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Contemporary best-sellers this week

By Harriet Staff

Mary Oliver is still at the top of this week’s contemporary best-seller list with A Thousand Mornings. Entering the list in the #2 slot is Shana Youngdahl with History, Advice, and Other Half-truths. Linda Gregerson’s The Selvage claims the #3 spot after dropping off the list last week, while Sharon Olds’s Stag’s Leap and Susan Wheeler’s Meme round out the top five, respectively. Debuting this week is Kelli Allen’s Otherwise, Soft White Ash. At the New York Quarterly, Melanie Moro-Huber writes, “There is something of Oliver’s ‘dark acorn of the heart’ being broken open in Kelli Allen’s Pulitzer prize nominated debut collection Otherwise, Soft White Ash -poems and other creatures- An intensely intimate view of familial relationships, Allen grabs the reader and throws them right into those ‘long black branches.’ The poems in this book contain the visceral terrain of memories seeped with traumatic moments sometimes told through the perspective of child dealing with a suicidal mother.” Also new to the list is Marcus Wicker’s Maybe the Saddest Thing. Erika Meitner calls Wicker’s work “wide-ranging Whitmanesque poems—self-aware meditations that rap and jazz their way forward, talk back, backtrack, and scratch so hard they blow out the speakers with their complicated love for a huge cast of icons, from Pam Grier to Flavor Flav, from RuPaul to Dave Chapelle.” Of particular note is the debut of Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s Time of Useful Consciousness at #20. Ferlinghetti has described his latest book as “as a fragmented recording of the American stream-of-consciousness, always westward streaming; a people’s poetic history.”

Posted in Uncategorized on Friday, November 2nd, 2012 by Harriet Staff.