Sunday, January 13, 2013

Sunday Bestseller Post--Saunders Sensation, Magnus Mania, Jordan's Gem, and More.

Hardcover fiction:
1. The Tenth of December, by George Saunders
2. A Memory of Light, by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson
3. Ratlines, by Stuart Neville
4. The Round House, by Louise Erdrich
5. Flight Behavior, by Barbara Kingsolver
6. Beautiful Ruins, by Jess Walter
7. Watching the Dark, by Peter Robinson
8. Telegraph Avenue, by Michael Chabon
9. Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn
10. The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, by Ayana Mathis

We had a nice, strong sale for Stuart Neville's event for Ratlines last Sunday but he could not outpace two high profile releases. I've already mentioned the blowout sales of Tenth of December, George Saunders's new collection of stories (we got new stock on Friday), but Jason's dream release was the concluding volume of Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time, A Memory of Light, finished adeptly by Brandon Sanderson. Bryan Maygers in the Huffington Post calls the new volume "a thrilling end."

Hardcover nonfiction:
1. Lessons from the Heartland, by Barbara Miner (event January 25)
2. Thinner this Year, by Chris Crowley and Jennifer Sacheck
3. Behind the Beautiful Forevers, by Katherine Boo
4. The Dude and the Zen Masters, by Jeff Bridges with Bernie Glassman
5. Help Thanks Wow, by Anne Lamott (ticketed event coming for April 6)
6. Far from the Tree, by Andrew Solomon
7. Inventing Wine, by Paul Lukacs (we had trouble keeping this in stock)
8. The Wheat Belly Cookbook, by William Davis
9. House Children Succeed, by Paul Tough
10. Both Flesh and Not, by David Foster Wallace

Héctor Tobar (yes, the same fellow from Tuesday's book club post) reports on an event with Jeff Bridges, the legendary Dude of the Coen Brothers film, The Big Lebowski and his Buddhist teacher, Bernie Glassman in the Los Angeles Times. He calls The Dude and the Zen Master "an odd and wonderful little work that makes use of the transcendentally funny characters and language of the 1998 film as the starting point for a relaxed philosophical discussion about a wide variety of topics."

Paperback fiction:
1. City of Dark Magic, by Magnus Flyte (event is January 15, 7 pm)
2. Sacré Bleu, by Christopher Moore
3. Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel
4. Ghosts of Belfast, by Stuart Neville
5. Rules of Civility, by Amor Towles
6. The Paris Wife, by Paula McLain
7. The Language of Flowers, by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
8. Believing the Lie, by Elizabeth George
9. State of Wonder, by Ann Patchett
10. Angelmaker, by Nick Harkaway (we eventually have to discuss this book in depth)

With Elizabeth George changing publishers, Jason noted that this is the first time she's appeared in a trade paperback edition following the hardcover, at least for a Lynley novel. Because I don't have the energy to fully research this, I'm noting that I'm reporting not on whether this is the case, but that Jason said it. Believing the Lie (NAL)got nice reviews in hardcover, including Tom Nolan in The Wall Street Journal noting that George has written "a long and complicated book, with a multiplicity of subplots and a richness of physical detail." Read the rest here. And you should note that we'll likely sell more copies in trade than we did in mass market.

Paperback nonfiction:
1. Never Leave Your Block, by Scott Jacobs
2. Memoir of the Sunday Brunch, by Julia Pandl
3. The Swerve, by Stephen Greenblatt
4. Sherman Park, by Paul Geenen
5. Call the Midwife, by Jennifer Worth
6. The Emotional Life of your Brain, by Richard Davidson
7. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot
8. How to Tell if Your Cat is Plotting to Kill You, by The Oatmeal
9. Sign Painters, by Faythe Levine and Sam Macon
10. Mo: A Loeys Dietz Syndrome Memoir, by Kate Jurgens (event is January 22, 7 pm)

Nice events with Jacobs and Pandl popped them to the top of our list. More stock on the Oatmeal's latest gets it back on the list. And while Downton Abbey has the lion's share of PBS publicity of late, we've also been having a lot of folks looking for Jennifer Worth's Call the Midwife.

As Mary McNamara says in the Los Angeles Times, "Lovely and engaging, Raine makes Jenny sympathetic and sweet while still preserving the upper-middle class shock that is as much willful ignorance as innocence. You will laugh, you will cry and if it seems a bit treacly, it is. But as another very famous British caregiver once observed, a spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down.

Books for kids:
1. The Bully Book, by Eric Kahn Gale
2. The Third Wheel, by Jeff Kinney
3. Wildwood, by Colin Meloy
4. The Invention of Hugo Cabret, by Bryan Selznick
5. The Awesome Book of Love, by Dallas Clayton
6. I am a Bunny, by Ole Risom and illustrations by Richard Scarrey
7. Lego Ninjago Character Encyclopedia
8. I Have a Dream, by Martin Luther King with illustrations by Kadir Nelson
9. Under Wildwood, by Colin Meloy
10. The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict, by Trenton Lee Stewart

Kadir Nelson's newest book, I Have a Dream, is beautiful and inspiring. While he won't be in Milwaukee, he's spending several days in Chicago, at the Oak Park Library on January 21 and Andersons on January 22. Hey, it's only an hour and a half. Here's the rest of the tour.

I'll be quoting freely from Carole E. Barrowman again tomorrow, but this is the space where I point out what's on the Journal Sentinel book page, and today a review of Thomas Maltman's Little Wolves is features. Maltman is appearing at Boswell this Thursday, January 17, 7 pm.

"Little Wolves is layered with 'words and mysteries' from Norse myths and allusions to Anglo-Saxon narratives (in particular the epic poem Beowulf and the myth of Ragnorak). The narrative is textured with the language of poetry that at times took my breath away. Although Maltman's novel is grounded in a recognizable reality, it's as rich in myth and metaphors as Cormac McCarthy's The Road."

And to continue that thread, Jim Higgins has done a writeup on Monday's event with Elaine Schmidt, author of The Travelers: Present in the Past. I didn't know about the publisher's extensive line of quilting books. Read the entire piece here.

It's all Tobar all the time, as Héctor's review of The Miniature Wife is reprinted, courtesy of the Los Angeles Times. He praises the new collection as an entertaining romp and compares his work to George Saunders and Aimee Bender.

Also in the Journal Sentinel, Kendal Weaver praises the new novel about jazz legend Buddy Bolden. His take: "with Tiger Rag, Christopher has reached into jazz history to produce a novel that enriches the Bolden story and is a suspenseful modern drama about a fractured family as well."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your blog today made me want to share some thoughts with you and your booksellers about Call the Midwife. Our book club had a discussion of this memoir in December, and it was the catalyst for a very animated discussion. Jennifer Worth was a great observer of the East End society and the times, and it made all of us realize how far we have come in health care since the 50's. She also worked among many memorable people and had a lot to learn about life.

Fans of this first book will be happy to know that the second book, Shadows of the Workhouse, will be released on Jan. 22. The third and final in the series, Farewell to the East End, will be released on Mar. 12. The second season will begin airing on PBS at the end of March.