Sunday, February 17, 2013

Boswell Sunday Bestsellers, Week Ending February 16, 2013

I can't definitely say what folks seem to be reading in Washington DC. I spotted a Team of Rivals on a Kindle, but only because I was sitting next to that person for a long period of time. Aside from that, I've seen an assortment of older titles. But I do know what was selling this week, at least at Boswell. And I suspect somebody somewhere is selling Tenth of December in the Washington area, even as we speak.

Due to travel, there's a little less annotation this week.

Hardcover fiction:
1. Tenth of December, by George Saunders
2. Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn
3. Vampires in the Lemon Grove, by Karen Russell
4. A Hologram for the King, by Dave Eggers
5. The Dinner, by Herman Koch

Continuing to see how people fall on The Dinner, J.C. Sutcliffe in The National Post (Canada) says "If you want to enjoy Herman Koch’s new novel, don’t read a single thing about it. To do so seriously reduces its power." I'll stop there then.

Hardcover nonfiction:
1. Pukka's Promise, by Ted Kerasote
2. Multiplication is for White People, by Lisa Delpit
3. Europe and the Islamic World, by John Dolan (event at Boswell, Sunday, February 24, 2 pm)
4. Going Clear, by Lawrence Wright
5. Detroit: An American Autopsy, by Charlie LeDuff

Regarding Charlie LeDuff's Detroit: An American Autopsy, we've found a lot of folks buying both Detroit books. Mark Binell's Detroit City is the Place to Be is also selling well.I think the most recent pop is from Nick Andersen's NPR essay "Dry Bones? Hardly. There's Still Life Left in Detroit."

Paperback fiction:
1. The Age of Miracles, by Karen Thompson Walker
2. Leon and Louise, by Alex Capus (in store lit group 3/4, 7 pm)
3. The Ginkgo Light, by Arthur Sze (Boudreaux lecture at UWM Hefter Center, Thursday, February 21, 7:30 pm)
4. The Fate of Mercy Alban, by Wendy Webb (event at Boswell, Thursday, March 14, 7 pm)
5. All This Talk of Love, by Christopher Castellani (event at Boswell Wednesday, February 27, 7 pm)

The Boudreaux Lecture this coming Thursday (note time), featuring Arthur Sze, is open to the public. The address is 3271 N. Lake Drive.  Want to sample some poems of Sze? Santa Cruz Good Times Weekly excerpted a few last fall.

Paperback nonfiction:
1. Schuster's and Gimbels, by Paul Geenen
2. Milwaukee Garage Bands, by Peter Roller (event at Boswell, Tuesday February 19, 7 pm)
3. In the Garden of Beasts, by Erik Larson
4. Memoir of the Sunday Brunch, by Julia Pandl
5. The President's Club, by Nanncy Gibbs

We don't often get an event write up in the music column, but Piet Levy gives a shout out to Peter Roller's Milwaukee Garage Bands in the Journal Sentinel. "It's the look of unadulterated joy, a joy author Peter Roller experienced firsthand growing up"

Books for kids:
1. The Infinity Ring Volume 3: The Trap Door, by Lisa McMann
2. The Unwanteds Volume 2: The Island of Silence, by Lisa McMann
3. The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green
4. Crash, by Lisa McMann
5. Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life, by Wendy Mass

It's hard to get traditional reviews for teen books--many of the magazines that might have covered these titles in the passed have fallen by the wayside, and I've yet to see a link to Teen Vogue. That said, McMann is beloved by the bloggers. Wanda at Good Choice Reading gives Crash a four. She loves the excitement of Lisa McMann's novels but might have been distracted by the details of the family restaurant. 

But here's the strangest development among the blogger reviews--by far, most of them are for the audiobook. And of course we haven't sold a teen audiobook since...I can't even tell you.

A newly released novel for middle graders (9-13) is review in the Journal Sentinel, where Jim Higgins journey's to 19th century Wisconsin with Amy Timberlake in her novel for young adults, One Came Home. Higgins  notes that the author, who grew up in the state and now lives in Chicago, has written "an entertaining and compelling novel about the value of a single life, be it human or avian."

In the "Paging Through" column, Carole E. Barrowman looks at several new releases of particular interest to mystery fans. This week's selections:

Crashed and Little Elvises, by Timothy Hallinan, two novels that were originally published only as ebooks, which are now available in print editions from Soho. Junior Bender is the protagonist; he's a rogue L.A. burglar.

The Sound of Broken Glass, by Deborah Crombie, follows married detectives Gemma James and Duncan Kincaid with James investigating a crime in her newly assigned district of the Crystal Palace neighborhood of South London. Barrowman compares Crombie favorably to Louise Penny and Elizabeth George. I used to work with a bookseller (Ellen) who was just crazy about this series.

Sara J. Henry's A Cold and Lonely Place is set in the Adirondacks and features a freelance journalist investigating a "gripping" mystery at Lake Placid's Winter Carnival.

Did I note that Higgins also did a write up of just some of the titles of local interest (whether due to content or author) that are coming out in the next few weeks, including several that feature events at Boswell? Among them are Sarah Carr's Hope Against Hope: Three Schools, One City, and the Struggle to Educate America's Children , a former Milwaukee journalist who now writes about education issues in New Orleans and is visiting on Tuesday, March 19, 7 pm, and Jason Stein and Patrick Marley, who cover politics for the Journal Sentinel, and are appearing for their new book, More Than They Bargained For: Scott Walker, Unions, and the Fight for Wisconsin, on Tuesday, March 26, 7 pm.

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