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Valley Bookseller in downtown Stillwater is letting people know: even though we should distance ourselves from others to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we do not have to socially distance ourselves from characters in books.

With the Center for Disease Control recommending that everyone stay at home if possible due to COVID-19, now may be a better time than ever to get lost in a good book.

Valley Bookseller is one of 52 book stores that contribute to the Midwest Indie Bestseller List, a collection of the top-selling adult and children’s titles for both hardcover and paperback releases in our region. Each store reports its weekly sales, and the top sellers are placed on the list that is updated weekly.

Here are a few of the Midwest Indie Bestsellers in the Fiction category for the week of March 15 through March 21.

In “The Night Watchman” by Louise Erdrich, the author pays poignant homage to her grandfather in this sweeping novel about Native American dispossession in the 1950s. Like her grandfather, the hero is a humble night watchman, also the tribal chairman of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa in North Dakota.

In “Apeirogon,” Colum McCann unfurls the story of two fathers, one Palestinian and one Israeli, who have both lost their daughters to the violence that surrounds them. Over the course of the day, these two men’s lives intertwine as they attempt to use their grief as a weapon for peace.

“Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens, a New York Times Fiction Best Seller for 30 non-consecutive weeks in 2019 and 2020, follows two timelines that slowly intertwine. The first describes the life and adventures of a young girl named Kya as she grows up isolated in the marsh of North Carolina from 1952 to 1969. The second timeline follows a murder investigation of Chase Andrews, a local celebrity of Barkley Cove, a fictional coastal town of North Carolina. By December 2019, “Where the Crawdads Sing” sold over 4.5 million copies worldwide.

Here are some of the top Nonfiction titles from the same list.

“The Splendid and the Vile” by Erik Larson shows, in cinematic detail, how Winston Churchill taught the British people “the art of being fearless.” It is a story of political brinkmanship, but also an intimate domestic drama. The story is set against the backdrop of Churchill’s prime-ministerial country home, Chequers; his wartime retreat, Ditchley, where he and his entourage go when the moon is brightest and the bombing threat is highest; and 10 Downing St. in Westminster, London.

“The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse” by Charlie Mackesy offers inspiration and hope in uncertain times in this story based on the author’s famous quartet of characters. The boy, mole, fox and horse explore their unlikely friendship and the poignant, universal lessons they learn together.

“Educated” by Tara Westover is a testimony of following one’s ambitions and dreams while overcoming overwhelming obstacles and hardships. The memoir tells Westover’s journey from her isolated Mormon life in the mountains of Idaho to getting into the PhD program at Cambridge University.

Valley Bookseller is now closed until further notice, but website orders are still being fulfilled with free shipping. Visit its website, valleybookseller.com, or call the store at 651-430-3385 to place an order. Curbside pickup for books at its store is also available, but shipping is preferred.

Kevin Ott can be reached at kevin.ott@apgecm.com

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