Sunday, April 14, 2013

Look at Beautiful Ruins Fly Out the Door, and Other Stories of Bestsellers for the Week Ending April 13, 2013.

Hardcover fiction:
1. The Edge of the Earth, by Christina Schwarz
2. Ordinary Grace, by William Kent Krueger
3. How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia, by Mohsin Hamid
4. Life After Life, by Kate Atkinson (event 4/19 at Public Market)
5. The Interestings, by Meg Wolitzer

Hey, it's kind of cool to say I've read three of our top five hardcover fiction titles this week. I mentioned earlier this week that I wish I had also read The Interestings, one of two Riverhead titles listed, by the way. Here's an excerpt for her Salon (originally from The Nervous Breakdown) interview with Edra Ziesk, which has been getting a lot of buzz: "As we’ve talked about before, I think men believe themselves to be uninterested in domestic life as portrayed in fiction; that they deem it “women’s territory” and don’t read – or review – it much. That the reason a ‘domestic’ novel by a man like Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections or Tom Perotta’s work is seen as revelatory is because it’s as if men are encountering the subject matter for the first time." Read the rest of the piece here.

Hardcover nonfiction:
1. The Drunken Botanist, by Amy Stewart
2. Wicked Plants, by Amy Stewart
3. The Making of Milwaukee, by John Gurda
4. Wicked Bugs, by Amy Stewart
5. Gulp, by Mary Roach

What can I say about our event with Amy Stewart? You missed a great time. Who knew that Great Lakes Distillery made their own tonic syrup. We're getting some more signed copies of The Drunken Botanist courtesy of our friends at Changing Hands. Hey, if you live in the Phoenix area, go see her on April 17. In other news lots of folks are saying that Gulp is their favorite book ever. For more, Slate is co-sponsoring Politics and Prose events and archiving their programming, including Ms. Roach's.

Paperback fiction:
1. Beautiful Ruins, by Jess Walter (event is May 6!)
2. Where'd You Go, Bernadette?, by Maria Semple (event is May 1!)
3. Child of God, by Cormac McCarthy
4. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, by Rachel Joyce
5. A Game of Thrones, by George R. R. Martin

You can tell that the new season of A Game of Thrones has started, as both the first and newest books in the series had sales pops this week. You can also see that we're all jealous of Paul who has taken the lead in our St. George's Day competition with his hand-selling of Cormac McCarthy's Child of God. And we're all thrilled to see three literary paperbacks all hitting the New York Times bestseller list and selling well here too. The Light Between Oceans is #6 for the week. Semple's sales are really good two, but the Jess Walter Beautiful Ruins numbers are stupendous. We haven't seen this kind of movement on paperback fiction in quite a while, at least for a book that wasn't an erotic meeting a a businessman and a young student. Wow!

Paperback nonfiction:
1. A Merry Memoir of Sex, Death, and Religion, by Daniel Maguire (event April 16)
2. Finding Fish, by Antwone Quentin Fisher
3. My Stroke of Insight, by Jill Bolte Taylor
4. Flower Confidential, by Amy Stewart
5. The Earth Moved, by Amy Stewart

Fisher recently appeared at MATC; there's nothing wrong with echo sales. I expect next week's number one will also be Daniel Maguire's A Merry Memoir of Sex, Death, and Religion. Maguire is a theology professor at Marquette and is an important part of the intellectual culture of Milwaukee. As our friend Janet said, be prepared for a big crowd.

Books for Kids:
1. The Candy Shop War, by Brandon Mull
2. Better Nate than Ever, by Tim Federle
3. Fablehaven, by Brandon Mull
4. A World Without Heroes: Beyonders #1, by Brandon Mull
5. Chasing the Prophecy: Beyonders #3, by Brandon Mull

As I've mentioned before, our school events can sometimes register sales over several weeks. This will is not the first week you've seen appearances by Brandon Mull and it won't be the last week you see sales for Better Nate than Ever. In other news, Terry Gross's re-airing of her interview with Lemony Snicket popped sales of The Dark, his picture book collaboration with Jon Klassen (from the Count Olaf song, "Wait till you meet his accomplices..." Why Ingram coded this book as Halloween is beyond me.

From Jim Higgins's review of Life After Life in tomorrow's Journal Sentinel: "Life After Life is the second literary novel I've read this year that reflects gaming structures, consciously or otherwise, in depicting the joys, vicissitudes and choices of a life. With its second-person narration, Mohsin Hamid's How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia reads like a text-based role-playing game. In Life After Life, Ursula keeps re-spawning after each death, eventually gaining some ability to return to life at a key checkpoint and make a different choice." Read the full review here.

Also in the Journal Sentinel, Mike Fischer reviews Country of Ash: A Jewish Doctor in Poland, by Edward Reicher. He notes: Can any of us--ever-- truly reach comprehension when thinking about the Holocaust? It's a question Reicher repeatedly asks himself in Country of Ash, the posthumously published memoir recounting how he, Pola and their little girl somehow survived."

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