Petaluma Bestsellers: ‘House on Liberty Street,’ ‘The White Lady’ and ‘Lessons in chemistry’

Petaluma Bestsellers: ‘House on Liberty Street,’ ‘The White Lady’ and ‘Lessons in chemistry’

The top selling titles at Copperfield’s Books, in Petaluma, for the week of March 20-26, 2023

Continuing its remarkable streak at the top of our local Bestselling Books List this week is Frances Rivetti’s “The House on Liberty Street,” once again the No. 1 book in Petaluma. Since its release last holiday season, local interest in the book has stayed impressively high, with enthusiastic word-of-mouth making it a certified Petaluma hit.

The tight, entertaining drama has some stiff competition this week, however, from Jacqueline Winspear’s “The White Lady” (No. 2), which will likely see a big bump next week after the popular author’s bookstore appearance here in Petaluma on Monday, March 27 at Copperfield’s. There is nothing like a live bookstore appearance to drive up awareness and enthusiasm for a good historical thriller.

It is a bit harder to guess what has pulled Bonnie Gamus’ “Lessons in Chemstry” (this week’s No. 3 book) back onto the bestseller list, aside from the fact that the author is totally in her elements here – and yes, that was a chemistry joke. The 2022 novel was last seen in the local Top 10 in December, when it was rereleased in paperback. Like its companions in this week’s Top Three, the book features a strong, hard-to-predict woman at the center of the story, which follows a brilliant chemist who is accidentally propelled to stardom as the host of a 1960s cooking show.

Raised in Seattle and now living in London, Gamus worked as a copywriter for years before debuting with “Lessons in Chemistry,” the reaction to which has been explosive. Since it materialized in bookstores in April of 2022, the book has gone on to be sold in 35 countries, and already has a television adaptation in the works. The show, to broadcast on Apple TV in late 2023 will star Brie Larson in the lead, with a supporting cast that includes Lewis J. Pullman (“Top Gun: Maverick”), Aja Naomi King (“How to Succeed in Murder”) and Beau Bridges, who was featured in last year’s HBO charmer “A Christmas Mystery,” filmed right here in Petaluma.

Meanwhile, speaking of book-to-series adaptations, this week’s No. 5 book is Taylor Jenkins Reid’s “Daisy Jones & the Six,” which first appeared on Petaluma’s bestseller list in 2021, and is back in readers minds again because of the hit Netflix series based on the novel.

Who knows? Maybe we’ll be saying something similar a year from now about “The House of Liberty Street.”

Here are descriptions of the Top 10 Books on Copperfield’s Fiction and Nonfiction list, along with the full Kids and Young Adults list.


1. ‘The House on Liberty Street: Home of Second Chances,’ by Frances Rivetti – From local author Frances Rivetti comes a family drama set right here in Petaluma, when a stranger threatens to change the lives of four women on Christmas Eve.

2. ‘The White Lady,’ by Jacqueline Winspear – From the bestselling author of the Maisie Dobbs mystery series comes a new heroine, a former WWI child-spy recruited as a young woman by the Belgian Resistance during the Nazi occupation of Belgium in WWII.

3. ‘Lessons in Chemistry,’ by Bonnie Garmus – A delightful novel about a brilliant chemist-turned-star of a 1960s television cooking show, and her efforts to outwit the sexist entertainment machine within which she has found herself.

4. ‘Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow,’ by Gabrielle Zevin – An entertaining novel about young video game enthusiasts – two of who racked up hours of playing “Oregon Trail” together as kids – joining up to create a brand new, hopefully world-changing game.

5. ‘Daisy Jones & The Six,’ by Taylor Jenkins Reid – From the author of “Malibu Rising” and “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo,” this 2019 novel is partly a mystery exploring what happened to a popular ‘70s band that broke up suddenly years ago. The Netflix series based on the book is currently airing, and is a massive hit, which could be why the book is back on the bestsellers list.

6. ‘Legends & Lattes’ – Travis Baldree – Written by a professional video game designer turned audio book narrator, this charmingly quirky and eccentric fantasy gem is about a warrior orc seeking a quieter life by opening a coffeeshop in a city where coffee is as rare as a book about warriors that is actually love and friendship, which is what this is, and so much more.

7. ‘The Creative Act,’ by Rick Rubin – Music producer Ricker Rubin presents an encouraging little book about turning the act of creation – and act he insists everyone is capable of – into a way of life, by embracing play, exploration and all the possibilities of the word “yes.”

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