Sunday, September 25, 2011

What's Selling This Week--This Week's Events and Next Week's Events, a High-Profile Graphic Novel, and Lot and Lots of Chad Harbach.

Every week when I put together the bestseller lists, the hardest part is scanning titles to determine what is fiction and what is nonfiction. Several years ago I changed a lot of our categories, such as the various mystery and science fiction sub-categories, so that they would all start with "F" in our category codes, but there are still some areas like poetry and humor, where the factual narrative and story intermingle, let alone blur. And since Boswell has opened, I have been hankering for a day when we were selling a graphic novel (code PGR) that would hit our list.  And it finally happened with the new book from the author of Blankets.

Hardcover fiction:
1. The Art of Fielding, by Chad Harbach
2. Habibi, by Craig Thompson
3. The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern (reserve a signed copy*)
4. The Leftovers, by Tom Perrotta
5. American Boy, by Larry Watson
6. A Trick of the Light, by Louise Penny
7. Readme, by Neal Stephenson
8. State of Wonder, by Ann Patchett
9. On Canaan's Side, by Sevastian Barry (reserve a signed copy))
10. Dead Reckoning, by Charlaine Harris

Two upcoming events also make the list--Larry Watson on September 29, 7 pm, and Sebastian Barry on October 1, 3 pm. Gioia Diliberto, who visited yesterday for Paris Without End, the biography of Hadley Hemingway, oohed when I mentioned Barry in my upcoming events shpiel.

Oh, and speaking of Gioia Diliberto, anyone who has read The Paris Wife will absolutely want to read Paris Without End as well, the true story behind the novel. And note to other booksellers, it was a very nice sized crowd of 25 for a twenty-year-old biography, and it brought in people who bought other things. We received a number of compliments afterwards, which is always a good thing. I might discuss this in another blog post.

Hardcover nonfiction:
1. 1493, by Charles C. Mann
2. Here Comes Trouble, by Michael Moore
3. The Swerve, by Stephen Greenblatt
4. In the Garden of Beasts, by Erik Larson
5. Confidence Men, by David Suskind

And right after that is the Cleopatra hardcover, meaning I have to go back and get more hardcovers for our event--don't worry, I have a huge amount of paperbacks. Jason was wondering about Stephen Greenblatt's book subtitled "How the World Became Modern" but since we sold through pretty much all our initial order in the first week, I think we can safely say it's a hit.  Greenblatt is a professor at Harvard (what bestselling serious nonfiction author isn't?) and editor of the Norton Shakespeare.

Paperback fiction:
1. The Secret Scripture, by Sebastian Barry (get a copy signed!)
2. A Visit from the Goon Squad, by Jennifer Egan
3. Blackout, by Connie Willis
4. Cutting for Stone, by Abraham Verghese
5. Sarah's Key, by Tatiana de Rosnay

In a weakish week for softcover sales of a fictional flavor, our bestselling book was beloved backlist from Barry, who is signing next Saturday (October 1, 3 pm). 

Paperback nonfiction:
1. Paris Without End, by Gioia Diliberto (signed copies available)
2. Cleopatra, by Stacy Schiff (and we can get one signed of this too)
3. Yarn, by Kyoko Mori
4. A Spirited History of Milwaukee Brews and Booze, by Martin Hintz
5. Paris Paris, by David Downie

Our event with Stacy Schiff is at the Milwaukee Public Library's Centennial Hall, Tuesday, October 4, 7 pm. Martin Hintz is also speaking, but at Boswell, this Friday, September 30, 7 pm. And David Downie's book is yet another title popping off the Paris table. 

Hardcover Children's  Books:
1. The Unwanteds, by Lisa McMann (signed copies available)
2. Torn, by Margaret Peterson Haddix (likewise)
3. Cryer's Cross, by Lisa McMann
4. Wonderstruck, by Bryan Selznick
5. Every Thing On It, by Shel Silverstein

Event books yes, but high profile releases too. Selznick's novel is the long-awaited follow-up to The Invention of Hugo Cabret, while Silverstein's is his posthumous collection of unpublished poems and art.

The kids' picture books list has a lot of large numbers but the top five are all titles from Margaret Peterson Haddix, #1 being Found, the first title in the Among the Missing series, and #2 being Among the Hidden, the first title in the Shadow Children series.  You have to go all the way to #13 to find a title that is not Margaret Peterson Haddix or Lisa McMann, which would be Neil Gaiman's Blueberry Girl. And no, I don't expect Gaiman to do a school event with us in the near future. Sigh.

Don't forget that all books are available on our website, and many are also available as ebooks as competitive prices, as long as you're not using a Kindle.

*Morgenstern will be at Next Chapter on Tuesday, October 4, and at Books and Company's Oconomowoc Arts Center (north on the Summit Avenue exit on 94) on Wednesday, October 5, but she will be signing stock at Boswell and we can reserve one for you.

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