The Paris Wife, by Paula McLain (Ballantine) had a nice pop onto next week's New York Times bestseller list. There were six debuts in the top 15 of fiction, including the top three--#1 is the J.D. Robb's Treachery in Death. Robb is Nora Roberts, only angrier! So much turnover always makes me think of a change in tabulation. Is this the week that ebooks were integrated into the regular list? I have no clue.
The Philosophical Breakfast Club: Four Remarkable Friends Who Changed Science and the World, by Laura J. Snyder (Broadway). And who are the friends? Why they are Charles Babbage, John Herschel, Whilliam Whewell and Richard Jones. Whewell invented the word scientist.
We the Drowned, by Carsten Jensen (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) proves there are few books that we are promoting that Jason hasn't read (he also read and recommended The Paris Wife. This novel has also won raves from Joseph O'Connor ("a novel of immense authority") and Henning Mankell ("without a doubt, one of the most exciting authors in Nordic literature today.") Yes, everything is coming up Denmark. There's a chance that Jensen will be stopping here on his American tour. Stay tuned!
The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood, by James Gleick (Pantheon) is from the author of Chaos and and Genius, and yes, it's a history of the Information Age. Gleick's previous books have been short-listed for the Pulitzer and the National Book Award. And this looks like his biggest book ever--I guess you can't write about information without having a lot of information.
Murder in Passy, by Cara Black (Soho). This popular series is its first entry under the new Random House distribution agreement. Aimee Leduc investigates the murder of the girlfriend of her godfather, Commissaire Mobier. And yes, he's the prime suspect.
Smoking Typewriters: The Sixties Underground Press and the Rise of Alternative Media in America, by John McMillan (Oxford). The underground press is responsible for the sixties! The author has won raves from Todd Gitlin and Susan Brownmiller.
The Complaints, by Ian Rankin (Reagan Arthur). Our friend John Eklund says this is the first post-Rebus book that lives up to the legendary series. He graciously offered me a recommendation, which I enthusiastically reprint:
“Like many fans of the Inspector Rebus series, I was crushed when Rankin retired him a few years back. Nothing he’s written since has engaged me as obsessively. Until now. Though Rebus himself doesn’t appear in Rankin’s latest, his spirit hovers over it. All of the familiar Rankin comfort food is here: great Edinburgh detail; believable, charmingly imperfect characters sketched out with economical precision; and a storyline that doesn’t quit. I’m not generally a mystery reader, but I love Rankin for his genius at simple storytelling. No writer I know slips the reader into the book so efficiently. And The Complaints was someplace I was really sad to leave.”
Thanks, John! I would also like folks to know that Rankin will be at Mystery One on Saturday, March 19, at 12 Noon. This is a very special event, and though I'm jealous, it's too big a deal not to talk up. Mystery One is at 2109 North Prospect Avenue (a short walk from our store in nice weather). And don't forget that if you're going to the event, proper etiquette is to buy the book from the host store. But if you aren't going, it's ok to buy it from us.