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Local bestsellers for the week ending Sept. 19

Based on reporting from the independent booksellers of the New England Independent Booksellers Association and IndieBound.

BOOKINGS

Virtual author readings for Sept. 26 - Oct. 2

All author appearances are virtual unless otherwise noted.

BOOK REVIEW

Nathaniel Philbrick takes a road trip with President Washington

It was a cold wintry day in Holliston when Nathaniel Philbrick climbed atop the lower edge of the Balancing Rock, a precariously perched “ancient, lichen-covered boulder” in Middlesex County. He attempted, as George Washington had exactly 230 years earlier, to push it off its mount. He pushed, but the rock didn’t move.

BIBLIOPHILES
Author Jess Walter.

Jess Walter on trying not to hoard beloved books

The author works in his hometown of Spokane, Washington, far from the literary hotbed of the East Coast, but that has had no apparent drag on his career. Not only has he won a long list of awards but his last two novels “The Cold Millions” and “Beautiful Ruins” have been bestsellers. He talked with us about what he's reading.

BOOK REVIEW
Author Ruth Ozeki.

Falling apart and finding one’s self

Ruth Ozeki’s 2013 novel “A Tale for the Time Being” established her as a bold and empathetic writer with an interest in big questions and a flair for formal inventiveness. Eight years later, we have “The Book of Form and Emptiness,” a similarly ambitious and ingenious novel that presents a stinging exploration of grief, a reflection on our relationship to objects, a potent testament to the importance of reading, writing, and books.

BOOK REVIEW

A father, a son, a dying planet in ‘Bewilderment’

Climate distress — particularly among the young — is what spurred Richard Powers, one of America’s most ambitious and imaginative novelists, to write his 14th and latest work. In a year of unprecedented worldwide drought, fire, and flooding, it couldn’t be timelier.

New England Literary News
From "Designing Motherhood": Retired Atlanta-based social worker Sharon Wood holding a pro-choice pin and patch which she last wore in 1973.

A new design book, the letters between Helen Keller and a Boston editor, and news that the Boston Book Festival has gone virtual

Each week, we bring you news of a literary note from around the region.

STORY BEHIND THE BOOK

The art of writing about the human heart

Bill Schutt’s first two nonfiction books were about vampire bats and cannibalism. For his third, both his agent and editor urged him to find something more mainstream.