Sunday, November 27, 2011

What's Selling this Week, including Our Post-Thanksgiving Pop?

Tis the season for book recs. Here's the Journal Sentinel's big fat list of holiday must-reads and must-gives. Expect to see some of them on next week's recap.

Hardcover fiction:
1. The Art of Fielding, by Chad Harbach
2. The Emperor of Lies, by Steve Sem-Sandberg
3. The Sense of an Ending, by Julian Barnes
4. 11-22-63, by Stephen King
5. 1Q84, by Haruki Murakami
6. The Marriage Plot, by Jeffrey Eugenides
7. V is for Vengeance, by Sue Grafton
8. The Prague Cemetery, by Umberto Eco
9. Explosive Eighteen, by Janet Evanovich
10. The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern

Doubleday successfully moved John Grisham to the fall, so I guess there was the thought that Janet Evanovich could also improve her sales by getting on Christmas wish lists. I suppose she didn't expect to be in competition with Sue Grafton.

The book that roared back up with serious holiday shopping was Chad Harbach's The Art of Fielding. It also made Michiko Kakutani's top ten of the year, as did Téa Obreht's The Tiger's Wife (in paperbacks).

Hardcover nonfiction:
1. Simply Truffles, by Patricia Wells
2. Everyone Leads, by Paul Schmitz
3. Catherine the Great, by Robert K. Massie
4. Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson
5. Then Again, by Diane Keaton
6. Thinking Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman
7. The Making of Milwaukee, by John Gurda
8. Back to Work, by Bill Clinton
9. Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero, by Chris Matthews
10. Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand

It's not too often that we get multiple reads on big fat nonfiction books, but we've actual got dual recs on Catherine the Great.

Paperback fiction:
1. Show Up, Look Good, by Mark Wisniewski
2. The Tiger's Wife, by Téa Obreht
3. Room, by Emma Donoghue
4. Montana 1948, by Larry Watson
5. Sarah's Key, by Tatiana de Rosnay

We had a very nice homecoming event with Mark Wisniewski. All the rules are broken when you're talking about events that are driven by family and friends, though I should say that we had a contingent of folks who didn't previously know Mr. Wisniewski. In fact, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is a great date for authors returning home to Milwaukee. There were a rash of reports about Black Wednesday this year; lots of people are predisposed to go out the night before the holiday.  I expect to get inquiries on 2012 soon.

Paperback nonfiction:
1. F in Exams, by Richard Benson
2. Cleopatra, by Stacy Schiff
3. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot
4. Anatomy of an Epidemic, by Robert Whitaker
5. The Hare with Amber Eyes, by Edmund de Waal

Not that I don't love our regular members of our nonfiction paperback bestseller club, but it's nice to meet new people. Robert Whitaker's new-in-paperback book looks at the question why the number of disabled mentally ill has tripled over the last two decades. Oh, and I love the jacket--can I mention we sell a matching card from Potluck Press?

Hardcovers for kids:
1. Cabin Fever, with Jeff Kinney
2. Catching Fire, by Suzanne Collins
3. Inheritance, by Christopher Paolini
4. The Invention of Hugo Cabret, by Brian Selznick
5. Balloons over Broadway, by Melissa Sweet

Let's hope that Mr. Kinney's plotline doesn't play out until after New Year's, for the sake of bricks-and-mortar stores everywhere.

Paperbacks for kids:
1. The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Colllins
2. Freckle Juice, by Judy Blume
3. Time for Bed, by Mem Fox
4. Julius the Baby of the World, by Kevin Henkes
5. The Book Thief, by Marcus Zusak

As usual, it's hard to get paperback kid book sales in quantity, as opposed to bulk--by that I mean when someone orders five copies, as opposed to when five people buy one copy.  That's why I often merge our hardcover and paperback numbers. But there is always Suzanne Collins!

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