Sunday, September 11, 2011

Boy Do I Have a Lot to Say about What's Selling This Week at Boswell.

It's a long but riveting post today...and don't forget, all books are available for sale on our website, and many are also downloadable as ebooks, as long as you're not talking about the K word.

Books for kids:
1. You Will be my Friend!, by Peter Brown (signed copies available)
2. Children Make Terrible Pets, by Peter Brown
3. Flight of the Dodo, by Peter Brown
4. The Curious Garden, by Peter Brown
5. Chowder, by Peter Brown

Surprise! This is what happens when you host three events in a day with an author.  I'm glad to say that further down our list is The Unwanteds, by Lisa McMann.  She'll be at the West Allis Public Library on Thursday, September 22, 2011, at 4 pm.

Paperback fiction:
1. The White Woman on a Green Bicycle, by Monique Roffey
2. A Scattered Life, by Karen McQuestion
3. The Help, by Kathryn Stockett
4. Easily Amused, by Karen McQuestion
5. Cutting for Stone, by Abraham Verghese

Part of our pop for Monique Roffey was that this is the next book for our in-store lit group, on Monday, October 3, 7 pm.  But this book already has good sales momentum in our store (as opposed to the Luis Alberto Urrea, which I was trying to jumpstart) and had the good fortune of being chosen by another book club in the area at the same time.

Oh, and Karen McQuestion's event generated three bestsellers this week--not just her two novels, but the writing guide of Judy Bridges, who introduced the author.

Paperback nonfiction:
1. Cleopatra, by Stacy Schiff (event at Centennial Hall, October 4)
2. I'm not the Biggest Bitch in this Relationship, edited by Wade Rouse (event is this Thursday, September 15)
3. The Believer, Volume 83
4. Shut Up and Write, by Judy Bridges
5. Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell

One of the weird things about our list is that if a journal is distributed like a book, it counts towards our bestsellers, but if it is circulated like a magazine, it is not. At least we shelve them together; for some reason, we didn't at Schwartz. And we used to not label them either--how did the bookseller know how to ring them up? I guess you'd try the ISBN, and if it didn't work, you'd enter it by magazine price point.

Hardcover nonfiction:
1. That Used to be Us, by Thomas Friedman
2. Cyril Colnik: Man of Iron, by Alan Strekow
3. 1493, by Charles Mann
4. Just my Type, by Simon Garfield
5. Caravaggio, by Andrew Graham-Dixon

It's so nice to have a few books that people are chasing, like Thomas Friedman's newest.  The one that's on my to be purchased list, however, is Simon Garfield's Just my Type.  I do love a good typeface, and find it so sad that Blogger is limited to seven.

Hardcover fiction.  I have to say a lot abou this list, so I'm going to annotate as I go along.

1. Those Across the River, by Christopher Buehlman. A nice crowd for Mr. Buehlman and a particularly high rate of sell through led us to sell out.  But never fear, we checked Buehlman's schedule and ordered personalized signed copies from Brookline Booksmith, further ahead on his tour to the four folks who couldn't get a book.  As you know from the blog, this store is about four blocks from my mom's apartment, at least for the next few weeks--she's moving to Worcester to be nearer my sister. The coincidence was that Jamie, the bookseller who helped me through all this, used to work at Changing Hands, the Tempe bookstore which is very close to my other sister.

2. The Art of Fielding, by Chad Harbach. We sold out twice this week, but we now have a mess of books on order. I listened to all the enthusiasm, but both Jason and I were cautious in our response. Lots of folks are wondering if Mr. Harbach is going to visit the Milwaukee area on his tour--as of now, we know nothing.

3. This Burns my Heart, by Samuel Park. A modest but enthusiastic crowd greeted Mr. Park last Wednesday. I got a few takers from each of the target audiences I went after. One of our Korean customers told Park that the book (which she loved) had a real Korean feel to it. Congrats to Park, whose novel just sold Korean translation rights.

4. Good Graces, by Lesley Kagen. Kagen will be reading at Boswell this Wednesday, September 14, on the fourth leg of her Reading Tour de Wisconsin.  Want to see where else she is going? There's more on her website.
5. On Canaan's Side, by Sebastian Barry. Alas, no Man Booker finalist for but a series of wonderful reviews nonetheless, including Mike Fischer's in today's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. A quote from this "gorgeously-written" novel: "The sense of possibility in such passages underscores Lilly's wearied perseverance - even as she admits that 'a measure of tragedy is stitched into everything,' in 'dwelling on things I love,' those 'little cultured pearls' without price that are nestled within the floorboards of history, patiently awaiting rescue so that they might cross to safety on Canaan's side."

Our event with Sebastian Barry is Saturday, October 1, at 3 pm.

6. The Magician King, by Lev Grossman.  Recently an author who shall remain nameless confessed to confusing Lev and Austin Grossman at a conference. They're brothers? They're twin brothers? They are identical twin brothers? They both write literary novels that play off fantastical elemants?  How do you tell them apart? Well, Lev's voice is pitched slightly lower and Austin wears crazy goggles to Comicon.  That's all I got.

One Grossman:

The share button seems turned off on Austin Grossman's video, but I can still link you to it.  It's now sort of sweet that the Lev Grossman video is sponsored by Borders; they were definitely influential in breaking out his last novel.

7. Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline. Favorite Ready Player One customers of the week were two young women who each bought a book (one of them Ernest Cline's) and both bought Aaron Boyd's blue fishy tee. After purchasing, they sat around on our front bench for a while chatting, and I asked them if they liked our new magenta paper bag (which happened to match her cell phone) and she replied, "Yes, it used to be green, right?" Now that is paying attention to detail!

8. We the Animals, by Justin Torres. Mark just sent me his rec!  Ellen, I'll get it to you this week.

9. Collusion, by Stuart Neville. Our in-store mystery group just read Ghosts of Belfast, which, along with Carl's enthusiasm, might have contributed to the sales pop.

10. The Emperor of Lies, by Steve Sem-Sandberg. We're hosting Steve Sem-Sandberg at the JCC on Tuesday, November 22!

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