1. Bushville Wins, by John Klima
2. Wild, by Cheryl Strayed
3. The Swerve, by Stephen Greenblatt
4. The Good Food Revolution, by Will Allen
5. Posters of Paris, by Mary Weaver Chapin
All the books in our top five should be familiar, either to NYT watchers, or to locals. Klima's book on the Milwaukee Braves and Will Allen's book on Growing Power have been strong sellers since their release; too bad that we didn't get enough notice to schedule an event with Klima. Posters of Paris (Prestel) should be familiar as well; it's the current exhibit at the Miilwaukee Art Museum. Folks visiting say it's terrific. It runs through September 9. More information here.
1. Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn
2. Broken Harbor, by Tana French
3. Shadow of Night, by Deborah Harkness
4. Canada, by Richard Ford
5. Creole Belle, by James Lee Burke
James Lee Burke has been mopping up after the women of summer for several weeks now. In the new book, Creole Belle (Simon and Schuster), someone's put a bullet in Dave Robichaux's back, and he's in a recovery unit, obsessed with the song "My Creole Belle" that a young woman, now disappeared, has left for him on an iPad.Oh, and an oil spill has wreaked havoc on the area. Marilyn Stasio in The New York Times Book Review calls this a novel "that shows how the sins of the fathers poison the ground their children walk on."
1. In the Garden of Beasts, by Erik Larson
2. Invisible, by Ruth Silver
3. Drinking: A Love Story, by Caroline Knapp
4. Let's Take the Long Way Home, by Gail Caldwell
5. The New Jim Crow, by Michelle Alexander
Anne has been pairing up Drinking: A Love Story with Let's Take the Long Way Home (Random House)for book clubs. Gail Caldwell's memoir of her friendship with Caroline Knapp will connect with folks in a similar way to Ann Patchett's Truth and Beauty. It's not brand new but it's new if it's new to you, right?
1. Up Jumped the Devil, by Michael Poore
2. The Magicians, by Lev Grossman
3. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E.L. James
4. Fifty Shades Darker, by E.L. James
5. Caleb's Crossing, by Geraldine Brooks
6. The Buddha in the Attic, by Julie Otsuka
7. Fifty Shades Freed, by E.L. James
8. The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern
9. The Art of Fielding, by Chad Harbach
10. State of Wonder, by Ann Patchett
Jason explained to me that the paperback cover for The Night Circus (Anchor) is actually a mashup of the American and British jackets. I'm sure you're wondering what's going on with the film version. Well, it's currently scheduled for summer 2013, according to IMDb (which as you probably know, is owned by our internet competitor.)
Books for Kids:
1. The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
2. Catching Fire, by Suzanne Collins
3. The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee, by Tom Angleberger
4. Leo the Late Bloomer, by Robert Kraus
5. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs
I wasn't surprised to get a huge blow up of the Wimpy Kid delivered to the store, but the giant Origami Yoda was totally unexpected. But Tom Angleberger's third entry in the series, The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee (Abrams Amulet), seems to be worth the investment. In this installment, Dwight has transferred to Tippett Academy and the kids of McQuarrie Middle School have no Origami Yoda to help them along, until the girls discover a Fortune Wookiee, a paper fortune teller in the form of Chewbacca. Is this licensed from Star Wars (the second book is Darth Paper Strikes Back) or is it considered a parody? But apparently they are pretty fun.
In the Journal Sentinel this Sunday, perhaps we'll get a pop on Silver Sparrow from Jim Higgins's charming interview with Tayari Jones. She calls Gone Girl "a vacation between two covers."
The Higgins review of Flynn Meaney's The Boy Recession looks at the fictional Whitefish Bay of this novel, compared to the real one he lives in. Interestingly enough, he raises some of the same questions I had when contemplating Pauls Toutonghi's fictional Milwaukee of Red Weather, whereas I couldn't care less when the new novel, Evel Knievel Days, was set in a possibly accurate, possibly not Butte, Montana. You know, that place filled with Butticians. Yes, I'm going to use that one forever.
Yes, if the author's characters had eaten in The White Bungalow, it could have stood in for any number of diners and hamburger stands. But by using a real place, White Castle, that has never had a location in Milwauke, it struck a wrong note for any local. And why weren't they here? Because Milwaukee was a White Tower town, their main competitor. That chain, with more of a streamlined architecture style, was actually founded here. I last spotted them on a trip to Kansas City in the late 1980s.