local readers embrace self-help books new and old

The top selling titles at Copperfield’s Books, in Petaluma, for the week of Jan. 24-Jan. 30, 2021.

The No. 1 book in Petaluma this week is “Already Enough,” a self-help page-turner from popular Instagram therapist and writer Lisa Olivera, who was abandoned by her birth mother behind a rock in Muir Woods just hours after her birth. Fortunately, she was discovered and adopted not long afterwards. From such a traumatic beginning, Olivera has built a life of self-discovery and healing, from which comes this engaging new guidebook on how to create a sense of self-acceptance while re-framing your life story.

It seems locals are in the mood for a bit of New Year’s self-exploration, because “Already Enough” is not alone on Copperfield’s list of the Top 10 bestselling fiction and nonfiction books. At No. 4 is Rhonda Byrne’s hugely bestselling 2006 self-help book “The Secret,” the phenomenon that taught a world full of love-seeking, hope-seeking and healing-seeking book-buyers about something called The Law of Attraction. The book attracted enough attention that it has spawned several follow-ups since. One space down at No. 5 is “White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard For White People to Talk About Race,” by Robin Diangelo, the 2018 bestseller that takes a self-help approach to examining the challenges of meeting systematic racism head on when the system, and a lot of us, are internally rigged to resist such transformations.

Though the No. 6 book on the list, Ali Hazelwood’s “The Love Hypothesis,” certainly sounds like a self-help book about emotions examined from a scientific perspective, it’s actually a breezy novel about a grad student and staffer at Stanford who pretend to be dating as a way of achieving academic and professional goals. The book that actually IS a scientific examination of emotions is Brené Brown’s :Atlas of the Heart” (No. 7). Subtitled “Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Experience,” the book takes a look at 80 human emotions and the good/bad/otherwise places they often take us, with intelligent suggestions of how to find our way back from wherever those place are.

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

one. ‘Already Enough,’ by Lisa Olivera – From popular Instagram therapist and writer Lisa Olivera comes this engaging guidebook on how to create a sense of self-acceptance while reframing your life story.

two. ‘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. ‘Perestroika in Paris,’ by Jane Smiley – The story of three animals and a boy who meet unexpectedly in Paris and change each other’s lives.

4. ‘The Secret,’ by Rhonda Byrne – The popular 2006 self-help book that taught a world full of love-seeking, hope-seeking and healing-seeking book-buyers about the Law of Attraction.

5. ‘White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Race,’ by Robin Diangelo – The bestseller about the challenges of meeting systematic racism head on when the system is rigged to resist such challenges.

6. ‘The Love Hypothesis,’ by Ali Hazelwood – A fluffy romance described as a STEM-adjacent chemistry experiment between a grad student and a member of a University’s faculty who concoct a fake relationship at Stanford.

7. ‘Atlas of the Heart,’ by Brené 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.

8. ‘purple,’ by Isabel Allende – A new novel about a 100-year-old woman from South America who recounts her long and colorful life from her birth, during the Spanish Flu pandemic to her success as a home-builder.

9. ‘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. .

10. ‘The Davos Man: How the Billionaires Devoured the World,’ by Peter S. Goodman – Explanatory nonfiction looking at how the richest people in the world got even richer during the pandemic, and how they just might kill the human species with their greed.

KIDS & YOUNG ADULTS

one. ‘What’s Love?‘ by Mac Barnett – A charming picture book about discovering the meaning of love.

two. ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Big Shot,’ by Jeff Kinney – The 16th entry in this beloved series sees Greg go out for sports, pretty much prove he’s not good at any of them, and then end up on the school’s worst basketball team.

3. ‘Greetings from Somewhere,’ by Harper Paris – Subtitled “The Mystery of the Stolen Painting,” this lively novel for young readers is the third in the popular 10-book globe-hopping series.

4. ‘Bunnicula,’ by Deborah and James Howe – The scary-funny story of a rabbit who is also a vampire.

5. ‘Wings of Fire: The Brightest Night,’ by Tui Sutherland – The graphic novel adaptation of the fifth novel in Sutherland’s bestselling series about dragons and their adventures.

6. ‘The Hate U Give,’ by Angie Thomas – A teenage girl’s life changes when she witnesses a police shooting that leaves a young Black man dead.

7. ‘groundzero,’ by Alan Gratz – A masterful novel about the aftermath of 9/11 from the perspective of a young child in New York City.

8. ‘Iron Window,’ by Ziran J. Zhao – Described as an imaginative cross of “Pacific Rim” and “The Handmaid’s Tale,” this new YA novel mashes up Chinese history and mecha science-fiction.

9. ‘The 12 Days of Lunar New Year,’ by Jenna Lettice – Sort of like “The 12 Days of Christmas,” but for Chinese New Year, this fun picture book is a clever delight.

10. ‘As Far as You’ll Take Me,’ by Phil Stamper – A touching story about a queer kid forced to leave home, who finds the family they always deserved.

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

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