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What are we reading?

Wren Wertin

These lists reflect the top 10 bestsellers at local independent bookstores, Verbatim Booksellers in Lionshead and The Bookworm of Edwards.

Verbatim Booksellers

1.-“Seabiscuit: An American Legend,” by Laura Hillenbrand: The story of Seabiscuit, a horse with crooked legs and a pathetic tail that made racing history in 1938, thanks to the efforts of a trainer, owner, and jockey who transformed a bottom-level racehorse into a legend.

2.-“Letters from Yellowstone,” by Diane Smith: In the spring of 1898, A. E. (Alexandria) Bartram – a spirited young woman with a love for botany – is invited to join a field study in Yellowstone National Park. The study’s leader assumes she is a man, and is less than pleased to discover the truth. Once overcoming the shock of having a woman on their team, the group forms an enlightening web of relationships as they move from Mammoth Hot Springs to a camp high in the backcountry. But as they make their way collecting amid Yellowstone’s beauty the group is splintered by differing views on science, nature and economics.

3.-“Secret Life of Bees,” by Sue Monk Kidd: Lily Owens has shaped her life around one devastating, blurred, memory – the afternoon her mother was killed. Since then, her only real companion on the peach farm of her harsh, unyielding father has been a fierce-hearted black woman, Rosaleen. When Rosaleen insults three of the deepest racists in town, Lily knows it is time to spring them both free.

4. “Lakota Way: Stories and Lessons for Living,” by Joseph Marshall: A descendant of Crazy Horse adapts Lakota spiritual wisdom and traditions to modern life – using poetry, songs and folklore – to fundamental ideas about the essential 12 qualities of human character.

5.-“Tuesdays with Morrie,” by Mitch Albom: A student who has gone on to have a successful career returns to see his professor and mentor during the final days of his life.

6. “In the Deep Hearts Core” by Michael Johnston: Michael Johnston went to the Mississippi Delta as a member of the Teach For America program. At Greenville High, he confronted a racially divided world in which his students had to struggle against crippling poverty, drug addiction and gang violence. Johnston reached out to inspire his students with all the means at his disposal – from the language of the great poets, to the strategies of chess, to the vigor of athletics.

7. “Life of Pi,” by Yann Martel: Pi Patel is the son of a zoo keeper. When Pi is 16, his family emigrates from India to North America aboard a Japanese cargo ship, along with their zoo animals bound for new homes. The ship sinks. Pi finds himself alone in a lifeboat, his only companions a hyena, an orangutan, a wounded zebra, and Richard Parker, a 450-pound Bengal tiger.

8.-“Atonement,” by Ian McEwan: On a hot summer day in 1935, 13-year-old Briony Tallis witnesses a moment’s flirtation between her older sister, Cecilia, and Robbie Turner, the son of a servant and Cecilia’s childhood friend. But Briony’s incomplete grasp of adult motives – together with her precocious literary gifts – forces a situation that will change the course of their lives.

9.-“Kingdom of Fear,” by Hunter S. Thompson: Critics, admirers, fans and foes have dared not believe Hunter S. Thompson would write a true memoir. This work is blazing with incisive observations and muscular prose, the master rebel whose ideas Kurt Vonnegut called “the literary equivalent of Cubism,” has proven them wrong.

10. “Four Agreements,” by Don Miguel Ruiz: Reveals the source of self-limiting beliefs that rob people of joy and create needless suffering. Based on ancient Toltec wisdom, the Four Agreements – be impeccable with your word, don’t take anything personally, don’t make assumptions, always do your best – offer a code of conduct that can rapidly transform life.

Bookworm of Edwards

1. “Life of Pi,” by Yann Martel: Pi Patel is the son of a zoo keeper. When Pi is 16, his family emigrates from India to North America aboard a Japanese cargo ship, along with their zoo animals bound for new homes. The ship sinks. Pi finds himself alone in a lifeboat, his only companions a hyena, an orangutan, a wounded zebra, and Richard Parker, a 450-pound Bengal tiger.

2. “Secret Life of Bees,” by Sue Monk Kidd: Lily Owens has shaped her life around one devastating, blurred, memory – the afternoon her mother was killed. Since then, her only real companion on the peach farm of her harsh, unyielding father has been a fierce-hearted black woman, Rosaleen. When Rosaleen insults three of the deepest racists in town, Lily knows it is time to spring them both free.

3. “The Other Boleyn Girl,” by Philippa Gregory: The daughters of a ruthlessly ambitious family, Mary and Anne Boleyn are sent to the court of Henry VIII to attract the attention of the king, who first takes Mary as his mistress and then Anne as his wife.

4. “Atonement,” by Ian McEwan: On a hot summer day in 1935, 13-year-old Briony Tallis witnesses a moment’s flirtation between her older sister, Cecilia, and Robbie Turner, the son of a servant and Cecilia’s childhood friend. But Briony’s incomplete grasp of adult motives – together with her precocious literary gifts – forces a situation that will change the course of their lives.

5. “Seabiscuit: An American Legend,” by Laura Hillenbrand: The story of Seabiscuit, a horse with crooked legs and a pathetic tail that made racing history in 1938, thanks to the efforts of a trainer, owner, and jockey who transformed a bottom-level racehorse into a legend.

6. “Devil Wears Prada,” by Lauren Weisberger: A deliciously dishy novel about life at a glamorous fashion magazine, an empire ruled by a legendary editor whose sense of style is topped only by her sense of self-importance.

7. “Someday in a Place Out West,” by Jon Sheppard: Local photographer, Jon Sheppard, captures images of the Vail Valley and other areas around the state in an affordable and beautiful photographic coffee table book that explores the allure of the everything Western.

8. “Traveler’s Gift: Seven Decisions that Determine Personal Success,” by Andy Andrews: Comedian and motivational speaker Andrews has crafted a breezy little fantasy reminiscent of “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

9. “Miracle Life of Edgar Mint,” by Brady Udall: At the beginning of this high-spirited novel of the American West, a boy on an Apache Indian reservation in Arizona has his head run over by a mail truck. Nevertheless, the book is anything but tragic – or, at least, not purely tragic.

10. “Bel Canto,” by Ann Patchett: When terrorists seize hostages at an embassy party, an unlikely assortment of people is thrown together, including American opera star Roxanne Coss and Mr. Hosokawa, a Japanese CEO and her biggest fan.


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