The Best of Books

The Marina Books Inc. best sellers 

Here is a list of the most popular books sold last month at Books Inc. in the Marina:

1. Funny Story, by Emily Henry
2. The Women, by Kristin Hannah
3. Table for Two: Fictions, by Amor Towles

1. The Algebra Of Wealth: A Simple Formula for Financial Security, by Scott Galloway 
2. The Anxious Generation: How the Great Rewiring of Childhood Is Causing an Epidemic of Mental Illness, by Jonathan Haidt
3. The Wide, Wide Sea: Imperial Ambition, First Contact and the Fateful Final Voyage of Captain James Cook, by Hampton Sides

1. The Most Fun We Ever Had, by Claire Lombardo
2. I Have Some Questions For You, by Rebecca Makkai
3. The Postcard, by Anne Berest

1. The Shortest History of Israel and Palestine: From Zionism to Intifadas and the Struggle for Peace, by Michael Scott-Baumann
2. The Shortest History of Italy, by Ross King
3. How We Live Is How We Die, by Pema Chödrön

Young Adult: The Reappearance of Rachel Price, by Holly Jackson
Picture Book: Taylor Swift: A Little Golden Book Biography, by Wendy Loggia & Elisa Chavari
Graphic Novel: Dog Man vol. 12 : The Scarlet Shedder, by Dav Pilkey


Same As It Ever Was, by Claire Lombardo
Lombardo’s second novel, following The Most Fun We Ever Had (2019), opens with an awkward grocery story encounter between middle-aged Julia and Helen, an older woman with whom Julia was once friends — a friendship linked to a horrible regret. We thus get the first of many subtle glimpses into Julia’s past, dangled throughout this engaging tale which crisscrosses various decades of her life. First, the encounter with Helen dredges up memories of when Julia, as a lonely young mom, was drawn into Helen’s comforting upper-middle-class world. Later chapters illuminate Julia’s teen years, growing up poor with an aloof single mother, a fraught relationship that informs Julia’s intimacy issues with her husband, among others. Back in the present, Julia is faced with an impending empty nest, with one child college-bound and the other about to be a parent himself. Lombardo loves her characters, taking time to peel back each of their layers through the time-lapse structure of the novel and her rich descriptions. Her depiction of the Chicago suburbs is also lovely. A sure bet for fans of Richard Russo and Jane Smiley.

Daughter of Calamity, by Rosalie M. Lin                                                                                           
In 1930s Shanghai, the shadowy and notorious gangs that run rampant through the city hide behind a facade of jazz and glittering nightclubs. Jingwen is the granddaughter of Liqing, the powerful surgeon for the Society of the Blue Dawn, who takes limbs of flesh and replaces them with steel. Jingwen could succeed her grandmother as a surgeon, but she would rather dance, practicing with a troupe during the day and entertaining wealthy foreigners at the Paramount at night. When she gets caught up in a horrifying series of attacks — her fellow cabaret dancers are having their faces stolen and given to elite socialites — Jingwen discovers that the underworld she has tried to stay above hides strange things (rival gangs; communing with gods), and Jingwen herself may have to become something she never could have imagined — for better or worse. The highly detailed story moves at a slow pace through the first half of the book, which may leave readers wanting a bit more action, but Lin successfully creates a world that is as much a character in the novel as the people who live in it.

When The Sea Came Alive: An Oral History of D-Day, by Garrett M. Graff               
D-Day is one of history’s greatest and most unbelievable military and human triumphs. Though the full campaign lasted just over a month, the surprise landing of over 150,000 Allied troops on the morning of June 6, 1944, is understood to be the moment that turned the tide for the Allied forces and ultimately led to the defeat of the Axis powers in World War II. Now, a new book from bestselling author and historian Garrett M. Graff explores the full impact of this world-changing event — from the secret creation of landing plans by top government and military officials and the organization of troops, to the moment the boat doors opened to reveal the beach where men fought for their lives and the future of the free world. Fascinating, action-packed, and filled with impressive detail, When the Sea Came Alive captures a human drama like no other, and offers a fitting tribute to the men and women of the Greatest Generation.

Chris Hsiang can help you find your next book at Books Inc., 2251 Chestnut St., 415-931-3633,

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