Sunday, October 21, 2012

Boswell's Sunday Annotated Bestsellers for the Week Ending October 20.

Hardcover fiction:
1. Round House, by Louise Erdrich
2. Darth Vader and Son, by Jeffrey Brown
3. Panther, by Nelson DeMille
4. Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn
5. Twelve, by Justin Cronin
6. Live by Night, by Dennis Lehane
7. The Secret Keeper, by Kate Morton
8. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, by Rachel Joyce
9. A Thousand Mornings, by Mary Oliver
10. Sutton, by J.R Moehringer

The Panther by Nelson DeMille pops this week, this time playing off the bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen. DeMille spoke to CBS News about doing factual research for his novels, and the importance of protecting sources for a book, even in fiction. And as he is Long Island’s own, there’s also a profile in the Manhasset Press. It’s a good week for the island, as J.R. Moehringer also has ties to the area, as folks who read his memoir know.

And a note on Louise Erdrich. Her novels have a consistent baseline sale with us, but some break out more than others. The Downer Schwartz sold 19 Painted Drum in 2005 and 30 Plague of Doves in 2008. We then sold 18 Shadow Tag in 2010, but in 2012, we're already up to 18 copies of Round House in 3 weeks. There's no question we will beat sales of her last three books at this location in short order with this one, which is shortlisted for the National Book Award. 

Hardcover nonfiction:
1. State of the Union, by James Biggers
2. Steven Spielberg: A Retrospective, by Richard Schickel
3. The President’s Club, by Michael Duffy
4. Pabst, by Paul Bialas
5. Roots, by Diane Morgan
6. The Science of Good Cooking, by Cooks Illustrated
7. Who I Am, by Peter Townshend
8. Hello Gorgeous, by William J. Mann
9. America Again, by Stephen Colbert
10. Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand

I’m not sure what got the new Cook’s Illustratated book, The Science of Good Cooking, on our bestseller list this week, but I suspect it had something to do with that New York Times profile of Chris Kimball. I feel like I’ve read about Kimball’s operation before, but this article positioned him more like Roy Reiman's Taste of Home with a fancy gloss than say, Bon Appetit. 

Paperback fiction:
1. The Marriage Plot, by Jeffrey Eugenides
2. State of Wonder, by Ann Patchett
3. Fifty Shades Darker, by E.L. James
4. The Lock Artist, by Steve Hamilton
5. The Sense of an Ending, by Julian Barnes

Further down our list is a recently released title, Swimming Home, by Deborah Levy, the Booker shortlisted title (sorry, the winner was Hilary Mantel…again) about a poet whose vacation in the South of France is interrupted by a young hanger on. Kate Kellaway in the Observer called Levy’s work “a shining splinter, hard to dislodge.” Read more here.

Paperback nonfiction:
1. Wisconsin Farm Lore, by Martin Hintz
2. Haunted Wisconsin, by Michael Norman
3. Arguably, by Christopher Hitchens
4. In the Garden of Beasts, by Erik Larson
5. Beyond Outrage, by Robert Reich

Political books on both sides are being heavily promoted as each side uses whatever tools it has to influence votes. One book consistently selling for us is Robert Reich’s Beyond Outrage.

Hardcover books for kids:
1. The Boxcar Children Beginning, by Patricia MacLachlan
2. Boot and Shoe, by Marla Frazee
3. All the World, by Liz Garton Scanlon and Marla Frazee
4. Stars, by Mary Lyn Ray and Marla Frazee
5. The Boss Baby, by Marla Frazee

Paperback books for kids:
1. Sarah Plain and Tall, by Patricia MacLachlan
2. Roller Coaster, by Marla Frazee
3. Through Grandpa’s Eyes, by Patricia MacLachlan
4. Skylark, by Patricia MacLachlan
5. Clementine, by Sara Pennypacker with illustrations by Marla Frazee of course

There’s usually a bit of delay on processing school event sales while we sort out the numbers. Hence, several weeks of sales pop on Frazee and MacLachlan.

What's featured in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel this week? Carole E. Barrowman discusses Books to Die for, an anthology of the world's greatest mysteries, edited by John Connolly and Declan Burke. Barrowman calls it "engaging, erudite, and substantial."

Barrowman didn't love The Twelve, by Justin Cronin, as much as she liked the first entry in the series, The Passage, due to "too many time jumps and too many characters."

And Jim Higgins reviews The Lighthouse Road, by Peter Geye, who will appear at Boswell tomorrow, October 22, and then at Books and Company in Oconomowoc on October 24. He notes that "the pleasures of The Lighthouse Road go far beyond grade-A regionalism. It's a fine example of you-were-there historical fiction. It's also something of a seminar in masculinity, with the reader seeing how a man's youthful choices and accidents formed him. And Geye also has breathed life into two marvelous, closely observed female characters, depicted with compassion in both the small pleasures and larger tragedies of their lives." Read the rest of the review here.

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