Thursday, December 2, 2021
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Optimism gets its sunny head on the bestseller list

Optimism gets its sunny head on the bestseller list

SILVER LINING PLAYBOOK In her memoir “Forever Young” Hayley Mills writes about the pressures of being born into an acting family and starring in a number of ticket hits as a teenager. Mills was only 12 when she filmed her first film, “Tiger Bay,” with her father, Sir John Mills; on December 15, 1959, The Times described her as “one of the most complex little artists we’ve seen in a long time.” A year later, she starred in the film version of Eleanor H. Porter’s novel “Pollyanna.” “The news is that only an ungenerated cynic with a persistent aversion to children, good or bad, Technicolor and a gentle legend spun in standard, obvious style, would track by this picture-postcard reminder of unlikely things,” he wrote our reviewer. “The blonde, pixie Miss Mills gives a restrained, natural and joyfully mature performance. She is a sympathetic young man whose manners and speech are unaffected and convincing. Mills won a special Academy Award, presented by Shirley Temple, for this role. “Forever Young” appears at No. 9 in its first week on the bound subject list.

BEAUTY CONS There are many reasons to cry and rub teeth right now, but if you look at this week’s bestseller list, you’ll find glimmers of hope in two similar beginners: “Beautiful World, Where Are You”, by Sally Rooney, who debuted as no. 1 on the bound fiction list and “Beautiful Country” by Qian Julie Wang, who plants her flag as No. 3 on the bound non-fiction page. The two books could not be more different. One is a very ballyhooed novel by such a famous novelist, she inspired an eponymous pop-up shop (say it 10 times fast) in London and a branded coffee car (sponsored by Air Mail) in New York City; the other is a recollection of the author’s move from China to “Mei Guo” -USA, or “beautiful country” -where her family lived through an unimaginably hard-hitting life in Brooklyn. Despite taking place in different worlds, both books contain narrators whose lives are shaped by words.

LOGICAL FACE Bobby Hall, the rapper known as Logic, adds another sunny title to the mix with his memoir, “This Bright Future,” which appears at No. 4 on the non-fiction list. This is not a hilarious story for reassured readers – but it does show how much addiction and chaos a child can survive before building a musical rocket ship for his own future.

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