Tyson's pop culture appeal expands the audience somewhat.-Jamie Watson, Baltimore County Public Library © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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