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Political Bookworm
Posted at 01:25 PM ET, 08/20/2011

BOOK WORLD Bestsellers — August 21, 2011

As August careens towards a quick end and the Labor Day holiday, the pace of the release of new books is quickening as the dawn of the “official” publishing season draws closer.

There’s been a lot of action on both lists of new titles this weekend ... let’s begin with the nonfiction roundup.

Hillenbrand’s “Unbroken” makes a bold move up the charts to #1 — while it’s been on the list for months and months, it’s only ever held that slot a handful of times (it’s average is #3, though perhaps “Average” is the wrong term here ... ).

A raft of titles fall off the list to make way for some (politically-minded) newcomers: Mark Steyn’s “After America,” a take on the new world order, America’s demise and what happens next, told from a somewhat skewed perspective; Gideon Rachman, chief foreign affairs editor for the FT, approaches the same subject matter from a different angle, arguing that political & economic conflicts are in danger of becoming the new normal (think the US and China), though it doesn’t have to be that way at all; and “1493” from historian Charles Mann (a sequel of sorts to his well-received “1491”) detailing the ramifications of Columbus’s “discovery” of the New World, mainly through the spread of both disease and trade that would set unsettling precedents for future European explorers.

Oh, and the wily Tina Fey hangs on to the list at #10 ...

On to fiction: a slew of new titles hit the list, from Julie Garwood, W.E.B. Griffin (the latest “Honor Bound” novel) and Lev Grossman (the sequel to the bestselling “The Magicians”). Also, several blasts from the past — the 20th anniversary edition of cult favorite Neil Gaiman’s “American Gods” (more or less how the author wishes it had been published) and the hardcover edition of Kathryn Stockett’s “The Help,” which had enjoyed strong, strong sales long before the movie adaptation was released. For those thinking of the book as a gift, the publisher plans to release a deluxe edition of the book in late October, with a satin ribbon marker, elegant endpapers, the works. Of course, it will retail for $30, but is sure to be a hit regardless.

BOOK WORLD

Bestsellers — August 21, 2011

[click on the author’s name to be linked to Book World’s review]

NONFICTION HARDCOVER

1. UNBROKEN: A WORLD WAR II STORY OF SURVIVAL, RESILIENCE, AND REDEMPTION

(Random House, $27)

By Laura Hillenbrand (39)

2. A STOLEN LIFE (Simon & Schuster, $24.99)

By Jaycee Dugard. The graphic and unsettling account of the 18 years of imprisonment and abuse. (5)

3. IN THE GARDEN OF BEASTS: LOVE, TERROR, AND AN AMERICAN FAMILY IN HITLER’S BERLIN

(Crown, $26). By Erik Larson (14)

4. AFTER AMERICA: GET READY FOR ARMAGEDDON

(Regnery, $29.95). By Mark Steyn. Predicting a haphazard, violent decline for the United States. (1)

5. THE GREATER JOURNEY: AMERICANS IN PARIS

(Simon & Schuster, $37.50). By David McCullough

The tangible influence of the City of Light. (12)

6. STRENGTHS FINDER 2.0: ... ONLINE TEST FROM GALLUP'S “NOW, DISCOVER YOUR STRENGTHS”

(Gallup, $24.95). By Tom Rath (55)

7. ZERO-SUM FUTURE: AMERICAN POWER IN AN AGE OF ANXIETY (Simon & Schuster, $27)

By Gideon Rachman. Insight from the chief foreign affairs columnist for the Financial Times. (1)

8. 1493: UNCOVERING THE NEW WORLD COLUMBUS CREATED (Knopf, $30.50)

By Charles C. Mann. The ecological and economic ramifications of “the Columbian Exchange.” (1)

9. FISH! A REMARKABLE WAY TO BOOST MORALE AND IMPROVE RESULTS (Hyperion, $19.99)

By Stephen C. Lundin, Harry Paul and John Christensen (2)

10. BOSSYPANTS (Reagan Arthur, $26.99)

By Tina Fey. An amusing memoir from the acclaimed former SNL writer, comedian and actress. (19 )

FICTION HARDCOVER

1. A DANCE WITH DRAGONS (Bantam, $35)

By George R.R. Martin. After almost six years, Martin returns to the Seven Kingdoms in this fifth book of “A Song of Ice and Fire.” (5)

2. THE IDEAL MAN (Dutton, $26.95)

By Julie Garwood. A FBI agent tasked with protecting the witness of a deadly shooting finds himself falling for her. (1)

3. VICTORY AND HONOR (Putnam, $26.95)

By W.E.B. Griffin and William E. Butterworth IV. This new “Honor Bound” tale presents a new menace — Joseph Stalin. (1)

4. THE MAGICIAN KING (Viking, $26.95)

By Lev Grossman. Two of the high kings and queens of the enchanted Fillory find themselves back in the real world in this sequel to “The Magicians.” (1)


NEIL GAIMAN in downtown Washington at the National Press Club. (MICHAEL CAVNA - Comic Riffs/ The Washington Post)

5. AMERICAN GODS (Morrow, $26.99)

By Neil Gaiman. Mythological deities square off against the “gods” of consumer culture; 10th anniversary edition updated and expanded by the author. (1)

6. FULL BLACK (Atria, $26.99)

By Brad Thor. Ultra-secret operative Scot Harvath employs a radical plan to infiltrate a terrorist network and save America. (3)

7. PORTRAIT OF A SPY (Harper, $26.99)

By Daniel Silva. Art conservator and sometime agent Gabriel Allon parries with an American-born cleric and terrorist. (4)

8. COLD VENGEANCE (Grand Central, $26.99)

By Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child. Agent Pendergast unveils a conspiracy while stalking his beloved wife’s murderers. (2)

9. STATE OF WONDER (Harper, $26.99)

By Ann Patchett. Set deep in the Amazon, this tale binds together pharmaceutical research and its tolls, both ethical and emotional. (9)


"THE HELP" 946_D_08558R In Jackson, Mississippi in 1963, (left to right) Skeeter Phelan (Emma Stone), Minnie Jackson (Octavia Spencer) and Aibileen Clark (Viola Davis) together take a risk that could have profound consequences for them all in DreamWorks Pictures' drama, "The Help", based on the New York Times best-selling novel by Kathryn Stockett. Ph: Dale Robinette ©DreamWorks II Distribution Co., LLC.  All Rights Reserved. (Dale Robinette)

10. THE HELP (Amy Einhorn, $24.95)

By Kathryn Stockett. This book-within-a-book tells the intricate stories of black maids in well-to-do households in Jackson, Miss., compiled (and published) by a young white college graduate. (83)



NONFICTION PAPERBACK

1. HEAVEN IS FOR REAL: A LITTLE BOY’S ASTOUNDING STORY OF HIS TRIP TO HEAVEN AND BACK

(Thomas Nelson, $16.99). By Todd Burpo (31)

2. THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS

(Broadway, $16). By Rebecca Skloot. How one woman’s death from cervical cancer in 1951 led to the creation of the prodigious HeLa cell line. (23)

3. THE OFFICIAL SAT STUDY GUIDE (College Board, $21.99). This revised manual offers 10 practice tests and loads of tips. (80)

4. UNLIKELY FRIENDSHIPS: 47 REMARKABLE STORIES FROM THE ANIMAL KINGDOM

(Workman, $13.95). By Jennifer S. Holland. Heartwarming tales accompanied by full color photos. (3)
HANDOUT IMAGE: A photo of a pitbull and a cat with chicks from "Unlikely Friendships" by Jennifer Holland. (Photo by Helen J. Arnold) (Contact: Maggie Gleason, maggie@workman.com; or Helen J Arnold, texasgirly1979@gmail.com) ONE TIME USE ONLY (Helen J Arnold - Helen J Arnold)

5. INTELLIGENCE: FROM SECRETS TO POLICY

(CQ, $64.95). By Mark M. Lowenthal. A broad overview of the U.S. intelligence community. (1)

6. THE NATIONAL SECURITY ENTERPRISE: NAVIGATING THE LABYRINTH

(Georgetown University, $32.95). Edited by Roger Z. George & Harvey Rishikoff. The interagency dynamics of the U.S.’s myriad security issues. (1)

7. THE CRAFT OF RESEARCH

(University of Chicago, $17). By Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb & Joseph M. Williams (1)

8. A MANUAL FOR WRITERS OF RESEARCH PAPERS, THESES AND DISSERTATIONS

(University of Chicago, $17). By Kate L. Turabian; revised by Wayne C. Booth et al. (1)

9. OUTLIERS: THE STORY OF SUCCESS (Back Bay, $16.99)

By Malcolm Gladwell. Assumptions about success challenged. (10)

10. RESEARCH DESIGN: QUALITATIVE, QUANTITATIVE, AND MIXED METHODS APPROACHES

(Sage, $69.95). By John W. Creswell (1)

FICTION PAPERBACK

1. THE HELP (Berkley, $16)

By Kathryn Stockett. A frank chronicle of the lives of several black maids working in a town in 1960s Miss. (18)

2. THE CONFESSION (Dell, $9.99)

By John Grisham. After nine years, a man confesses to a murder for which another was imprisoned. (4)


Actors Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess attend the premiere of "One Day" on Monday, August 8, 2011 in New York. (AP Photo/Peter Kramer) (Peter Kramer - AP)

3. ONE DAY (Vintage, $14.95)

By David Nicholls. Boy and girl meet, connect but don’t quite get together--told in 24-hour vignettes over 20 years; basis for the forthcoming feature film. (4)

4. SAFE HAVEN

(Grand Central, $14.99)

By Nicholas Sparks. An enigmatic young woman arrives in the small North Carolina town of Southport. (2)

5. A GAME OF THRONES (Bantam, $17; Spectra, $8.99)

By George R.R. Martin. The first book of the fantasy epic “A Song of Ice and Fire.”; also an HBO miniseries. (6)

6. A CLASH OF KINGS (Bantam, $17; Spectra, $8.99)

By George R.R. Martin. The second installment of Martin’s lushly imagined fantasy world. (7)

7. PRIVATE (Grand Central, $14.99)

By James Patterson and Maxine Paetro. An elite P.I. firm, run by a former CIA agent, tackles a murder that hits close to home. (7)

8. CUTTING FOR STONE (Vintage, $15.95)

By Abraham Verghese. Medicine, political upheaval and the African continent woven into a sweeping saga. (43)

9. WATER FOR ELEPHANTS (Algonquin, $14.95; $7.99)

By Sara Gruen. An orphan discovers love when he joins a circus during the Great Depression. (96)

10. THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO

(Vintage, $14.95; $7.99). By Stieg Larsson. First book in the late Swede’s “Millennium Trilogy.” (110)

Rankings reflect sales for the week ended August 14, 2011. The charts may not be reproduced without permission from Nielsen BookScan. Copyright 2011 by Nielsen BookScan. (The right-hand column of numbers represents weeks on this list, which premiered in Book World on Jan. 11, 2004. The bestseller lists in print alternate between hardcover and paperback; the complete list can be found online.)

By  |  01:25 PM ET, 08/20/2011

 
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