A Time for Reflection

Actor Matthew McConaughey has the #1 book in the country with Greenlights, which “is not a traditional memoir,” he writes in the introduction. Still, amid the “stories, insights, and philosophies,” he touches on highlights of his life and career, including his breakout dramatic role as small-town Mississippi lawyer Jake Brigance in the 1996 film version of John Grisham’s A Time to Kill. Grisham, meanwhile, debuted in the top spot last week with Brigance’s third outing, A Time for Mercy, which this week is #3 in the country. The two bestselling authors discussed McConaughey’s memoir in an online event hosted October 21 by Live Talks Los Angeles.

Feast Your Eyes on This

A pair of new books on our hardcover nonfiction list offer good accompaniment to, and antidotes for, lockdown ennui. At #8, Dessert Person is an “exceptional debut cookbook,” our starred review said, by pastry chef and Bon Appétit alum Claire Saffitz. Footnotes and troubleshooting tips complement recipes that are mostly sweet, including a blackberry caramel tart, and occasionally savory, such as a crispy mushroom galette. The review concludes that “this should become a go-to reference for any home baker,” i.e. a whole bunch of us these days.

Accidentally Wes Anderson, #13, grew out of author Wally Koval’s Instagram community (1.2 million followers), which showcases locations that, usually inadvertently, embrace the director’s aesthetic—muted pastels; winsome, symmetrical shapes; repeated patterns. “True to its inspiration,” our review said, “the collection is breathtaking, witty, and happily ambitious, a perfect diversion for film fans and globe trotters alike.”

Stone, Paper, Scissors

Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima, the design team known as MinaLima, created graphic elements seen throughout J.K. Rowling’s Potterverse—in films, at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park, and elsewhere. In the new edition of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, #3 on our children’s fiction list, nearly every page of text is accompanied by the duo’s artwork and interactive papercraft. Readers can open Harry’s Hogwarts acceptance letter, spin the hands on Dumbledore’s gold pocket watch, and let the Diagon Alley streetscape unfold, no apparating necessary.


Terry Brooks
#15 Hardcover Fiction
This “final, by-the-numbers adventure,” our review said, concludes the multivolume epic fantasy tale Brooks began with 1977’s The Sword of Shannara. “Even longtime fans will likely be happy that Brooks is moving on to a completely new imagined world.”

Don DeLillo
#19 Hardcover Fiction
“DeLillo applies his mastery of dialogue to a spare, contemplative story of a group of New Yorkers and their response to a catastrophic shutdown of the world’s computer systems,” our review said. The story “feels underpowered when compared to his novels” but “stands out among DeLillo’s short fiction.”