Sunday, July 17, 2011

What Kind of Bestsellers did Boswell Have This Week? Led by George R.R. Martin, One that Seems to Suggest that Summer Bodes Well for Escapist Fare.

Another week, another weekly wrap up book sales. Seems appropirate as I listen to the 1970s American Top 40 broadcasts on WHTZ. Currently Elton John is telling everyone that Mama Can't Buy You Love. The recession caused such problems!
hardcover fiction

1. A Dance with Dragons, by George R.R. Martin
2. The Last Werewolf, by Glen Duncan
3. Turn of Mind, by Alice LaPlante
4. State of Wonder, by Alice LaPlante
5. Maine, by J. Courtney Sullivan

What a great week to release Glen Duncan's novel for add ons from folks coming in for the latest installment of George R.R. Martin's fantasy epic.  For our event with Alice LaPlante, luck of the draw gave us a date one week too early.  Not only did The New York Times Book Reivew ("The twists and turns of mind this novel charts are haunting and original" from Zoë Slutsky) appear today, but Maureen Corrigan's spirited recommendation appeared on "Fresh Air" the very next day. Here's a teaser:

"Paranoia is the oxygen of a suspense story. Think of all those great films — most of them made by Hitchcock — built around the premise of a main character questioning his or her own gut instincts: Suspicion, Gaslight, Shadow of a Doubt, Rebecca. While it's always satisfying to see that basic premise of self-doubt in suspense endlessly resurrected, it's downright spine-tingling to encounter the work of a new writer who has managed to ring brilliant changes on that classic formula." Read the rest of the review here.

Also today, the Journal Sentinel's Mary Louise Schumacher has a great article about the "Hiding Places" exhibit at the Kohler Arts Center, which I recently profiled in the blog.  It's a great companion exhibit to LaPlante's book, or as folks at the exhibit might say, the book is a great companion to the exhibit.

hardcover nonfiction
1. Hurricane Story, by Jennifer Shaw
2. Large Scale, by Jonathan Lippincott
3. Bossypants, by Tina Fey
4. A Cook's Journey to Japan, by Sarah Marx Feldner
5. Absolute Monarchs, by John Julius Norwich

An event heavy hardcover nonfiction week, with last week's New York Times Book Review front page review of Norwich's papal history and a resurgent Fey (Jason wondered aloud about this) rounding out the top five.

paperback fiction
1. Made to Write, by Lisa-Marie Calderone-Stewart
2. A Visit from the Goon Squad, by Jennifer Egan
3. Room, by Emma Donoghue
4. A Game of Thrones, by George R.R. Martin
5. A Dog's Purpose, by W. Bruce Cameron
6. A Storm of Swords, by George R.R. Martin
7. Major Pettigrew's Last Stand, by Helen Simonson
8. Little Bee, by Chris Cleave
9. Yellow Blue Tibia, by Adam Roberts
10. The All of It, by Jeannette Haien

Some folks who get an early version of our bestsellers will notice that I knocked a classic off the list which turned out to be a bulk sale. I tend not to include them on these limited lists, not that I don't want them (on the contrary) but because it doesn't seem that interesting to me to take up a slot.  Some folks would argue to the contrary

paperback nonfiction
1. Creating Dairyland, by Edward Janus
2. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot
3. The Available Parent, by John Duffy
4. Memoir of a Sunday Brunch, by Julia Pandl
5. Progressive Nation, by Jerome Pohlen

Just to underscore the importance of events in our sales, three of the titles in our top five are past events, and two are future events.  None, however, were events for the this past week.

children's books
1. The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
2. City Dog, Coutry Frog, by Mo Willems with illustrations by Jon Muth
3. The Penderwicks at Point Mouette, by Jeanne Birdsall
4. Savvy, by Ingrid Law
5. Mockingjay, by Suzane Collins

Excitement about the upcoming movie has certainly increased sales of Collins's novels.  We've even noticed some stock issues at the publisher. Wonder how that affects ebook sales?  Probably helps them. Don't worry--we've got all three books in the trilogy available.

So what might pop up next week on our list?  Mike Fischer's a bit mixed on Sapphire's The Kid, while Carole E. Barrowman's mystery column tips the axe to Will Lavender's Dominance and needed some ice to cool off from Meg Gardiner's The Nightmare Thief.  Read the rest here.

And finally, Chris Foran reviews Patrick McGilligan's newest biography, Nicholas Ray: The Glorious Failure of an American Director.  We host McGilligan on August 11, at 7 pm.

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