Welcome to the New York Times Best Sellers list for August 15th, 2008.
Each week we go through the top sellers on the list and give you our top 3 picks so to give you can get an idea of what to download for your Kindle. You can browse through The New York Times best sellers list on Amazon.com.
Here are our top 3 books of the week followed by the top 5 best-selling books by category;
Havana Nocturne: How the Mob Owned Cuba and Then Lost It to the Revolution by T. J. English – Number 7 in Hardcover Nonfiction
I loved this book for a lot of reasons but it didn’t make me want to take my clothes off and go dancin’ in the rain. In fact, after reading this account of Havana I wonder when it was that Ricky Martin thought such frivolity would be a good idea. The history of the city and the lifestyle surrounding it’s golden years seemed exciting but a little dangerous.
Author T.J. English did a wonderful job of researching the happenings in Cuba in his non-fiction winner, “Havana Nocturne.” I relish well- researched histories and with about 330 end notes, some 25 insider interviews, and 11 pages listing the books, articles, essays, transcripts, reports, documentaries, television programs, institutions, and FBI files that English relied on for his information, this book certainly qualifies.
Usually that much research material produces a book with the trudging characteristics of a Russian epic that takes several years to read, but not Havana Nocturne. English has deftly woven the information into a tight record of a couple of decades of activity, and produced an entertaining account of what the Mob and the Cuban government was involved in, all the while naming those who participated in some highly nefarious schemes. All the familiar big-city Mafiosi characters are here, along with the hangers-on from Hollywood, Tampa, Washington, D.C., New York City, Chicago and Las Vegas– those who loved the glamour and excitement of a glittering Havana especially prepared to lure them in.
Famous Americans such as John F. Kennedy, Frank Sinatra, Steve Allen, Lucille Ball, Marlon Brando, George Raft, Graham Greene, Errol Flynn, Dorothy Dandridge, Ava Gardner, Eartha Kitt, Ginger Rogers, Tony Martin, Johnny Mathis, Donald O’Conner, and Tyrone Power, among many others, became real aficionados of the wild Cuban lifestyle and spent a good deal of time sampling it. Give English credit. He’s not a muckraker and lurid details of their visits are sparse, but their presence is acknowledged.
Fulgencio Batista’s turbulent career as dictator and his repressive regime through the 1950s is brilliantly chronicled as is his open-pocket acceptance of the Mob’s movement into the biggest luxury hotels and gambling casinos in Havana. English parallels the lush life and Batista’s corrupt governmental activities with the story of a young revolutionary named Fidel Castro who lives in the Cuban mountains, plotting to overthrow Batista and implement his own ideas for the Mob. The author tells of the Revolution, the ouster of Batista, and the double-cross Castro executes against the American mobsters, a move that virtually sent Cuba into an economic downward spiral from which it has never recovered.
This book was a pleasure to read. The writing is taut: the activity is crisply presented. There are many characters involved but the author never loses the reader to the playbill. I haven’t enjoyed a book this much for some time. I highly recommend it. – reviewed by Schuyler T. Wallace”
4/5 Amazon.com rating by 23 customer reviews.
Kindle Version is available! for $9.99 – save: $17.96 (64%)
Source: Amazon Customer Review*
When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris – Number 1 in Hardcover Nonfiction
I must admit that this is the first David Sedaris book I’ve read, and I hope it won’t be my last…or his last, now that he has given up smoking. “When You Are Engulfed in Flames” is a warm mix of syntax and prose, moving at just the right speed to absorb every nuance of his observations. When one is finished it might occur that Sedaris would be a nice dinner companion, though I suspect the reader would probably get to know him better in print than over a meal.
This is a book of comparisons and the author likes the word “like”. It could be his favorite word but every simile he uses has a humorous tone meant to educate the reader in diverse ways. It’s hard to classify David Sedaris at mid-life…he’s not as neurotic (but no less perspicacious!) as Woody Allen but a bit more overstated than, say, Bob Newhart. A gay Ernest Hemingway? Well, not quite, but at least there was booze and smoking material surrounding each writer.
Every chapter in Sedaris’s book is engaging but his final one (and by far the longest) deals with his giving up cigarettes as he roams the cities of Japan. I would imagine that if you’re relinquishing a habit or an addiction, writing about it must be helpful. This is a wonderfully constructed book and I highly recommend “When You Are Engulfed in Flames” for the author’s wit, insight and terrific narrative style. – reviewed by Jon Hunt “musician, teacher”
4/5 Amazon.com rating by 172 customer reviews.
Kindle Version is available! for $9.99 – save $16.00 (62%)
Source: Amazon Customer Review*
You: Staying Young: The Owner’s Manual for Extending Your Warranty by Michael F. Roizen – Number 3 in Hardcover Advice, How-To, and Miscellaneous
I found this book tremendously motivating. Although I’ve never been big on being healthy, at 41 I’m beginning to be a bit concerned with staying young. Essentially they are the same thing but marketing it as “staying young” instead of “staying healthy” caught my attention. In reality we all want to remain active and healthy throughout as many years as possible.
This book is written in a very simplistic way, yet with enough detail to give an understanding of what one should do to maintain good health for many years. It was easy to follow many of the recommendations because they told you not only what vitamins in what amounts, but also which foods contain these vitamins. As 110 lb. person who has never had to diet, I have always been resistant to giving up my fries and soda for a better diet. I liked that the authors didn’t chide you about what NOT to eat but just told you what foods helped in various areas. It has inspired me to eat more of those foods, knowing that I’m not forever forbidden to enjoy the things I like to eat.
They also cover exercise, emotional health, etc. It appears to be a fairly complete look at all aspects of body and health. I highly recommend “You Staying Young” even if you don’t intend to dive fully into all improvements. If your family is predisposed to certain illnesses, you will certainly find tips to encourage your own body NOT to express those genes and avoid the genetic predisposition. In general, there is just a lot of interesting information in here and it’s not written like a boring medical text. The authors are funny, sometimes to the point of being a little corny, and it smooths the pathway to knowledge. – reviewed by T. Corson
4/5 Amazon.com rating by 184 customer reviews.
Kindle Version is available! for $9.99 – save: $16.01 (62%)
Source: Amazon Customer Review*
* These reviews are taken from Amazon.com customer/editor reviews and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions blogkindle.com
Top 5 Books by Category
1. MOSCOW RULES, by Daniel Silva
2. THE BOURNE SANCTION, by Eric Van Lustbader
3. THE HOST, by Stephenie Meyer
4. THE STORY OF EDGAR SAWTELLE, by David Wroblewski
5. THE GUERNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
1. THE OBAMA NATION, by Jerome R. Corsi
2. WHEN YOU ARE ENGULFED IN FLAMES, by David Sedaris
3. STORI TELLING, by Tori Spelling with Hilary Liftin
4. ARE YOU THERE, VODKA? IT’S ME, CHELSEA, by Chelsea Handler
5. FLEECED, by Dick Morris and Eileen McGann
Paperback Trade Fiction
1. THE SHACK, by William P. Young
2. BAREFOOT, by Elin Hilderbrand
3. WATER FOR ELEPHANTS, by Sara Gruen
4. THE KITE RUNNER, by Khaled Hosseini
5. THE ALCHEMIST, by Paulo Coelho
Paperback Mass-Market Fiction
1. PLAYING FOR PIZZA, by John Grisham
2. TURBULENT SEA, by Christine Feehan
3. PLAY DIRTY, by Sandra Brown
4. CRY WOLF, by Patricia Briggs
5. THE MANNING BRIDES, by Debbie Macomber
1. THREE CUPS OF TEA, by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin
2. EAT, PRAY, LOVE, by Elizabeth Gilbert
3. THE AUDACITY OF HOPE, by Barack Obama
4. BIG RUSS AND ME, by Tim Russert
5. I HOPE THEY SERVE BEER IN HELL, by Tucker Max
1. THE LAST LECTURE, by Randy Pausch with Jeffrey Zaslow
2. THE SECRET, by Rhonda Byrne
3. JUST WHO WILL YOU BE?, by Maria Shriver
4. DECEPTIVELY DELICIOUS, by Jessica Seinfeld
5. YOU: STAYING YOUNG, by Michael F. Roizen and Mehmet C. Oz et al.
1. A NEW EARTH, by Eckhart Tolle
2. SKINNY BITCH, by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin
3. THE POWER OF NOW, by Eckhart Tolle
4. WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU’RE EXPECTING, by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel
5. SOUL WISDOM, by Zhi Gang Sha
1. GALLOP!, written and illustrated by Rufus Butler Seder
2. FAIRIES AND MAGICAL CREATURES, by Matthew Reinhart and Robert Sabuda
3. ALPHABET, by Matthew Van Fleet
4. SMASH! CRASH!, by Jon Scieszka
5. A VISITOR FOR BEAR, by Bonny Becker