Sunday, July 14, 2024

Boswell bestsellers, week ending July 13, 2024

Boswell bestsellers, week ending July 13, 2024

Hardcover Fiction:
1. The Heart in Winter, by Kevin Barry (signed copies)
2. All This and More, by Peng Shepherd (signed copies)
3. James, by Percival Everett
4. Familiaris, by David Wroblewski (Boswell event August 22)
5. The God of the Woods, by Liz Moore
6. The Women, by Kristin Hannah
7. Funny Story, by Emily Henry
8. Sandwich, by Catherine Newman
9. A Death in Cornwall V24, by Daniel Silva
10. Long Island Compromise, by Taffy Brodesser-Akner

Long Island Compromise is the follow-up novel to Fleishman Is in Trouble, which was adapted into a series for Hulu. Taffy Brodesser-Akner's latest has itself received 11 raves, 2 positives, and 3 mixed on BookMarks. From Leigh Haber in the Los Angeles Times: "I’m not going to say whether the first line of the book is prophetic, but it almost doesn’t matter. Brodesser-Akner has written a humane, brazen, gorgeous novel whose words dance exuberantly on the page."

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Never Enough, by Andrew Wilkinson
2. On Call, by Anthony Fauci
3. The Demon of Unrest, by Erik Larson
4. What We See in the Stars, by Kelsey Oseid
5. Democracy in Retrograde, by Sami Sage and Emily Amick
6. The Wide, Wide Sea, by Hampton Sides
7. The Book Makers, by Adam Smyth
8. While You Were Out, by Meg Kissinger
9. The Wager, by David Grann
10. The Anxious Generation, by Jonathan Haidt

Books on books usually have some market in a bookstore and The Book-Makers: A History of the Book in Eighteen Lives is no exception. From Kirkus: "Fascinating stories about books and the people who made them. Smyth, a professor of English literature and history, nimbly traverses more than five centuries as he illuminates some influential men and women in the bookmaking trade."

Paperback Fiction:
1. Summers End V5, by Juneau Black (signed copies)
2. Shady Hollow V1, by Juneau Black
3. Happy Place, by Emily Henry
4. Just for the Summer, by Abby Jimenez
5. Wellness, by Nathan Hill
6. Goodnight, Tokyo, by Yoshida Atsuhiro
7. More Days a the Morisaki Bookshop, by Satoshi Yagisawa
8. Kairos, by Jenny Erpenbeck
9. The Cartographers, by Peng Shepherd
10. Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow, by Gabrielle Zevin

The Boswell Lit Group is reading Kairos, by Jenny Erpenbeck for October, the Booker International winner and yet another author I've never read before. BookMarks proclaims 15 raves and nine positives. From Dwight Garner in The New York Times: "If Kairos were only a tear-jerker, there might not be much more to say about it. But Erpenbeck, a German writer born in 1967 whose work has come sharply to the attention of English-language readers over the past decade, is among the most sophisticated and powerful novelists we have."

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. We Had Fun and Nobody Died, by Amy T Waldman and Peter Jest (MPL event July 20)
2. Grief Is a Sneaky Bitch, by Lisa Keefauver (Boswell event July 25)
3. This Place of Silence, by Ian Adams
4. Latinos in Milwaukee, by Joseph A Rodriguez
5. Fatherland, by Burkhard Bilger
6. Cream City Chronicles, by John Gurda
7. A Fever in the Heartland, by Timothy Egan
8. The Earth Transformed, by Peter Frankopan
9. Milwaukee in Stone and Clay, by Raymond Wiggers
10. The Heat Will Kill You First, by Jeff Goodell

If The Heat Will Kill You First: Life and Death on a Scorched Planet was helped in getting attention by a record breaking hot summer, the paperback edition finds us hotter still. Also hot is the price increase of the paperback. The paperback edition is a very minimal $5 lesss than the hardcover at $23.99. The thinking there might have been that if the book had come out in hardcover in 2024, it would have been between $32 and $35. From Shannon Osaka in The Washington Post: "In 14 whirlwind chapters, Goodell, a longtime climate journalist and contributing editor for Rolling Stone, earns his book’s grim title. The chapters travel from the Arctic Circle to the tropics and back again, tracing the effects of heat on melting ice and suffering corals, but also on enthused mosquitoes, whose ranges are stretching wider as temperatures warm."

Books for Kids:
1. The Yellow Bus, by Loren Long
2. One Person, No Vote, young adult edition, by Carol Anderson
3. A Magic Fierce and Bright, by Hemant Nayak (Boswell September 29 event)
4. Fungarium, by Ester Gaya
5. Oceanarium, by Loveday Trinick
6. The Secret World of Plants, by Ben Hoare
7. How Big Were Dinosaurs, by Lita Judge
8. Lulu and Rocky in Milwaukee, by Barbara Joosse, illustrations by Renée Graef
9. The Lightning Thief V1, by Rick Riordan
10. The One and Only Family V4, by Katherine Applegate

Loren Long's The Yellow Bus came out, as many school-focused titles do, in June, with the idea that they are ready for back to school sales in August. From Kadie Seitz in School Library Journal: "What happens to the objects around us after they leave our lives? This bittersweet tale evokes Virginia Lee Burton's The Little House as it traces the long life of a yellow school bus... A must-purchase, this book will leave readers looking at objects around them differently long after its covers are closed."

Sunday, July 7, 2024

Boswell bestsellers, week ending July 6, 2024

Boswell bestsellers, week ending July 6, 2024

Hardcover Fiction
1. The God of the Woods, by Liz Moore
2. The Women, by Kristin Hannah
3. James, by Percival Everett
4. Sandwich, by Catherine Newman
5. Familiaris, by David Wroblewski
6. The Cliffs, by J Courtney Sullivan
7. Table for Two, by Amor Towles
8. Midnight Feast, by Lucy Foley
9. All Fours, by Miranda July
10. Same As It Ever Was, by Claire Lombardo

We had a great read from Kim on The God of the Woods, Liz Moore's folow-up to Long Bright River, and the book is the #1 Indie Next Pick as well. She also got eight raves and two positives on BookMarks. Maureen Corrigan compares Moore's latest to The Secret History in The Washington Post: "This summer, I once again felt that all-too-rare sense of being completely possessed by a story as I read The God of the Woods, by Liz Moore. There are some superficial similarities between the two novels: Both are intricate narratives featuring young people isolated in enclosed worlds - in Tartt’s story, a small cohort of classics students at the aforementioned college (modeled on Bennington); in Moore’s, a summer camp within a vast forest in New York’s Adirondack Mountains. A sense of predetermined doom also pervades both books. But the most vital connection for me is the beguiling force of these two literary suspense novels."

Hardcover Nonfiction
1 The Backyard Bird Chronicles, by Amy Tan
2. The Demon of Unrest, by Erik Larson
3. The Anxious Generation, by Jonathan Haidt
4. When the Clock Broke, by John Ganz
5. Democracy or Else, by Jon Favreau
6. On Call, by Anthony Fauci
7. Challenger, by Adam Higginbotham
8. A Gentleman and a Thief, by Dean Jobb
9. There's Always This Year, by Hanif Abdurraqib
10. There Was Nothing You Could Do, by Steven Hyden

John Ganz's When the Clock Broke: Con Men, Conspiracists, and How America Cracked Up in the Early 1990s has gotten six raves (so far) on BookMarks. The author of the Unpopular Front column for substack looks at David Duke, Patrick Buchanan, and Ross Perot, among other figures. Jennifer Szalai, in The New York Times, notes of the 1990s: "This smooth hum of stability stands in obvious contrast to our current plight of fracture and chaos. But as John Ganz shows in his terrific new book, When the Clock Broke, the early 1990s were also a time of social unrest and roiling resentments, of growing alienation and festering anguish."

Paperback Fiction:
1. The Goddess of Warsaw, by Lisa Barr
2. Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow, by Gabrielle Zevin
3. A Novel Love Story, by Ashley Poston
4. The Measure, by Nikki Erlick
5. The Searcher, by Tana French
6. Saturday Night at the Lakeside Supper Club, by J Ryan Stradal
7. Just for the Summer, by Abby Jimenez
8. The Abyss, by Pilar Quintana
9. The Last Sane Woman, by Hannah Regel
10. Cuckoo, by Gretchen Felker-Martin

The Measure, by Nikki Erlick, took two years to go into paperback due to its strong word-of-mouth sales. It was a Read with Jenna Book Club selection too. Booklist noted: "Echoing Emily St. John Mandel's Station Eleven and Claire Fuller's Bitter Orange, Erlick's debut is a futuristic thought experiment set close to the present day. Using a thoughtful and genuine group of characters to outline society's widely varied reactions to the strings' arrival, Erlick highlights the Herculean efforts needed to look beyond prejudice and predisposition."

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Arise, by Elena Aguilar
2. We Had Fun and Nobody Died, by Amy T Waldman and Peter Jest 
3. The Art Thief, by Michael Finkel
4. Grief Is a Sneaky Bitch, by Michael Finkel (Boswell July 29 event)
5. A Philosophy of Walking, by Frédéric Gros
6. What Does Israel Fear from Palestine?, by Raja Shehadeh
7. World Travel, by Anthony Bourdain
8. The Body Keeps the Score, by Bessel van der Kolk
9. Murdle V1, by GT Karber
10. Frank Lloyd Wright's Wisconsin, by Kristine Hansen

A third event has been added to the We Had Fun and Nobody Died tour. In addition to Shank Hall on July 13 and the MPL Central Library event on July 20, Peter Jest and Amy Waldman will also be at the Milwaukee Press Club on July 31. Here's the link to the MPL event.

Books for Kids:
1. Woe: A Housecat's Story of Despair, by Lucy Knisley (signed copies)
2. Buffalo Fluffalo, by Bess Kalb, illustrations by Erin Kraan
3. Reckless V2, by Lauren Roberts
4. Bluey Beach, from Disney
5. Children of Anguish and Anarchy V3, by Tomi Adeyemi
6. The One and Only Ruby V3, by Katherine Applegate
7. The Great Lakes, by Barb Rosenstock, illustrations by Jamey Christoph
8. Powerless V1 by Lauren Roberts
9. What Feelings Do When No One's Looking, by Tina Oziewicz, illustrations by Aleksandra Zajac
10. The Rabbit Listened, by Cori Doerrfeld

Reckless, by Lauren Roberts is the follow up to Powerless, also in this week's top 10. The first book in this series was originally self-published and was then picked up by Simon and Schuster. #3 in the series will be called Fearless. From Shelf Awareness: "Powerless is a compelling tale of darkness and destruction, of a divide carved by a vicious king, and of the lure of freedom, choice, and power."

Sunday, June 30, 2024

Boswell bestsellers, week ending June 29, 2024

Boswell bestsellers, week ending June 29, 2024

Hardcover Fiction:
1. The Glassmaker, by Tracy Chevalier
2. Sandwich, by Catherine Newman
3. Craft, by Ananda Lima
4. The Women, by Kristin Hannah
5. Familiaris, by David Wroblewski
6. The Paradise Problem, by Christina Lauren
7. James, by Percival Everett
8. Table for Two, by Amor Towles
9. The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store, by James McBride
10. All the Colors of the Dark, by Chris Whitaker

Chris Whitaker followed Amy Einhorn from Holt to Crown for his latest novel, All the Colors of the Dark. It's got blurbs from Kristin Hannah, Gillian Flynn, Alex Michaelides, and Patricia Cornwell, plus it's the latest selection of the Read with Jenna Book Club. I'm trying to get the plot right and I'm coming up with serial killer epic love story. From Publishers Weekly: "With deeply affecting characters and ambition to spare, Whitaker has conjured a dazzling epic that defies easy categorization. It's astonishing."

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. The Soul of Civility, by Alexandra Hudson
2. The Backyard Bird Chronicles, by Amy Tan
3. The Demon of Unrest, by Erik Larson
4. On Call, by Anthony Fauci
5. The Anxious Generation, by Jonathan Haidt
6. Wisconsin Supper Clubs, by Ron Faiola
7. American Civil Wars, by Alan Taylor
8. An Unfinished Love Story, by Doris Kearns Goodwin
9. Challenger, by Adam Higgin botham
10. The Situation Room, by George Stephanopoulos

Madi had a staff rec card for Challenger: A True Story of Heroism and Disaster on the Edge of Space, but when she left for Virginia, it was replaced with Jason's recommendation, who notes, " I couldn't put this story down - Higginbotham brilliantly digs out the story and gives us a step-by-step guide for how not to run a space program." It's also got seven raves and a positive from BookMarks, including Rachel Slade's New York Times review: "Higginbotham is an intrepid journalist and skillful storyteller who takes care to humanize the dozens of major and minor players involved in NASA’s many successful, and occasionally catastrophic, space missions."

Paperback Fiction:
1. A Taste for More, by Phyllis R Dixon
2. The Goddess of Warsaw, by Lisa Barr
3. Only One Left, by Riley Sager
4. The Midnight Library, by Matt Haig
5. Just for the Summer, Abby Jimenez
6. Girl with a Pearl Earring, by Tracy Chevalier
7. Intermission, by Phyllis R Dixon
8. Not in Love by Ali Hazelwood
9. The Great Alone, by Kristin Hannah
10. Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow, by Gabrielle Zevin

Phyllis Dixon returned to Milwaukee for an event at East Library with Joan Prince and included a Milwaukee trivia contest. A Taste for More is Dixon's fourth novel, but the first set in Milwaukee. The next one will be in Texas. From Booklist: "Margo is a fictional character, but her journey rings true, and readers will share in both the joy and the pain of a life well lived. It's a sprawling story, full of drama, love, and humor." I agree!

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Beer Can Chicken, by Steven Raichlen
2. Be Prepared to Be Lucky, by Paul Grogan and Kathryn Merchant
3. We Had Fun and Nobody Died, by Amy Waldman and Peter Jest (see upcoming events)
4. A Philosophy of Walking, by Frédéric Gros
5. The Barbecue Bible, by Steven Raichlen
6. The Art Thief, by Michael Finkel
7. Wisconsin for Kennedy, by BJ Hollars
8. The Hundreds Year War on Palestine, by Rashid Khalidi
9. The Body Keeps the Score, by Bessel van der Kolk
10. What an Owl Knows, by Jennifer Ackerman

First week out in paperback for The Art Thief: A True Story of Love, Crime, and a Dangerous Obsession with a nice sale off our new paperback tables. They took the bat off the jacket, which I think is probably a good thing, not that it hurt hardcover sales for us. Nine raves, two positives, and a pan on BookMarks. Often when the one negative review is in The New York Times, it can really damper sales as there are a lot of customers, who don't seem to see anything else. But in this case, not the case. Moria Hodgson had one of the raves in The Wall Street Journal: "As the authorities close in and Breitwieser takes increasing risks, The Art Thief develops the tension of a French policier, where the crook (for whom you alternately feel sympathy and disgust) has Maigret or Poirot hot on his trail. The final outcome is a shock. Mr. Finkel tells an enthralling story. From start to finish, this book is hard to put down."

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Children of Anguish and Anarchy V3, by Tomi Adeyemi
2. Buffalo Fluffalo, by Bess Kalb, illustrations by Erin Kraan
3. The Yellow Bus, by Loren Long
4. Peekaboo Moon, by Camilla Reid, illustrations by Ingela P Arrhenius
5. Merci Suarez Changes Gears, by Meg Medina
7. The Reappearance of Rachel Price, by Holly Jackson
8. Pete the Cat Screams for Ice Cream, by James Dean
9. The One and Only Family, by Katherine Applegate
10. Seasick, by Kristin Cast

It's been five years since Tomi Adeyemi's last book, but it appears that fans were willing to wait for Children of Anguish and Anarchy. What with all the sprayed edges on genre books these days, it's hard to find a proper two-dimensional jacket for display. And on top of that, volume three won't exactly match volumes one and two - I hear that is a thing. That said, I love these edges, so no complaint from me! And you already probably know that Tomi’s Legacy of Orïsha trilogy is being developed into a feature film with Paramount Pictures. Here's the latest.

Sunday, June 23, 2024

Boswell bestsellers, week ending June 22, 2024

Boswell bestsellers, week ending June 22, 2024

Hardcover Fiction:
1. Same as It Ever Was, by Claire Lombardo
2. Sandwich, by Catherine Newman
3. The War Begins in Paris, by Theodore Wheeler
4. James, by Percival Everett
5. The Sicilian Inheritance, by Jo Piazza
6. One Perfect Couple, by Ruth Ware
7. North Woods, by Daniel Mason
8. Familiaris, by David Wroblewski
9. Farewell Amethystine V16, by Walter Mosley
10. The Women, by Kristin Hannah

Set in 1970 Los Angeles, Farewell, Amethystine is the latest Easy Rawlins mystery. Four positives in BookMarks, including this from EA Aymar in The Washington Post: " When Amethystine’s husband is found dead and enemies emerge from the shadows, Rawlins realizes that the case extends far beyond the confines of a marriage. And Mosley’s beloved protagonist, dealing with the recurrent visions of his past and the complications of trust in his present, is credibly faced with losing the identity he’s carefully constructed...The space that Mosley occupies in literature is distinctly his own, but his efforts and immense talent have afforded others the chance to join him."

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Good Judgment, by Richard Davis
2. On Call, by Anthony Fauci
3. Holding It Together, by Jessica Calarco
4. The Demon of Unrest, by Erik Larson
5. An Unfinished Love Story, by Doris Kearns Goodwin
6. A Walk in the Park, by Kevin Fedarko
7. The Backyard Bird Chronicles, by Amy Tan
8. The Creative Act, by Rick Rubin
9. When the Clock Broke, by John Ganz
10. Challenger, by Adam Higginbotham

Our buyer was curious as to whether readers would respond to Anthony Fauci's memoir, On Call: A Doctor's Journey into Public Service, but at least here, there was a nice pop. Fauci has a similar BookMarks profile (3 positives) includng a New York Times review from Alexandra Jacobs: "On Call is a well-pressed gray flannel suit of a book with a white coat buttoned over it: a calm reply to deranged calls for this distinguished public servant’s head on a pike. Is it measured and methodical in sections? Sure. So is science."

Paperback Fiction:
1. Not in Love, by Ali Hazelwood
2. The Most Fun We Ever Had, by Claire Lombardo
3. The Three Body Problem, by Cixin Liu
4. Project Hail Mary, by Andy Weir
5. Happy Place, by Emily Henry
6. The Goddess of Warsaw, by Lisa Barr (Shully's June 27 event)
7. To & Fro, by Leah Hager Cohen
8. The Midnight Library, by Matt Haig
9. A Death in Door County, by Annelise Ryan
10. Restoring Prairie, by Margaret Rozga

To & Fro is, per the publisher, "a tale of two girls - one living in a parable, the other in Manhattan - each half of the tale is published back-to-back," much the way Carol Sheilds's Happenstance was published in the United States. Two raves, a positive, and a mixed in BookMarks, with the rave being from Wendy Smith in The Washington Post: "Its two storylines form a satisfying jigsaw puzzle of cleverly interlocking parts, yet these separate narratives, each following a young girl in search of something she can’t quite define, are also profoundly mysterious, charged with the conviction that many aspects of life cannot — and should not — be explained. Cohen sends both her protagonists on odysseys that lead not to conclusions but to 'Two Beginnings and No End.'"

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. We Had Fun and Nobody Died, by Amy Waldman and Peter Jest (Events July 13 and 20 - see upcoming event page for details)
2. Grief Is a Sneaky Bitch, by Lisa Keefauver (Boswell July 29 event)
3. What an Owl Knows, by Jennifer Ackerman
4. Random Acts of Medicine, by Anupam B Jena and Christopher Worsham
5. Murdle V1, by GT Karber
6. Baseball 100, by Joe Posnanski
7. Noodles Rice and Everything Spice, by Christina De Witte
8. Fatherland, by Burkhard Bilger
9. Poverty, by America, by Matthew Desmond
10. Fire Weather, by John Valliant

I just wrote to Jason and asked for Random Acts of Medicine: The Hidden Forces That Sway Doctors, Impact Patients, and Shape Our Health to go back on my staff rec shelf when it has finished it's run on our new paperback table. All you have to do is quote Alex Tabarrok, writing in The Wall Street Journal: "Jena and Worsham are the Freakonomicists of the medical realm." If you would like to hand-sell a book to me, just say it's the Freakanomics of just about anything.

Books for Kids:
1. Good Night Gorilla, by Peggy Rathmann
2. King Bidgood's in the Bathroom, by Audrey Wood
3. Piggies, by Audrey Wood
4. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See board book, by Bill Martin, illustrations by Eric Carle
5. Children Just Like Me, from DK
6. Past Present Future, by Rachel Lynn Solomon
7. Buffalo Fluffalo, by Bess Kalb, illustrations by Erin Kraan
8. The Rabbit Listened, by Cori Doerrfeld
9. Ferris, by Kate DiCamillo
10. Call Forth the Fox, by Markelle Grabo

Shelf Awareness describes Call Forth the Fox as such: "Markelle Grabo remakes the classic 'Snow White, Rose Red' fairy tale into an imaginative fantasy affair, filled with faeries, animal transformations, and family secrets." Kirkus calls this "An enchanting adventure anchored by a queer romance; this is a welcome spin on a familiar story."

Sunday, June 16, 2024

Boswell bestsellers, week ending June 15, 2024

Boswell bestsellers, week ending June 15, 2024

Hardcover Fiction:
1. The Women, by Kristin Hannah
2. The Comfort of Ghosts V18, by Jacqueline Winspear
3. The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store, by James McBride
4. James, by Percival Everett
5. Funny Story, by Emily Henry
6. Table for Two, by Amor Towles
7. Running Close to the Wind, by Alexandra Rowland
8. I Cheerfully Refuse, by Leif Enger
9. Before the Coffee Gets Cold, by Toshikazu Kawaguchi
10. Horror Movie, by Paul Tremblay

Running Close to the Wind is a stand-alone queer pirate fantasy from Alexandra Rowland, author of A Taste of Gold and Iron. From the starred Booklist review: "Rowland's latest standalone journey into their Chantiverse is a delightful romp."

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. The Backyard Bird Chronicles, by Amy Tan (signed copies)
2. The T in LGBT+, by Jamie Raines (signed copies)
3. The Power Foods Diet, by Neal Barnard (signed copies)
4. The Demon of Unrest, by Erik Larson
5. Safe and Sound, by Mercury Stardust (signed copies)
6. The Great River, by Boyce Upholt
7. The Dane Country Farmers Market Cookbook, by Terese Allen
8. While You Were Out, by Meg Kissinger
9. The Anxious Generation, by Jonathan Haidt
10. The Little Frog's Guide to Self Care, by Maybell Eequay

The Great River: The Making and Unmaking of the Mississippi has great reviews from The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and this from Bob Timmons in the Star Tribune: "In his deeply researched book The Great River, Boyce Upholt makes clear that a true accounting of the mighty river has all of the elements of a frontier novel: violence, death, greed, resilience and big dreams."

Paperback Fiction:
1. Not in Love, by Ali Hazelwood
2. A Question of Time, by Kathleen Dale
3. The Joy Luck Club, by Amy Tan
4. Dune, by Frank Herbert
5. The Tatami Galaxy, by Tomihiko Morimi
6. The Postcard, by Anne Berest
7. The Sympathizer, by Viet Thanh Nguyen
8. This Is How You Lose the Time War, by Amal El-Mohtar
9. Dune Messiah V2, by Frank Herbert
10. The Prior of the Orange Tree, by Samantha Shannon

Ali Hazelwood comes back down to Earth after her paranormal foray (though another is coming). Kirkus reviews Not in Love: "Two people (Rue and Eli) meet for a hookup before discovering they're on opposite sides of a hostile business takeover...Hazelwood shows every indication of continually outdoing herself with this latest romance, her lush, evocative prose making Rue and Eli's shared scenes dynamic and engrossing."

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. It Didn't Start Out That Way, by Judy Bridges
2. The Mechanic Shop Femme's Guide to Car Ownership, by Chaya M Milchtein
3. A Philosophy of Walking, by Frédéric Gros
4. Grief Is a Sneaky Bitch, by Lisa Keefauver (Boswell July 29 event)
5. What an Owl Knows, by Jennifer Ackerman
6. World Travel, by Anthony Bourdain
7. The Hundred Year's War on Palestine, by Rashid Khalidi
8. The Body Keeps the Score, by Bessel van der Kolk
9. Four Thousand Weeks, by Oliver Burkeman
10. Murdle V1, by GT Karber

I obviously wasn't paying attention to pub dates, because my first assumption was that World Travel: An Irreverant Guide was an older title, but it was actually a reprint of the 2021 hardcover, and based on paperback reprints often being 65% (or more) of the hardcover price, a drop from $45 to $22 is a big deal! The original release had three raves and three positives on BookMarks, including this from Zack Ruskin at the San Francisco Chronicle, who called it a "refreshingly unique travel guide that thoughtfully fleshes out Bourdain’s desired intentions with supplementary essays from his peers and loved ones."

Books for Kids:
1. Dog Man V12: The Scarlet Shredder, by Dav Pilkey
2. The Lightning Thief V1, by Rick Riodran
3. This Is Not My Lunchbox, by Jennifer Dupuis, illustrations by Carol Schwartz
4. Lulu and Rocky in Milwaukee, by Barbara Joosse, illustrations by Renée Graef
5. They Call Me No Sam, by Drew Daywalt, illustrations by Mike Lowery
6. Northwind, by Gary Paulsen
7 The One and Only Family V4, by Katherine Applegate
8. The Twelfth Knight, by Alexene Farol Follmuth
9. Log Life, by Amy Hevron
10. Hustle Bustle Bugs, by Catherine Bailey

They Call Me No Sam, Drew Daywalt's heavily illustrated chapter book (by Mike Lowery) is told from the perspective of a pub, who will do whatever it takes to protect the naked-monkey things in his life. The book is a staff rec from Jen ("Had me laughing out loud') and also has a starred Booklist: " Strewn with line drawings featuring a tubby but ferocious pooch wreaking havoc, deliberate or otherwise, this howlingly funny tale propels its doggy narrator through challenges ranging from explosions and dognapping to actually making friends with cats on the way to a well-earned name change: 'Good boy, Sam.'"

Sunday, June 9, 2024

Boswell bestsellers, week ending June 8, 2024

Boswell bestsellers, week ending June 8, 2024

Hardcover Fiction:
1. The Women, by Kristin Hannah
2. Table for Two, by Amor Towles
3. Exhibit, by RO Kwon (signed and stamped copies)
4. Mirrored Heavens V3, by Rebecca Roanhorse
5. James, by Percival Everett
6. One Perfect Couple, by Ruth Ware
7. The Comfort of Ghosts, by Jacqueline Winspear
8. Apostles of Mercy V3, by Lindsay Ellis
9. Camino Ghosts V3, by John Grisham
10. Funny Story, by Emily Henry

Mirrored Heavens, by Rebecca Roanhorse has a nice starred Booklist review: "Political intrigue, a war between god-touched avatars, and grand machinations both magical and mundane provide the epic sweep of Roanhorse's finale to her Between Earth and Sky trilogy." Roanhorse has been nominated for the Nebula, Locus, Hugo, and Lambda Awards and received an Alex Award from the American Library Association.

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Backyard Bird Chronicles, by Amy Tan (MPL June 13 event)
2. Dane County Farmers Market Cookbook, by Terese Allen
3. The Demon of Unrest, by Erik Larson
4. The Power Foods Diet, by Neal D Barnard (Boswell June 13 event)
5. In the Time of My Dying, by Sebastian Junger
6. When the Sea Came Alive, by Garrett M Graff
7. When Women Ran Fifth Avenue, by Julie Satow
8. The Creative Act, by Rick Rubin
9. Correction, by Ben Austen
10. Star Wars Dad Jokes, by Kelly Knox

I'm not going to ignore a book about department stores (with a caveat that at least two of them were specialty stores) that hits our top ten, so let's give a shout out to When Women Ran Fifth Avenue: Glamour and Power at the Dawn of American Fashion. I found the book quite fascinating! The book got seven positives on BookMarks, including Rachel Tashjian in The Washington Post, which I would have categorized as a rave: "Compelling as their stories are, the book is just as appealing for the details of the bygone wonder that was the mid-century department store. Reading about these too-good-to-be-true spaces feels a bit like reading about the Titanic - freighted as it was with thousands of pounds of bread, a lounge modeled on Versailles and a gym with an electric 'camel,' it’s no wonder the thing sank."

Paperback Fiction"
1. Trust, by Hernan Diaz
2. The River We Remember, by William Kent Krueger (Boswell September 7 event)
3. The Searcher, by Tana French
4. A Question of Time, by Kathleen Dale
5. The Assassin's Bride, by Sarah J Maas
6. Birnam Wood, by Eleanor Catton
7. Horse, by Geraldine Brooks
8. City of Last Chances V1, by Adrian Tchaikovsky
9. Birding with Benefits, by Sarah T Dubb
10. Silver Nitrate, by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Take one of the most popular nonfiction subjects, birding, and combine with perhaps the most popular fiction genre, romance, and you've got Birding with Benefits, which hits our top ten this week. From Publishers Weekly: "Dubb pulls off the fake-boyfriend trope with ease and mines her own experiences with birding in Tucson to add authenticity to John's passion. Celeste's bestie, Maria, and John's bestie, Chris, steal every scene they're in, adding humor and a sense of community to the romance. Dubb is a writer to watch."

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Dear Readers and Riders, by Lettie Teague (signed copies)
2. It Didn't Start Out That Way, by Judy Bridges (Boswell June 14 event)
3. The Hundred Year's War on Palestine, by Rashid Khalidi
4. Master Slave Husband Wife, by Ilyon Woo
5. John Gurda's Milwaukee, by John Gurda
6. Wisconsin for Kennedy, by BJ Hollars
7. Building, by Mark Ellison
8. Grief Is a Sneaky Bitch, by Lisa Keefauver (Boswell July 29 event)
9. Braiding Sweetgrass, by Robin Wall Kimmerer
10. What an Owl Knows, by Jennifer Ackerman

It's four weeks out for Building: A Carpenter's Notes on Life and Work, and Mark Ellison's carpenter memoir follows in the footsteps of the hardcover by hitting our top ten. I'm told the book has a Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance vibe. From Kirkus: "While Ellison is clearly attentive to technical prowess and skillful craft, his real subjects are philosophy and the existential aspects of living in the modern world. In a prologue, the author calls it a 'book for people who are interested in doing anything well.'"

Books for Kids:
1. Awesome Kitchen Science Experiments for Kids, by Megan Olivia Hall
2. The End is Just the Beginning, by Mike Bender
3. Oh the Places You'll Go, by Dr Seuss
4. Magic Tree House V1: Dinosaurs Before Dark, by Mary Pope Osborne
5. Cars and Trucks and Things That Go, by Richard Scarry
6. Powerless, by Lauren Roberts
7. Sector Seven, by David Wiesner
8. The Last Rhee Witch, Jenna Lee-Yun
9. Shock the Monkey, by Neal Shusterman
10. Orris and Timble V1: The Beginning, by Kate DiCamillo illustrated by Carmen Mok

The Last Rhee Witch came out May 14 and I wish I had given this book a shout out for our event with RO Kwon, as Exhibit also draws on Korean folktales. It's a bout a girl, the daughter of single dad who himself was adopted by White parents, who doesn't really know much about her Korean heritage, but things change at summer camp when she learns that the grounds ar haunted by a vengeful gweshin. From School Library Journal: " Drawing on Korean folklore, the ghost story is suspenseful enough to keep readers engaged, but it's the exploration of family, friendships, and community that give this debut novel extra weight."

Sunday, June 2, 2024

Boswell bestsellers, week ending June 1, 2024

Boswell bestsellers, week ending June 1, 2024

Hardcover Fiction:
1. The Sicilian Inheritance, by Jo Piazza (signed copies)
2. The Women, by Kristin Hannah
3. Table for Two, by Amor Towles
4. Real Americans, by Rachel Khong
5. One Perfect Couple, by Ruth Ware
6. All Fours, by Miranda July
7. Funny Story, by Emily Henry
8. The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store, by James McBride
9. Blackouts, by Justin Torres 
10. Fourth Wing V1, by Rebecca Yarros
 
In addition to a nice event with Jo Piazza in the bookstore, we sold copies of The Sicilian Inheritance at Festa Italiana. The talk was followed by a book signing and cannoli eating contest. Jill Biden was there on Friday evening. I didn't know she was Sicilian. Jordi Lippe-McGraw notes in Forbes that a trip to Sicily is likely in your future after reading this book.

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. The Backyard Bird Chronicles, by Amy Tan (MPL June 13 event)
2. The Demon of Unrest, by Erik Larson
3. The Power Foods Diet, by Neal D Barnard (Boswell June 13 event)
4. The Situation Room, by George Stephanopoulos
5. Look Away, by Jacob Kushner
6. In the Time of Dying, by Sebastian Junger
7. My Life in Seventeen Books, by Jon M Sweeney
8. The Wide Wide Sea, by Hampton Sides
9. Charlie Hustle, by Keith O'Brien
01. Dane County Farmers Market Cookbook, by Terese Allen (Boswell June 6 event)

I am not a sports person, but I like reading books about sports when they are looking at its impact on society, and I think Charlie Hustle: The Rise and Fall of Pete Rose, and the Last Glory Days of Baseball fits the bill. Just as long as they don't describe too many games in detail. Five raves and a positive, but the raves include the big three - The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post. That's a rare hat trick nowadays.

Paperback Fiction
1. Shady Hollow, by Juneau Black (July 9 Boswell event)
2. Birnam Wood, by Eleanor Catton
3. The Silent Patient, by lex Michaelides
4. A Death in Door County, by Annelise Ryan
5. Empire of Storms V5, by Sarah J Maas
6. Dune, by Frank Herbert
7. The Postcard, by Anne Berest
8. A Deadly Education, by Naomi Novik
9. Flags on the Bayou, by James Lee Burke
10. Bunny, by Mona Awad

Jason and I have been discussing that several major awards have seemed like they are body-of-work honors, even if, unlike the Nobel Prize, they aren't supposed to be. Wasn't that the old adage about the Oscars? You don't win for the role you deserved it for, but for a movie three to four roles later.I didn't read Flags on the Bayou, so I can't say if that's the case here, but it did win Best Novel at the Edgars. At least it's a pivot from the last few years, when I wondered if the winner was even a mystery. Booklist's starred review called it "a remarkable, beautiful, edgy, and haunting novel."

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Dear Readers and Riders, by Lettie Teague (Boswell June 5 event)
2. Everything I Know About Love, by Dolly Alderton
3. Paved Paradise, by Henry Grabar
4. The Myth of Sisyphus, by Albert Camus
5. American Prometheus, by Kai Bird and Martin Sherwin
6. Wisconsin for Kennedy, by BJ Hollars
7. Milwaukee in Stone and Clay, by Raymond Wiggers
8. Endurance, by Alfred Lansing
9. The History of the World in Six Glasses, by Tom Standage
10. Invisible Women, by Caraoline Criado-Perez

I don't know why we sell so many copies of The Myth of Sisyphus, by Albert Camus - 14 last year, which to me, is a lot. Is it a course book that we don't know about? I wound up reading The Stranger as an adult, as I just thought I should. So maybe this is next. The publisher calls it "one of the most influential works of the twentieth century, showing a way out of despair and reaffirming the value of existence."

Books for Kids:
1. The One and Only Family, by Katherine Applegate
2. Lulu and Rocky in Milwaukee, by Barbara Joosse, illustrations by Renée Graef
3. Peekaboo Lion, by Camillo Reed, illustrations by Ingela P Arrhenius
4. Color Monster, by Anna Llenas
5. Bluey: The Creek, by Who Knows?
6. Twelfth Knight, by Alexene Farol Follmuth
7. Buffalo Fluffalo, by Bess Kalb, illustrations by Erin Kraan
8. The Invisible String, by Patrice Karst, illustrations by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff
9. Mama in the Moon, by Doreen Cronin, illustrations by Brian Cronin
10. Perla the Mighty Dog, by Isabel Allende, illustrations by Sandy Rodríguez

Reese is jump-starting her YA book club and the new selection Twelfth Knight appears to have gotten a bump from that. From Kirkus: "This engaging modern retelling of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night has a genderbending plot that's a perfect fit for contemporary readers. While some of the allusions will be a bit too on the nose for anyone familiar with the source material (and may make suspending disbelief difficult for some), the slow-burn enemies-to-lovers storyline (and the absence of Twelfth Night's sinister subplot) more than carry this successful adaptation."

Sunday, May 26, 2024

Boswell bestsellers, week ending May 25, 2024

Boswell bestsellers, week ending May 25, 2024

Hardcover Fiction:
1. The Paradise Problem, by Christina Lauren
2. One Perfect Couple, by Ruth Ware
3. Kittentits, by Holly Wilson
4. The Sicilian Inheritance, by Jo Piazza (Boswell May 30 event)
5. James, by Percival Everettt
6. You Like It Darker, by Stephen King
7. The Guncle Abroad, by Stephen Rowley
8. Funny Story, by Emily Henry
9. The Women, by Kristin Hannah
10. The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store, by James McBride

Stephen King's new collection of stories, You Like It Darker, includes five stories never before published. Unlike many authors, it is not unusual for King's stories to be adapted for film and streaming, which makes readers wonder, which story will be the next to hit the screen? Booklist says King is "at the height of his powers," while Publishers Weekly writes: "Themes of fate, morality, and heartache crop up again and again in these tightly coiled tales, and King expertly utilizes them to make every twist of the knife all the more terrifying. This remarkably assured collection will thrill the author's fans."

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. The Backyard Bird Chronicles, by Amy Tan (MPL June 13 event)
2. The Demon of Unrest, by Erik Larson
3. What This Comedian Said Will Shock You, by Bill Maher
4. The Anxious Generation, by Jonathan Haidt
5. Earth, by DK
6. While You Were Out, by Meg Kissinger
7. Look Away, by Jacob Kushner
8. Rebel Girl, by Kathleen Hanna
9. Get Honest or Die Trying, by Charlamagne the God
10. In My Time of Dying, by Sebastian Junger

Get Honest or Die Trying: Why Small Talk Sucks is the latest from Charlamagne the God, the cohost of The Breakfast Club, a popular national radio show. His writing offers, per Kirkus, "a compellingly honest manifesto about authenticity." From Publishers Weekly: "The most successful selections showcase Charlamagne's comic chops and idiosyncratic thinking, as when he argues that delivering big ideas in a humorous way can encourage people to engage in difficult debates."

Paperback Fiction:
1. Long After We Are Gone, by Terah Shelton Harris
2. The Air He Breathes, by Brittainy Cherry
3. Love and Other Words, by Christina Lauren
4. The True Love Experiment, by Christina Lauren
5. Something Wilder, by Christina Lauren
6. Rouge, by Mona Awad
7. Zero Days, by Ruth Ware
8. The Secret History, by Donna Tartt
9. Days at the Morisaki Bookshop, by Satoshi Yagisawa
10. Murder at the Mena House, by Erica Ruth Neubauer

While local romance writer Brittainy Cherry, author of The Air He Breathes, had not previously appeared at Boswell, she is well known not just here, but in France, where she has the same publisher as Christina Lauren, making her a natural conversation partner for their event. Known for her "emotionally charged, devastating but ultimately cathartic modern romances that are very loosely tied together but easily able to stand alone," the the crowd went crazy. Once we sold out, she signed bookplates. Cherry is often at the top of TikTok "books that make you cry" lists.

If anyone is wondering, I am following British pop music guidelines for compiling this chart, not American.

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Dear Readers and Riders, by Lettie Teague (Boswell June 5 event)
2. Murdle V1, by GT Karber
3. Poverty, by America, by Matthew Desmond
4. Master, Slave, Husband, Wife, by Ilyon Woo
5. Sweet Wild and Vicious, by Jim Higgins
6. The Hundred Years War on Palestine, by Rashid Khalidi
7. A Philosophy of Walking, by Frédéric Gros
8. The Body Keeps the Score, by Bessel van der Kolk
9. Everything I Know About Love, by Dolly Alderton
10. Over My Dead Body, by Greg Melville

Selling off Madi's rec shelf is Over My Dead Body: Unearthing the Hidden History of America's Cemeteries, which released in paperback last fall. Per the publisher, "Melville centers cemeteries within a larger cultural history and notes how cemeteries acted as our first city parks and art galleries, some of our earliest conservation projects, symbols for expressions of religious freedom, and the creation of suburban subdivisions, among other topics."

Books for Kids:
1. Finding Things, by Kevin Henkes, illustrations by Laura Dronzek
2. Dog Man V12: The Scarlet Shredder, by Dav Pilkey
3. The One and Only Family, by Katherine Applegate
4. Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse, by Kevin Henkes
5. Peekaboo Sun, by Camilla Reid, illustrations by Ingela P Arrhenius
6. The World and Everything in It, by Kevin Henkes
7. The Wheel of the Year, by Fiona Cook, illustrations by Jessica Roux
8. Kitten's First Full Moon, by Kevin Henkes
9. Ursula Upside Down, by Corey R Tabor
10. May You Love and Be Loved, by Cleo Wade

It may be past Earth Day (where this book was displayed), but Fiona Cook's The Wheel of the Year: An Illustrated Guide to Nature's Rhythms continues to sell steadily. From Kirkus: "Cook's obvious wealth of knowledge and care in explaining both the light and dark of the world around us is complemented perfectly by Roux's charming, delicate illustrations of natural objects, critters both cute and crawly, and racially diverse young people. This book is, in a word, immaculate."