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Contemporary best-sellers this week

By Harriet Staff

Natasha Trethewey’s latest collection, Thrall, claims the top spot on this week’s contemporary best-seller list. The entry of the current Poet Laureate in the top five has disrupted a delicate balance cultivated over many months, and as a result, Billy Collins’s Horoscope for the Dead drops out of the top five, moving down to #6. A number of titles are new to the list this week. Of note is John Koethe’s ROTC Kills, which enters the list at #16. Publishers Weekly describes the book as being “very much obsessed with time’s passage and its ending, with aging, remembering and preparing to die,” while Koethe is “in full, lucid command of his voice, an amiable hybrid of late Wallace Stevens, late John Ashbery, and William Bronk, to whom Koethe owes a great debt.” Debuting at #26 this week is Sharon Olds’s latest, Stag’s Leap. Written in the wake of a divorce, “Olds opens her heart to the reader, sharing the feeling of invisibility that comes when we are no longer standing in love’s sight; the surprising physical bond that still exists between a couple during parting; the loss of everything from her husband’s smile to the set of his hip. Olds is naked before us, curious and brave and even generous toward the man who was her mate for thirty years and who now loves another woman.” And finally, tied at #29, Elana Bell’s Eyes, Stones and Richard Hoffman’s Emblem round out the debuting titles on this week’s list.

Posted in Uncategorized on Friday, September 7th, 2012 by Harriet Staff.