Featured Favorites: Top five current bestsellers

Book Den East Recommends

“Moby Dick” by Herman Melville – One of the best known classics of American literature, this book is available in many editions and versions. There’s softcover and hard, illustrated, abridged, and some with erudite commentaries. One of a number in stock now is a nice full-text copy. ($20)

“Sailing Alone Around the World” by Joshua Slocum – Maritime adventures as a genre probably have the greatest single following of readers. “Sailing Alone Around the World” moves off the shelf as regularly as it is replaced. The intrepid Slocum’s adventure has appeared in many editions and is still an inspiration for sailors of today. One version we offer is a 1972 reprint with an introduction by Walter Magnes Teller. ($20)

“These Fragile Outposts: A Geological Look at Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket” by Barbara Blau Chamberlain – This 1964 book is a “best seller” of local interest and moves out of the shop at greater than glacial speed. In stock now is a well-read copy. ($12)

“Cap’n George Fred Himself” by Captain George Fred Tilton, with illustrations by Harry Neyland – A 1928 whaleman’s tale of maritime adventure, which includes the author’s solo trek across Alaska to seek help for the whaleships frozen into the Arctic ice in 1897-1898. We offer a first edition of the Book Den East best seller. ($60)

“The Bard of Avon’s Complete Works” illustrated by Rockwell Kent – Whether statistically the Holy Bible or the works of William Shakespeare dominate the market, it is certain that the Bard of Avon sells better at the Book Den. We offer a 1936 edition of his Complete Works, nicely illustrated by Rockwell Kent. ($25)

Edgartown Books Recommends

“Living Off the Sea” by Melinda Fager – Melinda and Jeff Fager have spent 30 years on Chappaquiddick learning to appreciate and enjoy all the gifts the small island has to offer. In this beautiful combination cookbook/photo book, author/photographer Melinda Fager captures the beauty and uniqueness of Chappy in a way that reflects her long-time knowledge and love of the place. Her recipes feature the fish Mr. Fager catches daily combined with ingredients they can either forage or buy at local farms.

“Tigers in Red Weather” by Liza Klaussmann – Nick and cousin Helena grew up in a world of sun-bleached boat docks, tennis whites, and midnight gin parties at Tiger House, their family home on Martha’s Vineyard. After World War II, both women seem to be headed towards lives full of possibility. However, when their children stumble upon an awful discovery, their previously unknown dark family history comes to light. An extremely popular and suspenseful read for visitors to Martha’s Vineyard, as the book is set partly in Edgartown.

“Hitchhiking with Larry David” by Paul Samuel Dolman – One summer day while Paul Samuel Dolman was hitchhiking on Martha’s Vineyard, none other than Larry David pulled over and picked him up. The comedic writer and actor from “Seinfeld” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm” not only gave Dolman a ride, but helped him find his way during his summer of soul-searching. The book explores the magic in life with humor and truth.

“Beautiful Day” by Elin Hilderbrand – The Carmichaels and the Grahams are gathered on Nantucket for a summer wedding, which should be a cause for celebration for all involved. Although the couple-to-be are quite happy, the occasion is less than perfect for the love lives of their friends and family. In the days leading up to the wedding, love is questioned, scandals arise, and hearts are broken and healed.

“And the Mountains Echoed” by Khaled Hosseini – Bestselling author Hosseini is back with a new novel about how we love, how we take care of one another, and how the choices we make resonate through generations. In this tale, Hosseini explores the many ways in which families nurture, wound, betray, honor, and sacrifice for one another. Following its characters and the ramifications of their lives around the globe, the story expands outward, becoming more emotionally complex and powerful with each turning page.

Bunch of Grapes Recommends

“Bad Monkey” by Carl Hiaasen – When ex-cop turned restaurant inspector Andrew Yancy is given the task of delivering a found severed arm to Miami, he becomes embroiled in the mystery of the owner’s death. Full of colorful characters, a toothless voodoo princess, a monkey reputed to have worked in the movies, and a Medicare fraudster, this wickedly funny story swings into “South Florida criminal farce.”

“Beautiful Day” by Elin Hilderbrand – Before Jenna’s mother died, she prepared a wedding notebook for her. Seven years later, Jenna is getting married and attempts to follow the notebook perfectly. But nothing is ever perfect as her brother still grieves for his mother, her sister becomes cynical, and her father’s second marriage become precarious. And that’s only one side of the marriage – another set of issues plagues the in-law side. A perfect beach read.

“And the Mountains Echoed” by Khalid Hosseini

In a poor village in Afghanistan a three-year-old girl is sold for adoption by her father to a wealthy couple in Kabul. This magical story of loss and redemption is woven around the characters who are touched by the sale: the brother who missed her, the uncle that set up the sale, the couple who adopted her, and the girl herself. This truly satisfying book spans both time and distance.

“Beautiful Ruins” by Jess Walter – In 1962 Dee Moray, an American starlet, flees a Roman movie set to a tiny seaside village. She stays in a dilapidated hotel, where the young proprietor, Pasquale, falls in love with her. Fifty years later, the proprietor travels to Hollywood to find her. This tale twists and turns as the reader discovers what happened to her. Walter gives us a sharp comparison between the stateliness of Pasquale and the shallowness of the Hollywood operatives.

“The Orphan Master’s Son” by Adam Johnson – This thriller is the 2012 Pulitzer Prize winner. Inside secretive North Korea, Pak Jun Do lives with his father at a work camp for orphans, who get the most dangerous jobs because they are considered the most expendable. Pak Jun Do becomes a tunnel soldier, learning to fight in complete darkness. He then becomes a kidnapper for the government, snatching Japanese citizens with his special skills. He cannot, however, accept the realities of life in North Korea as most of his fellow citizens have.