The most recent bestseller list for Watermark Books & Café,
Wichita, Kan., for the week ending last Wednesday, July 20, is perhaps
the one general bestseller tally in the country not topped by Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Who was more popular than Harry? In a sense, former Kansas Senator Bob
Dole. Watermark managing partner Sarah Bagby explained that during an
appearance earlier this year for his World War II memoir, One Soldier's Story
Dole and the store staff talked about "who all should read this
book"--about Dole's long and painful recovery from severe wounds and
his ties to friends and family in Kansas.
In response, Dole put together a philanthropic foundation to donate the
books--with Watermark's help--to veterans' hospitals and Kansas
libraries. "Lots of his friends have helped raise some of the money,"
she added. "We're getting some good sales."
Among other influences on the list: on Thursday, July 21, Reed Arvin, a former Wichitan, did a reading and signing for his new Blood of Angels
one of the four hardcover legal thrillers HarperCollins priced at
$16.95 in a special promotion early this summer. Although that title
didn't make this list, it was selling well after the reading, and in
the runup to the event, Arvin's earlier Last Goodbye
(HarperTorch, $7.50, 0060555521) said hello to Watermark bestsellerdom.
Similarly Barry Eisler appeared on July 9 to read and sign for his Killing Rain
(Putnam, $24.95, 0399152849), the latest in his Rain series, which helped his earlier Rain Storm
burst onto the list.
Another store bestseller, True Blueberry
, a cookbook by Linda Dannenberg, has
benefited from Watermark's tradition of having its café feature one
cookbook a month and offer some treats from the book. For this tome, the
café has served up blueberry pies, muffins, scones and shakes; and for
book clubs meeting at the store, it's serving blueberry-sweet potato
As for The Kite Runner
, Bagby echoed other booksellers around
the country who say that this title keeps selling, in large part
because of reading group interest.
Watermark's bestsellers last week:
One Soldier's Story by Bob Dole (HarperCollins, $25.95, 0060763418)
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling (Scholastic, $29.99, 0439784549)
True Blueberry: Delicious Recipes for Every Meal by Linda Dannenberg (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, $22.50, 1584794178)
The Wife of Reilly by Jennifer Coburn (Kensington, $12.95, 0758206267)
The Secret Man: The Story of Watergate's Deep Throat by Bob Woodward (S&S, $23, 0743287150)
Rain Storm by Barry Eisler (Penguin, $7.99, 0451215508)
The Last Goodbye by Reed Arvin (HarperCollins, $7.50, 0060555521)
The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova (Little, Brown, $25.95, 0316011770)
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (Penguin, $14, 1594480001)
1776 by David McCullough (S&S, $32, 0743226712)