Sunday, April 17, 2011

Bestsellers List from Last Week, Annotated, and What's Reviewed in the Journal Sentinel. Plus a Little Extra on Lori Roy.

Here's what we sold this week.  First up, hardcover fiction:
1. The Pale King, by David Foster Wallace
2. The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, by Stieg Larsson
3. Say Her Name, by Francisco Goldman
4. Horoscopes for the Dead, by Billy Collins
5. The Fifth Witness, by Michael Connelly
Say Her Name is the #1 Indie Next book for April and last week was the front page of The New York Times Book Review. And here's a wonderful interview with Billy Collins on Fresh Air, which probably was one of the things that led to our sales pop.

Hardcover nonfiction:
1. Bossypants, by Tina Fey
2. Wicked River, by Lee Sandlin (signed copies available)
3. Malcolm X, by Manning Marable
4. Cleopatra, by Stacy Schiff
5. Life, on the Line, by Grant Achatz
Mr. Sandlin's talk was as good as I hoped for.  I was admittedly a little disappointed with the crowd turnout, but very enthusiastic with the sales.    And with another list comes another Fresh Air interview, this one with Tina Fey.
Paperback fiction:
1. Imperfect Birds, by Anne Lamott
2. Separate Kingdoms, by Valerie Laken
3. The Invisible Bridge, by Julie Orringer
4. Pearl of China, by Anchee Min
5. Cutting for Stone, by Abraham Verghese
This was the week for amazing events, apparently. In addition to compliments about Lee Sandlin's appearance, Lamott's return (lots of enthusiasm and signups for our newsletters from folks who discovered us with this event), and Laken's home town triumph (there were giveaways), I had several people come up to me and tell me that Anchee Min's talk was the best event they'd ever been to.  And Invisible Bridge?  I'm hoping word of mouth is spreading on this wonderful book--we had a very strong sales week, leading up to our dual events on April 29th.
Paperback nonfiction:
1. Eat Smart in France, by Ronnie Hess
2. Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott
3. Heaven is for Real, by Todd Burpo
4. Traveling Mercies, by Anne Lamott
5. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot
Both Anchee Min and Anne Lamott had strong backlist sales at their events.  It was nice to see them sell--we had an event a few weeks ago where the new book did very well but the backlist bombed, which was partly my fault.  I just brought in too much.
Children's Books:
1. Little White Rabbit, by Kevin Kenkes
2. I am a Bunny, by Ole Risom and Richard Scarry
3. Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
4. Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad, by Jacky Davis
5. Owen's Marshmallow Chick, by Kevin Henkes
Happy Easter, apparently.  Also Happy Passover.  Our Hagaddah, by Cokie and Steven Roberts, was #10 on our nonfiction hardcover list.

Today's Journal Sentinel features Mike Fisher reviewing Toxicology, by Jessica Hagedorn.  He's mixed--perhaps too many stylized gestures.  Carole E. Barrowman talks up Margaret George's new novel, Elizabeth I, an uncommon portrait of an uncommon woman.  She's going to be at B&N Mayfair on Tuesday, 7 pm.  For a good laugh, by the book from us and bring it in one of our plastic bags.  It's sure happened to us enough over the years. It's Boswell's best this week.  If you do buy it there, it wouldn't be terrible to mention you heard about her appearance on our blog!
Barrowman also has her new mysteries column.  She's particularly mesmerized by Lori Roy's Bent Road, a drama that is initially triggered by the Detroit riots of 1967, when Arthur Scott packs up and returns home to Kansas, only to be caught up in the case of a missing young girl. 
And since I seem to be in the mood to link to NPR pieces, here's Sarah Weinman's review of the book, also a rave.  An excerpt below:
"Where Bent Road excels the most is in juxtaposing a seemingly encapsulated world of rural routine and slow pace against the rushing onslaught of violence. Arthur may wish to protect his family against the rising tide of civil rights, but only opens deeper wounds within his own family by bringing them home. But his choices seem both right and inevitable, and the Scotts as an entire family are real, flawed people, rich with Roy's natural empathy and understanding that worlds may seem real but are, in fact, a cornucopia of inventions, half-truths and outright lies."

1 comment:

Lori Roy said...

Many thanks, Boswell and Books, for giving BENT ROAD such a nice mention. Very much appreciated.
Lori Roy