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Contemporary best-sellers this week

By Harriet Staff

On this week’s contemporary best-sellers list, Life on Mars and Horoscopes for the Dead flip-flop the #1 and #2 positions, while Mary Oliver (with two titles) and Kay Ryan round out the top five. Debuting at #20 is Jean Valentine’s latest, Break the Glass. According to Publishers Weekly: “In the connected, untitled lyrics that make up the final section of Valentine’s 11th collection, the poet is at her fierce best. She addresses Lucy, an early hominid whose skeleton was discovered in Ethiopia in 1974. The details that Valentine always renders palpable and significant are heightened by their juxtaposition with this long-lost life…” Entering the list at #27 this week is Thomas Lynch’s Walking Papers. Mary Plummer in the New York Times describes Walking Papers as “A pilgrimage of sorts through growing old and facing death—subjects that caregivers know all too well. [Lynch’s] upfront, unvarnished style is likely to resonate with many who have come face to face with life’s most important questions.” Lastly, Francesca Abbate’s Troy, Unincorporated debuts in the 27th slot this week. As a re-imagination of Chaucer’s “Troilus and Criseyde,” Barbara Berman at The Rumpus writes, “This is a book that is deeply American and as steeped in classics as some of the best writing from our heartland over the centuries.”

Posted in Uncategorized on Friday, August 24th, 2012 by Harriet Staff.