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Editors’ choice: The best of the bestsellers

Detail from the cover of Joyland by Stephen King

The Cuckoo's Calling By Robert Galbraith (Mulholland Books, $29)

J.K. Rowling published her first crime novel earlier this year, but, as you've perhaps heard, she did so under the pseudonym of Robert Galbraith. Never mind who's name is on the cover, the book is vintage Rowling, and has received rave reviews, before and after the secret got out. Her cover's blown, but it's for a good cause: She's promised to donate the book's royalties to charity. Mischief managed.

And the Mountains Echoed By Khaled Hosseini (Viking Canada, $30)

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And the Mountains Echoed, an instant hit, is getting interactive. Its publishers marked the book's release with the launch of The Echo Project (, a lavish multimedia site where readers are invited to offer contributions – film, sound, image – that correspond with each of the novel's 402 pages. Maybe that's what keeps it selling.

Joyland By Stephen King (Hard Case Crime, $12.95)

It's a good time to be King: The master storyteller has a new book riding high on the bestseller lists (his delightful bit of summertime nostalgia, Joyland), a TV show heating up the airwaves (Under the Dome, the book version of which is selling well, too), and a new novel (Doctor Sleep, a sequel to The Shining) less than two months away.

419 By Will Ferguson (Viking Canada, $32)

When a Nigerian internet scammer and a Calgarian school teacher touch lives, the repercussions travel far in either direction. In this Scotiabank Giller Prize-winning novel, a bestseller list stalwart, four interwoven storylines illustrate how closely technology has linked us, for better or for worse.

The Silver Star By Jeannette Walls (Scribner, $29.99)

As she told Globe Books in an interview last month, Jeanette Walls loves a bestseller. So she must be rather pleased with herself, as The Silver Star, her third book and first out-and-out novel, has been moving swiftly from our nation's shelves. Walls argued that a bestselling author doesn't need literary approval, because they've readers, the most important thing. The very positive critical reception for this new book proves that she's found a way to have it all.

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The Ocean at the End of the Lane By Neil Gaiman (William Morrow, $27.99)

Neil Gaiman's latest will vindicate his old fans and win new converts. A story both about childhood and the losses that herald its ending, it may be his best in some time.

The Rosie Project By Graeme Simison (HarperCollins, $19.99)

Globe Books described The Rosie Project – a novel about an exceedingly rational guy sidelined by that most irrational of emotions – as "crackling with wit and boasting an almost perfectly calibrated heartbreak-to-romance ratio."

Wild By Cheryl Strayed (Vintage, $18.95)

She hit rock bottom and then she hit the trail – the Pacific Crest Trail. Cheryl Strayed's thousand-mile journey in the wake of her destroyed marriage and mother's death is told with grit and humour. Look, Nick Hornby liked it. What more do you want?

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The Silent Wife By A.S.A. Harrison (Penguin Canada, $18)

A.S.A. Harrison's The Silent Wife is being hailed as this year's Gone Girl. From the get-go, we know the marriage unravels and ends in death. But it's the details – the husband's philandering; his psychotherapist wife's slow descent into murderousness – that hold the reader fast.

Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls By David Sedaris (Little, Brown, $30)

David Sedaris is a bestseller list stalwart, in part because he's one of the hardest-working people in the book business. He tours relentlessly, and is famous for his book signings, where he takes genuine delight in asking unusual questions of each person who approaches the table. His publicist reports that at an event in Toronto this spring he signed books until 2 a.m. – on a night when the Maple Leafs had a playoff game.

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