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This week’s top preternatural hardcover books

In Aliens, Books, Dragons, Entertainment, Ghosts, Shape Shifters, The Fae, Vampires, Wizards/Witches/Pagans on 12 August, 2011 at 3:19 pm

Looking for something good to read? Being a bestseller doesn’t automatically make a book a great read, but chances are, preternatural fans will find something to enjoy in these 10 books six fiction, four nonfiction). From Dragons, Vampires and even psychopaths, there is a little of something for everyone on this week’s list.

Hardcover Fiction

Dresden Files

Debuting at Number 1 this week is Ghost Story by Jim Butcher. The thirteenth installment into the Dresden Files find Harry Dresden in a pickle. A mighty wizard detective, Harry doesn’t let anything, not even a little thing called death, stop him from trying to help his friends when he’s in danger. Now if only he could overcome the annoying lack of body and magic in order to succeed. Published by ROC Hardcover, a smaller section of Penguin Group. (Ranked 1st overall on the New York Times and Publishers Weekly hardcover fiction best seller list.)

A Dance with Dragons is the fifth addition to the popular series, “A Song of Fire and Ice” by George R. R. Martin, the hunt for power and the ultimate prize of the iron throne is still on. In the wake of a devastating battle, it is still unclear as to what is in store for the fate of the Seven Kingdoms. Daenerys Targaryen rules over a city of dust and waste as her enemies begin to surround her. Will the last of the House of Targaryen survive with the help of her three dragons, or is doom looming just over the horizon? Only time will tell as the Dance of Power begins to take its toll. (Ranked 2nd overall on the New York Times and Publishers Weekly hardcover fiction best seller list.)

Also debuting on the bestsellers list, is the twelfth installment into the Otherworlds series, Spell Bound by Kelley Armstrong. Having given up her powers in exchange for the safety of a young girl, Savannah Levine finds herself hunted. Isolated and without her magic, it is up to her to discover a way to overcome the challenges ahead. Published by Dutton, another of the Penguin Groups subdivisions. (Ranked 19th overall on the New York Times and 21st Publishers Weekly hardcover fiction best seller list.)

Dead Reckoningthe 11th book in the popular Sookie Stackhouse/Southern Vampire Mystery series by Charlaine Harris, takes the Number 2 spot among preternatural hardcovers this week. This time, Sookie, Eric, Pam and the whole Bon Temps/Shreveport crew discover that sometimes you don’t always get what you want and even when you do things don’t always work out the way you planned. Published by Ace Books, a division of Penguin, Dead Reckoning, takes readers deeper into a southern fried world where vampires (and shape shifters) have come out of the coffin that is both similar to and vastly different from that of the HBO original series True Blood which take their inspiration from the books. Read our review of Dead Reckoning. (Ranked 23rd overall on the New York Times and Publishers Weekly hardcover fiction best seller list.)

Also debuting this week is Star Wars – Choices of One by author Timothy Zahn. Set after the Battle of Yavin, an attempt to offer sanctuary to the Rebels, sets into motion a game of betrayals within betrayals. Things are never easy, even in a galaxy far, far away. Published by Lucasbooks. (Ranked 26th overall on the New York Times hardcover fiction best seller list.)

The Last Werewolf, by Glen Duncan, rounds up the list in the Number 6 spot. Life’s hard when you are a 201 year old werewolf, or so, Jake Marlowe believes. The last of his kind, Jake is left with nothing more to do that have meaningless sex and working out all the time. Trapped in a lonely existence, he must make a choice: to continue on or to end a thousand year old legend by ending his own life. Published by Random House. (Ranked 32nd overall on the New York Times hardcover fiction best seller list.)

“Yes, there are vampires here . . . But don’t give this book to Twilight groupies; the frank tone, dark wit, and elegant, sophisticated language will likely do them in. . . .  smart, original, and completely absorbing. Highly recommended.”
—­Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal (Starred review)

Read an excerpt of The Last Werewolf.

Hardcover Nonfiction

We were sad, but not entirely surprised to find there was a lack of preternatural-related books in this week’s Hardcover Nonfiction.

Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain by David Eagleman explores the mysteries of the brain beyond (beneath, behind?) the conscious mind. Eagleman, a renowned neuroscientist, reveals the truths, or at least parts of the truth, to many surprising mysteries in what turns out to be a very engaging and oddly easy read. Incognito is published by Pantheon Books, a division of Knopf Doubleday. (Ranked 10th overall on the NYT and 16th on the Publishers Weekly bestseller list for hardcover nonfiction.)

Falling from the top position on the list is Area 51: An Uncensored History of America’s Top Secret Military Base by Annie Jacobsen. This is a compelling and at times revealing account of the most famous military installation that doesn’t exist. Once considered science fiction, Area 51 is full of myths and conspiracy theories that captivated imaginations for much of the last half of the 2oth century. Based on interviews from those who have lived and worked there, this is the first non fiction book chronicling the history of Area 51 in a fascinating eye-witness narrative demonstrating that fact can be as gripping as fiction and sometimes even more incredible. Published by Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Books Group. (Ranked 21st on the New York Times overall non-fiction bestsellers.)

The Psychopath Test, by Jon Ronson, adds a bit of insight to this week’s list. With a mistrust for psychiatry, he sets out to prove that psychopath checklist and DSM-IV can be used to as a means to classify nearly anything and everything an individual does as being suspect for psychopathic behavior. If you thought you were crazy for role-playing on Twitter, this book may help ease your fears. (Ranked 27th overall on the New York Times hardcover nonfiction best seller list.)

Ever wonder why Maenads believe so strongly in Dionysus that they will themselves into becoming immortal? Or if there is life after death? Michael Shermer’s The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies—How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths, expresses his theory on the birth and actualization of beliefs. From superstitions, believing in aliens to economic and political beliefs, this book doesn’t discriminate in its analysis of beliefs, regardless of how realistic or bizarre they may be. Published by Times Books. (Ranked 31st on the NewYork Times best seller list)

We form our beliefs for a variety of subjective, personal, emotional, and psychological reasons in the context of environments created by family, friends, colleagues, culture, and society at large; after forming our beliefs we then defend, justify, and rationalize them with a host of intellectual reasons, cogent arguments, and rational explanations. Beliefs come first, explanations for beliefs follow.

That’s it in hardcover fiction and nonfiction for this week. Which ones have you invested in? We’d love to hear your thoughts so leave us a comment below (since we aren’t Sookie and can’t read your mind)!

The Preternatural Post’s book lists are compiled from the best-seller lists published by The New York Times and Publishers Weekly

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