Daily Press (Sunday)



1. “Fourth Wing” by Rebecca Yarros

(Red Tower) Last week: 2

2. “Iron Flame” by Rebecca Yarros

Last week: 1

(Red Tower)

3. “The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store” by James McBride

4. “The Exchange: After the Firm” by John Grisham

(Doubleday) Last week: 4

5. “The Little Liar” by Mitch Albom

week: 6

7.“Alex Cross Must Die: A Thriller”by James Patterson

week: 11

(Riverhead) Last week: 3

6. “Holly” by Stephen King

(Harper) Last

(Scribner) Last week: 7

(Little, Brown) Last week: 8

8. “Fourth Wing (Special Edition)” by Rebecca Yarros

(Red Tower) Last week: 5

9. “The Edge” by David Baldacci

Last week: 10

10. “Tom Lake” by Ann Patchett

(Grand Central)

(Harper) Last

Here’s an eye-opening statistic cited in “Kids Run the Show”: One-third of children already have a digital life at birth.

I’m guessing it’s not something author Delphine de Vigan made up, anymore than she invented the performati­ve online existence depicted in her book: “This staging of the self, of one’s family, one’s everyday life, the pursuit of ‘likes’ ... It had all become a way of life, a way of being in the world.”

The staging, in this case, is done by Mélanie, a Frenchwoma­n who dreamed of being a reality TV star and has finally found her medium in motherhood. Mélanie’s YouTube channel, Happy Recess, that features her children Sammy and Kimmy is a sensation.

Then Kimmy goes missing — playing hide-andseek, she’s never found — and Clara Roussel, evidence custodian on the Paris Crime Squad, is called in. In Clara, as determined­ly offline as Mélanie is on, we have our surrogate explorer of the novel’s virtual realm.

With Kimmy’s kidnapping at its center, “Kids Run the Show” has the shape of a thriller, but it’s more sociologic­al than mysterious and more interestin­g than involving. Clara’s investigat­ion is a study of the strangenes­s of family life as performanc­e. Mélanie’s story is an extended reflection of how one goes from “searching for an intoxicati­on that might fill that nameless void” or “dream(ing) of a world of solidarity and exchange” to turning one’s family into “The Truman Show.”

Santiago Valdo, a psychiatri­st and psychoanal­yst, offers an expert perspectiv­e on the consequenc­es of children “being made to play their own role, every day ... And ‘role’ is the operative word here, because in reality no one is ever their real self in front of the camera.”

But what if, as one suspects in Mélanie’s case, the self in front of the camera is in fact the real one? It’s hard to say, as the novel puts us into the viewer’s position, participat­ing vicariousl­y in the story de Vigan tells, but never really, never quite, feeling it. — Ellen Akins, Minneapoli­s Star Tribune

“California, here we come.”

The refrain

from the Phantom Planet tune “California” that served as the theme song for “The O.C.” welcomed viewers to Fox’s much-loved primetime soap that focused on a group of teenagers and parents navigating the emotional ups and downs of life in affluent Newport Beach.

Now, 20 years after the show’s debut, Rolling Stone TV critic Alan Sepinwall is taking readers “right back where we started from” in a splendid retrospect­ive that relies on the memories of those who brought the show’s 96 episodes to life. “Welcome to The O.C.” features recollecti­ons from creator Josh Schwartz, executive producer Stephanie

Savage, the show’s stars, Fox executives and more.

The oral history serves as a definitive look back at the four-season series that introduced “Chrismukka­h” (a celebratio­n of both Christmas and Hanukkah) and a host of indie-rock bands whose songs played over some of “The O.C.’s” biggest moments with the characters who came to be known as The Core Four: Adam Brody’s Seth Cohen, Ben McKenzie’s Ryan Atwood, Rachel Bilson’s Summer Roberts and Mischa Barton’s Marissa Cooper.

None was more monumental than the controvers­ial decision to kill off Cooper in Season 3’s finale in 2006. The book devotes a chapter to the behindthe-scenes intrigue that led to Barton’s exit as well as the fallout.

“The O.C.” lasted one more season. The Core Four had become stars, and the show gave screen time to future headliners such as Chris Pratt, Olivia Wilde and Shailene Woodley.

“Welcome to The O.C.” is a must-read for viewers of the show’s original run, but it works, too, for those meeting the Orange County residents for the first time via streaming services. — Mike Householde­r, Associated Press

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 ?? ?? By Delphine de Vigan, translated by Alison Anderson; Europa Editions, 272 pages, $26.
By Delphine de Vigan, translated by Alison Anderson; Europa Editions, 272 pages, $26.
 ?? ?? By Alan Sepinwall, Mariner Books, 368 pages, $28.99.
By Alan Sepinwall, Mariner Books, 368 pages, $28.99.

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