Friday, August 3, 2012

Uncommon Bestsellers, #51-72

56. The Forgotten Waltz, by Anne Enright - Read the Star Tribune's take on Enright's follow up to her Man Booker Prize winning novel, The Gathering.

59. Thirty Two magazine - The twin cities' newest magazine is focused on the city, our city, as it is and as it ought to be, damnit! Its inaugural issue includes interviews with the likes of local booksellers, musicians, professional alcoholics and more. 

60. The President's Club, by Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duff - is the book the film The Skulls is based on.

62. The Power of Habit, by Charles Duhigg - There are two books this past month, and like a million overall, that I completely missed the boat on, until customers kept buying them: John Green's The Fault in Our Stars and The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business. I get the feeling this spot on NPR had something to do with the latter's sudden popularity. As far as the John Green, I get the feeling teenage girls like reading. I myself am a little worn out from all these "Why" and "How" books, currently in vogue, that simultaneously strain to elucidate and erase the mysteries of the universe while concentrating for the most part on your personal life. You know the sort I'm talking about: "Why Your Favorite Color's Green," "What You Hate about Your Friends (And You)," "How the Food You Eat Determines Who Will Run for Local Office," etc. Books that whittle away at a fantastically sharp, not necessarily elaborate, more or less reductive argument with the pop-scientifically dull edge of anecdotal "evidence." Especially when the argument, nine times out of ten, is that our minds and predilections for gang violence and corn dogs are likely not to change. But then again I just picked up The Self Illusion: How the Social Brain Creates Identity and, literally, CAN'T WAIT! So what the hell do I know. 

66. Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, by Anne Lamott - The only book from the mid-nineties on our list and the only book with nine words in its title not to tell you what your problem is.

 67. Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar, by Cheryl Strayed - While Wild continues its trek toward the top of our list, Strayed's advice column from another-other life isn't far behind. As far as I can tell, the book's title is in reference to its contents, with outrageous words of wisdom like, "Trusting yourself means living out what you already know to be true," and "Stealing clothes is easy."

70. The Chemistry of Calm, by Henry Emmons, MD - jumped from #97 and comes to us from local author and integrative psychiatrist Henry Emmons. Okay, okay... Henry Emmons, MD.

72. The Long-Shining Waters, by Danielle Sosin - Winner of the Milkweed National Fiction Prize, Duluth's own Danielle Sosin's debut novel, following her collection of short stories, Garden Primitives, is a word-of-mouth sensation, set on Lake Superior, from 1622 to the year 2000. We'll get deep inside the book next week, when Danielle Sosin sits down (on her computer) to talk lakes, in a brand new edition of Common Questions for Great Authors.

That's it...

For now! Just a few more spots to fill. What will end up on the list? An Everlasting Meal? How to Tattoo a Banana? Gosh, I'm hungry.

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