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Save the Date – Florida Antiquarian Book Fair March 11-13

florida

35th Florida Antiquarian Book Fair

The 35th Florida Antiquarian Book Fair is just around the corner, are you planning on going? Hosted by the Florida Antiquarian Booksellers Association, the fair will take place at the The Coliseum in beautiful downtown St. Petersburg, Florida from March 11-13. From antique maps to prints, photographs, rare books, ephemera and more, you’ll find it all at this year’s fair!

Visitors to the fair will see a wonderful selection of books from booksellers from around the world. Rare books, reading copies and much more will be on display for all to see. This year, several AbeBooks booksellers will be attending the show with some of their most interesting items. Sellers include Books Tell You Why, ABAA, Bauman Rare Books, ABAAA. Parker’s Books, Inc., FABA, ABAAAll Booked UpAllington Antiquarian Books, LLCAmericana Books, ABAACarnegie Hill BooksWhitmore Rare Books, ABAA, and many more. To see the full list of vendors attending this fair, please click here.

AbeBooks is proud to be a sponsor of this book fair. If you’re in the area this weekend be sure to stop by!

 

 

 


February’s bestselling signed books

February's bestselling signed books

1. My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout

2. Morning Star: Book III of the Red Rising Trilogy by Pierce Brown

3. The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana by Umberto Eco

4. The Drowned Detective by Neil Jordan

5. M Train by Patti Smith

6. In Other Words by Jhumpa Lahiri

7. All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders

8. The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon

9. The Widow by Fiona Barton

10. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee


Memories of reading To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

I’ve read Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird twice. I have no interest in reading Go Set a Watchman, and won’t be picking it up. My first encounter with Mockingbird came in the early 1990s when I was trying to read as many ‘classics’ as possible. Unlike Moby Dick and Heart of Darkness, I read To Kill a Mockingbird in a couple of sittings. You just can’t put that thing down and it’s tugging at your heartstrings all the way through. Joy, anger and frustration come through in equal measure.

Atticus. That character is a remarkable creation. Patient, brave, modest and wise. Even the name, Atticus Finch, is interesting. Harper Lee based the famous lawyer on her own father, Amasa Coleman Lee, who also represented black defendants. When I heard that Atticus was portrayed negatively in Go Set a Watchman my heart sank. A little bit of my reading history was spoiled.

Harper Lee in the 1960s

The whole Go Set a Watchman thing was rather sad and Lee’s publishers still look shady. Lee’s  literary legacy was already complete. She didn’t need to publish anything else. She had achieved as close to perfection as possible with To Kill a Mockingbird. The only people to benefit from this entire shambles were the publishers. Did Harper Lee, mostly blind and deaf, really know what the heck was going on?

I don’t usually reference movie adaptations when talking about books but the 1962 black and white film of To Kill a Mockingbird starring Gregory Peck is also something special. It was regularly broadcast on Saturday afternoons on BBC2 in the UK while I was growing up. Peck was the perfect Atticus Finch. In 2002, the American Film Institute named Atticus as the greatest hero of American cinema. Peck won the Academy Award for Best Actor and Lee praised his performance for capturing every aspect of Finch’s quiet but strong character.

Nelle Harper Lee was born on 28 April in 1926 in Monroeville, Alabama. She was the youngest of four children. Today, her death at the age of 89 was announced by the office of the Monroeville mayor. She was a Monroeville girl for her entire life. She won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for Mockingbird, which went on to sell more than 40 million copies worldwide. The storyline covers race, class and the loss of childhood innocence. It’s regularly acclaimed one of the 20th century’s most powerful novels. Set in a small fictional town called Maycomb in the American South, a black man called Tom Robinson is accused of rape by a white woman. The story unfolds through Finch’s six-year-old daughter Scout. If you have never read the book, then find a copy, sit down and read it. The story is still relevant today – the writing will never leave you. You will always remember it.


Ultimate Survival Stories – Man vs. Nature

Wreck-Medusa-heroFor a story to engage a reader, conflict is essential. When the conflict involves man versus nature, it is guaranteed that the tale will be engrossing, horrifying and compelling. There have been countless stories of harrowing journeys, expeditions and conquests that prove humans have a strong desire to reach the uncharted, explore the unfamiliar, conquer the unknown and ultimately survive all that is thrown at them.

This genre of survival storytelling is utterly compelling with no shortage of captivating tales. Having just recently seen The Revenant – an ultimate survival story, our love of tales of survival has been rekindled. Like many of the books mentioned below, The Revenant is a tale that shows how far a human will go to survive against the odds. Freezing temperatures, inhospitable terrain, vicious animals, starvation, unquenchable thirst – these elements found in The Revenant are all integral ingredients for a good survival story.

There are some incredible stories of survival including Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer, Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Aron Ralston, and Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing and Nathaniel Philbrick. But, have you read the story about the man whose sailboat sank in the Atlantic and spent 76 days drifting 1,800 miles in a five foot inflatable boat? Or the tale of a woman who falls 60 feet in the Sierra Mountains, breaks both of her legs but still manages to pull herself to safety? Or the classic tale of The Wreck of the Medusa where survivors of a 19th century shipwreck are forced on a makeshift raft where mayhem, mutiny and murder ensues?

Adrift

Adrift: Seventy-Six Days Lost at Sea by Steven Callahan

This is a book that I tell everyone to read, it’s that good. This survival story is about a man whose boat sinks in the middle of the Atlantic, 800 miles west of the Canary Islands with nothing but a little bit of food and water – enough to last a few days. Steven Callahan spent 76 days adrift on the Atlantic in a tiny raft and lived to tell the tale.

Alive

Alive by Piers Paul Read

In 1972, a plane goes down in the snowy, remote peaks of the Andes. Only 16 of the original passengers survive for 10 weeks in frigid temperatures with no food. This is a terrifying tale but highlights the resilience of man’s will to survive.

Red-Sky-Mourning

Red Sky in Mourning: A True Story of Love, Loss and Survival at Sea by Tami Oldham Ashcraft

Tami and her fiancé set sail from Tahiti and all is good, until they meet a monster hurricane which destroys their boat. Oh, and her fiancé is missing.

Lost-in-Jungle

Lost in the Jungle by Yossi Ghinsberg

It’s hard to say what would be more terrifying, adrift on an expansive ocean, or lost in a jungle. In this book, four travelers set out on an expedition in the Amazon rainforest but things quickly take a turn, for the worst. The group is split up and only some of them back it back.

Skeletons-Zahara

Skeletons on the Zahara: A True Story of Survival by Dean King

Man’s will to survive is tested in this account of a crew who miraculously survives a shipwreck and finds themselves in a hot and desolate desert. They are starving, severely dehydrated, desperate to be found and are then robbed and enslaved. It’s a hard read, but thrilling to the end.

Angels-Wilderness

Angels in the Wilderness by Amy Racina

A hiking trip gone wrong, terribly wrong. Amy Racina was hiking by herself in California’s Sierra mountains when she fell 60 feet and broke both her legs. Yet, she manages to survive four days and nights and is eventually found and rescued.

Island-Lost

Island of the Lost by Joan Druett

Shipwrecked on Auckland Island, a crew survives and thrives while another crew succumbs to starvation and cannibalism 20 miles away.

Lost-City-Z

The Lost City of Z by David Grann

A man dedicates his life to finding a lost city – The City of Z, buried in the depths of the inhospitable Amazon jungle. Other people have spent a lifetime searching for evidence of Z and meet disease, starvation and death in their quest to locate the city.

Frozen-in-Time

Frozen in Time: An Epic Story of Survival and a Modern Quest for Lost Heroes of World War II by Mitchell Zuckoff

A fascinating tale of survival in the harshest conditions. A US cargo plane crashes in Greenland and all survive. The plane sent to Greenland to rescue the men encounters its own problems. The men left alive are ill-equipped to survive 148 days in sub-Arctic weather – ferocious winds, freezing temperatures and white-out blizzards are just the beginning of their problems.

Wreck-Medusa

The Wreck of the Medusa by Jonathan Miles

Perhaps the most famous shipwreck of them all, The Wreck of the Medusa inspired the famous painting by Théodore Géricault, The Raft of the Medusa. After the boat sinks and the captain claims the lifeboats, the rest of the crew are left to survive on makeshift rafts – things get ugly and not everyone survives.


AbeBooks Sponsors the LA Art Book Fair

LA-Art-Fair

Guests at the LA Art Book Fair 2015

AbeBooks is pleased to be a sponsor at the LA Art Book Fair taking place this weekend (February 11-14) at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA.

Presented by Printed Matter, the LA Art Book Fair features over 250 booksellers, international presses, artists and independent publishers. Visitors to the fair will see an impressive selection of art catalogs, periodicals, monographs and zines. Several AbeBooks booksellers will be showcasing their items at the fair including Arcana: Books on the Arts, MODLITBOOKS, Derringer Books, 6 Decades Books, KARMA and 20th Century Art Archives.

AbeBooks is proud to sponsor a full day of Special Programming on Friday February 12. Sessions include Libros Mutantes (self-publishing in Spain), Showcase (a 60 minute audiovisual showcase hosted by Libros Mutates), Frieze magazine presents: Claire Evans and Martine Syms in Conversation and Billy Miller in conversation with William E. Jones.

If you’re in the LA area this weekend, be sure to visit the LA Art Book Fair.

 


He Was Right – Celebrating Einstein with Ephemera and Books

original-etching

Original etching of Albert Einstein by J.J. Muller. 1934.

In honor of today’s scientific discovery, AbeBooks has gathered a selection of unique and fascinating pieces of ephemera and books related to Albert Einstein.

So it looks like Albert Einstein knew what he was talking about. After years of searching, scientists have confirmed that they have indeed detected gravitational waves for the very first time. These waves are caused by black holes that come smashing together. Those involved with this groundbreaking research say that the colliding black holes are approximately 30 times the mass of the sun and are 1.3 billion light years from Earth. This is mind boggling and the most incredible part is that Einstein wrote about this one hundred years ago in his revolutionary theory of general relativity.

A team of more than 1,000 researchers from 15 different countries have spent years looking for gravitational waves. Using a device called the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) – basically two very large lasers that can detect incredibly small vibrations, scientists converted the wave signals into audio waves and could actually hear the black holes colliding together.

Einstein was born in Germany on March 14, 1879 and spent most of his life dedicated to physics and the philosophy of science. He was a prolific writer and throughout his career published hundreds of articles and books. Signed copies of Relativity: The Special and General Theory by Albert Einstein have sold on AbeBooks, including a $12,500 copy.

 

relativity

Relativity. The Special and the General Theory. First American Edition, signed by Einstein. 1920

letter

Handwritten letter from Albert Einstein to his son. Written in 1932, counseling his son on the meaning of life. Signed “Papa”.

photo

Photograph of Einstein – Original photo of Einstein taken during his visit to California in 1932 and 1933. Inscribed by Einstein.

doodle

Guest book signed by Einstein which includes an original ink doodle of a stick figure peering through a telescope at a sailboat on a lake with a mountain in the background

world

Signed copy of The World As I See It by Albert Einstein. First Edition, translated from German. 1949

orig-photo

Original photograph of Einstein with Ralph Lazarus, president of the Albert Einstein Foundation. 1946

soncino

Gelegentliches von Albert Einstein. 1929 FIRST EDITION of a work privately distributed to members of the Soncino Society and put together by the Soncino-Gesellschaft of the Friends of Jewish Books in honor of Einstein’s 50th birthday. Publication was limited to 800 copies.

lithograph

Original lithograph of Albert Einstein by Eugene Spiro. Spiro was a renowned portrait painter of his time.  Signed by Einstein.

postcard

Einstein postcard from Lotte Jacobi to friends in Germany. Jacobi was a German portrait, theater and art photographer who photographed Einstein.

later-years

Out of My Later Years by Albert Einstein. Signed, first edition, published in 1950. A collection of essays considering everything that interested him as a scientist, philosopher and humanitarian.


The Books of the Films of Meryl Streep

She’s an icon of modern cinema with more than 50 film roles to her credit. She has a trophy closet full of silverware, including three Oscars and eight Golden Globes. You’ve probably seen the majority of her films. We’re talking about Meryl Streep – the leading lady of Hollywood’s leading ladies.

Meryl Streep by Karina Longworth

But, as so often with movies, books have inspired many of Streep’s films. In fact, if you want an original reading list for a year of solid literature then you could do a lot worse than the books that served as the basis for her movies.

Oddly, for an actress who has appeared in so many influential films, there are not many good books about Streep herself. Perhaps only Phaidon’s Meryl Streep: Anatomy of an Actor by Karina Longworth and Ian Johnstone’s Streep: A Life in Film are worth a look.

Streep, born in New Jersey in 1949, is one of only six actors to have won three or more Academy Awards.

There are some major literary successes on this list including The French Lieutenant’s Woman, The Bridges of Madison County, The Giver, Out of Africa, Kramer vs Kramer, and Sophie’s Choice. These books also cover cooking, blogging, foxes, numerous love stories and families falling to pieces, fashion, and music.

Meryl’s Movie Bookshelf

Pentimento by Lillian Hellman

Julia (1977)

Based on Lillian Hellman’s memoir Pentimento, Julia was Streep’s first film role after she cut her teeth in theater. A chapter of Pentimento describes Hellman’s relationship with Julia, who fought against the Nazis in the years prior to World War II. The movie starred Jane Fonda, Vanessa Redgrave, Jason Robards, and Maximilian Schell with Streep in a supporting role.

The Deer Hunter (1978)

This remarkable film about the Vietnam War was based in part on an unproduced screenplay called The Man Who Came to Play by Louis Garfinkle and Quinn K. Redeker, about Las Vegas and Russian roulette. There is a novelization, by Eric Corder, of the screenplay.

Manhattan (1979)

The French Lieutenant’s Woman by John Fowles

The screenplay of this romantic comedy was written by Woody Allen and Marshall Brickman. You can find the screenplay in a book format in Four Films of Woody Allen (and Annie Hall, Interiors and Stardust Memories are the other three films).

The Seduction of Joe Tynan (1979)

The screenplay of this political drama, featuring a senator who has an affair, was written by Alan Alda, who also played the title role. A novelization by Richard Cohen exists.

Kramer vs Kramer (1979)

Adapted by Robert Benton from the novel of the same name by Avery Corman. Streep starred with Dustin Hoffman in this bitter tale of a family split in half.

The French Lieutenant’s Woman (1981)

Sophie’s Choice by William Styron

Based on the 1969 novel by John Fowles, it’s a non-traditional Victorian love affair where gentleman and naturalist Charles Smithson falls in love with Sarah Woodruff. Jeremy Irons starred alongside Streep.

Still of the Night (1982)

Not based on a book, the screenplay was written by Robert Benton and David Newman. In case you’ve forgotten, this movie was a psychological thriller co-starring Roy Scheider.

Sophie’s Choice (1982)

A National Book Award winner in 1980, William Styron’s novel concerns three people sharing a boarding house in Brooklyn – a young writer, a Jew and his lover, who is a concentration camp survivor. The catastrophic decision referenced in the novel’s title is believed to be based on actual events.

Silkwood (1983)

Plenty by David Hare

The screenplay was written by Nora Ephron and Alice Arlen. There are now several books about the life and death of activist Karen Silkwood, including The Killing of Karen Silkwood by Richard L. Rashke, and Who Killed Karen Silkwood? by Howard Kohn.

Falling in Love (1984)

Michael Cristofer wrote the screenplay. We can skip this romantic comedy co-starring Robert DeNiro, although there is a scene in the Rizzoli bookstore.

Plenty (1985)

Adapted from David Hare’s play of the same name. The story concerns an Englishwoman who struggles to recover from her experiences of fighting with the French Resistance in World War II.

Out of Africa (1985)

Ironweed by William Kennedy

Inspired by Isak Dinesen’s autobiographical book Out of Africa (Dinesen was the pseudonym of Danish author Karen Blixen) published in 1937. The book focuses on Blixen’s life in Kenya, then called British East Africa, and offers an insight into colonial life.

Heartburn (1986)

The screenplay by Nora Ephron is based on her semi-autobiographical novel of the same name, which was inspired by her marriage to Carl Bernstein and his affair with Margaret Jay. Streep starred alongside Jack Nicholson.

Ironweed (1987)

Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name by William Kennedy, who also wrote the screenplay. Again Nicolson co-stars. The story features a homeless couple and their travails during the Great Depression.

Evil Angels / A Cry in the Dark (1988)

The Live and Loves of a She-Devil by Fay Weldon

A film with two names. The screenplay by Fred Schepisi and Robert Caswell is based on John Bryson’s 1985 book, Evil Angels. The story details Australian Lindy Chamberlain, who was tried for the murder of her baby. She claimed the child was taken from a tent by a dingo.

She-Devil (1989)

A very loose adaptation of the 1983 novel The Life and Loves of a She-Devil by Fay Weldon. An ugly woman goes to great lengths to wreak revenge on her cheating husband and his pretty mistress.

Postcards from the Edge (1990)

This film was based on Carrie Fisher’s 1987 semi-autobiographical novel of the same title. Fisher, who rose to worldwide fame as Princess Leia, had a bizarre Hollywood upbringing as the daughter of screen star Debbie Reynolds.

Defending your Life (1991)

The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende

Albert Brooks wrote, directed and starred in this romantic afterlife comedy. Let’s be thankful there’s no book.

Death Becomes Her (1992)

Scripted by David Koepp and Martin Donovan. A forgettable black comedy fantasy – again no book.

The House of Spirits (1993)

Based on the 1982 novel La Casa de los Espíritus (The House of Spirits in English) by Isabel Allende. This debut novel was conceived by Allende when she heard her 100-year-old grandfather was dying. It tells the story of four generations on the Trueba family through Chile’s many social and political upheavals.

The River Wild (1994)

Screenplay by Denis O’Neill. No book. A rafting adventure in which Streep nearly drowned during filming.

The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller

The Bridges of Madison County (1995)

Based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Robert James Waller. A love story between Robert Kincaid, photographer and free spirit, and farmer’s wife Francesca Johnson. Clint Eastwood starred opposite Streep.

Before and After (1996)

Based on Before and After by Rosellen Brown. The story centers on a death in a small Massachusetts town. Liam Neeson co-starred.

Marvin’s Room (1996)

Based on the play of the same name by Scott McPherson. The tale of one family’s journey through humor, heartache, separation and self-discovery around physical and mental health.

Dancing at Lughnasa (1998)

Adapted from the Brian Friel play of the same title. Five unmarried sisters in a remote Irish village just before World War II see their isolated world fall apart. Irish angst galore.

One True Thing by Anna Quindlen

One True Thing (1998)

Adapted by Karen Croner from the novel by Anna Quindlen. The story is based on Quindlen’s real life struggle to accept the death of her mother in 1972, due to ovarian cancer. William Hurt co-starred.

Music of the Heart (1999)

Pamela Gray wrote the screenplay. It’s a dramatization of the true story of Roberta Guaspari, who co-founded the Opus 118 Harlem School of Music. There is a book about it called Music of the Heart: The Roberta Guaspari Story co-written by Warren Larkin.

A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001)

Streep has just a small part in this science fiction film. The screenplay is partially based on the 1969 short story Supertoys Last All Summer Long by Brian Aldiss, which deals with life in an age of intelligent machines.

The Hours by Michael Cunningham

The Adaptation (2002)

A comedy drama directed by Spike Jonze based on Susan Orlean’s non-fiction book The Orchid Thief, which deals with the poaching of rare flowers in South Florida.

The Hours (2002)

Based on Michael Cunningham’s 1999 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same title. The book concerns three women affected by Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway novel, including Woolf herself.

Stuck on You (2003)

Streep makes an uncredited cameo appearance. It’s a comedy (!) about cojoined twins. There’s no book.

The Manchurian Candidate (2004)

The Manchurian Candidate by Richard Condon

The film is based on Richard Condon’s 1959 novel of the same name. Denzel Washington stars. The novel is a rollicking good political thriller with brainwashing, communists and lashings of conspiracy.

Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004)

You all know Daniel Handler’s bestselling series of children’s books. The movie covers the first three books – The Bad Beginning, The Reptile Room, and The Wide Window.

Prime (2005)

A prime flop. A romantic comedy starring Uma Thurman. Streep plays a therapist. No book. We’ll move along.

A Prairie Home Companion (2006)

Directed by Robert Altman. A fictional vision of behind-the-scenes at the famous NPR show of the same name. There are all sorts of books associated with the show.

The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger

The Devil Wears Prada (2006)

Based on Lauren Weisberger’s 2003 novel of the same name. Anne Hathaway starred as the college grad terrorized by Streep’s fashion magazine editor. Was Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue, the inspiration for Streep’s character?

The Ant Bully (2006)

A computer-animated children’s adventure based on the 1999 children’s book of the same name by John Nickle.

Dark Matter (2007)

This film is loosely based on a shooting at the University of Iowa. No book.

Evening (2007)

A drama based on the 1998 novel of the same name by Susan Minot. A dying woman looks back on her confusing past.

Julie and Julia by Julie Powell

Rendition (2007)

A thriller about the CIA and their abduction practices. No book.

Lions for Lambs (2007)

A modern warfare drama film. No book. Robert Redford directed.

Mamma Mia! (2008)

“Gimme, gimme, gimme, a man after midnight. Won’t somebody help me chase the shadows away?” Meryl sings too. The film version of the smash Broadway production, which salutes the songs of ABBA.

Doubt (2008)

A drama adapted from John Patrick Shanley’s Pulitzer-winning play Doubt: A Parable. Misdeeds in a Catholic school.

Julie & Julia (2009)

Fantastic Mr Fox by Roald Dahl

A comedy drama inspired by a blog and a book. The film looks at the lives of chef Julia Child and New York blogger Julie Powell, who aspires to cook all 524 recipes from Child’s iconic cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking, a challenge that moved from the blogosphere to the printed page (Julie and Julia).

Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)

The farmers versus the foxes. Roald Dahl’s much loved children’s story was the basis for this animated film. Streep provided the voice of Mrs. Fox.

It’s Complicated (2009)

It got mixed reviews. Another rom-com where Streep is a bakery owner and single mother of three who starts a secret affair with her ex-husband. No book.

Higglety Pigglety! Or There Must be More to Life (2010)

The Homesman by Glendon Swarthout

A live-action/animated short film about the adventures of Jennie the dog. It’s based on Maurice Sendak’s 1967 children’s book.

The Iron Lady (2011)

Not based on a book but there are several notable biographies of Margaret Thatcher, including The Iron Lady by Hugo Young. Alan Clark’s Diaries describe her downfall from the inside. For the other side of the coin, try Things Can Only Get Better by John O’Farrell.

Hope Springs (2012)

Yet another romantic comedy, this time with Tommy Lee Jones. No book.

August: Osage County (2013)

A drama based on John Wells’ Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name. Julia Roberts and Ewan McGregor also star in this tale of a dysfunctional family that reunites after a disappearance. No book.

My Own Story by Emmeline Pankhurst

The Giver (2014)

Streep plays the Chief Elder in this dystopian science fiction drama based on Lois Lowry’s much loved and much studied 1993 novel set in a peaceful, ordered community that has some dark secrets.

The Homesman (2014)

A period drama set in the 1850s Midwest based in Glendon Swarthout’s novel of the same name. Streep plays the wife of a priest in this story about pioneer women on the edge of a breakdown.

Into the Woods (2014)

Inspired by Grimm’s Fairy Tales, this is a musical fantasy based on the Broadway musical of the same name.

Ricki and the Flash (2015)

A comedy drama where a wife leaves her family to become a rock star. No book.

Suffragette (2015)

An historical drama with Streep as Emmeline Pankhurst, leader of the British suffragette movement. It’s not based on a book but My Own Story by Pankhurst tells her remarkable tale of fighting for women’s rights.


January’s bestselling signed books

January's bestselling signed books

Another month has come and gone, which means it’s time to look at AbeBooks’ bestselling signed books! January’s biggest signed sellers are a mixture of brand new books (My Name is Lucy Barton), award winners (A Brief History of Seven Killings), page-turners (Rogue Lawyer) and books on the big screen (Room).

1. M Train by Patti Smith

2. My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout

3. Rogue Lawyer by John Grisham

4. Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

5. A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James

6. The Road to Little Dribbling by Bill Bryson

7. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

8. The Martian by Andy Weir

9. Room by Emma Donaghue

10. Eileen: A Novel by Moshfegh Ottessa


Amazon’s Top 10 Books: February 2016

It’s that time again when we get to see Amazon’s list of the top ten books to read this month – which books are going on your must read pile?

doubters-almanac

A Doubter’s Almanac by Ethan Canin

Spanning seven decades as it moves from California to Princeton to the Midwest to New York, A Doubter’s Almanac tells the story of a family as it explores the way ambition lives alongside destructiveness, obsession alongside torment, love alongside grief. It is a story of how the flame of genius both lights and scorches every generation it touches. Graced by stunning prose and brilliant storytelling, A Doubter’s Almanac is a surprising, suspenseful, and deeply moving novel, a major work by a writer who has been hailed as “the most mature and accomplished novelist of his generation.”

narco-nomics

Narconomics: How to Run a Drug Cartel by Tom Wainwright

This is a unique look into the huge and fascinating multi-billion dollar international drug industry. Rather than reporting it as a “war,” Wainwight looked at the drug trade as a business, with a quarter billion customers and worldwide revenues of about $300 billion a year—with similar concerns as any Fortune 500 business, such as human resources, outsourcing and corporate social responsibility.

birds-sky

All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders

Childhood friends Patricia Delfine and Laurence Armstead didn’t expect to see each other again, after parting ways under mysterious circumstances during middle school. After all, the development of magical powers and the invention of a two-second time machine could hardly fail to alarm one’s peers and families.

But now they’re both adults, living in the hipster mecca San Francisco, and the planet is falling apart around them. Laurence is an engineering genius who’s working with a group that aims to avert catastrophic breakdown through technological intervention. Patricia is a graduate of Eltisley Maze, the hidden academy for the world’s magically gifted, and works with a small band of other magicians to secretly repair the world’s every-growing ailments. Little do they realize that something bigger than either of them, something begun years ago in their youth, is determined to bring them together–to either save the world, or plunge it into a new dark ages. A deeply magical, darkly funny examination of life, love, and the apocalypse.

father-pornographer

My Father, The Pornographer: A Memoir by Chris Offutt

After inheriting 400 novels of pornography written by his father in the 1970s and ‘80s, critically acclaimed author Chris Offutt sets out to make sense of a complicated father-son relationship in this carefully observed, beautifully written memoir.

Over one long summer in his hometown, helping his mother move out of the house, Chris began to examine his deceased father’s possessions and realized he finally had an opportunity to come to grips with the mercurial man he always feared but never understood. Offutt takes us on the journey with him, showing us how only in his father’s absence could he truly make sense of the man and his legacy. This riveting, evocatively told memoir of a deeply complex father-son relationship proves again why theNew York Times Book Review said, “Offut’s obvious kin are Richard Ford, Tobias Wolff, and Ernest Hemingway.”

black-calhouns

The Black Calhouns: From Civil War to Civil Rights with One African American Family by Gail Lumet Buckley

Beginning with her great-great grandfather Moses Calhoun, a house slave who used the rare advantage of his education to become a successful businessman in post-war Atlanta, Buckley follows her family’s two branches: one that stayed in the South, and the other that settled in Brooklyn. Through the lens of her relatives’ momentous lives, Buckley examines major events throughout American history. From Atlanta during Reconstruction and the rise of Jim Crow, to New York City during the Harlem Renaissance, and then from World War II to the Civil Rights Movement, this ambitious, brilliant family witnessed and participated in the most crucial events of the 19th and 20th centuries. Combining personal and national history, The Black Calhouns is a unique and vibrant portrait of six generations during dynamic times of struggle and triumph.

walking-nile

Walking the Nile by Levison Wood

The Nile, one of the world’s great rivers, has long been an object of fascination and obsession. From Alexander the Great and Nero, to Victorian adventurers David Livingstone, John Hanning Speke, and Henry Morton Stanley, the river has seduced men and led them into wild adventures. English writer, photographer, and explorer Levison Wood is just the latest. His Walking the Nile is a captivating account of a remarkable and unparalleled Nile journey.

perfect-days

Perfect Days by Raphael Montes

Teo Avelar is a loner. He lives with his paraplegic mother and her dog in Rio de Janeiro, he doesn’t have many friends, and the only time he feels honest human emotion is in the presence of his medical school cadaver—that is, until he meets Clarice. She’s almost his exact opposite: exotic, spontaneous, unafraid to speak her mind. An aspiring screenwriter, she’s working on a screenplay called Perfect Days about three friends who go on a road trip across Brazil in search of romance. Teo is obsessed. He begins to stalk her, first following her to her university, then to her home, and when she ultimately rejects him, he kidnaps her and they embark upon their very own twisted odyssey across Brazil.

morning-star

Morning Star: Book III of the Red Rising Trilogy by Pierce Brown

Darrow would have lived in peace, but his enemies brought him war. The Gold overlords demanded his obedience, hanged his wife, and enslaved his people. But Darrow is determined to fight back. Risking everything to transform himself and breach Gold society, Darrow has battled to survive the cutthroat rivalries that breed Society’s mightiest warriors, climbed the ranks, and waited patiently to unleash the revolution that will tear the hierarchy apart from within.

forgetting-time

The Forgetting Time by Sharon Guskin

Noah wants to go home. A seemingly easy request from most four year olds. But as Noah’s single-mother, Janie, knows, nothing with Noah is ever easy. One day the pre-school office calls and says Janie needs to come in to talk about Noah, and no, not later, now – and life as she knows it stops.

For Jerome Anderson, life as he knows it has stopped. A deadly diagnosis has made him realize he is approaching the end of his life. His first thought – I’m not finished yet. Once a shining young star in academia, a graduate of Yale and Harvard, a professor of psychology, he threw it all away because of an obsession. Anderson became the laughing stock of his peers, but he didn’t care – something had to be going on beyond what anyone could see or comprehend. He spent his life searching for thatsomething else. And with Noah, he thinks he’s found it. Soon Noah, Janie and Anderson will find themselves knocking on the door of a mother whose son has been missing for eight years – and when that door opens, all of their questions will be answered.

green-island

Green Island by Shawna Yang Ryan

February 28, 1947: Trapped inside the family home amid an uprising that has rocked Taipei, Dr. Tsai delivers his youngest daughter, the unnamed narrator of Green Island, just after midnight as the city is plunged into martial law. In the following weeks, as the Chinese Nationalists act to crush the opposition, Dr. Tsai becomes one of the many thousands of people dragged away from their families and thrown into prison. His return, after more than a decade, is marked by alienation from his loved ones and paranoia among his community—conflicts that loom over the growing bond he forms with his youngest daughter. Years later, this troubled past follows her to the United States, where, as a mother and a wife, she too is forced to decide between what is right and what might save her family—the same choice she witnessed her father make many years before.

girl-red-coat

Debut Spotlight:

The Girl in the Red Coat by Kate Hamer

Newly single mom Beth has one constant, gnawing worry: that her dreamy eight-year-old daughter, Carmel, who has a tendency to wander off, will one day go missing. And then one day, it happens: On a Saturday morning thick with fog, Beth takes Carmel to a local outdoor festival, they get separated in the crowd, and Carmel is gone. Shattered, Beth sets herself on the grim and lonely mission to find her daughter, keeping on relentlessly even as the authorities tell her that Carmel may be gone for good. Carmel, meanwhile, is on a strange and harrowing journey of her own—to a totally unexpected place that requires her to live by her wits, while trying desperately to keep in her head, at all times, a vision of her mother …


CBC Canada Reads picks final contenders

2016 CBC Canada Reads Finalists

Earlier this month we shared the 2016 CBC Canada Reads long list. This week, the beloved annual battle of the books announced their five contenders and the famous Canadians that will be defending them. While most awards keep their debates behind closed doors, Canada Reads lays it all out in the open. Beginning March 21st, each panelist will defend their chosen book on live air, and each night a book will be taken out of the running until, on March 24th, there is only one book left standing.

The final five:

Actor Adam Copeland will defend Minister Without Portfolio by Michael Winter: “It’s about falling flat on your face, picking yourself up, dusting yourself off, and how you walk on.”

Olympic medalist Clara Hughes will defend The Illegal by Lawrence Hill: “It’s heavy, it’s lively, it’s playful, and it gave me hope. It brings humanity to the struggle.”

Social entrepreneur Bruce Poon Tip will defend Birdie by Tracey Lindberg: “For all of us who care about reconciliation, and frankly we all should, this book opens that path.”

Actor and screenwriter Vinay Virmani will defend The Hero’s Walk by Anita Rau Badami: “The Hero’s walk shows that while life throws challenges our way, it also gives us the gift of a second chance.”

Activist Farah Mohamed will defend Bone and Bread by Saleema Nawaz: “This is about deception. It’s about despair. But ultimately, it’s about love.”

Which book has your vote?