Cuckoo for ‘Cuckoo’

Anthony Doerr has had quite the start to October. Cloud Cuckoo Land, the author’s first novel since 2014’s All the Light We Cannot See won him the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, was named a National Book Award for Fiction finalist on October 5. And even if Doerr doesn’t nab the big prize on November 17, the book will clearly sell well, seeing as it charted at #3 overall and #2 on the fiction list in its first week. Our starred review called the boundary-busting work of speculative fiction “a marvel,” noting that Doerr “seamlessly shuffles” the book’s multiple narratives “in vignettes that keep the action in full flow and the reader turning the pages.”

Born to Write

Fans of The Sopranos disappointed by its prequel movie, The Many Saints of Newark, which came out earlier this month, take heart: a memoir by Stevie van Zandt, the guitarist in Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band who played Silvio Dante on America’s favorite existentialist mafia TV series, has arrived. “Music and pop culture fans alike will relish this gonzo debut,” which “stands head and shoulders above the many celebrity memoirs out there,” our review said, and the proof is in bestseller lists: Unrequited Infatuations is #7 in the country in nonfiction.

How the Sausage Gets Made

Bourdain: The Definitive Oral Biography, an account of superstar chef and author Anthony Bourdain’s extraordinary yet complicated life by Laurie Woolever, his longtime assistant and coauthor, hit the nonfiction list at #13 in its first week. In comparison, her last title, co-written with Bourdain himself, World Travel: An Irreverent Guide, hit #1 overall in its first week back in April. Our review called Woolever’s latest “a revealing account of the making of a celebrity,” though it found the book unable to “unearth Bourdain’s inner demons.”


Nicholas Sparks
#1 Hardcover Fiction, #1 overall
Perennial bestseller Sparks returns with a story its author calls “a novel about the enduring legacy of first love—and the decisions that haunt us forever.”

Tabitha Brown
#2 in Hardcover Nonfiction, #4 overall
In her debut book, actor and social media personality Brown shares, per her publisher, “the wisdom she gained from her own journey, showing readers how to make a life for themselves that is rooted in nonjudgmental kindness and love.”