Barack Obama has often propelled books onto best seller lists. Can Michelle Obama do the same?  The ABC News blog reports that she’s reading The Grace of Silence: On Matters of Race and the Consequence of Silence, a memoir by NPR’s All Things Considered co-host Michele Norris, which goes on sale next week.  Libraries we checked have modest holds on modest orders.

In the book, Norris explores her family’s silence about her father’s shooting by a white policeman in Alabama in 1946, following his return from service in WWII, and rejects the reassuring myth that we live in a “post-racial” America.

Booklist gave it a starred review, calling Norris “a remarkably warm, witty, and spellbinding storyteller, enriching her illuminating family chronicle with profound understanding of the protective grace of silence and the powers unchained when, at last, all that has been unsaid is finally spoken.” PW found the book “eloquent and affecting,” and Kirkus found it “outstanding.”

The Grace of Silence: A Memoir
Michele Norris
Retail Price: $24.95
Hardcover: 208 pages
Publisher: Pantheon – (2010-09-21)
ISBN / EAN: 0307378764 / 9780307378767

Other Notable Nonfiction on Sale Next Week:

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Presents Earth (The Book): A Visitor’s Guide to the Human Race (Grand Central) satirizes the history and achievements of humanity. Stewart rocked the house at the Book & Author Breakfast at BEA, and his book has been mentioned in many fall previews. His promotional appearances include Bill O’Reilly’s Fox news channel show on Wednesday. You may remember that sparks flew when Stewart appeared on that show for his prevous book.

White House Diary by Jimmy Carter (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) contains sections of the actual diary Carter kept while in office. He will appear on 60 Minutes this coming Sunday, contending that Americans could have had comprehensive health care coverage decades ago if Sen. Edward M. Kennedy hadn’t blocked a plan Carter had proposed during his presidency. The embargoed book was also briefly available on Google Books yesterday morning, before the publisher requested it be taken down, according to the Politico blog.

Even Silence Has an End: My Six Years of Captivity in the Colombian Jungle by Ingrid Betancourt (Penguin Press) is the French Colombian political leader’s account of her harrowing abduction by the opposition during her presidential campaign. As we reported earlier, the Daily Beast says to “forget Blair or Bush, [Even Silence Has an End] is the memoir of the season.”

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