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Publishers Weekly best-sellers for week ending June 14:


1. “Finders Keepers” by Stephen King (Scribner)

2. “The Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins (Riverhead)

3. “In the Unlikely Event” by Judy Blume (Knopf)

4. “Radiant Angel” by Nelson Demille (Grand Central Publishing)

5. “All the Single Ladies” by Dorothea Benton Frank (William Morrow)

6. “Dead Ice” by Laurell K. Hamilton (Berkley)

7. “14th Deadly Sin” by James Patterson (Little, Brown)

7. “Memory Man” by David Balducci (Grand Central Publishing)

8. “Piranha” by Clive Cussler and Boyd Morrison (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)

9. “Memory Man” by David Balducci (Grand Central Publishing)

10. “Blueprints” by Barbara Delinsky (St. Martin’s Press)

11. “Luckiest Girl Alive” by Jessica Knoll (Simon & Schuster)

12. “Beach Town” by Mary Kay Andrews (St. Martin’s Press)

13. “The Nightingale” by Kristin Hannah (St. Martin’s Press)

14. “Gathering Prey” by John Sandford (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)

15. “The Fateful Lightning” by Jeff Shaara (Ballantine)


1. “The Wright Brothers” by David McCullough (Simon & Schuster)

2. “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying up” by Marie Kondo (Ten Speed)

3. “Bill O’Reilly’s Legends and Lies: The Real West” by Bill O’Reilly and David Fisher (Henry Holt and Co.)

4. “Triggers” by Marshall Goldsmith and Mark Reiter (Crown Business)

5. “Adios, America” by Ann Coulter (Regenry Publishing)

6. “And the Good News Is…“ by Dana Perino (Hachette/Twelve)

7. “The Whole 30” by Melissa Hartwig and Dallas Hartwig (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

8. “The Road to Character” by David Brooks (Random House)

9. “Primates of Park Avenue: A Memoir” by Wednesday Martin (Simon & Schuster)

10. “It’s a Long Story” by Willie Nelson (Little, Brown)

11. “Dead Wake” by Erik Larson (Crown Publishing)

12. “Brain Maker” by David Perlmutter (Little, Brown)

13. “The 22-Day Revolution” by Marco Borges (Penguin/Celebra)

14. “Being Mortal” by Atul Gawande (Metropolitan)

15. “American Wife” by Taya Kyle and Jim DeFelice (William Morrow)


1. “Top Secret Twenty-One” by Janet Evanovich (Bantam)

2. “Zoo” by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge (Little, Brown)

3. “The 6th Extinction” by James Rollins (William Morrow)

4. “Only a Promise” by Mary Balogh (Signet)

5. “Paris Match” by Stuart Woods (Signet)

6. “Four Friends” by Robyn Carr (Mira)

7. “Act of War” by Brad Thor (S&S/Pocket)

8. “Personal” by Lee Child (Dell)

9. “Whiskey Beach” by Nora Roberts (Jove)

10. “The Marriage Season” by Linda Lael Miller (Harlequin HQN)

11. “Ghost Ship” by Clive Cussler and Graham Brown (Berkley)

12. “That Summer Place” by Debbie Macomber, Susan Wiggs and Jill Barnett (Mira)

13. “The Perfect Witness” by Iris Johansen (St. Martin’s Press)

14. “Gina & Emma” by Sherryl Woods (Mira)

15. “O’Hurley’s Return” by Nora Roberts (Harlequin/Silhouette)


1. “The Martian” by Andy Weir (Crown Publishing)

2. “I Am Malala” by Malala Yousafzai (LB/Back Bay)

3. “Hope to Die” by James Patterson (Grand Central Publishing)

4. “American Sniper” (movie tie-in) by Chris Kyle (William Morrow)

5. “Leaving Time” by Jodi Picoult (Ballantine)

6. “The Goldfinch” by Donna Tartt (Little, Brown)

7. “The Vacationers” by Emma Straub (Riverhead)

8. “The Invention of Wings” by Sue Monk Kidd (Penguin Press)

9. “A Work in Progress: A Memoir” by Connor Franta (Atria/Keywords Press)

10. “Station Eleven” by Emily St. John Mandel (Vintage)

11. “In Real Life” by Joey Graceffa (Atria/Keywords Press)

12. “The 5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman (Moody/Northfield)

13. “Things That Matter” by Charles Krauthammer (Crown Forum)

14. “Everything I Never Told You” by Celeste Ng (Penguin)

15. “The Husband’s Secret” by Liane Moriarty (Berkley)

Movie Review: ‘Inside Out’

After the premiere of “Up” at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival, Pixar chief John Lasseter explained the studio’s nearly foolproof approach to creating animated stories that both enchant and endure: Whenever possible, he said, he and his colleagues strive to fulfill Walt Disney’s motto: “For every smile, a tear.”

That dictum is not just obeyed but refined to throat-catching perfection in “Inside Out,” a triumphant return to form for the studio best known for such classics as “Toy Story,” “Finding Nemo” and “Wall-E.” As vivacious as it is thoughtful, as funny as it is wise and as warmly accessible as it is dizzyingly complex, this raucous journey through the inner life of an 11-year-old girl fires on every artistic cylinder, from its vivid visuals to its uncannily sophisticated grasp of brain science. If there were any justice in an entertainment culture currently dominated by lumbering dinosaurs and their dimwitted human handlers, the dumbed-down noise of summer would be decisively muted by the far more powerful moods, thoughts and ideas that give “Inside Out” not just its verve and spirit but also its soberingly high stakes.

And we haven’t even gotten to Bing Bong.

But that comes later. From the start, “Inside Out” centers on Riley (voiced by Kaitlyn Dias), a happy-go-lucky girl growing up in cozy bliss with her loving parents in Minnesota. From the moment of her arrival, Riley has a secret companion dwelling deep inside her brain: Joy, her cardinal emotion, personified as a twirling blue-haired pixie and voiced by Amy Poehler. Assuming chief-pilot position behind a blinking dashboard, it’s Joy who largely controls Riley’s feelings, even when Anger (Lewis Black), Fear (Bill Hader), Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith) come into the mix. Happiness is Riley’s default setting, and her mostly positive vibes and memories have allowed her to construct a personality composed of different but complementary islands, including Family, Friendship, Honesty and — because she is one — Goofball.

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Everything’s humming along — Riley is living the life of, well, Riley — when things begin going a bit wonky, starting with her family’s move to San Francisco and exacerbated by a dreary new house, difficulties making friends and pressure to keep up a tirelessly cheerful face for her parents (Diane Lane and Kyle MacLachlan). A couple of hiccups occur up in “headquarters,” where core memories are formed and processed into translucent orbs traveling along a wavy Skee-Ball course — or, if you will, an emotional roller coaster. When Joy and Sadness spelunk into Riley’s deeper consciousness to sort it out, the negative feelings threaten to take over, sending her into a funk of depression, loneliness and alienation.

Poehler brings her signature irrepressibility and motormouth charm to her performance as Joy, who, despite working for Riley, is really the star of “Inside Out.” Smith, best known as Phyllis from the sitcom “The Office,” brings similar texture to bear on her blue, teardrop-shaped sad sack, who droops and drags herself through Riley’s brain like an inner Debbie Downer. Directed by Pete Docter and Ronnie Del Carmen from a script by Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley and Docter, “Inside Out” derives most of its comic relief from Black’s explosive portrayal of Anger, a boxy, easily enraged hothead. “Congratulations, San Francisco,” he fumes when Riley recoils from a broccoli-topped pie at a local Italian deli, “you just ruined pizza.”

As fabulous as the vocal performances are in “Inside Out,” it’s the clever writing and lush visuals that catapult it to greatness, from how ingeniously the filmmakers illustrate the inner workings of the human mind to amusingly on-point glimpses into the emotional HQs of Riley’s parents. (Pro tip: Stay all the way to the end for a hilarious end-credits sequence.)

Among “Inside Out’s” most impressive set pieces on Joy and Sadness’s journey through the mazelike expanse of Riley’s mind are a visit to abstract thought (in which they go from three to two dimensions, finally ending up as nonrepresentational squiggles) and a stop at the dream factory. The latter is depicted as a bustling Hollywood back lot where a rainbow-maned unicorn waits for her cue and a scary clown lurks far below in Riley’s subconscious where, as Sadness puts it, “they take all the troublemakers.”

Dodging vacuum-wielding “Forgetters” on the lookout for old telephone numbers and other useless facts, Joy and Sadness see the aforementioned Bing Bong, an imaginary friend from Riley’s toddler days who is part elephant, part cat, part dolphin and mostly cotton candy. Voiced with bittersweet sensitivity by Richard Kind, Bing Bong winds up playing a crucial role, not only in Riley’s putting away childish things but also in nudging Joy and Sadness toward getting along.

It’ll be no surprise if “Inside Out” becomes as beloved as “Toy Story” and “Finding Nemo,” if only for its liberated, wildly inventive sense of wonder and breathless, breakneck pace. But this is that rare movie that transcends its role as pure entertainment to become something genuinely cathartic, even therapeutic, giving children a symbolic language with which to manage their unruliest emotions.

Uncle Walt knew what he was talking about with “For every smile, a tear.” With “Inside Out,” the brilliant keepers of his legacy prove that it’s not only good for business but also essential for the soul.

★ ★ ★ ★

PG. Contains mild thematic elements and some action. 94 minutes.

Book Review: ‘The Sacrifice’

The Gilmer Free Press

During her long and distinguished career, Joyce Carol Oates never has shied away from the controversy that can come with using celebrities and tabloid news stories as the inspiration for her fiction. Her novel “Black Water” (1992) drew on the Chappaquiddick incident; “Blonde” (2000) gave us Oates’s take on the life of Marilyn Monroe; and “My Sister, My Love” (2008) reimagined the murder of JonBenét Ramsey. As recently as 2013, Oates prompted outrage for her unflattering portrait of poet Robert Frost in a short story published in Harper’s.

Oates’s latest novel, “The Sacrifice,” seems likely to stir up another flap. At first glance, it appears to have been fashioned with remarkable alacrity from recent headlines. The book is about the mistreatment of a young, possibly unreliable victim of sexual abuse by a criminal justice system that doesn’t have the trust of the African American population it is charged with serving. But Oates’s novel isn’t a conflation of the University of Virginia rape case and the widespread protests over policing in Ferguson, Mo., and New York. Rather, it takes its premise from an older source: the story of Tawana Brawley, who, in 1987, created a furor when she falsely claimed that she had been kidnapped and raped by a group of white men in Dutchess County, New York. It’s not hard to see why Oates would be drawn to this material. More than a quarter of a century after the Brawley hoax was revealed, the questions it raised about race relations and the justice system remain pressingly relevant.

In fictionalizing the story, Oates relocates it from upstate New York to the post-industrial ruins of Pascayne, NJ, an imaginary town on the Passaic River “defiled by factories and mills dumping waste,” and decimated by riots in 1967. Amid this desolation, the novel opens with a series of gripping scenes fit for a police procedural. We see a distraught woman, Ednetta Frye, desperately searching the streets of Pascayne for her 14-year-old daughter, Sybilla. “No one so alone as the bereft mother seeking her lost child in vain,” Oates writes. A chapter later, the girl is discovered in the cellar of a disused food-processing plant. She’s been hog-tied, beaten and smeared with dirt and excrement. Racist taunts are scrawled on her skin. Fearfully, she mutters, “They say they gon come back an kill me.”

But at the hospital, Sybilla’s credibility comes under suspicion. She refuses to be examined by a white doctor. Once her mother arrives, Ednetta blocks any attempt to give her daughter X-rays, a blood test or a pelvic exam, saying, “I’m bringin my baby home can’t none of you stop me.” During a brief, antagonistic interview with a female police officer, the girl indicates that she was abducted and abused by five men, at least one of whom was a “white cop” with “yellow hair.”

Oates employs multiple points of view to tell this explosive story, and — at least for the book’s first half — this technique effectively illustrates how the incident reverberates through different constituencies in the town. However, the novel changes once Sybilla’s cause is taken up by the Rev. Marus Mudrick, an Al Sharpton-style activist whom Oates describes as “a flamboyant black agitator more in the tradition of Congressman [Adam Clayton] Powell than of the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.”

Joyce Carol Oates has drawn from real-life controversy for her novels over the course of her career. “The Sacrifice” is no different. (Ecco)

Marus and his twin brother, Byron, a civil-rights lawyer, are so compelling a portrait of misguided ambition and fraternal dysfunction that they nearly overwhelm the novel. “There was no competing with Marus Mudrick,” Oates writes. “You were a follower, a disciple, or an enemy.” That’s also true for the other characters in the book. What begins as a wide-angle work of social realism about racial injustice and poverty becomes — after the arrival of the Mudricks — a grim study of exploitation. Marus uses the alleged gang rape as a vehicle for self-aggrandizement and enrichment, holding news conferences, staging marches and foolishly accusing a local district attorney of being one of Sybilla’s rapists. The result, inevitably, is violence. Sybilla, whom Marus calls “the perfect black victim,” ultimately escapes the clutches of the Mudricks, but to perhaps an even worse fate.

“The Sacrifice” is a bleak and, at times, painful reading experience. There is a clinical quality to Oates’s naturalism, which eschews love, hope and humor, as if they would take away from the seriousness of her subject. The prose is vivid but surgical and unadorned. All lyricism is muted, all tangents are curtailed, and the potential for satire — especially in Oates’s portrait of Marus Mudrick — is never developed. The book keeps to its course like medicine being drawn through an I.V. tube. The one character who seems to offer an opportunity for redemption — the educated, well-intentioned Puerto Rican police officer initially assigned to Sybilla’s case — fails to overcome the daunting obstacles in her path.

In an afterword, Oates explains that “The Sacrifice” is “strongly linked” to her 1969 novel, “them,” which is about working-class life in Detroit in the years prior to the civil unrest of 1967. That book, despite its subject, was written with a verve and humanity that are absent from “The Sacrifice.” Discussing the composition of “them,” in an author’s note, Oates writes that she deliberately understated the “sordid and shocking events of slum life” in the novel for fear that “too much reality would become unbearable.” This does not appear to have been a concern in composing her latest.


By Joyce Carol Oates

Ecco. 309 pp. $26.99

Virtual Reality Dominates Floor at E3 Gaming Show

The Gilmer Free Press

LOS ANGELES, CA—Virtual reality gaming, once a distant concept, became the new battleground at this year’s E3 industry convention, with developers seeking to win over fans with their immersive headsets and accessories.

Microsoft, Sony and virtual reality company Oculus are squaring off at the June 16-18 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles, promoting their virtual reality accessories.

Dan Ackerman, a senior editor at online technology and consumer electronics review site CNET, said he believed the future for virtual reality—once synonymous with clunky headgear—might finally be here for consumers.

“Sony has the Morpheus headset that should work with the Playstation 4,“ he said, referring to Sony’s popular video game console.

“Microsoft has the Hololens, which is very experimental, a more augmented reality and ... Oculus is the market leader. They were the first guys with workable hardware which should be available to buy early next year.“

Oculus, which is owned by Facebook, debuted the consumer version of its Oculus Rift headset last week. While a prototype has been available to developers since 2013, the consumer version will be available for pre-order later this year.

At the E3 opening on Tuesday, scores of video games fans lined up outside Oculus’ booth to try out the headset.

“I think it’s come a long way and it’s definitely entertaining,“ video game fan Maheer Kibria said.

“(It) feels very immersive in the visual effects.“

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