'I Alone Can Fix It’ becomes Petaluma’s No. 1 bestseller

New book about Trump’s final year includes meticulous re-creations of key 2020 events.|

The top-selling titles at Copperfield’s Books, in Petaluma, for the week of July 12-18, 2021

Summer may be coming to an end a little sooner this year, as indicated by an even split between fiction and nonfiction in this week’s top 10 list of bestselling books in Petaluma. Compared to last year at this time, when many businesses were still closed and readers were grappling with real-life horrors by snapping up books about politics and race, the summer of 2021 has given rise to a number of flat-out seasonal beach-reads, the kind of fictional fluff and escapism that used to be the norm every year as people grabbed a book to take with them on vacation. Since some people actually did take a holiday this year, it’s no surprise that movie novelizations like Quentin Tarantini’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” (No. 2 this week), and fantasies like Madeline Miller’s Trojan War epic “The Song of Achilles (No. 3) remain strong on Copperfield’s Books’ Fiction and Nonfiction list.

But our No. 1 book this week is “I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump’s Catastrophic Final Year,” the deeply unsettling new political expose by the Washington Post’s Pulitzer-winning Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker, who brought us “A Very Stable Genius,” another disturbing look at the Trump White House.

Released last week, the book includes interviews with dozens of administration staff, and even a reported two-and-a-half hour conversation with Donald Trump himself. Among the most gripping and fascinating portions of “I Alone Can Fix It” are the detailed reconstructions of certain key moments in what is now established American history: Trump’s infamous PR walk through a pepper-spray-scented Lafayette Square, alongside Gen Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who is quoted at length in the book. The events of election night 2020 - with a desperate Rudy Giulianni openly encouraging Trump to claim he’d won even after the polls proved he’d lost. And most chillingly, the day Trump’s gathered supporters attempted to interrupt and possibly overthrow the American political system by violently occupying and vandalizing the U.S. Capitol, all because they believed their leader had asked them “fight like hell” to do just that.

Though as transfixing as any summertime thriller, the instant popularity of this real-life drama indicates that for many local readers, as COVID-19 infections rise again and leaders in Washington struggle to pass important pandemic infrastructure legislation, our brief-but-welcome break may be over, and perhaps it’s time to return to the real world again.

Here is the complete Top 10 Books on Copperfield’s Fiction and Nonfiction list, along with the full Kids and Young Adults list.

FICTION & NON-FICTION

1. ‘I Alone Can Fix It,’ by Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker – Subtitled “Donald J. Trump’s Catastrophic Final Year,” the new political expose from the team that bright us “A Very Stable Genius: Donald J. Trumps Testing of America” is even scarier.

2. ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,’ by Quentin Tarantino – It turns out, the writer-director of the controversial homage to Hollywood had a lot more to say about fading fictional Western star and flame-thrower aficionado Rick Dalton. This is his expansive novelization of the movie, including a whole chapter told from the perspective of Manson follower Squeaky Fromme.

3. ‘The Song of Achilles,’ by Madeline Miller – The 2012 debut novel from the author of “Circe,” this mythological deep-dive explores the iconic love affair between Greek warriors Achilles and Patroclus.

4. ‘Fresh Water for Flowers,’ by Valerie Perrin – Reportedly dubbed Italy’s favorite “lockdown novel” last year, Perrin’s intimate novel follows the caretaker of a small town cemetery, as she finds her predictable life gradually shifting after forming a mysterious bond with a grieving police officer. (EUROPA EDITIONS)

5. ‘Chosen and the Beautiful,’ by Nghi Vo – An inventive re-telling of “The Great Gatsby” from the point of view of mysterious secondary character Jordan Baker: professional golfer, troublemaker, and free spirit who, in this version, was adopted from Vietnam, and is not wholly unfamiliar with magic.

6. ‘Anxious People,’ by Fredrick Backman – A comedy-drama about a group of random strangers, including an actor dressed as rabbit, who are held hostage by an inept bank robber during an open house of a high-rise apartment.

7. ‘100 Things to Do in Sonoma County Before You Die,’ by Yvonne Horn – Santa Rosa travel writer Horn spent the better part of 2020 writing this entertaining look at some of the best places and activities in Sonoma County. Santa Rosa travel writer Horn spent the better part of 2020 writing this entertaining look at some of the best places and activities in Sonoma County.

8. ‘The Body: A Guide for Occupants,’ by Bill Bryson – A light-hearted, deep-searching look at the human machine and why it does so many impressive and surprising (and sometimes terrible) things.

9. ‘The People We Meet on Vacation,’ by Emily Henry – A classic romantic beach read about two best friends (and maybe more, but probably not), who get together every year for a fabulous vacation, but had a falling out, and now are trying it again. With complications.

10. ‘Trejo,’ by Danny Trejo – A riveting memoir of the author’s stunning self-powered reinvention from heroin addict and convicted criminal to Hollywood celebrity, entrepreneur, philanthropist, husband and father.

KIDS & YOUNG ADULTS

1. ‘Dragon Masters: Wave of the Sea Dragon,’ by Tracy West – In the latest installment in the popular series, three friends seek the help of a powerful sea dragon.

2. ‘Dog Man: Mothering Heights,’ by Dav Pilkey – In the 10th book in the series by the creator of Captain Underpants, canine cop Dog Man teams up with Petey the Cat and a stray kitten to stop an onslaught of villains and prove the persistent power of love, kindness and dog-slobbering.

3. ‘They Both Die at the End,’ by Adam Silveira – An inventive YA novel about a future in which Deckers (people who have just one day left to live) are informed of their impending deaths by the ominous Death-Cast corporation, after which lonesome Deckers are paired up for their final day through the smart phone app Last Friend.

4. ‘Rowley Jefferson’s Awesome Friendly Spooky Stories,’ by Jeff Kinney – The “Wimpy Kid” sidekick shares scary tales that are actually hilarious.

5. ‘Mac B., Kid Spy: Mac Undercover,’ by Mac Barnett – In the latest adventure about the Queen of England’s favorite juvenile spy, the Berlin Wall, a floppy disc, and secret codes are part of the fun.

6. ‘Margaret’s Unicorn,’ by Briony May Smith – A lonely girl befriends a lost baby unicorn in this delightful picture book.

7. ‘Where's Waldo? The Fantastic Journey,’ by Martin Handford – Yep, Waldo’s still hiding in plain sight. But he’s still technically findable after these years.

8. ‘Shadow and Bone: Siege and Storm,’ by Leigh Bardugo – Part two in the bestselling Grishaverse series.

9. ‘One of Us Is Lying,’ by Karen McManus – Five students are sentenced to detention. One of them dies. Who did it?

10. ‘Smarty Marty Steps up Her Game,’ by Amy Gutierrez – Part of the delightful series by the Giants’ former on-air reporter (and Petaluma resident) Amy G.

Data compiled by Amber-Rose Reed, Manager of Copperfield’s Books.

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