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Bestsellers

Powells.com Top 50 books for Tuesday, September 2

Powell's Staff Picks

Bestsellers

Tuesday, September 2, 2014
California
  1. California
    by Edan Lepucki
  2. Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage
    by Haruki Murakami
  3. The wind-up Bird Chronicle
    by Haruki Murakami
  4. All about Love
    by bell hooks
  5. The Permaculture Book of Ferment and Human Nutrition
    by Bill Mollison

Staff Picks


Indiespensable

Welcome to Powell's Bestseller Room. If you're looking for a dependable recommendation, you're in the right place. Each week we stock our shelves with our customers' current favorites. And since Powell's prides itself on our cut-above-the-rest clientele, why not follow their lead?

 



#1
Special

The Bone Clocks Signed Edition
by David Mitchell

Publisher Comments
Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize An elegant conjurer of interconnected tales, a genre-bending daredevil, and master prose stylist, David Mitchell has become one of the leading literary voices of his generation. His hypnotic new novel, The Bone Clocks,... (read more)

Your price: $30.00
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#2
Literature

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
by Haruki Murakami

From Powells.com
Haruki Murakami is generally considered the greatest Japanese writer of his generation, but at times he seems more in tune with the culture of the West than of his native country. Throughout his work, the food, music, movies, and literature... (read more)

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#3
African American Studies

All About Love: New Visions
by bell hooks

Publisher Comments
"The word 'love' is most often defined as a noun, yet... we would all love to better if we used it as a verb," writes bell hooks as she comes out fighting and on fire in All About Love. Here, at her most provacative and intensely personel, the renowned... (read more)

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#4
Literature

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage
by Haruki Murakami

About the Author
Haruki Murakami was born in Kyoto in 1949 and now lives near Tokyo. He is the author of many novels as well as short stories and non-fiction. His works include Norwegian Wood, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Kafka on the Shore, After Dark, What I Talk About... (read more)

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#5
Psychology

Man's Search for Meaning
by Viktor Frankl

Publisher Comments
Viktor E. Frankl was professor of neurology and psychiatry at the University of Vienna Medical School until his death in 1997. His twenty-nine books have been translated into twenty-one languages. During World War II, he spent three years in... (read more)

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#6
Literature

If on a Winter's Night a Traveler
by Italo Calvino

Staff Pick
One of the most inventive books in recent decades, Italo Calvino's If on a Winter's Night a Traveler has a nearly animate quality (or barely inanimate quality); its succession of unwinding mysteries suggests what it might be like to find oneself in a... (read more)

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#7
Sociology

Bad Feminist
by Roxane Gay

Publisher Comments
A collection of essays spanning politics, criticism, and feminism from one of the most-watched young cultural observers of her generation, Roxane Gay. “Pink is my favorite color. I used to say my favorite color was black to be cool, but it is pink... (read more)

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#8
Featured Titles

California Signed Edition
by Edan Lepucki

Publisher Comments
"In her arresting debut novel, Edan Lepucki conjures a lush, intricate, deeply disturbing vision of the future, then masterfully exploits its dramatic possibilities." — Jennifer Egan, author of A Visit from the Goon Squad The world Cal and... (read more)

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#9
Literature

Gilead
by Marilynne Robinson

Staff Pick
This is one of the few books I have read that has made me actively slow down my reading pace. Every sentence, every word feels purely distilled into its most emotionally resonant core. Robinson's prose conjures up that curious feeling you get sometimes... (read more)

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#10
Children's

Wonder
by R. J. Palacio

Publisher Comments
I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse. August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school — until now. He's about to start 5th grade at Beecher... (read more)

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#11
Science Fiction and Fantasy

The Left Hand of Darkness
by Ursula K. Le Guin

Publisher Comments
Winner of the Hugo and Nebula Awards A groundbreaking work of science fiction, The Left Hand of Darkness tells the story of a lone human emissary to Winter, an alien world whose inhabitants can change their gender. His goal is to facilitate Winter's... (read more)

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#12
Sustainable Living

Permaculture: A Designers' Manual
by Bill Mollison

Publisher Comments
This is the definitive Permaculture design manual in print since 1988. It is the textbook and curriculum for the 72-hour Certificate course in Permaculture Design. Written for teachers, students and designers, it follows on and greatly enlarges on the... (read more)

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#13
Special

Sugar Skull Signed Edition
by Charles Burns

Your price: $23.00
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#14
Literature

Geek Love
by Katherine Dunn

Publisher Comments
Geek Love is the story of the Binewskis, a carny family whose mater- and paterfamilias set out — with the help of amphetamine, arsenic, and radioisotopes — to breed their own exhibit of human oddities. There's Arturo the Aquaboy, who has... (read more)

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#15
Sale Books

Beowulf: A New Verse Translation
by Seamus Heaney

Staff Pick
"I resignedly picked it up at last on the tail end of a history binge, telling myself, 'Okay, I'm finally going to slog through it. Just get it over with.' And I discovered all my trepidation had been for naught. This isn't an 'accessible for a scholarly... (read more)

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#16
Literature

1Q84 (Vintage International)
by Haruki Murakami

Publisher Comments
The year is 1984 and the city is Tokyo. A young woman named Aomame follows a taxi driver’s enigmatic suggestion and begins to notice puzzling discrepancies in the world around her. She has entered, she realizes, a parallel existence, which she... (read more)

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#17
Literature

We Are Not Ourselves
by Matthew Thomas

Publisher Comments
Destined to be a classic, this “powerfully moving” (Chad Harbach, The Art of Fielding), multigenerational debut novel of an Irish-American family is nothing short of a “masterwork” (Joshua Ferris, Then We Came to the End). Born in... (read more)

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#18
Literature

Never Let Me Go: A Novel
by Kazuo Ishiguro

Staff Pick
Set in a (barely?) alternate England in the late 1990s, Never Let Me Go is the sum of Kathy's memories. Kathy is one of many "donors" who have been brought into being for purposes that, while well-intended, can come to no good. Ishiguro's novel touches... (read more)

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#19
Literature

A Tale for the Time Being
by Ruth Ozeki

Publisher Comments
A brilliant, unforgettable novel from bestselling author Ruth Ozeki — shortlisted for the Booker Prize. “A time being is someone who lives in time, and that means you, and me, and every one of us who is, or was, or ever will be.” In Tokyo,... (read more)

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#20
Literature

After the Quake: Stories
by Haruki Murakami

Publisher Comments
In 1995, the physical and social landscape of Japan was transformed by two events: the Kobe earthquake, in January, which destroyed thousands of lives, and the poison-gas attacks in the Tokyo subways in March, during the morning rush hour. Following... (read more)

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#21
Literature

The Handmaid's Tale
by Margaret Atwood

Publisher Comments
Introducing a breathtakingly inventive futuristic suspense novel about one woman who rebels against everything she is told to believe. Emma wakes in a hospital, with no memory of what came before. Her husband, Declan, a powerful, seductive man, provides... (read more)

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#22
Literature

The Daughters of Mars
by Thomas Keneally

Publisher Comments
In what is perhaps “the best novel of his career” (The Spectator), the acclaimed author of Schindler’s List tells the unforgettable story of two sisters whose lives are transformed by the cataclysm of the first world war. IN 1915, Naomi... (read more)

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#23
Special

Perfidia Signed Edition
by James Ellroy

Review
“Perfidia is a brilliant, breakneck ride. Nobody except James Ellroy could pull this off. He doesn't merely write — he ignites and demolishes.” Carl... (read more)

Your price: $28.95
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#24
Gay and Lesbian

Giovanni's Room (Vintage International)
by James Baldwin

Publisher Comments
Set in the 1950s Paris of American expatriates, liaisons, and violence, a young man finds himself caught between desire and conventional morality. With a sharp, probing imagination, James Baldwin's now-classic narrative delves into the mystery of loving... (read more)

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#25
Special

The Paying Guests Signed Edition
by Sarah Waters

Review
“An exquisitely tuned exploration of class in post-Edwardian Britain — with really hot sex....Tension is high from the first paragraph....Waters is a master of pacing, and her metaphor-laced prose is a delight…until the last page, the... (read more)

Your price: $28.95
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#26
Literature

The People in the Trees
by Hanya Yanagihara

Publisher Comments
US... (read more)

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#27
Drama

The Bald Soprano and Other Plays
by Eugene Ionesco

Publisher Comments
The leading figure of absurdist theater and one of the great innovators of the modern stage, Eugène Ionesco (1909-94) did not write his first play, The Bald Soprano, until 1950. He went on to become an internationally renowned master of modern... (read more)

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#28
SF

A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire #5)
by George R. R. Martin

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#29
Literature

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena
by Anthony Marra

Staff Pick
Life during wartime Chechnya is not easy to read about, but this novel is too beautiful to be depressing, and Marra's skilled plotting pushes you forward heart-first. This is my pick for the best under-the-radar book of 2013.... (read more)

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#30
Business

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable
by Patrick M. Lencioni

Publisher Comments
After her first two weeks observing the problems at DecisionTech, Kathryn Petersen, its new CEO, had more than a few moments when she wondered if she should have taken the job. But Kathryn knew there was little chance she would have turned it down. After... (read more)

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#31
US History

Land of Promise: An Economic History of the United States
by Michael Lind

Publisher Comments
How did a weak collection of former British colonies become an industrial, financial, and military colossus? From the eighteenth to the twenty-first centuries, the American economy has been transformed by wave after wave of emerging technology: the steam... (read more)

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#32
Business

Capital in the Twenty-First Century
by Thomas Piketty

Publisher Comments
What are the grand dynamics that drive the accumulation and distribution of capital? Questions about the long-term evolution of inequality, the concentration of wealth, and the prospects for economic growth lie at the heart of political economy. But... (read more)

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#33
SF

The Adventure of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle
by Patrick Rothfuss

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#34
LIT

Infinite Jest: A Novel
by David Foster Wallace

Publisher Comments
Set in an addicts' halfway house and a tennis academy, and featuring the most endearingly screwed-up family to come along in recent fiction, Infinite Jest explores essential questions about what entertainment is and why it has come to so dominate our... (read more)

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#35
Outdoors

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail (Vintage)
by Cheryl Strayed

Staff Pick
I know this title is everywhere right now. I was very fortunate to get an advanced copy, and I immediately fell in love. Why? Well, like many, my favorite books are those that seem to have been written just for me. I deeply understood the raw ache of... (read more)

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#36
World History

Capitalism: A Ghost Story
by Arundhati Roy

Publisher Comments
From the poisoned rivers, barren wells, and clear-cut forests, to the hundreds of thousands of farmers who have committed suicide to escape punishing debt, to the hundreds of millions of people who live on less than two dollars a day, there are ghosts... (read more)

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#37
Literature

The Free (P.S.)
by Willy Vlautin

Staff Pick
In The Free, the shattered dreams of a suicidal vet, a family man without a family, and a helper unable to help collide, and what is left is... hope, humanity, and a whole lot of heart! Vlautin's latest is soulful, uplifting, and, in the end, beautiful.... (read more)

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#38
Literature

Kafka on the Shore
by Haruki Murakami

Publisher Comments
Kafka on the Shore is powered by two remarkable characters: a teenage boy, Kafka Tamura, who runs away from home either to escape a gruesome oedipal prophecy or to search for his long-missing mother and sister; and an aging simpleton called Nakata, who... (read more)

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#39
World History

Amsterdam: A History of the World's Most Liberal City (Vintage)
by Russell Shorto

Review
CHAPTER 1 A Bicycle Trip A day in Amsterdam begins with me leaving my apartment with my toddler son in my arms, strapping him into his seat between the handlebars of my bicycle, working his blocky little sneakered feet into the footpads, then setting off... (read more)

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#40
Literature

Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman (Vintage International)
by Haruki Murakami

Staff Pick
There are two kinds of people in this world: those who have never read Haruki Murakami and those who love his books with feverish devotion. Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman is a career-spanning collection of short stories guaranteed to amuse, disturb... (read more)

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#41
Science Reference

Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion
by Sam Harris

Publisher Comments
For the millions of Americans who want spirituality without religion, Sam Harrisand#8217;s new book is a guide to meditation as a rational spiritual practice informed by neuroscience and psychology.andlt;brandgt;andlt;brandgt;From multiple andlt;Iandgt... (read more)

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#42
Outdoors

Into the Wild
by Jon Krakauer

Publisher Comments
In April 1992 a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. His name was Christopher Johnson McCandless. He had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his... (read more)

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#43
Religion Western

Maus, A Survivor's Tale, Book I: My Father Bleeds History
by Art Spiegelman

Staff Pick
Two powerful, definitive chronicles of modern atrocities — the perfect books for anyone who doubts comix have grown up. The Pulitzer Prize-winning Maus is a staggering personal depiction of the Holocaust, rendered all the stronger by Spiegelman's... (read more)

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#44
Children's Young Adult

The Year of the Book
by Andrea Cheng

Publisher Comments
"Readers discover the extraordinary within the ordinary, and witness how kindness can draw trust and create confidence in a child." —School Library Journal In Chinese, peng you means "friend." In any language, Anna knows that friendship is... (read more)

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#45
Literature

The Good Lord Bird
by James McBride

Publisher Comments
Winner of the 2013 National Book Award for Fiction A Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Oprah Magazine Top 10 Book of the Year “A magnificent new novel by the best-selling author James McBride.” –cover review of The New York Times Book... (read more)

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#46
Mystery

Still Life
by Louise Penny

Publisher Comments
As the early morning mist clears on Thanksgiving Sunday, the homes of Three Pines come to life — all except one... Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sret du Qubec and his team of investigators are called in to the scene of a suspicious death in... (read more)

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#47
Sports and Fitness

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics
by Daniel James Brown

Publisher Comments
The New York Times–bestselling story about American Olympic triumph in Nazi Germany Out of the depths of the Depression comes an irresistible story about beating the odds and finding hope in the most desperate of times—the improbable, intimate... (read more)

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#48
Literature

All the Light We Cannot See
by Anthony Doerr

Publisher Comments
From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, a stunningly ambitious and beautiful novel about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II. Marie... (read more)

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#49
General

American Corrections (9TH 11 - Old Edition)
by Todd R. Clear

Publisher Comments
Explore the American corrections system from the perspective of both the corrections worker and the offender in the newest edition of AMERICAN CORRECTIONS. Comprehensive yet not overwhelming, the book covers both institutional and community sanctions in... (read more)

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#50
Drama

Salome (Dover Thrift Editions)
by Oscar Wilde

Publisher Comments
Written originally in French in 1892, Wilde's one-act tragedy Salome enacts the biblical tale of a wanton woman's erotic dance and the martyrdom of John the Baptist. This volume reprints the complete text of the first English edition (1894) with... (read more)

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