Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sunday Bestseller Post--What's Popping Early in the Holiday Shopping Season, plus the Journal Sentinel Book Gift Guide.

Hardcover fiction:
1. Flight Behavior, by Barbara Kingsolver
2. Dear Life, by Alice Munro
3. The Round House, by Louise Erdrich
4. Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn
5. Blasphemy, by Sherman Alexie
6. A Casual Vacancy, by J. K. Rowling
7.  Sweet Tooth, by Ian McEwan
8. Building Stories, by Chris Ware
9. The Racketeer, by John Grisham
10. Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, by Robin Sloan (more on the blog)

Here's where our enthusiasm last summer for a stong lineup of women writers paid off, as three of them, along with summer fave Gillian Flynn, crowd the top rungs of this list. If we were Politics and Prose, we'd probably be chasing these five titles, which the Washington Post deemed the best of the year:

Arcadia, by Lauren Groff
Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, by Ben Fountain
Bring Up the Bodies, by Hillary Mantel
Broken Harbor, by Tana French
Canada, by Richard Ford.

We've chased several of these in the past, at least. Ben Fountain's novel was also shortlisted for the National Book Award. The hardcover jacket is green; the paperback is not.

Hardcover nonfiction:
1. Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power, by Jon Meacham
2. Jerusalem, by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi
3. Roots, by Diane Morgan
4. Help Thanks Wow, by Anne Lamott
5. The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, by Deb Perelman
6. How Music Works, by David Byrne
7. The Signal and the Noise, by Nate Silver
8. Hallucinations, by Oliver Sacks
9. My Heart is an Idiot, by Davy Rothbart
10. Defender of the Realm, by William Manchester and Paul Reid

Anne Lamott's appearance on NPR's Morning Edition scooted copies of Help Thanks Wow: Three Essential Prayers right out of the store. I'm not sure how the link I came up with was to North Country Public Radio, but I'm happy to send folks to their website to learn about this part of New York state.

Paperback fiction:
1. The Temptation of Father Lorenzo, by Paul Salsini
2 The Life of Pi, by Yann Martel
3. The Art of Fielding, by Chad Harbach
4. The Sense of an Ending, by Julian Barnes
5. Angelmaker, by Nick Harkaway
6. On Canaan's Side, by Sebastian Barry
7. Wolf Hall, by Hillary Mantel
8. The Barbarian Nursuries, by Hector Tobar (in-store lit group Jan 7)
9. State of Wonder, by Anne Patchett
10. The Gone Away World, by Nick Harkaway

What is with the double appearance of Nick Harkway on our list? It has something to do with Harkaway being the favorite novelist of Hannah, ex-Borders and Next Chapter bookseller and recent addition to our staff. The more I read about Harkaway, the more I am shocked that at least three of our other booksellers aren't crowing about his talents. I think this deserves it's own blog piece

Paperback nonfiction:
1. Schuster's and Gimbels, by Paul Geenen
2. Historic Milwaukee Public Schoolhouses, by Robert Tanzilo
3. Team of Rivals, by Doris Kearns Goodwin
4. Building Taliesin, by Ron McCrea (talk Nov 27, 7 pm)
5. Tiny Beautiful Things, by Cheryl Strayed

Every other person who leaves the Downer Theatre after seeing Lincoln seems to make a beeline for the bookstore and ask about Team of Rivals. As is the case for Life of Pi and Cloud Atlas, our core customers are drawn to the non-tie in jackets, but stock is usually better on the movie-themed one. It's one of the few hot books we ran out of this holiday weekend, but Jason has plenty more on the way.

Hardcover books for kids:
1. The Third Wheel: Diary of a Wimpy Kid, volume 7, by Jeff Kinney
2. The Fault in our Stars, by John Green
3. The Thankful Book, by Todd Parr
4. Safari, by Dan Kainen
5. A Sick Day for Amos McGee, by Philip Stead with illustrations by Erin Stead

It's not surprising that our run on Todd Parr's The Thankful Book was in the days leading up to Thanksgiving. His distinctive artwork always brings a smile to the face of any-age kid.

Paperback books for kids:
1. Stefano and the Christmas Miracles, by Paul Salsini
2. Pathfinder, by Orson Scott Card
3. The Book Thief, by Marcus Zusak
4. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky (still playing at the Downer)
5. Wildwood, by Colin Meloy, with illustrations by Carson Ellis

Safari was actually sold in as an adult title, but we put it with the other books in the series in the kids' section. It's balanced out by Mr. Salsini's book, which is a children's story, but we've shelved it with our other adult titles.

I'd list all 100 titles in the Journal Sentinel's now annual roundup of holiday gift giving ideas, but that would be an entire blog post in itself. I'm hoping we can get a display up shortly to feature these titles though probably not all 100 will fit on a table). Here are the categories:
a. 14 editor's picks, including The Middlesteins
b. 10 mysteries that thrilled Carole E. Barrowman, including The Cutting Season
c. 5 showbiz books worth an encore (from Chris Foran), including The Richard Burton Diaries
d. 10 books praised by Mike Fischer, including Telegraph Avenue
e. 11 books for book lovers, including My Ideal Bookshelf
f. 7 books with Wisconsin connections, including Thornton Wilder
g. 5 novelty books, including Mars Attacks
h. 7 design idea books from Mary Louise Schumacher, including Building Taliesin
i. 13 books for children picked by Boswell booksellers, including Liar and Spy
j 7 graphic novels and nonfiction, including Economix
k. 5 award-winning books, including The Round House
l. And 6 books about old guys and their music, including I'm Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen.

Visit the JSonline site for more info.

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