Sunday, February 13, 2011

Bustling Bestseller Lists, Pretty Pictures

I spent the day with Sharon at the Iron Cupcake Pro/Am Challenge. I changed my mind and decided to not post my photos from the event, as they are kind of crappy. So much for the "pretty pictures" part of the post. Guest judge Duff Goldman's Ace of Cakes is a shoo-in for #1 nonfiction hardcover this coming week. But what of the week just past?

1. Cesar's Rules, by Cesar Millan
2. It's All Relative, by Wade Rouse
3. Wisconsin's Own, by Connolly and Wasserman
4. Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand
5. Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, by Amy Chua

And here's fiction:

1. Swamplandia, by Karen Russell
2. A Red Herring without Mustard, by Alan Bradley
3. Freedom, by Jonathan Franzen
4. Tinkers (yes, the hardcover--folks are gearing up for the event on 2/17), by Paul Harding
5. The Discovery of Witches, by Deborah Harkness

It's a pretty Jason list, though Anne likes the Bradley titles. I was remiss in our email newsletter on Swamplandia two levels. First of all, I got confused as to when Mike Fischer's review ran for Russell. It happened already and he loved the book, calling it the first must-read book of 2011. Here's a link to his review, which was the Powell's review of the day.

I also couldn't find Jason's review of Swamplandia when I was setting the email newsletter. Honestly, the Constant Contact problem with functionality is driving me to drink. More. Tea. (But strong tea.)

"A family of alligator wrestlers, in the swamplands of the Florida Everglades, comes upon hard times, when the matriarch passes away. Everything seems to be encroaching upon them at once, the World of Darkness is attempting to take everything Ava and her family have been doing for generations. The twelve-year-old girl watches as her family spirals apart. She must make her own way and save everything she has ever known. Karen Russell has spun a bewitching tale. I reread whole sections in this imaginative, quirkly, and complex book. If you can engross me to care about the hatching alligators, then I know that Russell has worked her magical world upon me perfectly."

Jason Kennedy's review of Swamplandia.*
It's such a pleasure to have a pop like that on a new title. Sort of can't miss for the national bestseller lists, don't you think? No surprise, Peter Hessler's Country Driving is #1 nonfiction, followed by a bunch of Cesar Millan backlist. But paperback fiction's got some interesting stuff going on:

1. Secrets of Eden, by Chris Bohjalian (not one, but two events)
2. Tinkers, by Paul Harding
3. Major Pettigrew's Last Stand, by Helen Simonson
4. The Slap, by Chistos Tsiolkas
5. Cutting for Stone, by Abraham Verghese
6. The Lacuna, by Barbara Kingsolver
7. Little Bee, by Chris Cleave
8. People of the Book, by Geraldine Brooks
9. Shadow Tag, by Louise Erdrich
10. The Three Weismanns of Westport, by Cathleen Schine

We always have a pop in sales when I announce our upcoming in-store book club books, which accounts for The Slap (March) and People of the Book (May). The Girl Who Fell from the Sky is our April pick.

I don't really think I'm necessary a snob about my reading tastes, well, not much anyway, but it's pretty cool that I've either read or would be happy reading every book in our paperback fiction top ten. Not every store can say that.

*Does my linking to Swamplandia five times make you want to buy it? It's Boswell's Best for a few more weeks, making it 20% off the list.

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