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Political Bookworm
Posted at 08:48 AM ET, 10/16/2011

BOOK WORLD Bestsellers — Oct. 16, 2011

Barreling through mid-October, only a handful of just-published titles join the bestseller lists. The buzz in nonfiction (not to mention the campaign trail) is former CEO Herman Cain, in this case, his new memoir, which lets folks know his humble background, myriad accomplishments an why he’s the best choice for the electorate. But, Herman. Really, that title?

Also hitting the list is Michael Lewis’s almost-prescient take on the American economy since the financial collapse of 2008 — he’s been the go-to guy for news organizations wanting insight into the Occupy Wall Street movement — and a primer on, well, the universe from renowned evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins. Beautifully illustrated by Dave McKean, this guide to the wonders of science is meant for readers young and old.

In lighter fare, we have a new cookbook from Ferran Adrià, proprietor-chef of the world-famous El Bulli in Spain (his first book for the home kitchen) and an amusing romp through the last several years in the life of comedienne and talk-show host Ellen Degeneres. The blurbs on the back cover sum up the book quite nicely.

As for fiction, only two new, though starkly different, novels hit the list. The first is, well, truly stark — another spin through a world gone mad (breakdwon of society, the economy, all good manners) and its impact on several groups of people, all aiming to survive. “Survivors” comes from one who is actually well-versed in the concept: John Wesley Rawles is a noted survivalist with an impressive resume to back it up.

The other is the latest novel from Alice Hoffman, in which, instead of looking toward an unsettling near-future, she jumps to the distant past and the Roman siege on hundreds of Jews holed up in fortifications at Masada in the Judean Desert. The inner workings of the besieged community, as well as the tragedy that was to come, are told through the stories of four unique women, whose lives intersect while working as dovekeepers in the the encampments.



BOOK WORLD

Bestsellers — October 16, 2011

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



NONFICTION HARDCOVER

1. KILLING LINCOLN: THE SHOCKING ASSASSINATION THAT CHANGED AMERICA FOREVER

(Henry Holt, $28). By Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard (2)

2. THIS IS HERMAN CAIN! MY JOURNEY TO THE WHITE HOUSE (Threshold, $25)

By Herman Cain. The somewhat presumptively-titled memoir by the CEO-turned-presidential candidate. (1)
Possible 2012 presidential hopeful Republican businessman Herman Cain speaks during a dinner sponsored by Americans for Prosperity, Friday, April 29, 2011 in Manchester , N.H. (AP Photo/Jim Cole) (Jim Cole - AP)

3. BOOMERANG: TRAVELS IN THE NEW THIRD WORLD

(Norton, $25.95)

By Michael Lewis. The 2008 financial collapse and its aftermath. (1)


4. THE FAMILY MEAL: HOME COOKING WITH FERRAN ADRIA

(Phaidon, $29.95). By Ferran Adrià. Culinary insight from the renowned chef of Spain’s El Bulli restaurant. (1)

5. JACQUELINE KENNEDY: HISTORIC CONVERSATIONS ON LIFE WITH JOHN F. KENNEDY

(Hyperion, $60). Foreword by Caroline Kennedy. Tapes unsealed after almost 50 years. (4)

6. THE MAGIC OF REALITY: HOW WE KNOW WHAT’S REALLY TRUE

(Free Press, $29.99). By Richard Dawkins; illustrated by Dave McKean (1)

7. SERIOUSLY ... I’M KIDDING (Grand Central, $26.99)

By Ellen DeGeneres. Self-reflection and observations from the comedian-turned-actress-turned-talk show host. (1)

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

(Random House, $27). By Laura Hillenbrand (47)

9. THAT USED TO BE US: HOW AMERICA FELL BEHIND IN THE WORLD IT INVENTED AND HOW WE CAN COME BACK

(FSG, $28). By Thomas L. Friedman & Michael Mandelbaum (5)

10. CONFIDENCE MEN: WALL STREET, WASHINGTON, AND THE EDUCATION OF A PRESIDENT

(Harper, $29.99). By Ron Suskind (3)



FICTION HARDCOVER

1. THE AFFAIR (Delacorte, $28)

By Lee Child. A flashback to Jack Reacher’s past and a case of murder, coverup and conspiracy involving a well-connected soldier. (2)

2. SHOCK WAVE (Putnam, $27.95)

By John Sandford. Bombings beset a big-box chain’s efforts to build in a rural Minnesota town in this Virgil Flowers caper. (1)

3. NIGHTWOODS (Random House, $26)

By Charles Frazier. A woman’s tranquil Appalachian life is shattered when she takes in her murdered sister’s twins. (2)

4. LETHAL (Grand Central, $26.99)

By Sandra Brown. A woman and her daughter find themselves on the lam with an accused killer whose startling claims reveal a deep conspiracy. (3)

5. SURVIVORS (Atria, $24)

By James Wesley, Rawles. A tale of the breakneck collapse of civilization, written by an expert survivalist. (1)

6. THE NIGHT CIRCUS (Doubleday, $26.95)

By Erin Morgenstern. The exotic Le Cirque des Rêves is the stage for a duel between rival magicians — who are also deeply in love. (4)

7. 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.” (13)

8. 1225 CHRISTMAS TREE LANE

(Mira, $16.95). By Debbie Macomber. A new Cedar Cove holiday tale chock full of romance — and puppies. (2)


(Scribner)

9. THE DOVEKEEPERS (Scribner, $27.99)

By Alice Hoffman. An intimate tale of four women whose lives intersect amid the Roman siege of Masada in 70 C.E. (1)

10. LIONHEART (Marian Wood, $28.95)

By Sharon Kay Penman. A sweeping tale of the four surviving sons of Henry Plantagenet and Eleanor of Aquitaine. (1)





NONFICTION PAPERBACK

1. ADVENT: A CALENDAR OF DEVOTIONS 2011

(Abingdon, $0.75). By Robert V. Dodd. Preparing for the season. (1)

2. STUDY STRATEGIES MADE EASY: A PRACTICAL PLAN FOR SCHOOL SUCCESS

(Specialty, $18.95). By Leslie Davis and Sandi Sirotowitz with Harvey C. Parker (1)

3. 100 HEARTBEATS: THE RACE TO SAVE THE EARTH’S MOST ENDANGERED SPECIES

(Rodale, $15.99). By Jeff Corwin (1)

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

(Thomas Nelson, $16.99). By Todd Burpo (39)

5. ONCE A WARRIOR ALWAYS A WARRIOR: NAVIGATING THE TRANSITION FROM COMBAT TO HOME

(GPP Life, $18.95). By Charles W. Hoge (1)

6. ACTIVITIES THAT TEACH: 60 HANDS-ON ACTIVITIES ...

(Red Rock, $15.95). By Tom Jackson. Children learning values while engaged. (1)

7. GUIDE FOR PARTICIPANTS IN PEACE, STABILITY, AND RELIEF OPERATIONS

(United States Institute of Peace, $17.50). By Robert M. Perito (2)

8. 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. (31)

9. THE OFFICIAL SAT STUDY GUIDE

(College Board, $21.99). This revised manual offers 10 practice tests and loads of tips. (88)

10. TEACH LIKE A CHAMPION: 49 TECHNIQUES THAT PUT STUDENTS ON THE PATH TO COLLEGE

(Jossey-Bass, $27.95). By Doug Lemov (15)

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. (26)

2. CROSS FIRE (Vision, $9.99)

By James Patterson. Alex Cross tracks a killer in Washington taking aim at corrupt politicos. (2)

3. BAD BLOOD (Berkley, $9.99)

By John Sandford. Minnesota agent Virgil Flowers’ murder investigation exposes an appalling, multifaceted conspiracy. (2)

4. MIRACLE CURE (Signet, $9.99)

By Harlan Coben. A nefarious thriller in which unknowns attempt to derail vital AIDS research. (2)

5. THE FIFTH WITNESS (Grand Central, $14.99)

By Michael Connelly. Mickey Haller, the “Lincoln Lawyer,” gets involved in the emotional foreclosure crisis. (1)

6. THE SIXTH MAN (Grand Central, $14.99)

By David Baldacci. An alleged serial killer’s attorney is murdered before King & Maxwell can confer on the case. (5)

7. IN PURSUIT OF ELIZA CYNSTER (Avon, $7.99)

By Stephanie Laurens. The kidnapped heroine of the title is rescued by a bookish gentleman — and then the ad­ven­ture truly begins. (2)

8. THE INNER CIRCLE (Grand Central, $9.99)

By Brad Meltzer. A rare book found by chance at the National Archives is the key to a deadly conspiracy. (4)

9. CUTTING FOR STONE (Vintage, $15.95)

By Abraham Verghese. Medicine, political upheaval and the African continent woven into a sweeping saga. (47)

10. DEAD OR ALIVE (Berkley, $18)

By Tom Clancy with Grant Blackwood. Jack Ryan and his compatriots are back, taking on a cruel and powerful terrorist. (1)


Rankings reflect sales for the week ended October 9, 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  |  08:48 AM ET, 10/16/2011

 
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