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What are we reading?

Daily Staff Report

These lists represent the top 10 bestsellers at local independent bookstores Verbatim Booksellers in Vail Village and The Bookworm of Edwards.

The Bookworm of Edwards

1. “Solace of Leaving Early,” by Haven Kimmel: This book is currently the Valley Read choice, a county-wide virtual book club. Langston Braverman has returned to her Indiana hometown after walking out on an academic career. Amos Townsend is trying to minister to a congregation that would prefer simple affirmations to his esoteric theology. What brings them together is a pair of wounded little girls named Immaculata and Epiphany. Their need for love is so urgent that neither Langston nor Amos can resist it – though they will do their damnedest to resist each other.



2. “Da Vinci Code,” by Dan Brown: When a curator of the Louvre turns up murdered, his body surrounded by enigmatic ciphers written in invisible ink, code-breaker Robert Langdon and a French cryptologist are called in to unravel the clues to the killing. They discover the riddles are linked to the works of da Vinci and to a clandestine sect within the Catholic Church.

3. “Middlesex,” by Jeffrey Eugenides: Spanning eight decades, Eugenides’ long-awaited second novel is a grand, utterly original fable of crossed bloodlines, the intricacies of gender, and the deep, untidy promptings of desire.



4. “The Five People You Meet in Heaven,” by Mitch Albom: From the author of “Tuesdays with Morrie” comes a novel that explores the unexpected connections of readers’ lives and the idea that heaven is more than a place – it’s an answer.

5. “Time Traveler’s Wife,” by Audrey Niffenegger: A love story about a man caught by the whims of time and the woman who must wait for his return.

6. “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.



7. “Piano Tuner,” by Daniel Mason: In 1866, British piano Edgar Drake receives a strange request from the British War Office: he must leave his wife and his quiet life in London to travel to the jungles of Burma, where a rare Erard grand piano is in need of repair. The piano belongs to an army surgeon-major whose unorthodox peace-keeping methods – poetry, music, and learning shared with local warring princes – have brought a tentative quiet to the southern Shan States but have elicited questions from his superiors about his loyalty.

8. “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.

9. “Last Ridge: The Epic Story of the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division and the Assault On Hitler’s Europe,” by McKay Jenkins: Written with warmth, energy and honesty. This is one of the most captivating stories of World War II, a blend of “Band of Brothers” and “Into Thin Air.” It is a story of young men asked to do the impossible – and succeeding.

10. “Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West,” by Gregory Maguire: An astonishingly rich re-creation of the land of Oz, this book retells the story of Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, who wasn’t so wicked after all.

Verbatim Booksellers in Vail Village

1. “Da Vinci Code,” by Dan Brown: When a curator of the Louvre turns up murdered, his body surrounded by enigmatic ciphers written in invisible ink, code-breaker Robert Langdon and a French cryptologist are called in to unravel the clues to the killing. They discover the riddles are linked to the works of da Vinci and to a clandestine sect within the Catholic Church.

2. “Solace of Leaving Early,” by Haven Kimmel: This book is currently the Valley Read choice, a county-wide virtual book club. Langston Braverman has returned to her Indiana hometown after walking out on an academic career. Amos Townsend is trying to minister to a congregation that would prefer simple affirmations to his esoteric theology. What brings them together is a pair of wounded little girls named Immaculata and Epiphany. Their need for love is so urgent that neither Langston nor Amos can resist it – though they will do their damnedest to resist each other.

3. “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.

4. “The Power of One,” by Bryce Courtenay: Peekay, a weak and friendless boy growing up in South Africa during World War II, turns to two older men, one black and one white, to show him how to find the courage to dream and succeed in a world when all seems lost. They inspire him to summon up the most irresistible force of all: the Power of One.

5. “Small Wonder,” by Barbara Kingsolver: Whether worrying about the dangers of genetically engineered food crops, or creating opportunities for children to feel useful and competent – like growing food for the family’s table – Kingsolver looks for small wonders where they grow, and celebrates them. This is a work that urges us to remain hopeful in a difficult time.

6. “Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West,” by Gregory Maguire: An astonishingly rich re-creation of the land of Oz, this book retells the story of Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, who wasn’t so wicked after all.

7. Confessions of a Shopaholic,” by Sophie Kinsella: With her shopping excesses (somewhat) in check and her career as a TV financial guru thriving, Becky’s biggest problem seems to be tearing her entrepreneur boyfriend, Luke, away from work for a romantic country weekend. And worse, figuring out how to “pack light.” But packing takes on a whole new meaning when Luke announces he’s moving to New York for business – and he asks Becky to go with him.

8. “Under the Banner of Heaven,” by Jon Krakauer: Krakauer tells the story of the killers and their crime but also explores the shadowy world of Mormon fundamentalism from which the two emerged. The Mormon Church was founded, in part, on the idea that true believers could speak directly with God. But, while the mainstream church attempted to be more palatable to the general public by rejecting the controversial tenet of polygamy, fundamentalist, splinter groups saw this as apostasy and took to the hills to live what they believed to be a righteous life.

9. “Under the Tuscan Sun,” by Frances Mayes: Frances Mayes entered a new world when she began restoring an abandoned villa in the Tuscan countryside. There were unexpected treasures at every turn: faded frescos beneath the whitewash in her dining room, a vineyard under wildly overgrown brambles in the garden, and, in the nearby hill towns, vibrant markets and delightful people.

10. “South Beach Diet: The Delicious, Doctor-Designed, Foolproof Plan for Fast and Healthy Weight Loss,” by Arthur Agatston: Dr. Agatston says he has developed an all-science, heart-healthy program that offers immediate results, helping dieters shed pounds while changing their blood chemistry, reversing diabetes, and lowering high cholesterol.


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