Sunday, February 20, 2011

Bestsellers, Launch Events, More Bookseller Raves for T.C. Boyle's New Novel, and Bellevue Bookending

Here's our fiction bestsellers for this past week:
1. Tinkers, by Paul Harding
2. Swamplandia, by Karen Russell
3. Lord of Misrule, by Jaimy Gordon
4. While Mortals Sleep, by Kurt Vonnegut
5. Fadeaway Girl, by Martha Grimes

Our takeaway for this week is that if you host Paul Harding, bring in the hardcovers!

We've had several requests for T.C. Boyle's When the Killing's Done, but we had to tell them that the book has a Tuesday laydown. It's an honor having an event during launch week, but on the other hand, but this is the price. On the other hand, it doesn't leave folks much opportunity to buy the books elsewhere. So especially when there's backlist to sell (and in this case, there was), I'll take it!

Just in time for the event, I've had two more advance reads on the book. Here's the scoop from Sharon:
"When the Killing’s Done is an involved but quick-moving story set in the Channel Islands. Boyle relates the conflict between Alma Takesue, a scientist trying to protect an endangered community, and Dave LaJoy, an empassioned animal rights activist who doesn't want to see any species harmed, not even rats. Boyle also delves into the backgrounds and histories of the two main characters, which makes them each more than just their causes."

And here's Carl's take:
"Filled with moral ambiguity and three-dimensional characters like all of Boyle's best novels, When the Killing's Done pits Alma Boyd Takesue, a conservationist with the National Park Service, against businessman and environmental activist Dave LaJoy. The battleground for these two is California's Channel Islands, where the park service is attempting to re-establish a "natural balance" by eliminating invasive species such as rats and wild pigs, and which LaJoy is doing everything in his power to stop. The novel is very entertaining, and not preachy, while tackling weighty issues."

Carl has gone one further, and has been seemingly been reading nothing but Boyle for the past few weeks. He's been telling folks that When the Killing's Done is even better than Drop City!

We're also the launch event for The Union Quilters this Tuesday, February 22nd, at the Sunset Playhouse, at 7 pm. Jennifer Chiaverini's new novel goes on sale the day of the event.

Regarding nonfiction, it's great to see some early sales on Lisa Paul's memoir of helping a Russian friend navigate the dissident maze in the 1980's. The launch event is at the Shorewood Public Library (3920 North Murray) this Wednesday, Feb. 23, 6:30 pm.

Hardcover Nonfiction
1. Ace of Cakes, by Duff Goldman (out of signed copies!)
2. Swimming in the Daylight, by Lisa Paul
3. The Pack is Back, by The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (not in the Ingram database yet. I think we're hoping to have a direct link for sales. Did I forget to arrange for that? Yeeks, sorry.)
4. A Widow's Story, by Joyce Carol Oates
5. Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell

Jason had mentioned to me recently that we've seen an upsurgence in Gladwell's Outliers yet again, but this is his first time on our bestseller list in a while. I recently enjoyed his New Yorker piece on college rankings*. Oates was featured on the front page of The New York Times today, paired with Michelle Latiolais new collection of stories, also titled Widow. And yes, it's from Bellevue Literary Press, the publisher of Paul Harding's Tinkers.

Don't you like the when posts come full circle?

*As well as Peter Hessler's piece on the Peace Corps.** Did you hear that Country Driving (which I finally finished--yes, sometimes I don't quite get it done in time for the event) hit the New York Times bestseller list. And as we're referencing articles, we have a display up that features the dog stories in Jim Higgins' literary canine roundup that was in today's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

**I know, just the beginning, but if you subscribe to the magazine but don't keep your issues very long, you can get free online access.

No comments: