With Ron Rash’s latest and sixth novel, “Above the Waterfall,” I felt a thrill when he mentioned, as he did in his 2012 novel, “The Cove,” the parakeets that once nested in the mountains of Appalachia. The thought of those colorful creatures flitting about decades ago lifted me out of the beautiful but wasted landscape that obviously grips and holds fast this New York Times best-selling writer.
Here are the best-sellers for the week that ended Sunday, Aug. 30, compiled from data from independent and chain bookstores, book wholesalers and independent distributors nationwide, powered by Nielsen BookScan (c) 2015, The Nielsen Co.
It is no secret that art often imitates life, but for actor Wendell Pierce, life also has a way of taking on elements from art. He sees it in the way he and the community of New Orleans rebounded after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the city 10 years ago. New Orleans art, he says, whether in the form of food, the unique jazz funeral or second line brass bands, helped to restore the one-of-a-kind spirit the city is known for, something he describes in his new book, "The Wind in the Reeds: A Storm, A Play and the City That Would Not Be Broken" (Riverhead; 352 pages, $27.95).
On her last book tour, Amy Stewart served specialty cocktails at her readings. It was only fitting for her book, "The Drunken Botanist," a historical tour of boozy plants. That was Stewart's fifth work of nonfiction; since 2001 she's been hitting bestseller lists with her quirky tales of the natural world with books that include "Wicked Plants" and "Flower Confidential."
Prepare to be swept away by hours of pleasurable reading. This fall's upcoming books include novels by Jonathan Franzen, Salman Rushdie, Geraldine Brooks and John Irving. It's a strong season for memoirs, too, with new books by Gloria Steinem, Carrie Brownstein, Patti Smith and master swimmer Diana Nyad.
There was the blind man who had the disastrous experience of regaining his sight. The surgeon who developed a sudden passion for music after being struck by lightning. And most famously, the man who mistook his wife for a hat.