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Amazon’s Top 10 Books: August 2016

I don’t know about you, but my pile of to-be-read books is growing taller by the minute! I’m confident that at least a few of the books mentioned below will be added to the teetering tower.

The best book of the month, according to Amazon book editors is Another Brooklyn by National Book Award winner, Jacqueline Woodson.


Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson

Running into a long-ago friend sets memory from the 1970s in motion for August, transporting her to a time and a place where friendship was everything until it wasn’t. For August and her girls, sharing confidences as they ambled through neighborhood streets, Brooklyn was a place where they believed that they were beautiful, talented, brilliant part of a future that belonged to them. But beneath the hopeful veneer, there was another Brooklyn, a dangerous place where grown men reached for innocent girls in dark hallways, where ghosts haunted the night, where mothers disappeared. A world where madness was just a sunset away and fathers found hope in religion.


I’m Supposed to Protect You From All This by Nadja Spiegelman

For a long time, Nadja Spiegelman believed her mother was a fairy. More than her famous father, Maus creator Art Spiegelman, and even more than most mothers, hers—French-born New Yorker art director Françoise Mouly—exerted a force over reality that was both dazzling and daunting. As Nadja’s body changed and “began to whisper to the adults around me in a language I did not understand,” their relationship grew tense. Unwittingly, they were replaying a drama from her mother’s past, a drama Nadja sensed but had never been told. Then, after college, her mother suddenly opened up to her. Françoise recounted her turbulent adolescence caught between a volatile mother and a playboy father, one of the first plastic surgeons in France. The weight of the difficult stories she told her daughter shifted the balance between them.


Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty

Sam and Clementine have a wonderful, albeit, busy life: they have two little girls, Sam has just started a new dream job, and Clementine, a cellist, is busy preparing for the audition of a lifetime. If there’s anything they can count on, it’s each other.

Clementine and Erika are each other’s oldest friends. A single look between them can convey an entire conversation. But theirs is a complicated relationship, so when Erika mentions a last minute invitation to a barbecue with her neighbors, Tiffany and Vid, Clementine and Sam don’t hesitate. Having Tiffany and Vid’s larger than life personalities there will be a welcome respite. Two months later, it won’t stop raining, and Clementine and Sam can’t stop asking themselves the question: What if we hadn’t gone?


Powerhouse: The Untold Story of Hollywood’s Creative Artists Agency by James Andrew Miller

The movies you watch, the TV shows you adore, the concerts and sporting events you attend—behind the curtain of nearly all of these is an immensely powerful and secretive corporation known as Creative Artists Agency. Started in 1975, when five bright and brash employees of a creaky William Morris office left to open their own, strikingly innovative talent agency, CAA would come to revolutionize the entertainment industry, and over the next several decades its tentacles would spread aggressively throughout the worlds of movies, television, music, advertising, and investment banking. Powerhouse is the fascinating, no-holds-barred saga of that ascent.


Harmony by Carolyn Parkhurst

How far will a mother go to save her family? The Hammond family is living in DC, where everything seems to be going just fine, until it becomes clear that the oldest daughter, Tilly, is developing abnormally–a mix of off-the-charts genius and social incompetence. Once Tilly–whose condition is deemed undiagnosable–is kicked out of the last school in the area, her mother Alexandra is out of ideas.


To the Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey

In the winter of 1885, decorated war hero Colonel Allen Forrester leads a small band of men on an expedition that has been deemed impossible: to venture up the Wolverine River and pierce the vast, untamed Alaska Territory. Leaving behind Sophie, his newly pregnant wife, Colonel Forrester records his extraordinary experiences in hopes that his journal will reach her if he doesn’t return–once he passes beyond the edge of the known world, there’s no telling what awaits him.


The Perfect Horse: The Daring US Mission to Rescue the Priceless Stallions Kidnapped by the Nazis by Elizabeth Letts

In the chaotic last days of the war a small troop of battle-weary American soldiers captures a German spy and makes an astonishing find—his briefcase is empty but for photos of beautiful white horses that have been stolen and kept on a secret farm behind enemy lines. Hitler has stockpiled the world’s finest purebreds in order to breed the perfect military machine—an equine master race. But with the starving Russian army closing in, the animals are in imminent danger of being slaughtered for food.


The Last Days of Night by Graham Moore

New York, 1888. Gas lamps still flicker in the city streets, but the miracle of electric light is in its infancy. The person who controls the means to turn night into day will make history—and a vast fortune. A young untested lawyer named Paul Cravath, fresh out of Columbia Law School, takes a case that seems impossible to win. Paul’s client, George Westinghouse, has been sued by Thomas Edison over a billion-dollar question: Who invented the light bulb and holds the right to power the country?


Good as Gone by Amy Gentry

Thirteen-year-old Julie Whitaker was kidnapped from her bedroom in the middle of the night, witnessed only by her younger sister. Her family was shattered, but managed to stick together, hoping against hope that Julie is still alive. And then one night: the doorbell rings. A young woman who appears to be Julie is finally, miraculously, home safe. The family is ecstatic—but Anna, Julie’s mother, has whispers of doubts.  She hates to face them. She cannot avoid them. When she is contacted by a former detective turned private eye, she begins a torturous search for the truth about the woman she desperately hopes is her daughter.


Christodora by Tim Murphy

In this vivid and compelling novel, Tim Murphy follows a diverse set of characters whose fates intertwine in an iconic building in Manhattan’s East Village, the Christodora. The Christodora is home to Milly and Jared, a privileged young couple with artistic ambitions. Their neighbor, Hector, a Puerto Rican gay man who was once a celebrated AIDS activist but is now a lonely addict, becomes connected to Milly and Jared’s lives in ways none of them can anticipate. Meanwhile, Milly and Jared’s adopted son Mateo grows to see the opportunity for both self-realization and oblivion that New York offers.

Debut Spotlight:


Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue

Jende Jonga, a Cameroonian immigrant living in Harlem, has come to the United States to provide a better life for himself, his wife, Neni, and their six-year-old son. In the fall of 2007, Jende can hardly believe his luck when he lands a job as a chauffeur for Clark Edwards, a senior executive at Lehman Brothers. Clark demands punctuality, discretion, and loyalty—and Jende is eager to please. Clark’s wife, Cindy, even offers Neni temporary work at the Edwardses’ summer home in the Hamptons. With these opportunities, Jende and Neni can at last gain a foothold in America and imagine a brighter future.

However, the world of great power and privilege conceals troubling secrets, and soon Jende and Neni notice cracks in their employers’ façades.

Books about Cupping: the ancient Chinese healing used by Olympic athletes

If you, like the rest of the world, are wondering about the circular purple bruises seen on Michael Phelps and other Olympic athletes, then you need to learn about the ancient Chinese therapy of cupping. It sounds rude but it’s not.

The NY Times writes:

In cupping, practitioners of the healing technique – or sometimes the athletes themselves – place specialized cups on the skin. Then they use either heat or an air pump to create suction between the cup and the skin, pulling the skin slightly up and away from the underlying muscles.

Michael Phelps undergoes ‘cupping’ therapy

The treatment is similar to receiving a love bite or a ‘hickey’ (but not as fun). Cupping draws blood to a particular area of the body and is designed to help reduce soreness, especially for muscles that are being worked hard.

Phelps’ shoulders were covered with purple marks as he helped the US team win the 4×100 freestyle relay team on Sunday night. He has previously posted on Instagram about cupping treatment. The NY Times writes that Jennifer Aniston, Gwyneth Paltrow and NFL player DeMarcus Ware also use cupping.

Cupping is nothing new and numerous books have been written on this therapy. The best known is The Art of Cupping by Hedwig Manz. This guide includes historical facts, step-by-step instructions for application, and treatment of specific health problems.

Oddly enough, it’s possible to purchase a vintage French “cupping set” from AbeBooks seller Atticus Books for $275. The seller claims the set and pump, manufactured around 1900, are in working order.

Cupping may have been used as early as 3000 BC. The Ebers Papyrus, written around 1550 BC and one of the oldest medical textbooks in the world, describes Egyptian use of cupping. Archaeologists have found evidence of cupping in China since 1000 BC.

NFL star Demarcus Ware receiving cupping treatment

10 Colorful Book Covers for a Cheerful Shelf

Webster’s Dictionary defines a bibliophile as “a lover of books, especially for qualities of format.” So while we’re advised not to judge a book by its cover, it’s our duty as devoted bibliophiles to do just that. After all, it would be an injustice to beautiful books everywhere not to. Here are 10 of our favorite colorful covers – you’ll have to get reading to see what’s inside!

A Tale for the Time Being

A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki

You Are Having a Good Time

You Are Having a Good Time by Amie Barrodale

The Interestings

The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer

All That Man Is

All That Man Is by David Szalay

Who Will Catch Us As We Fall

Who Will Catch Us As We Fall by Iman Verjee

Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude

Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude by Ross Gay

Book of Numbers

Book of Numbers by Joshua Cohen


Euphoria by Lily King

Fates and Furies

Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff

The Flame Alphabet

The Flame Alphabet by Ben Marcus

Elon Musk recommends obscure history book, Twelve Against the Gods

Elon Musk now has something else in common with Microsoft’s Bill Gates and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg. The CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, like the others, can now sell books by simply revealing what he is reading.

This is exactly what happened last week when Musk revealed he is reading Twelve Against the Gods by William Bolitho – an obscure, out-of-print history 1930 book that offers a series of sketches about 12 historical figures, including Casanova, Napoleon, Isadora Duncan, Woodrow Wilson and Alexander the Great.

Elon Musk’s latest read Twelve Against the Gods

AbeBooks has sold out of every copy available, including one for $149. Bolitho is a former newspaper journalist (1891-1930) who hung around with the likes of Ernest Hemingway and Noël Coward.

According to Business Insider, Elon Musk has mentioned the following books as being important to him during media interviews over the years.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Benjamin Franklin: An American Life by Walter Isaacson

Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson

Structures: Or Why Things Don’t Fall Down by J.E. Gordon

Ignition!: An Informal History of Liquid Rocket Propellants by John D. Clark

Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies by Nick Bostrom

Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel

Howard Hughes: His Life and Madness by Donald L. Barlett & James B. Steele

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

Ignition by John D Clark is a rocket science textbook from 1972 – also pretty obscure. Isaacson is the master of the biography – could Musk have read his biography of Steve Jobs?

Harry Potter Quiz – The Answers


We certainly have Harry Potter on the brain this weekend and can’t wait to devour Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. For those of you who tested your Harry Potter knowledge, here are the correct answers:

Q. Who wrote Advanced Potion Making?
A. Libatius Borage

Q. What color is the egg of a Ukrainian Ironbelly?
A. Turquoise

Q. What is Hermione’s wand made of?
A. Vine wood with a dragon heartstring core

Q. What is Harry’s daughter’s full name?
A. Lilly Luna Potter

Q. What is Ron’s number in Quidditch?
A. 2

Q. What color are Arnold’s eyes?
A. Blue

Q. At the Quidditch World Cup, Harry buys a pair of omnioculars for himself and who else?
A. Ron

Q. What is Voldemort’s mother’s name?
A. Merope Gaunt

Q. When is Ginny’s birthday?
A. August 11, 1981

Q. What is the Educational Decree no. 28?
A. Dolores Jane Umbrige has replaced Albus Dumbledore as head of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

How Well Do You Know Harry Potter?

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Harry Potter and Friends

In honor of the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, we asked the biggest Harry Potter fan we know (she’s 10 and falls into level 5 – see below) to put together a quiz to test your Harry Potter knowledge. Depending on what level of Potterhead you are will determine how well you do on the quiz.

Potterhead Levels:

Level 1 – Muggle: Have read all of the Harry Potter books and quite enjoyed them

Level 2 – Made the Quidditch team: Have read the books and watched all the movies (loved them)

Level 3 – Exceeds expectations on every N.E.W.T.-level class: Have read the books more than once and can quote entire scenes from any of the eight movies

Level 4 – Can summon a patronus in your sleep: Have read the books multiple times (we’re talking more than 3 times) and have the movies playing on repeat

Level 5 – Future Hogwarts Headmaster: Have read the books, seen all the movies, own an exact replica of Hermione’s wand, have watched the trailer for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them more than 50 times, own all the companion books, have bobbleheads of Harry, Ron and Hermione, own Gryffindor socks, ties and scarves and have dressed up as Hermione for Halloween three years in a row – you get the picture.

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Without further ado, the Harry Potter Quiz:

1. Who wrote Advanced Potion Making?

2. What color is the egg of a Ukrainian Ironbelly?

3. What is Hermione’s wand made of?

4. What is Harry’s daughter’s full name?

5. What is Ron’s number in Quidditch?

6. What color are Arnold’s eyes?

7. At the Quidditch World Cup, Harry buys a pair of omnioculars for himself and who else?

8. What is Voldemort’s mother’s name?

9. When is Ginny’s birthday?

10. What is the Educational Decree no. 28?

If you don’t receive your owl post with the correct answers, come back to this post on July 31, 2016 at 12:01 am – we’ll share the answers then.

How I Conquered Netflix and Started Reading Again

How I Conquered Netflix and Started Reading Again

In 2008 I was living alone without television. My phone wasn’t smart and my stolen wifi wasn’t strong enough for streaming. I didn’t keep track of how many books I read, but almost every evening was spent with one. My book club met every 6 weeks.

Eventually, I met a boy and that boy came with endless bandwidth and a flat screen T.V. It took one episode of Breaking Bad to become an addict. Five seasons, 62 episodes and 3,038 minutes later my reading days were over. The Goldfinch sat on my nightstand for a year (in my defense, it’s a tome). I went from saying “have you read…?” to “have you watched…?” and could no longer provide the endless book recommendations my friends relied upon me for. I backed away from water cooler chats about the latest award-winner and stopped browsing my favorite bookshop.

I was mortified when a non-reader friend of mine told me she planned on reading 100 books in 2015. When I checked in with her a few months in she was embarrassed to tell me she’d only read 20 or 30. I, the supposed bibliophile, had read one…maybe. That moment, that very conversation, is when I realized I had a problem and resolved to overcome my addiction. But of course, I needed rehab.

My rehab came in the form of a two week family vacation in Hawaii, sans Netflix. For the first few days it was just me and my avid-reader parents. The three of us moved from pool to beach to lanai, always with a book in hand. By the time the rest of the family showed up I’d finished a Pulitzer Prize winner and was well into another. I had forgotten how all-encompassing a great book can be and was delighted to find myself immersed in the literary world again. By the end of my vacation, I was cured. While I still dabble in Netflix (Scandal, anyone?) I go to bed early every night and read until I fall asleep. I make sure there’s a new book waiting as I near the end of another, for fear of slipping back into the life of a non-reader. It’s not much, but I’ve read some incredible books this year – better than any Netflix Original I’ve seen.

My 2016 Reading List (so far)

All books are rated ‘Would Recommend to a Friend’ on a scale of 1 to 10.

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (10/10)
If you like WWII fiction, epic sagas, and beautiful writing.

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng (8/10)
If you like raw storytelling and can bare a little heartbreak.

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (7/10)
If you’re looking for mystery and excitement – a great beach read.

The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters (6/10)
Reader must enjoy long, drawn out drama. Patience required.

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah (8/10)
Another for fans of historical fiction. Must not be too picky about sentence structure.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (10/10)
An apocalyptic novel that even anti-sci-fi readers (me) will love. Prepare to be obsessed.

As Close to Us as Breathing by Elizabeth Poliner (9/10)
If you enjoy family sagas and have endless Kleenex at your disposal.

The Vegetarian by Han Kang (5/10)
A short, difficult read that’s certainly not for everyone. Fellow AbeBooks editor Julie loves it.

Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff (9/10)
Must be ready for a commitment. Real and incredible – though frustrating at times.

Girl at War by Sara Novic (6/10)
For anyone interested in events surrounding the Bosnian war, from a child’s perspective.

The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney (8/10)
For anyone looking for an easy yet interesting well-written read. Also suitable for anyone with siblings.

Sex Object: A Memoir by Jessica Valenti (10/10)
An important read for any and all men and women, especially parents.

Modern Lovers by Emma Straub (7/10)
Light and relatable. Recommended for the beach.

Up next…

The Good Girl by Mary Kubica

The Girls by Emma Cline

(anyone else notice the surge in books with ‘girl’ in the title?)

What’s on your reading list this year?

Make Your Bookshelf Great Again

Discover the world of Donald Trump… through books. After all, his gifts to literature have been generous.

Donald Trump – author and presidential candidate

In 1987, he brought us Trump: The Art of the Deal. This part memoir/part self help book has been widely acclaimed, mostly by Trump himself who lists it as his second favorite book after the Bible. In 2004, he delivered Trump: How to Get Rich where we learned, well, how to get rich. In 2007, he told us to Think Big: Make it Happen in Business and Life just before a global recession began. And in 2015, he gave us Crippled America, which does not purvey Mr Trump’s thoughts on disability issues but politics and his presidential bid.

With Trumpmania sweeping America, AbeBooks has gone deep into its vast selection to predict bookselling trends in a free world led by ‘The Donald.’

And remember, AbeBooks sellers offers free shipping to Mexico on selected Trump books.

Predicted bestsellers about construction

The Forgotten Art of Building a Stone Wall by Curtis P Fields

The Forgotten Art of Building a Stone Wall by Curtis P Fields

An illustrated guide to dry wall construction – tipped to become a bestseller in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California.

Building Stone Walls by John Vivian

From the same author as Building Fences, Vivian covers everything from basic equipment and materials to building retaining walls, gates and stiles, moving boulders, and using lower-quality stone.

The Berlin Wall Today: Remnants, Ruins, Remembrances by Michael Cramer

An illustrated book that takes the reader on a tour of the last traces of this highly effective barrier that split Berlin in half from 1961 to 1989.


Predicted bestsellers about international travel

How to Be a Canadian by Will Ferguson

The beer, the politeness, the hockey… all you newcomers have a lot to learn.

So, You Want to Be Canadian by Kerry Colburn

This book will teach you to apologize like a Canadian, eh!

Living and Working in Canada: A Survival Handbook

A useful guide to dealing with tricky Canadian issues like free healthcare, nine-month winters and having a monarch.

Predicted bestsellers about hairdressing

Clip and Groom Your Own Poodle

Clip and Groom Your Own Poodle: A Simple, Step-By-Step Illustrated Course on Clipping and Grooming All Types and Sizes of Poodle by William LA Fetra

Poodle grooming is not easy. This book offers the world’s most comprehensive guide to cutting hair that appears to have a life of its own.

Complete Hairdressing Science by O.F.G. Kilgour & Marguerite McGarry

More than 200 illustrations of how to do magical things with someone’s hair.

The Complete Book of Men’s Hairstyles and Hair Care by Marion Rudoy & Miriam Cordwell

A classic from 1974. Full instructions on styles that never go out of fashion, including the comb-over.

And finally the next bestseller in Mexico….

Practical Tunnel Construction by Gary B. Hemphill

We kid you not… the blurb for this book reads “Practical Tunnel Construction fills a void in the literature for a practical guide to tunnel construction….Written for the individual who does not have an extensive background in tunneling but who has to make tunneling decisions.”

And one more bonus reading recommendation for Trump supporters

A Time for Truth by Ted Cruz

Damsels in Distress, Devilish Detectives, Villains and More at PulpFest 2016


AbeBooks is thrilled to be a sponsor of PulpFest 2016, taking place Thursday July 21st to Sunday July 24th  in Columbus, Ohio. This exciting event, focusing on pulp fiction and pulp magazines, draws hundreds of fans and collectors.

This year, PulpFest will pay tribute to the history of pulps and will highlight the 150th anniversary of the birth of H. G. Wells; the 120th anniversary of the first pulp magazine, The Argosy; the 100th anniversary of the genre pulps such as Detective Story and Love Story and much more.

The four day event is chock-full of events that will appeal to the serious collector and to anyone who has a passion for damsels in distress, devilish detectives, villains and more. Several AbeBooks’ sellers will be attending including: Certo Books, Curious Book Shop, Dark Star Books, Dearly Departed Books, DreamHaven Books, Heartwood Rare Books, Kubik’s Fine Books ABAA and Tim’s Books.

According to the fair’s excellent website, “PulpFest will host a large dealers’ room featuring tens of thousands of pulp magazines, vintage paperbacks, digests, men’s adventure and true crime magazines, original art, first edition hardcovers, series books, reference books, dime novels and story papers, Big Little Books, B-Movies, serials and related paper collectibles, old-time radio shows, and Golden and Silver Age comic books, as well as newspaper adventure strips. Not only that, we’ll also have an auction on Saturday night that promises to be one for the ages!”

PulpFest will take place at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Columbus, Ohio. Tickets for the four day event are $40 at the door. Single day tickets on Friday and Saturday are $20 and Sunday tickets are $10.

Learn more about the fair and pulp at www.pulpfest.com.