Sunday, September 30, 2012

What's Selling at Boswell for the Week Ending 9/29/12--Bruel, Lipton, Cousineau, Tanzilo, Rushdie, and a Good Amount of Rowling.

It's our weekly roundup of what's selling at Boswell.

Hardcover fiction:
1. The Casual Vacancy, by J. K. Rowling
2. A Hundred Flowers, by Gail Tsukiyama
3. Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn
4. Telegraph Avenue, by Michael Chabon
5. The White Forest, by Adam McOmber

Because of the phenomenon that is Harry Potter, because very few folks got to read The Casual Vacancy before its release, there’s been a lot of hullabaloo about what critics would think. I’m not going to link to the Michiko Kakutani review in The New York Times because, well, she needs to calm down. But I found Marion Winik’s review in Newsday to be interesting because, she actually thought the book could work for teens (but not eight year olds).

The Huffington Post did a roundup of critical reception.

Hardcover nonfiction:
1. Fire in the Ashes, by Jonathan Kozol
2. Joseph Anton, by Salman Rushdie
3. Waging Heavy Peace, by Neil Young
4. How Children Succeed, by Paul Tough
5. Why does the World Exist, by Jim Holt

The rocker memoir of the season seems to be Neil Young’s Waging Heavy Peace. Dan De Luca in the Philadelphia Inquirer writes “Waging Heavy Peace is its own kind of book. Like an epic jam with Crazy Horse, it's loose and baggy and always in the moment.” And who knew that he was mad at Linda Ronstadt for telling Nicolette Larson not to date him. I guess he needed more than a “Lotta Love” to win her over. Hey, it’s songs you hear in the supermarket trivia time!

Paperback fiction:
1. Sister, by Rosamund Lipton
2. Ulysses, by James Joyce
3. The Marriage Plot, by Jeffrey Eugenides
4. Please Look After Mom, by Kyung Sook Shin
5. The Rules of Civility, by Amor Towles

I can explain Joyce (a class is using this) and the one-two punch of Shin and Towles (our next two in-store book club selections), and I’m going to guess that Lupton is also a book club selection. When it was reviewed in The New York Times Book Review, Liesl Schillinger stated: “Both tear-jerking and spine-tingling, Sister provides an adrenaline rush that could cause a chill on the sunniest afternoon — which, perhaps, the friendly company of a sister or two (or, in a pinch, a brother) might help to dispel.”

Paperback nonfiction:
1. The Painted Word, by Phil Cousineau
2. Historic Milwaukee Public Schoolhouses, by Robert Tanzilo
3. Boomerang, by Michael Lewis
4. How to be a Woman, by Caitlin Moran
5. Savage Inequalities, by Jonathan Kozol

We have a rash of local favorites with books from History Press this fall. Martin Hintz will be at the Milwaukee Public Library’s rare books room on October 15, 6:30 pm for Wisconsin Farm Lore. Paul Geenen will be at Boswell for Schuster’s and Gimbels on October 30, 7 pm, and at the Washington Park Library on December 4, 6:30, for his new Sherman Park book. But the first to get a bestseller pop is Bobby Tanzilo of Historic Milwaukee Public Schoolhouses, who is appearing at Boswell on Monday, November 12, 7 pm.

Hardcover books for kids:
1. The Infinity Ring #1: A Mutiny in Time, by James Dashner
2. Bad Kitty, by Nick Bruel
3. Poor Puppy and Bad Kitty, by Nick Bruel
4. Bad Kitty for President, by Nick Bruel
5. Magic Tree House #1: Dinosaurs Before Dark, by Mary Pope Osborne

Paperback books for kids:
1. Bad Kitty for President, by Nick Bruel
2. Bad Kitty Meets the Baby, by Nick Bruel
3. Happy Birthday, Bad Kitty, by Nick Bruel
4. Bad Kitty vs. Uncle Murray, by Nick Bruel
5. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky.

That’s a lot of Bad Kitty. We gave away Perks of Being a Wallflower posters from the studio. The response was more enthusiastic than some of the other offerings we get. For some reason, they are always at the last minute. It strikes me that we get targeted for these promotions because the perception is that our customers are influencers. And if that’s the case, why do we always get the promotional materials at the last minute?

What will likely dominate bestseller lists next week? It’s likely to be Stephan Pastis, who is coming to Boswell tomorrow (Monday, October 1, 7 pm) for Pearls Freaks the #*%# Out. My apologies for periodically spelling the cuss word incorrectly. Diane Bacha interviewed Pastis in today’s Journal Sentinel. It’s a free event!

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