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New nonfiction releases dominate Petaluma bestseller list

The top selling titles at Copperfield’s Books, in Petaluma, for the week of April 26-May 2, 2021

After one short week in the No. 2 position, Amanda Gorman’s “The Hill We Climb: An Inaugural Poem for the Country” is back at No. 1 on Petaluma’s Bestselling Fiction and Nonfiction Books List. That’s where the book has been since its debut on March 30.

While there are a few other familiar titles this week – Madeline Miller’s “The Song of Achilles” at No. 3, Yvonne Horn’s “100 Things to do in Sonoma County Before You Die” at No. 4 – the bulk of the current bestseller list is populated by brand new or new-ish titles. Most of those are nonfiction looks at everything from childhood trauma (Oprah’s “What Happened to You?” at No. 6) to the history of antitrust enforcement (Amy Kobuchar’s “Antitrust” at No. 9) to the reasons why some people swim in dangerous and challenging settings (“Why We Swim,” by swimmer Bonnie Tsui, at No. 10).

The big nonfiction newcomer, at No 2, is Anne Lamott’s inspirational self-help memoir “Dusk Night Dawn,” in which the bestselling author describes having falling in love when she didn’t expect to, and surprising everyone by getting married for the first time in her life.

Meanwhile, among the new or first-time fiction titles are Valerie Perrin’s “Fresh Water for Flowers” (No. 5), a huge hit in Italy and France last year, and dubbed Italy’s “favorite lockdown novel.” It follows a woman who takes care of a small town cemetery, and strange connection she forms with a grieving policeman who recently lost his mother. Zora Neal Hurston completists will want to check out this week’s No. 7 title, “Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick: Stories from the Harlem Renaissance,” a collection of “lost” short stories written in 1925, while she was a student in New York City.

Here are 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. ‘The Hill We Climb,’ by Amanda Gorman – With a forward by Oprah Winfrey, this “gift edition” presents the electrifying poem Gorman read during President Joe Biden’s inauguration.

2. ‘Dusk Night Dawn,’ by Anne Lamott – The renowned author’s newest book is a nonfiction examination of the challenges the author has faced (and joyfully overcome) after experiencing unexpected love and (for her first time) marriage.

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. ‘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.

5. ‘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)

6. ‘What Happened to You? Conversations on trauma, Resilience and Healing’ by Oprah Winfrey and Bruce Perry – Oprah’s new book explores how traumatic events in childhood can shape the complicated behavioral patterns that, if not understood, and negatively affect us into adulthood.

7. ‘Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick: Stories from the Harlem Renaissance,’ by Zora Neale Hurston – A collection of stories penned by the legendary writer in 1925, while the only student of color at Barnard College, gorgeously capturing the mood and motion of Black life in New York in the 20s. (AMISTAD)

8. ‘A Thousand Ships,’ by Natalie Haynes – A bestselling 2020 novel telling the indelible story of the Trojan War from the POV of the women involved. (HARPER)

9. ‘Antitrust: Taking on Monopoly Power from the Gilded Age to the Digital Age,’ by Amy Klobuchar – The brand by Amy Klobuchar tackles the issue of antitrust enforcement in America (KNOPF)

10. ‘Why We Swim,’ by Bonnie Tsui – New York Times contributor Tsui’s nonfiction examination of people across the globe who swim with sharks and piranhas, in freezing seas, and at the Olympics. (ALGONQUIN)

KIDS & YOUNG ADULTS

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

2. ‘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.

3. ‘Home Is Not a Country,’ by Safia Elhillo – A new YA novel by the acclaimed poet, exploring the inner life of a young woman caught between the two cultures she (mostly) loves.

4. ‘Wings of Fire: The Dangerous Gift,’ by Tui Sutherland – Another popular sequel, another chapter in Sutherland’s epic tale, more dragons, more fire, more fun.

5. ‘Shadow and Bone,’ by Leigh Bardugo – The original book in the popular fantasy series, in which ships sail through monster-filled clouds and a rare race of people keep light beneath their skins. The hit Netflix series is based on the series.

6. ‘Shadow and Bone: Siege and Storm,’ by Leigh Bardugo – The next in the series of books described above.

7. ‘Dog Man: Mothering Heights,’ by Mac Barnett – 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.

8. ‘The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet!’ by Carmen Agra Deedy – In a town where noise is banned by law, a loud rooster challenges the status quo. Or is that, status CROW?

9. ‘The Terrible Two,’ by Mac Barnett – When a teen prankster from the big city moves to a town most famous for its cows, he finds himself competing with another prankster, who might be even better.

10. ‘Laugh Out Loud Jokes for Kids,’ by Rob Elliot – What’s brown and sticky? A stick. If you laughed at that, this book is for you.

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

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