After his death, John McCain’s last book climbs bestseller lists

John McCain, shown on the campaign trail in 2007. After his death Saturday, his book hit bestseller lists.
(Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

John McCain’s book “The Restless Wave” appeared on bestseller lists following the Arizona senator’s death on Saturday.

The book, which was released in May by Simon & Schuster, was ranked No. 2 on Amazon’s list of bestselling books, and No. 3 on the Barnes & Noble website as of Monday morning.

“The Restless Wave: Good Times, Just Causes, Great Fights, and Other Appreciations” was McCain’s seventh book, all of which were co-written by his former chief of staff, speechwriter Mark Salter.


McCain, a Vietnam War hero, U.S. senator and Republican nominee for president in 2008, died Saturday after a year-long battle with brain cancer. He was 81.

In “The Restless Wave,” McCain reflects on his mortality, writing, “I don’t know how much longer I’ll be here. Maybe I’ll have another five years. Maybe, with the advances in oncology, they’ll find new treatments for my cancer that will extend my life. Maybe I’ll be gone before you read this.”

The book was mostly well-reviewed by critics. In the Washington Post, James Hohmann called it “thoughtful,” writing, “[H]is book will be remembered for its genuine concern about the future of our republic and the West.”

And in the Boston Globe, David M. Shribman called the book “remarkable,” writing, “John McCain’s valedictory message... is a 400-page reflection on hardship, a homily on purpose, a celebration of life — and a challenge to Americans to live up to their values and founding principles at a time when both are in jeopardy.”

McCain’s funeral will be held on Saturday at the Washington National Cathedral. He’ll be buried on Sunday at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.