Sunday, November 20, 2011

What Sold This Week? From Sufi to World War II to Some Nice Mystery Pops...

I usually think that top 5 is plenty of books to report on a bestseller list blog, but I feel like my posts for the last few days have been spotty, so adding more titles seems somehow more meaty.

Hardcover fiction:
1. Habibi, by Craig Thompson
2. The Marriage Plot, by Jeffrey Eugenides
3. The Sense of an Ending, by Julian Barnes
4. Blankets, by Craig Thompson
5. 11-22-63, by Stephen King
6. The Litigators, by John Grisham
7. V is for Vengeance, by Sue Grafton
8. The Art of Fielding, by Chad Harbach
9. 1Q84, by Haruki Murakami
10. The Conference of the Birds, by Peter Sís

It's tough to categorize the new book by Peter Sís, who here has illustrated an epic Sufi poem. In the end, even though we had it in a nonfiction category, I tend to put poetry in with fiction, and really, it doesn't even matter. Coincidentally Thompson's Habibi also touches on Sufi themes.

Hardcover nonfiction:
1. The Oxford Companion to Beer, by Garrett Oliver
2. Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson
3. Inferno: The World at War, 1939-1945, by Max Hastings
4. And So it Goes: Kurt Vonnegut, by Charles J. Shields
5. Thinking Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman
6. Little History of the World: Illustrated Edition, by E. H. Gombrich
7. Desiny of the Republic, by Candice Millard
8. A Train in Winter: An Extraordinary Story of Women, Friendship, and Resistance in Occupied France, by Caroline Moorehead
9. Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero, by Chris Matthews
10. In the Garden of Beasts, by Erik Larson

History and biography dominate the list this week. I was reading more about Caroline Moorehead's depiction about the French resistance to the Nazis in France, and noticed that not only did we sell out, but so did Ingram for restocking. It was probably this NPR piece that popped our sales.

Paperback fiction:
1. Blankets, by Craig Thompson
2. The Tiger's Wife, by Téa Obreht
3. Bill Warrington's Last Chance, by James King
4. The All of It, by Jeannette Haien
5. The Postmistress, by Sarah Blake
6. The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey, by Walter Mosley
7. An Uncertain Place, by Fred Vargas
8. God of the Hive, by Laurie King
9. Luka and the Fires of Life, by Salman Rushdie
10. The Tower, the Zoo and the Tortoise, by Julia Stuart

Seconds after I sent my fall-winter book club brochure to the printer, I remembered that I forgot to include The Tower The Zoo and The Tortoise. I made up for it by talking about it several times over the next few days.

Paperback nonfiction
1. The First America's Team, by Bob Berghaus
2. Gudrun's Kitchen, by Ingeborg Baugh and Irene Sandvold
3. Cleopatra, by Stacy Schiff
4. Listening for the Heartbeat of God, by Philip Newell
5. At Home, by Bill Bryson
6. The Warmth of Other Suns, by Isabel Wilkerson
7. The Hare with Amber Eyes, by Edmund de Waal
8. Paris Without End, by Gioia Diliberto
9. Just Like Someone Without Mental Illness, Only Moreso, by Mark Vonnegut
10. You Had me at Woof, by Julie Klam

Dog books are no stranger to our bestseller lists. Klam's canine-friendly memoir was the focus of this profile in the New York Times upon hardcover publication. I don't think this was a media pop for us, but just a cute little dog staring at customers on the front table.

Hardcover Books for Kids
1. This Dark Endeavor, by Kenneth Oppel
2. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever, by Jeff Kinney
3. The Other Felix, by Keir Graff
4. Home for Christmas, by Jan Brett
5. Aldo Leopold's Shack, by Nancy Hunt
6. The Inheritance, by Christopher Paolini
7. Family Storybook Treasury, by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
8. I Want my Hat Back, by Jon Klassen
9. Ivy and Bean: No News is Good News, by Annie Barrows
10. Wizard of Oz Scanimation, by Rufus Butler Seder with the help of L. Frank Baum

At the Woman's Club holiday books luncheon, our two top bestsellers were very different, and both books that had not yet made much of an impression at the bookstore. One was The Family Storybook Treasury, a value-priced collection of picture books. The other was The Limit: Life and Death on the 1961 Grand Prix Circuit, by Michael Cannell. It came out #11 on the nonfiction hardcover list. Hachette's Mike talked it up to me at the GLIBA conference and our rep Randy seconded it at rep night. While auto racing is not a category that in itself is a winner for us, it fills the sweet spot of an exciting book for a guy who previously liked books on mountain climbing, sailing, long distance running, all of which went well beyond their expected core audiences.

Paperback Books for Kids
1. Darker Still, by Leanna Renee Hieber
2. Silverwing, by Kenneth Oppel
3. Sunwing, by Kenneth Oppel
4. The Misfits, by James Howe
5. The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I had an intense run of offsite sales this week, and we're doing another event tonight, a co-sponsored truffle dinner with Patricia Wells for Simply Truffles at Lake Park Bistro. At the Cudahy Family Library, I learned about Hieber's new teen series, Magic Most Foul. In Darker Still,  a young man is trapped in a painting while his body commits horrible crimes in 19th century New York City. He finds a teenage girl who can help him break the spell, but first she'll have to enter the painting. Apparently it's a play on The Picture of Dorian Gray.

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