New releases, short titles appeal to local readers this week

The top selling titles at Copperfield’s Books, in Petaluma, for the week of Oct. 4-Oct. 10, 2021

With just a few exceptions – Naomi Novik’s 2020 “A Deadly Education,” Isaac Asimov’s “Foundation” – Petaluma readers seem to be as taken with brand new releases as they are of books with single-word titles. Of the top 10 Fiction & Nonfiction bestsellers, eight were released in the last three weeks and six have titles made up of a just one word.

The No. 1 book this week is Amor Towles’ brand new novel “Lincoln Highway,” about a cross-country trip undertaken by a quartet of unpredictable young men. Of the half-dozen uni-titled books, the bestselling is Richard Powers’ No. 2-ranking novel Bewilderment, “ about a 9-year-old kid with problems bonding with his biologist dad over their mutual love of science.

What does this mean about the tastes and trends of local readers?

That’s a good question.

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


1. ‘Lincoln Highway,’ by Amor Towles – The new novel from the author of “A Gentleman in Moscow” is the story of four train-hopping, car-stealing boys crossing the country on a quest for a new beginning, with secrets revealed along the way, of course.

2. ‘Bewilderment,’ by Richard Powers – The bestselling author of “The Overstory” follows up his Pulitzer-winning eco-epic with an intimate novel about a biologist and his troubled 9-year-old son bonding over science and the fate of the earth after a devastating tragedy.

3. ‘A Deadly Education,’ by Naomi Novik – Yes, Novik’s 2020 fantasy novel features a less-than-safe boarding school for promising young magic users, but this one, called the Scholomance – filled with terrifying and deadly monsters and a heart-stopping graduation ritual, makes Hogwarts look like Mister Roger’s Neighborhood.

4. ‘Peril,’ by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa – The latest in a behind-the-scenes trilogy examining the beginning, middle and end of the tumultuous Trump presidency, “Peril” not only details the how very close we came to a successful dictatorial dissolution of American democracy, it makes the case that that danger is far from over.

5. ‘Taste,’ by Stanley Tucci – Brand new from the Oscar-nominated actor and you-tube cocktail-making sensation, this delightful memoir tells the story of the iconic artists’ life through his relationship with food.

6. ‘Storyteller,’ by Dave Grohl – A characteristically quirky and honest memoir from Nirvana musician Dave Grohl.

7. ‘Cloud Cuckoo Land,’ by Anthony Doerr – An ancient Greek manuscript inspires and incites over the course of thousands of years, from ancient cities to future space ships.

8. ‘Crossroads,’ by Jonathan Franzen – The Pulitzer-winning author, and notoriously sneering critic of any author who is not him, releases his latest attempt to prove how indispensable he is. This one is set in the 1970s.

9. ‘Foundation,’ by Isaac Asimov – Except for possibly “I, Robot,” this is the one the master of science-fiction will be remembered for, a sprawling tale of the future told through the mirror of politics and power.

10. ‘Tongue of a Crow,’ by Peter Coyote – He’s an actor, an activist, arguably the greatest narrator of documentaries ever and now he’s a poet. Actually, Peter Coyote has been writing poems his whole life, only now we get to read them in this first years-spanning collection.


1. ‘Countdown to Halloween!’ by Charles Schulz – A brand new collection of Halloween stories inspired by the comic strip characters of the creator of “Peanuts.”

2. ‘Where Do Diggers Trick-or-Treat?’ by Brianna Caplan Sayres – Trucks like candy, too. Here’s how they get it.

3. ‘Hardly Haunted,’ by Jessie Sima – The bestselling author-illustrator of “Not Quite Narwhal” delivers a delightful tale of a very old house that desperately wants to be a home to a real live family. You can’t always get what you want, but you can still end up happy.

4. ‘Wild Robot,’ by Peter Brown – A prequel to the sequel of the author’s science-fiction YA adventure about a lost robot who learns to live among wild animals.

5. ‘Pony,’ by RJ Palacio – Fron the author of “Wonder,” a new YA novel about a boy, a pony and an ghost on a quest to save someone’s father.

6. ‘Berenstain Bears’ Big Halloween Party,’ by Mike Berenstain – however you spell it, this family of bears continues to delight, and Halloween is a great time for that.

7. ‘Rubylicious,’ by Victoria Kann – From the author of “Pinkalicious” comes a whole new color.

8. ‘Magic Tree House: Dinosaurs Before Dark,’ by Mary Pope Osborne – There’s a treehouse and some dinosaurs. And it’s dark.

9. ‘Dia de los Muertos,’ by Hannah Eliot – Part two of the “Celebrate the World” series, this charming board book takes a look at the annual fall holiday.

10. ‘The Mysterious Benedict Society,’ by Trenton Stewart – The Disney+ series has made viewers curious about the books on which (not “off of which,” by the way) the show is based.

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

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