Sunday, February 19, 2012

Welcome to the Week That Was (the One Ending February 18, 2012)--A Bunch of Events, Unseasonably Warm Weather, and The Resulting Bestsellers.

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity, by Katherine Boo
2. The End of Illness, by David B. Agus
3. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking, by Susan Cain (third week in the top five!)
4. All There Is: Love Stories from Storycorps, by David Isay
5. Enemies: A History of the FBI, by Tim Weiner

Boo, staff writer for The New Yorker, is winning raves for her "intimate, unforgettable portrait of India's urban poor," to quote Kirkus.  But that's just one of the breakout titles of the last few weeks. Publishing folks love to publish breakout fiction in January and February because the books seem to get more attention, but nonfiction really pops as well. And we'd probably have had William Broad's The Science of Yoga on the list too, if only we and the wholesalers hadn't run out of copies.

Hardcover Fiction:
1. Friends Like Us, by Lauren Fox (who is pictured reading her excellent review in People Magazine)
2. What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank, by Nathan Englander (event 2/21)
3. The Art of Fielding, by Chad Harbach
4. The Snow Child, by Eowyn Ivey
5. Goodnight iPad, by Ann Droyd

One doesn't expect to have so much excitement in the middle of February, but a barrage of great author events mixed with mild weather, gave us a really run week of bestsellers. So great to see The Snow Child picking up some traction. I'm pretty sure I listed Sharon's rec for the book here earlier.

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Townie, by Andre Dubus III
2. Cupcakes, Cookies, and Pie, Oh My!, by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson
3. Scout, Atticus, and Boo, by Mary McDonagh Murphy
4. Uprising: How Wisconsin Renewed the Politics of Protest, from Madison to Wall Street, by John Nichols
5. Bossypants, by Tina Fey

Nichols's new release is just one of the Wisconsin protest books that we have been selling well at Boswell. I think it's time for a roundup, perhaps on a blog later this week. I assume he is doing an event somewhere for someone. As soon as I figure out the answer, I'll let you know.

All my close-up photos of Andre Dubus III from Friday night's event are a bit blurry. I may have to upgrade to a better camera. The blurriness is perfectly represents, however, the kinetic energy of Dubus, the boisterous of the evening, combined with the emotional intensity of the subject. The publisher tour is pretty much over, but he's appearing at schools all over the place for the rest of the year, and there is still Newtonville on February 28.

Paperback Fiction:
1. Still Life with Husband, by Lauren Fox
2. The Quiet Twin, by Dan Vyleta
3. Ten Thousand Saints, by Eleanor Henderson (event 2/29)
4. The Weird Sisters, by Eleanor Brown
5. The Sisters Brothers, by Patrick deWitt

What's more intense, the battle of the family members (husband versus twin versus sister, versus sister versus brother?) or battle of the Eleanors?  To me, this is an exciting list, as there are a lot of fresh faces, and the potential of knockouts. Perhaps I am still stuck on Townie and all its boxing.

Books for Kids:
1. Cold Cereal, by Adam Rex
2. The True Meaning of Smekday, by Adam Rex
3. Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich, by Adam Rex
4. Frankenstein Takes the Cake, by Adam Rex
5. The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
6. Catching Fire, by Suzanne Collins
7. Hug Time, by Patrick McDonnell
8. Brother Sun, Sister Moon, by Katherine Paterson
9. The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green
10. Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins

I expanded to ten because I thought it would be a little boring to have an all Adam Rex list, but expanding it to ten just gave us a bunch of Suzanne Collins. Hug Time was definitely our go-to Valentine's Day book this year. And it's nice to see that we are keeping up with John Green sales. We've got a great rec from Pam at the front of the store with our display.

Signed copies available of all of the new books from last week's events--Townie, Friends Like Us, Cold Cereal (actually from 2/10 but as an offsite, it's sale wandered into the next week), The Quiet Twin, Scout, Atticus & Boo, and Cupcakes, Cookies & Pie, Oh My! You can also reserve a signed copy for any of our upcoming events.

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