Sunday, March 20, 2011

Joyce and Vowell and Rankin in the Journal Sentinel, and Not Surprisingly, Téa Obreht has Big Bestseller Pop.

We’ve got a relatively quiet event week coming up, with just Greg Boyle at Marquette’s Eckstein Law School building on Wednesday night and Anne Byrn, the Cake Mix Doctor who is now cooking gluten-free, on Friday. (Use the same link to either--it's for our event page). That’s actually not a bad thing, having picked up the Wisconsin Restaurant Expo on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

We also signed on to sell books at Sarah Silverman’s show at the Riverside Theater on Sunday, March 27th. How kismet-ish that the paperback of The Bedwetter** has just released. I was looking at reviews on our industry website and was pleased to see that the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel was included:

"Without curtailing her trademark potty-mouth humor and shock tactics, comedian Sarah Silverman has written a memoir that's sweet, funny, real and, dare I say it, occasionally even touching... Silverman's book suggests that, behind the cute face and dirty mouth, there's a clever woman with a warm heart." Read the rest here, from the Lincoln, Nebraska Journal Star of course. Want to read more about Lincoln? Here's a photo of licorice. Is this a licorice store or a licorice company? Either way, I'm intrigued.

How could The Tiger’s Wife not have had a big pop in sales this week on our fiction hardcover list? And look at Patrick Rothfuss’s tenacity. You don’t always see that with fantasy. For the Penguin folk who look at this list, note that the author has yet to do an event in metro Milwaukee.

1. The Tiger’s Wife, by Téa Obreht
2. Wise Man’s Fear, by Patrick Rothfuss
3. Drawing Conclusions, by Donna Leon*
4. A Discovery of Witches, by Deborah Harkness
5. Sing You Home, by Jodi Picoult

What could pop next week? Mike Fischer in the Journal Sentinel reviews The Silent Land, by Graham Joyce (arrives Tuesday). It’s a sort of philosophical horror novel where a couple vacationing in the Pryenees are buried by an avalanche. They survive, only to find the place deserted. “And then things get weird.” Read more here.

Carole E. Barrowman’s take on The Complaints, the new mystery series starting with Malcolm Fox, is that Fox could be a worthy successor to Inspector Rebus, but she misses the Scottish patter, and found the plot a wee bit complicated. That said, she’s already offering a toast to the new series. And we’ve already remarked here on the enthusiasms of others. More here.

Events drive our nonfiction bestseller list, though it’s nice to see three books getting national play selling at Boswell too. There has been so much turnover on the bestseller lists that it’s feeling like a cinema multiplex or a list of music downloads. One big pop of sales and then kerplatz. We’re a slow burn, just like those old theaters that would play Georgy Girl for a year. Hey, I learned at Milwaukee Movie Theaters this week that the theater in question was the Downer!

1. Life on the Line, by Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas (request a signed copy)
2. Jane Addams, by Louise Knight
3. The Social Animal, by David Brooks
4. The Information, by James Gleick
5. Moonwalking with Einstein, by Joshua Foer.

Oh, those Foer brothers! Sources say he got a $1.2 million advance for this book. Meanwhile, Jim Higgins writes up Unfamiliar Fishes, Sarah Vowell’s latest. He’s bummed that there’s no index. Read more here.

It’s not that her publisher is against them, as there’s one in Life in Year One, the Riverhead Book by Scott Korb that, coincidentally, is our event for today (Sunday), starting at 2 PM. More on our events list.

Look ma! No events in paperback fiction. And linking is exhausting.

1. Cutting for Stone, by Abraham Verghese
2. Tinkers, by Paul Harding
3. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, by Jamie Ford
4. The Lacuna, by Barbara Kingsolver
5. The Invisible Bridge, by Julie Orringer...event on April 29th

Did you notice I don’t like ties? I break them generally by the price of the book. I figure if we took in more dollars, the rank should be higher.

1. Five Very Good Reasons to Punch a Dolphin in the Mouth, by Matthew Inman. Request a signed copy of this.
2. Memoir of a Sunday Brunch, by Julia Pandl. Or this!
3. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot
4. The King’s Speech, by Mark Logue
5. Just Kids, by Patti Smith

They replayed that great interview with Skloot on Fresh Air this week. I heard it while driving back and forth from some offsite or other, and the rest of the week, people came in talking about it.

*This is the last week to reserve your seat at the Friends of the Milwaukee Public Library Literary Luncheon at the Woman's Club of Wisconsin on East Kilbourne for Donna Leon. The lunch is on April 5. More here.

**Yesterday I attended a website workshop that explained how searches now only came up with one version of a book. The problem is that version was the hardcover, and the additional versions that showed up when I made the request were the large print and the ebook. No paperback! I did find it by ISBN. Guess I have to email somebody about this.

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