Thursday, January 3, 2013

Boswell's Paperback Bestsellers of 2012.

Paperback fiction:
1. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E.L. James (the book that got everyone at Random House a $5000 bonus)
2. Pryme Knumber, by Matt Flynn (multiple events)
3. The Art of Fielding, by Chad Harbach (event)
4. The Tiger's Wife, by Téa Obreht
5. State of Wonder, by Ann Patchett
6. Fifty Shades Darker, by E.L. James
7. Fifty Shades Freed, by E.L. James
8. Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel (one of two books whose sales rose due to sequel's release)
9. Life of Pi, by Yann Martel (classic jacket)
10. The Sense of an Ending, by Julian Barnes
11. The Buddha in the Attic, by Julie Otsuka
12. A Game of Thrones, by George R. R. Martin (the only mass markets on this list are from Martin)
13. Rules of Civility, by Amor Towles (the Costco buyer just made this her pick)
14. Flight, by Sherman Alexie (event)
15. Swamplandia, by Karen Russell
16. Rescue the Good Stuff, by Louis Loveridge Gallas (event, one of two poetry books in top 50)
17. Caleb's Crossing, by Geraldine Brooks (one of four books where the author came for the hardcover edition)
18. Glaciers, by Alexis Smith
19. A Visit from the Goon Squad, by Jennifer Egan
20. A Clash of Kings, by George R.R. Martin
21. Pearls Freaks the #*%# Out, by Stephan Pastis (event)
22. The Language of Flowers, by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
23. A Storm of Swords, by George R. R. Martin
24. Salvage the Bones, by Jesmyn Ward
25. Cloud Atlas, by David Mitchell (one of only 3 books selling from film release)
26. A Feast for Crows, by George R.R. Martin
27. The Marriage Plot, by Jeffrey Eugenides
28. ROTC Kills, by John Koethe (event)
29. Best American Short Stories 2012, edited by Tom Perrotta and Heidi Pitlor (the only short stories on the top 50, unlike the hardcover list, which had five collections)
30. The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, by Stieg Larsson
31. The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern
32. The House at Tyneford, by Natasha Solomons
33. The Family Fang, by Kevin Wilson
34. Z Rated: Chocolate Flava 3, by Zane (event)
35. The Magicians, by Lev Grossman (event)
36. The Sisters Brothers, by Patrick DeWitt
37. The Girl who Played with Fire, by Stieg Larsson
38. American Dervish, by Ayad Akhtar
39. Ash Wednesday, by Harold Eppley (event)
40. Silver Sparrow, by Tayari Jones (event)
41. The Devil all the Time, by Donald Ray Pollock (event)
42. The Discovery of Witches, by Deborah Harkness
43. The Weird Sisters, by Eleanor Brown
44. Gone, by Mo Hayder
45. The Cellist of Sarajevo, by Steven Galloway
46. The Art of Hearing Heartbeats, by Jan Philipp Sendker (1 of 11 paperback originals)
47. The All of It, by Jeannette Haien
48. The Paris Wife, by Paula McLain
49. Please Look After Mom, by Kyung-Sook Shin (1 of 3 books in translation)
50. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, by Jonathan Safran Foer

Paperback nonfiction:
1. Unfamiliar Fishes, by Sarah Vowell (event)
2. In the Garden of Beasts, by Erik Larson
3. Please Stop Laughing at Me, by Jodee Blanco (event)
4. Schuster's and Gimbels, by Paul Geenen (event)
5. Bossypants, by Tina Fey
6. Steal Like an Artist, by Austin Kleon (event)
7. Unlikely Friendships, by Jennifer Holland
8. Memoir of the Sunday Brunch, by Julia Pandl (event)
9. Uprising, by John Nichols (event)
10. Sherman Park, by Paul Geenen (event)
11. Sign Painters, by Faythe Levine and Sam Macon (event)
12. Be Different, by John Elder Robison (event)
13. The Swerve, by Stephen Greenblatt
14. Read This, by Hans Weyandt (event)
15. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot
16. Historic Milwaukee Public Schoolhouses, by Robert Tanzilo (event)
17. F in Exams, by Richard Benson
18. F for Effort, by Richard Benson
19. Cocktail Hour under the Tree of Forgetfulness, by Alexandra Fuller
20. Just Ride, by Grant Peterson (event, the only book from our sports section)
21. How to be a Woman, by Caitlin Moran
22. There are Things I want you to Know about Stieg Larsson and Me, by Eva Gabrielsson (event)
23. The Bond, by Wayne Pacelle (event)
24. The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin
25. Team of Rivals, by Doris Kearns Goodwin (the only book here with a movie connection)
26. The Hare with Amber Eyes, by Edmund De Waal
27. Townie, by Andre Dubus III (event)
28. Cleopatra, by Stacy Schiff
29. Pretty Good Joke Book, by Garrison Keillor
30. The Warmth of Other Suns, by Isabel Wilkerson (one of 7  books from our history section, plus I'd make a case for two others, Skloot and DeWaal)
31. Look me in the Eye, by John Elder Robison (event)
32. Blood, Bones, and Butter, by Gabrielle Hamilton (but no cookbooks on this list)
33. Arguably, by Christopher Hitchens
34. Milwaukee Mafia, by Gavin Schmitt (one of five books about Milwaukee)
35. The New Jim Crow, by Michelle Alexander
36. 1493, by Charles C. Mann
37. Turn Right at Machu Picchu, by Mark Adams
38. The Devil in the White City, by Erik Larson
39. How to Live Almost Forever, by Len Zubrensky, Gary Guten
40. Tiny Beautiful Things, by Cheryl Strayed
41. Big Thirst, by Charles Fishman (event)
42. Death in the City of Light, by John King
43. My Korean Deli, by Ben Ryder Howe (one of two food memoirs)
44. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me, by Mindy Kaling
45. Let's take the Long Way Home, by Gail Caldwell
46. The Destiny of the Republic, by Candice Millard
47. Invisible, by Ruth Silver (event)
48. Your True Home, by Thich Nhat Hanh
49. Moonwalking with Einstein, by Joshua Foer
50. Proof of Heaven, by Eben Alexander

When you take the event sales away, the list becomes much more heavily skewed towards history and biography/memoir, plus books off our impulse table. One should also note that the event books with the best after sale were Steal Like an Artist, which subsequently went on our impulse table, and the various regional titles.

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