Christopher Moore’s ‘Razzmatazz’ dazzling local readers

The top selling titles at Copperfield’s Books, in Petaluma, for the week of May 16 to May 22, 2022

In preparation for novelist Christopher Moore’s much-anticipated in-person appearance at Copperfield’s on Thursday, May 26, local fans have been snapping up his new release, “Razzmatazz.” The sequel to 2019’s “Noir,” a fantastical homage to pulpy 1940s detective fiction, the new one is once again delivered with the author’s patented brand of unpredictable bawdiness, farce, fantasy, horror and brilliantly crafted wordsmithing.

“Razzmatazz,” not surprisingly ranking as this week’s No. 1 bestselling book, continues the story of San Francisco bartender (and part-time private eye) Sammy “Two Toes” Tiffin, his girlfriend Stilton and his colorful band of associates, aka “ mugs.” This time around, their mutual misadventures involve a stolen statue, a questionably ethical driving school, a bunch of golden-hearted hookers trying to get to a Christmas party in an unlikely location, and a secret project at the shipyard that has drawn the attention of mysterious government agents. As if that’s not enough plot, Moore adds a string of murders that only Sammy can solve.

Oh right, and there’s a dragon.

Most of the rest of this week’s bestselling fiction and nonfiction books are novels, many with fantastical elements, from Kazuo Ishiguro’s “Klara and the Sun” (No. 2), about the inner lives of artificial people (think “robots”) to Madeline Miller’s “The Song of Achilles” (No. 8) and “Circe” (No. 10), both based on characters from Homer’s “The Iliad” and “The Odyssey.”

The lone nonfiction work on the list is Justin Zorn and Leigh Marz’s “Golden: The Power of Silence in a World of Noise” (No. 4), an entertaining exploration of quiet in all its forms, with ear-opening visits to San Quentin’s death row, underground brain research laboratories, remote rainforests and the main stage of a heavy metal festival. It may be about the spiritual and emotional importance of quiet, but it’s also this week’s No. 4 book – so clearly, the book is making a lot of noise.

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. ‘Razzmatazz,’ by Christopher Moore – A sequel to the farce-fueled whodunit “Noir,” this new release from Moore takes characters from the earlier novel and puts them through even wilder escapades, all told with spot-on, deliciously hardboiled prose.

two. ‘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.

3. ‘The Priory of the Orange Tree,’ by Samantha Shannon – Released in 2019, this epic 800-page fantasy puts a feminist spin on several tropes of the genre, from magical kingdoms, an evil and ancient adversary, and dragons.

4. ‘golden,’ by Justin Zorn and Leigh Marz – Subtitled “The Power of Silence in a World of Noise,” this nonfiction page-turner is an entertaining exploration of the importance of quiet, and how to cultivate it for emotional health and spiritual strength.

5. ‘Book Lovers,’ by Emily Hinery – From the author of “People We Meet on Vacation” comes another romantic comedy of errors, once again involving an unlikely pairing of two people who seem totally wrong for each, and possibly really are.

6. ‘Becoming Story,” by Greg Sarris – The Sonoma County writer (“Grand Avenue”) teacher and tribal leader (he’s the chairman of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria) has produced another remarkable book, this one a memoir, of sorts, told through a series of essays about his connection to the natural world.

7. ‘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.

8. ‘Song of Achilles,’ by Madeline Miller – The 2012 debut novel from the author of “Circe,” this mythological deep-dive explores the iconic love affair between Greek warriors Achilles and Patroclus.

9. ‘plot,’ by Jean Hanff Korelitz – A suspenseful, carefully-crafted character study about a struggling novelist who “borrows” a delicious plot suggestion from an obnoxious (and recently dead) writer, only to find himself neck-deep in a rapidly rising tide of accusations and unraveling mysteries.

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