Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sunday Bestseller Post--From Orphans to Presidents.

Hardcover fiction:
1. The Orphanmaster, by Jean Zimmerman
2. The Dog Stars, by Peter Heller
3. Broken Harbor, by Tana French
4. Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn
5. Habibi, by Craig Thompson

Are we getting bored by the women of summer yet? The answer is no, and I should note that Deborah Harkness came in at #6. But the story of the week for us is Peter Heller’s The Dog Stars. It’s a combination of a very forceful email pitch working on some level, as well as a very forceful handseller in Stacie. You can read our email newsletter to see if you agree. And if you do, please buy the book, well, when we have some more in stock. Our buyer Jason thinks another dozen should arrive on Monday.

Hardcover nonfiction:
1. The Good Food Revolution, by Will Allen
2. Love, Fiercely, by Jean Zimmerman
3. Bushville Wins, by John Klima
4. Wild, by Cheryl Strayed
5. The President’s Club, by Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy

Though Jean Zimmerman officially came for The Orphanmaster, there were enough history fans in the audience who were interested in the gilded age that they popped for Love, Fiercely as well. And Michael Duffy has his best week to date with The President’s Club: Inside the World’s Most Exclusive Fraternity, which Robert Dallek says is “essential reading for anyone interested in American politics.”

Here’s a video on the Time magazine website.

Paperback fiction:
1. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
2. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E.L. James
3. The Buddha in the Attic, by Julie Otsuka
4. Troy, Unincorporated, by Francesca Abbate
5. Say Her Name, by Francisco Goldman
6. Salvage the Bones, by Jesmyn Ward
7. One Foot in Eden, by Ron Rash
8. The Land of Give and Take, by Tyler Farrell
9. Fifty Shades Darker, by E.L. James
10. The Imperfectionists, by Tom Rachman

I’d love to say that we’re blowing out Bradbury from our memorial display, but that’s honestly not the case. It’s fifty shades of course adoption at Boswell this week. Not only to we have a college class buying some graphic novels, but we’ve also got a high school sending students to us to buy their English books as well, including the #1 seller, Fahrenheit 451. I don’t generally count bulk sales in our bestsellers, unless the book is relatively new and being tracked as a bestseller, but these purchase decisions are determined by each customer—they certainly could go somewhere else, and they’re instead going out of their way to come to us, which is why we give a small discount for the effort.

Paperback nonfiction:
1. Let’s Take the Long Way Home, by Gail Caldwell
2. Drinking: A Love Story, by Caroline Knapp
3. How to be a Woman, by Caitlin Moran
4. In the Garden of Beasts, by Erik Larson
5. Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi

Our book club pop continues for Gail Caldwell's memoir about her friendship with Caroline Knapp, Let's Take the Long Way Home, paired with Knapp's own memoir, Drinking: A Love Story. Here's an interesting interview with Caldwell on NPR, where she describes her unique sisterly bond.

Books for kids:
1. The Odyssey (Literary Touchstone Edition), by Homer
2. The Secret of the Fortune Wookieee, by Tom Angleberger
3. Rite of Passage, by Richard Wright
4. Magic Tree House #48: A Perfect Time for Pandas, by Mary Pope Osborne
5. The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins

When we got that giant Fortune Wookiee blowup for The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee , I was skeptical, but we’re definitely seeing interest in Origami Yoda. And then there was this complaint about not enough origami paper; was that connected to this book. Kirkus rejoices: “A chorus of spot-on middle school voices and plenty of laughs are wrapped around this tale of friendship and seasoned with Star Wars references.”

So what are our future bestsellers for next week? As is generally the case, we turn to the Journal Sentinel for inspiration. One sure thing is Michael Perry's Visiting Tom (Harper), which I've already featured on two blogs, but don't worry, there'll be another tomorrow, as our event is on Friday, August 24, 7 pm.

You can read the whole piece here, and yes, the photos are on display at Boswell.

Mike Fischer reviews The Zenith (Viking), by Duong Thu Thuong, the fifth novel by a North Vietnamese writer who, following imprisonment, now lives in exile in Paris. He notes "at its best, The Zenith gives full-throated voice to the ordinary people for whom revolutions are always ostensibly fought--while measuring what is lost when they are later betrayed." Read the rest here.

And finally, it's time for Carole E. Barrowman's monthly "Paging though mysteries" column. Barrowman calls Minnesota-based Sean Doolittle's Lake Country (Bantam) "a standout", loving his characters which are "endearingly flawed, their actions resulting from a heavy mix of misguided loyalties and cheap booze."

From Minnesota, Barrowman heads to Michigan where Steve Hamilton's Die a Stranger (Minotaur)features ex-cop and P.I. Alex McKnight. "Hamilton's plot is swift and dialogue driven, his observations skillfully linking setting and character"

On to Portland, and his novel, Bad Little Falls (Minotaur)where Paul Doiron "writes evocatively of the Maine landscape and Mike's internal struggles.

And finally Barrowman jumps to Portland West, where Chelsea Cain's Kill You Twice (Minotaur, yes, again) offers "explicitness is in her slick blending of horror, psychological tension and dark wit."

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