Sunday, June 17, 2012

What's Selling This Week at Boswell? Spy Stories and Behavorial Economics for Dad, Wisconsin Stories for Junior, Sis is Still Gunning for that Apoclyptic Epic, and Mom is Still Loving Her Erotica.

Hardcover fiction:
1. Redshirts, by John Sclazi
2. Canada, by Richard Ford
3. Boleto, by Alyson Hagy
4. Sacré Bleu, by Christopher Moore
5. Darth Vader and Son, by Jeffrey Brown
 and if you think this should go in a different category, then we can include:
6. Mission to Paris, by Alan Furst

Alas, Mr. Furst didn't make it all the way to Milwaukee on this tour, but his fans are still fondly recalling his last trip, and they showed their enthusiasm with a Father's Day rush to buy Mission to Paris. The glamorous Fredric Stahl, on loan from Warner Brothers, is sent to France to star in a new picture. There are attempts by various factions to steer him to the dark side (he's Slovenian by birth), but he's got a secret anti-Nazi alliance going. Things get dicey. What did I hear someone call Furst's heroes? Hedonists with a conscience.

Hardcover nonfiction:
1. While America Sleeps, by Russ Feingold
2. Front Burner, by Kirk Lippold
3. The Honest Truth About Dishonesty, by Dan Ariely
4. The Good Food Revolution, by Will Allen
5. Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson

I read one of Ariely's other works and enjoyed it thoroughly, but I hesitated at The Honest Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone--Especially Ourselves, because I'm not sure whether I want to know how I rationalize my own bad behavior, not that I am capable of any. It turns out that psychologist and behavioral economics profesor Ariely has found flaws in standard models for analyzing rational crime. We've got way more blinders on this stuff than we admit. As Booklist notes: "Required reading for politicians and Wall Street executives."

Paperback fiction:
1. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E.L. James
2. Herself When She's Missing, by Sarah Terez Rosenblum
3. The Woman in White, by Wilkie Collins
4. Fifty Shades Freed, by E.L. James
5. The Art of Fielding, by Chad Harbach

At #9 is John Dies at the End, by David Wong, the new science fiction book club selction. They are meeting Monday, July 9, 7 pm. The publisher notes: "This may be the story of John and David, a drug called soy sauce, and other-worldly beings invading the planet. Or, it may be the story of two beer-drinking friends who live in an unnamed Midwestern town and only think something horrific is going on. But the important thing is, according to the narrator, 'None of this is my fault.'"

Paperback nonfiction:
1. Teach Like a Champion, by Doug Lemov
2. In the Garden of Beasts, by Erik Larson
3. The Destiny of the Republic, by Candice Millard
4. Parking Tickets, by Shoebox Print
5. I'm not the Biggest Bitch in this Relationship, edited by Wade Rouse

Oy, there's such a fine line between fiction and nonfiction in humor and nobody seems to know where that line is. Parking Tickets: For Those Who Cross the Line seems more like F in Exams, in that it leans nonfiction; it may be made up, but there's not story. Eh, I'll never figure this out.

Books for Kids:
1. Catching Fire, by Suzanne Collins
2. Oh, the Places You'll Go!, by Dr. Seuss
3. Good Night Wisconsin, by Adam Gamble and Mark Jasper
4. The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
5. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky

Like many of these series, the new Good Night Wisconsin is just one of many places immortalized in a similar looking package. The thing is that for the most part, these titles are not noticed as series by customers, as they are only interested in the local one. But there's a Denver Then and Now and a Ghost Stories of Indiana. That said, there's only one Wisconsin Death Trip. In any case, the new Gamble/Jasper entry travels from Lake Superior to Lake Michigan to highlight the sights of the Badger State, and folks seem to be connecting as this is the second appearance on our bestseller list.

And what might hit the list next week? David Maraniss's Barack Obama: The Story, will be the front page of the New York Times Book Review, along with American Tapestry, by Rachel L. Swarns. Maraniss will be at the Milwaukee Public Library's Centennial Hall on Wednesday, July 18, 7 pm.

In the Journal Sentinel, Jim Higgins interviews Natalie Bakopoulos, author of The Green Shore. As she notes, "decades after the restoration of democracy, we are again hearing echoes of the hunta and its aftermath." Read the rest of the interview here.

And here are the latest from Carole E. Barrowman in her Journal Sentinel mystery column:
--The Good Thief's Guide to Venice, by Chris Ewan
--Ghost Song, by Sarah Rayne
--Very Bad Men, by Harry Dolan
--Beneath the Shadow, by Sara Foster.

No comments: