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Contemporary best-sellers this week

By Harriet Staff

Once again, Mary Oliver’s A Thousand Mornings claims the top spot on this week’s contemporary best sellers list. Following Oliver at #2 is Mark Doty with Fire to Fire, while Billy Collins holds on to the #3 spot with Horoscopes for the Dead. Sharon Olds moves back into the top five this week with her latest, Stag’s Leap, and Toi Derricotte rounds out the top five with The Undertaker’s Daughter. Entering the list at #7 is Louise Glück’s Poems 1962-2012. About Glück’s latest, Dwight Garner at The New York Times writes: “Put together, these compact volumes have a great novel’s cohesiveness and raking moral intensity. They display a supple and prosecutorial mind interrogating not merely her own life but also the sensual and political nature of the world that spins around it. Her poems bring with them perilously low barometric pressure.” Also new to the list this week is Kathryn Stripling Byer’s Descent. From her publisher: “Navigating the dangerous currents of family and race, Kathryn Stripling Byer’s sixth poetry collection confronts the legacy of southern memory and landscape, where too often it’s safer to stay blind.” Finally, a notable debut this week is Robert Walser’s Microscripts, published in hardcover in 2010 and released in paperback this month. “These narrow strips of paper, covered with tiny ant-like pencil markings a millimeter high, came to light only after the author’s death in 1956. At first considered random restless pencil markings or a secret code, the microscripts were in time discovered to be a radically miniaturized form of antique German script: a whole story was deciphered on the back of a business card. These twenty-five short pieces address schnapps, rotten husbands, small town life, elegant jaunts, the radio, swine, jealousy, and marriage proposals.”

Posted in Uncategorized on Friday, November 16th, 2012 by Harriet Staff.