Sunday, April 22, 2012

Adventure and Gerbils Drive Boswell Bestsellers, Week of April 15-21.

Hardcover Fiction:
1. Sacré Bleu, by Christopher Moore
2. The Lifeboat, by Charlotte Rogan
3. The Sense of an Ending, by Julian Barnes
4. The Innocent, by David Baldacci
5. Prague Fatale, by Philip Kerr

Signed copies and no competing events in the category help Christopher Moore maintain the top spot. This is also the first appearance of David Baldacci with a Will Robie novel, The Innocent. Mr. Baldacci originally wrote stand-alone novels, but now he's rotating through a series of series, and this is apparently a new one, which is why the copy made it sound like it should sound familiar, but it wasn't.

On the other hand, Prague Fatale is the eighth Bernie Gunther novel from Philip Kerr, but the first to hit our bestseller lists. Gunther is a World-War-II-era German private detective who is asked to solve the mystery of a murdered Nazi bodyguard. Jason went down to Chicago to meet Mr. Kerr, which was apparently just one of a many-pronged marketing program to finally break out this series with a strong core following.

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Wild, by Cheryl Strayed (signed copies available)
2. Imagine, by Jonah Lehrer
3. Blue Notes in Black and White, by Benjamin Cawthra
4. Let's Pretend This Never Happened, by Jenny Lawson
5. Sic, by Joshua Cody

Everybody's talking about the striking gerbil-tastic for the new Jenny Lawson book, known to many as The Bloggress. Let's Pretend This Never Happened is a funny/sarcastic memoir of growing up in rural Texas. Jen Lancaster raves, "There's something wrong with Jenny Lawson--magnificently wrong. I defy you to read her work and not hurt yourself laughing."

Paperback Fiction:
1. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E.L. James
2. Swamplandia, by Karen Russell
3. The Family Fang, by Kevin Wilson
4. Power Ballads, by Will Boast
5. Fifty Shades Darker, by E.L. James

So much for the bookseller who told me last week that sales would cool off for Fifty Shades of Grey after the first pop of curiosity. The sequel also charts. Also on the list is Wilson's Family Fang, a Stacie rec, now in paperback that was also on the shortlist of Anne Patchett's novels that she thought could have won the Pulitzer in her New York Times column.

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. 50 Jobs in 50 States, by Daniel Seddiqui
2. Tasting Beer, by Randy Mosher
3. Everything You Wanted to Know About Indians but Were Afraid to Ask, by Anton Treuer
4. 100 Voices: Americans Talk About Change, by Mary A. Clare
5. Cleopatra, by Stacy Schiff

Louise Erdrich on the new book by Anton Treuer: “This book marks Anton Treuer’s shift from an expert on Ojibwe history and language to one of the most powerful tribal voices on most things Indian. Informed, compassionate, funny, and provocative, Everything You Wanted to Know About Indians But Were Afraid to Ask is a truly needed and compelling read.”

Hardcover Books for Kids:
1. The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict, by Trenton Lee Stewart (signed copies available)
2. Mockingjay, by Suzanne Collins
3. Mr. Benedict's Book of Perplexing Puzzles, by Trenton Lee Stewart
4. Catching Fire, by Suzanne Collins
5. Amelia Bedelia's First Vote, by Herman Parish

The hardcover/paperback split never quite feels as authentic with kids' books. It's mostly the board books--what are they anyway. I've always classified them as hardcovers in inventory, but their price point is more like a paperback, as is their binding. And more than that, many of them have taken on the traditional role as secondary publication format of choice after the hardcover picture book is published. That said, I made the switch back this week to best represent this week's sales.

Paperback Books for Kids:
1. The Magician's Elephant, by Kate DiCamillo
2. Bink and Gollie, by Kate DiCamillo (signed copies available)
3. The Mysterious Benedict Society, by Trenton Lee Stewart
4. Because of Winn Dixie, by Kate DiCamillo
5. The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey, by Trenton Lee Stewart

I know you're thinking that Trenton Lee Stewart was last week, but when we do schools, the sales come in two bumps. We can record the in-store and library sales right away, but when we funnel sell to kids at schools, there's a little delay as we figure out exactly how many were sold.

This week in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Mike Fischer reviews Hhhh, by Laurent Binet, "a stirring reminder that the stories we live depend on depend on the choices we make. And Carole E. Barrowman notes of The Shoemaker's Wife, "Trigiani's writing is opulent, and this novel worth savoring." Don't forget that Ms. Trigiani will be at Next Chapter on Tuesday, April 24, 7 pm.

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