‘Pearls’ cartoonist lands bestsellers on both adults and kids lists
The top selling titles at Copperfield’s Books, in Petaluma, for the week of Aug. 30-Sept. 5, 2021
In a rare feat of cross-audience literary popularity, cartoonist and author Stephan Pastis (“Pearls Before Swine”) has the No. 1 book on both Petaluma’s Fiction & Nonfiction Bestsellers list and the Kids and Young Adults Bestsellers list. The accomplishment comes in the wake of last Friday’s in-store event (the first time Copperfield’s has had an author in for a meet-and-greet/book signing since March of 2020), when Pastis was present to discuss his new graphic novel for kids, “Trubble Town: Squirrel Do Bad.”
It’s the first in what Pastis hopes to be a series of adventures set in Trubble Town, where the characters are over-the-top and so is the storytelling.
At the same time that kids were snapping up copies of the new book, older readers were apparently grabbing copies of 2020’s “Pearls Goes Hollywood,” a collection of comics from Pastis’ popular newspaper comic strip, many focusing on dreams of Hollywood stardom. The book includes and hilarious and deeply evocative essay on his own attempts at writing a screenplay for the big Hollywood Dream Machine.
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.‘Pearls Goes Hollywood,’ by Stephan Pastis – A collection of comic strip from the “Pearls Before Swine” universe, many focusing on movie-making dreams and failures. An essay by the author on his own attempts at screenwriting is included.
2.‘Madness of Crowds,’ by Louise Penny – Chief Inspector Gamache, of Quebec (who will be played by Alfred Molina in a recently announced by Amazon), is back in another murder mystery, this one posing philosophical questions that, for Gamache and the divisive media figure he agrees to provide security for, become increasingly personal.
3.‘Braiding Sweetgrass,’ by Robin Kimmerer – A rich and lyrical nonfiction exploration of indigenous wisdom and the scientific look at what plants are able to teach us.
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.
5.‘Circe,’ by Madeline Miller - The notorious animal-transforming sorceress from “The Odyssey” tells her own story, and guess what? It’s not the same story told by the piggish men she encountered.
6.‘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.
7.‘Finding the Mother Tree,’ by Suzanne Simard – Part scientific deep-dive, part riveting memoir, “Mother Tree,” by one of the world’s leading experts in forest ecology investigates the complex science of tree-to-tree communication.
8.‘One Last Stop,’ by Casey McQuiston – The best-selling author of “Red, White and Royal Blue” returns with a brand new novel, a love-story (of sorts) about a bisexual dreamer who falls for a stylish, time-traveling commuter from the ‘70s who’s trapped on a New York subway train, but totally open to love.
9.‘A Slow Fire Burning,’ by Paula Hawkins – The author of “The Girl on the Train” returns with another murder mystery, this one involving a young man from a family where people tend to die in suspicious ways finally killed himself while doing curious things on a houseboat. Or something.
10.‘This Is Your Mind on Plants,’ by Michael Pollan – The food-obsessed author of 2018’s ‘How to Change Your Mind’ takes a deep, story-filled dive into a trio of plant-based drugs (opium, mescaline and caffeine) and the surprisingly not-what-you’d-expected mental effects these misunderstood properties can produce.
KIDS & YOUNG ADULTS
1.‘Trubble Town: Squirrel Do Bad,’ by Stephan Pastis – Wendy the Wanderer has always lived in Trubble town, but never allowed to live up to her name until her dad leaves town on a business trip – and she suddenly has the freedom to explore her very strange home.
2.‘Amulet: Stonekeeper,’ by Kazu Kibuishi – The 2008 bestseller about two kids, hungry demons, mechanical rabbits, talking animals and a very large robot.
3.‘Good Girl's Guide to Murder,’ by Holly Jackson – As her high school’s senior project, a teenager attempts to prove the wrong person is in jail for a closed case murder in her small town, possibly drawing the attention of the real murderer.
4.‘Margaret's Unicorn,’ by Briony May Smith – A lonely girl befriends a lost baby unicorn in this delightful picture book.
5.‘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.
6.‘Hilo: Saving the Whole Wide World,’ by Judd Winick – The second in a long series of graphic novels about a kid from another world.
7.‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid,’ by Jeff Kinney – The one that started it all, a graphic novel about a kid so wimpy he inspired an industry of books and films about his hilarious wimpiness and, of course, his friends and family.
8.‘Spy School: Spy School at Sea,’ by Stuart Gibbs – In the ninth in this popular series, Ben the spy meets his nasty nemesis on the high seas.
9.‘Friends: Friends Forever,’ by Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham – The just-released third book in this series of graphic novels with “friends” in their titles, this one is about learning to love yourself, which is easier to say than to do when you are a kid.
10.‘Grumpy Monkey,’ by Suzanne Lang – The monkey is grumpy. The other animals try to change that. But sometimes, being grumpy is just what a monkey needs to be.
Data compiled by Amber-Rose Reed, Manager of Copperfield’s Books