Bestselling books the week of 11/28/13, according to IndieBound*

What's selling best at independent bookstores across America.


1. The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt, Little Brown
2. The Valley of Amazement, by Amy Tan, Ecco
3. Sycamore Row, by John Grisham, Doubleday
4. Dog Songs, by Mary Oliver, Penguin Press
5. Aimless Love, by Billy Collins, Random House
6. The Luminaries, by Eleanor Catton, Little Brown
7. The First Phone Call From Heaven, by Mitch Albom, Harper
8. Takedown Twenty, by Janet Evanovich, Bantam
9. The Signature of All Things, by Elizabeth Gilbert, Viking
10. King and Maxwell, by David Baldacci, Grand Central
11. We Are Water, by Wally Lamb, Harper
12. S., by J.J. Abrams, Doug Dorst, Mulholland
13. The Circle, by Dave Eggers, Knopf
14. The Lowland, by Jhumpa Lahiri, Knopf
15. Doctor Sleep, by Stephen King, Scribner

On the Rise:
16. The Good Lord Bird, by James McBride, Riverhead
McBride's rousing novel is the story a young boy born a slave who joins John Brown's anti-slavery crusade and must pass as a girl to survive. Winner of the 2013 National Book Award for Fiction.

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

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