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Zimmerman’s ‘Nut Tree’ is No. 1 seller this week

Nonfiction history tops list mainly populated by robots, demons, island-dwelling enchantress

By DAVID TEMPLETON

ARGUS-COURIER STAFF

The top selling titles at Copperfield’s Books, in Petaluma, for the week of March 7-Feb. 13, 2021 With just three exceptions, the bestselling Fiction and Nonfiction books this week are all novels, many of them very familiar titles on Petaluma’s top 10 list.

The exceptions are Diane Power Zimmerman’s “Nut Tree: From a California Ranch to a Design, Food and Hospitality Icon,” currently the No. 1 book in Petaluma. It’s a memoir and a photographic history of the once-mandatory rest stop attraction in Vacaville, as written by someone who grew up there, as Zimmerman’s grandparents owned the place. The second exception is Brene Brown’s “Atlas of the Heart,” a nonfiction exploration of 8- human emotions and how they affect us. The third exception is Joan Didion’s “The Year of Magical Thinking,” a memoir of loss and grief and finding meaning in the unthinkable.

One could make the case that the basic themes of those three books — the nostalgic importance of history, making sense of human feelings and coming to grips with losing things we love — are at the heart the other seven books on the list. Yes, titles like Madeline Miller’s “Circe” (No. 2) and Kazuo Ishiguro’s “Klara and the Sun” (No. 3) treat such topics with fictional characters, fantastical landscapes and even a sorceress and a robot or two. Nevertheless, they and the others on this list are prime examples of how brilliant storytellers can use lies — or at least fabricated versions of reality — to tell the truth, delving into some of the deepest mysteries of what it means to be alive.

Here is the complete Top 10 Books on Copperfield’s Fiction and Nonfiction list, along with the full Kids and Young Adults list.

Fiction & Non-Fiction

1. ‘ Nut Tree: From a California Ranch to a Design, Food, and Hospitality Icon,’ by Diane Power Zimmerman — Part memoir, part photographic history, this new book is a nostalgic return to a Northern California landmark many remember fondly.

2. ‘ Circe,’ by Madeline Miller — The notorious animal-transforming sorceress from “The Odyssey” tells her own story, and guess what? It’s not the same story told by the piggish men she encountered.

3. ‘ Klara and the Sun,’ by Kazuo Ishiguro — In the future, a sun-worshipping AF (Artificial Friend) dedicates herself selflessly — perhaps a too selflessly — to the flesh-and-blood folks she was created to serve.

4. ‘ Atlas of the Heart,’ by Brene Brown — Subtitled “Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Experience,” Brown’s nonfiction book looks at 80 human emotions and the god/bad/otherwise places they often take us, with intelligent suggestions of how to find our way back.

5. ‘ The Children's Blizzard,’ by Melanie Benjamin — Written by the author of “The Aviator’s Wife,” this brand new novel is set in 1888 during a devastating Midwestern ice storm.

6. ‘ Galapagos,’ by Kurt Vonnegut — This 1985 oddity from the great literary fantasist begins with a group of strangers escaping the worst of humanity and then jumps ahead to their not-quite-human (but a lot less dangerous) descendants a million years in the future. It’s funny, but not, but of course yes, it’s funny.

7. ‘ A Deadly Education,’ by Naomi Novik – Yes, Novik’s 2020 fantasy novel features a less-thansafe boarding school for promising young magic users, but this one, called the Scholomance – filled with terrifying and deadly monsters and a heart-stopping graduation ritual, makes Hogwarts look like Mister Roger’s Neighborhood.

8. ‘ Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, Vol. 15,’ by Koyoharu Gotouge – After demons kill his family and possess his sister, kindhearted charcoal-seller Tanjiro Kamado learns how to kill demons as he launches a journey of revenge and discovery 9. ‘ The Year of Magical Thinking,’ by Joan Didion — Among the most popular memoirs written in the 21st century, the late author describes with gorgeous honesty her own experience of losing a husband to a heart attack while her daughter battles a life-threatening illness.

10. ‘ The way of the Househusband, Vol. 1,’

by Kousuke Oono — A former Yakuza with a legendary reputation as a killer is attempting to have a normal life as a househusband, but of course, things go comically, and violently, wrong.

Kids & Young Adults

1. ‘ What Is Love?’ by Mac Barnett and Carson Ellis — A charming picture book about discovering the meaning of love.

2. ‘ Mac B Kid Spy: Mac Undercover,’ by Mac Barnett — In the latest adventure about the Queen of England’s favorite juvenile spy, the Berlin Wall, a floppy disc, and secret codes are part of the fun.

3. ‘ Flubby Will Not Take a Bath,’ by J. E. Morris — A fuzzy aquaphobic feline will not get in the water, no matter how hard the humans try.

4. ‘ Jamberry,’ by Bruce Degen — A bear and a boy and a couple of hats have an adventure in Berryland.

5. ‘ The Egypt Game,’ by Zilpha Keatley Snyder — A classic 1967 children’s book about a group of kids who develop a role-playing game based on the myths of Egypt. And yes, the book was published before role-playing games like Dungeons and Dragons had been created.

6. ‘ Noisy Baby Animals,’ by Patricia Hegarty — An interactive picture book in which readers see, touch and hear an array of animals.

7. ‘ Making Friends: Third Time’s a Charm,’

by Kristen Gudsnuk — Another in the popular graphic novel series about a magic tablet that can conjure alternate realities.

8. ‘ Hilo: Gina and the Big Secret,’ by Judd Winick — The hugely popular series about a kid from the cosmos and his human companions continues.

9. ‘ Drama: A Graphic Novel,’ by Raina Telgemeier — This Stonewall Honor Award-winning, 2012 graphic novel from an acclaimed cartoonist was challenged and banned in school libraries because it includes LGBT characters and was considered “confusing.” It’s not confusing at all, actually, and it’s still popular.

10. ‘ Cat Kid Comic Club: Perspectives,’ by Dav Pilkey — An inventive riff on his own graphic novel style, Pilkey employs numerous different art techniques to tell a series of stories within the story, mostly from the points of view of several baby frogs.

Data compiled by Amber- Rose Reed, Manager of Copperfield’s Book.

Diane Power Zimmerman’s “Nut Tree” is the No. 1 bestselling book in Petaluma this week.

COURTESY OF DIANE POWER ZIMMERMAN

“Circe,” by Madeline Miller, is this week’s No. 2 bestselling book in Petaluma.

COURTESY OF LITTLE, BROWN BOOKS

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