Monday, October 11, 2010

What's Selling? A Look at Hardcover Fiction Sales from Last Week

Here we go!

1. The Wilding, by Ben Percy. It's not a surprise that our number one book last week in hardcover fiction is Ben Percy's The Wilding. The book has been quite popular at the shop, and Percy's got a great reputation in Milwaukee. And soon nationally--Mr. P. recently noted that he has sold his next novel, Red Moon, to Grand Central Publishing.

2. Nemesis, by Philip Roth . The front page of yesterday's New York Times Book Review, our best customer Dennis was happy to arrive home from Vienna and see it on sale. The person who designed this cover has got to be 16. For who older than that can read it?

3. Freedom, by Jonathan Franzen. We didn't plan on being out of the Oprah version of the book; it just turned out that way What my customers really want is the original British version!

4. Room, by Emma Donaghue. Here's the first bad review of Room that I've read. Perhaps Deirdre Donahue doesn't like the way Emma spells her last name. I've already made a vow to poorly receive anyone with the last name of "Golden." Also "Gouldhin."

5. Body Work, by Sara Paretsky. Murder at Club Gouge! We'd get a great crowd for Ms. Paretsky, but alas, she doesn't much cross the state line. (It's harder than you think to get authors from Chicago and their expectations are just as high as if they came in from Australia.) That said, we had an interesting sidebar conversation about Carolyn Heilburn's Writing: A Woman's Life, a book that influenced the writing of A Short History of Women. I only say this because I think folks that like Paretsky should check out Heilbrun's mysteries, which she wrote under the name Amanda Cross.

6. Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter, by Tom Franklin. He's coming November 16th, from further than Chicago. Very exciting. You know where the title comes from, right? Here's a website on several hard-to-spell place names. And here's a press release from our competitor about their big push on Franklin. It's also the #1 Indie Next pick for October.

7. Bury Your Dead, by Louise Penny. Anne said more James than Christie. That's one point for me. Penny is probably the most famous winner of the Debut Dagger award, a contest for would-be crime writers. Another well-known winner? Alan Bradley, whose debut, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, has done quite well.

8. Fall of Giants, by Ken Follett. Why did Jason read this? Well, he likes history, it's true, but mostly because it's really, really long!

9. Skippy Dies, by Paul Murray. Also beloved by Jason. Also really long. Jess Walter loved it in The Washington Post.

10. The Reversal, by Michael Connelly. Mickey Haller's third case, taken on with Harry Bosch, who turned out to be his half brother. He's reading at Skylight Books in L.A. a week from today (10/18). Why not call them and buy a personalized signed copy?

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