Sunday, June 12, 2011

From Robopocalypse to Psychopaths--Many Reasons to be Fearful of This Week's Bestsellers.

My Sunday ritual consists of:  1) tabulate bestsellers 2) write bestseller blog 3) do dishes, laundry, and iron 4) listen to a little bit of American Top 40 from the 1970s on Oldies 95.7.  When I first used to listen to these countdowns 35 years ago, they were awash in Clearasil ads. Now it's Practiv.  It's a good thing some things don't really change...unlike our weekly bestsellers, which change regularly.  That was a scintillating seque, no?  

hardcover fiction
1. The Long-Shining Waters, by Danielle Sosin
2. My American Unhappiness, by Dean Bakopoulos
3. State of Wonder, by Ann Patchett
4. The Tiger's Wife, by Tea Obreht
5. Robopocalypse, by Daniel H. Wilson

Our top two titles are event sales pops, while Patchett, whose event is on June 22, had a great first week of sales.  Obreht was just named the Orange Prize winner, while Robopalypse is a staff rec that is getting some traction.

hardcover nonfiction
1. In the Garden of Beasts, by Erik Larson
2. Two Kisses for Maddy, by Matthew Logelin
3. The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris, by David McCullough
4. The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry, by Jon Ronson
5. It's All About the Bike: The Pursuit of Happiness on Two Wheels, by Robert Penn

It feels like our Father's Day momentum is mostly nonfiction.  I don't know if that's me, or just Boswell, or an industry thing.  There are of course a lot of branded thrillers, but it's often my feeling that if that recipient wanted the new whomever, he'd buy it himself or tell the giver to buy it for him. And the more the person knows what to get, the less they'll go out of their way to come to us if that person isn't a customer already.  This might be worth a whole post.  Way back when we opened, I espoused that I needed to focus more on the browser and less on the person who knew exactly what they wanted.  Has it played out or not?

paperback fiction:
1. A Visit from the Goon Squad, by Jennifer Egan
2. Volt, by Alan Heathcock
3. Cutting for Stone, by Abraham Verghese
4. Room, by Emma Donoghue
5. The Solitude of Prime Numbers, by Paolo Giordano

It is kind of fun when you actually can generate some momentum for a book, such that you don't have to work it every week.  When a book club told me a few days ago that they picked Paolo Giordano's novel for their selection, I still got a giddy feeling. With all the hand-selling I've done on this, surely I'd get some sort of traction, right?

paperback nonfiction:
1. Better than Great, by Arthur Plotnik
2. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot
3. Swimming in the Steno Pool, by Lynn Peril
4. Half a Life, by Darin Strauss
5. F in Exams: The Very Best in Wrong Test Answers, by Richard Benson

Some nice events this week, but looking at F in Exams reminds me that I should do a post on the impulse table.

kids books:
1. I am a Bunny, by Ole Rissom and Richard Scarry
2. Rrralph, by Lois Ehlert
3. Catching Fire, by Suzanne Collins
4. Theodore Boone: The Abduction, by John Grisham
5. Time for Bed, by Mem Fox

We just put up a turtle stuff display so I have to find a book to pop the way Sam and the Firefly books did from our owl display.  I haven't heard what our pal Nancy B. has to say about the newest Theodore Boone book, but I'm looking forward to her comments.

Don't forget, you can order any of these titles off our Boswell Books website, with many available as ebooks too, often as the same price as our larger competitors.  Now I'm off to our Community Artreach event, with lots of activities for kids, starting at 2 pm.  Read more here.

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