Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sunday Bestsellers? Do You Have The Hunger Games? Do You Have The Hunger Games? Do You Have The Hunger Games, and for a Change of Pace, Do You Have Catching Fire?

Yes, we have been blowing out the Suzanne Collins' trilogy all week. The film is playing at the Oriental, which helps things a bit. Oddly enough, another book that has hit the top of the lists in its self-published form, Fifty Shades of Grey, has slowed down in terms of requests. We were never able to get the original version in anyway; that's not the Vintage edition that's on The New York Times, even though it says it is; the Vintage edition is not out until April 3.

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Be Different, by John Elder Robison (yes, the hardcover)
2. Wild, by Cheryl Strayed (our event is Monday, April 16)
3. Imagine, by Jonah Lehrer
4. House of Stone, by Anthony Shadid
5. The Power of Habit, by Charles Duhigg

Late as I am in getting displays up, we finally have our Anthony Shadid memorial table.  Shadid's first job after graduation from UW was for AP, based in Milwaukee, and he actually lived very close to Downer Avenue. Alas, he lived here when the street was between bookstores--just after Webster's closed in 1990 and before Schwartz returned in 1997.

Hardcover Fiction:
1. Carry the One, by Carol Anshaw
2. Stay Close, by Harlen Coben
3. The Art of Fielding, by Chad Harbach
4. Expats, by Chris Pavone
5. Mirage, by Matt Ruff

Jim Higgins reviews Carol Anshaw's novel Carry the One in today's Journal Sentinel, alling the author a "sharp, commanding writer and often surprisingly funny." I like some humor laced in my drama, and as I've noted previously, so do you (other examples that have been Bowsell favorites are Eugenides, Barry, and also-represented-in-the-top-five Harbach).

Chris Pavone's Expats, already a national bestseller, also makes our top five this week. The Newark Star Ledger's reviewer congratulates Pavone for "crafting a thriller so good that you wonder what other ideas he has up his cloak. And our buyer Jason notes the irony that Matt Ruff's first pop in sales for us came when he took the book off the Boswell's Best. Mirage, the story of an alternate universe where American terrorists crashed planes into towers in Baghdad. The Onion's AV Club notes there are "enough interesting twists to the inverted-world discoveries to keep them surprising and clever through to the final pages." Ruff gets a B+, but one never knows what kind of curve the critic is grading on without context.

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Be Different, by John Elder Robison
2. Look Me in the Eye, by John Elder Robison
3. The Dairy Farmer's Guide to the Universe, Volume 1, by Dennis Merritt
4. Uprising, by John Nichols
5. Please Stop Laughing at Me, by Jodee Blanco

Another sweep by event alums, though in Blanco's case, we were just selling books for her at Greenfield High. That said, we did promote the book in store and got at least a few Boswellians to head out there. I don't think Nichols has done an event in Milwakee yet for Uprising: How Wisconsin Renewed the Politics of Protest, from Madison to Wall Street, though FOBs have noted that he had a very nice event in his home base of Madison. We had a great time with our Jungian guest Merritt too. But it was Robison who clearly made the impression with this week's list, capturing the top two slots.

Paperback Fiction:
1. No Miracles Required, by Jane Gillette
2. Open City, by Teju Cole
3. Glaciers, by Alexis M. Smith
4. Horoscopes for the Dead, by Billy Collins
5. A Clash of Kings, by George R.R. Martin

Glaciers is one of those books that it looks like the mainstream media is overlooking, due to it being from indie Tin House. The Star Tribune (of Minneapolis, when you're kicking it old skool), notes that this is a "slim, emotionally precise debut.") But maybe it's time for some of the editors to take another look and review this.

Books for Kids:
1. The Trouble with Chickens, by Doreen Cronin
2. The Legend of Diamond Lil, Doreen Cronin
3. The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Cronin
4. Rescue Bunnies, by Doreen Cronin
5. Diary of a Fly, by Doreen Cronin
6. Catching Fire, by Suzanne Collins

And then a bunch more Cronin and Collins, including, yes, the boxed set of hardcovers. And then more Peter Lerangis and 39 Clues books, after we reconciled our school visits for him. And then a few Easter books, with our bestsellers being Duck and Goose: Here Comes the Easter Bunny and Ten Easter Egg Hunters.

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