The newest pick from Costco book buyer Pennie Clark Ianniciello is far from new, but it is certainly all the rage: Ron Chernow’s biography, Alexander Hamilton (PRH/Penguin, 2004).
In making her choice Ianniciello says:
“From mentions on podcasts to small talk at the salon, that name is on many people’s lips. So, I thought I’d go back to the book responsible for all the hubbub … What I love most about the rekindled popularity of this book is that its brains and newly found street cred make it a book the whole family can enjoy.”
In a feature in the Costco Connection, Chernow recounts his meeting with the Broadway sensation’s creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda, saying he was “flabbergasted” when Miranda told him “that as he was reading my book, ‘hip-hop songs started rising off the page.’ ”
Chernow also describes what it is like to live in the wake of the Broadway hit: “Every time I see the show and these enormous crowds, I pinch myself with wonder that I somehow triggered off this Hamilton mania.”
The award-winning historian (who trained as an English major) has been experiencing that wonder often, as we wrote earlier, he told the The Wall Street Journal “I never dreamed that I would be autographing Playbills … [this year has been] a biographer’s wish-fulfillment fantasy.”
Also featured this month is Annie Proulx’s Barkskins (S&S/Scribner, S&S Audio), which Costco calls “her magnum opus, a literary force majeure.”
The glowing review tracks the long germination of the novel, begun 30 years ago and mulled over and researched for decades. The writing of it, according to The Wall Street Journal, took close to a decade as well. The end result is, says the Costco reviewer,a “novel that howls, grieves, lilts and erupts with urgency, authority and something that looks a lot like hope.”
It is also the pick of several summer reading lists, catching the eye of Amazon’s Editors, B&N, Buzzfeed, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and USA Today. Canadian librarians agree, selecting it as the #1 title in their June Loan Stars picks.