Sunday, June 23, 2013

Boswell's Sunday Bestseller Post for Week Ending June 22--McCann and Van Booy Battle it Out on the Staff Rec Stage, Pre Event Jitters and Post-Event Glows, Plus Recs for "Monkey Mind" and "The Rithmatist."

Hardcover fiction
1. The Silver Star, by Jeannette Walls
2. The Ocean at the End of the Lane, by Neil Gaiman
3. The Illusion of Separateness, by Simon Van Booy
4. And the Mountains Echoed, by Khaled Hosseini
5. TransAtlantic, by Colum McCann
6. Inferno, by Dan Brown
7. Bad Monkey, by Carl Hiaasen
8. Jewelweed, by David Rhodes
9. The Innocence Game, by Michael Harvey
10. Life After Life, by Kate Atkinson

You might think the big news here is about our event with Jeannette Walls, and yes,that was pretty great. Or maybe the good numbers that Wisconsinite Neil Gaiman is scoring on his newest novel, though hardly what he's doing on his last book tour ever. No, it's the rec challenge going on between TransAtlantic and The Illusion of Separateness, with Anne and Hannah on team Colum and Sharon and Stacie on team Simon. Van Booy took the lead this week, but alas, we're temporarily out of stock today, giving McCann a bit of a temporary edge. You can still vote this week, or split your vote and buy both. That way, everybody wins.

Hardcover nonfiction:
1. Behind the Kitchen Door, by Sarumathi Jayuraman
2. Queen of the Air, by Dean Jensen
3. Dirty Wars, by Jeremy Scahill
4. Dad is Fat, by Jim Gaffigan
5. Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls, by David Sedaris

Well that's an event sweep on this list, sort of. Jeremy Scahill was at two screenings of "Dirty Wars" next door for the Milwaukee premiere and yes, we're still featuring the book version, also called Dirty Wars. Don't forget that the Sunday fundraiser at Via Downer is cancelled. Most notably, Jensen, Gaffigan, and Sedaris are all residue sales--their events were all in weeks previous.

Paperback fiction:
1. The Dog Stars, by Peter Heller
2. Pepperland, by Barry Wightman
3. The Peripatetic Coffin and Other Stories, by Ethan Rutherford
4. Half Broke Horses, by Jeannette Walls
5. Beautiful Ruins, by Jess Walter

And Heller will probably join the post-event sales glow, on top of his three weeks at #1 on paperback fiction for The Dog Stars. I love two things about joint events. Firstly, if we're lucky, each author brings an audience. And secondly, if you pair the authors well, there'll be a particularly interesting conversation that develops during the question and answer period.

Paperback nonfiction:
1. The Glass Castle, by Jeannette Walls
2. Monkey Mind, by Daniel Smith
3. Daughter of the Queen of Sheba, by Jackie Lyden (University Club event on July 2)
4. You Don't Know me, but You Don't Like Me, by Nathan Rabin (event on July 25)
5. The End of Your Life Book Club, by Will Schwalbe

Now here we certainly haven't hosted every author, but we can say we've recommended every book. The way I see it,Hannah and I read the Walls, Mel read the Smith, Amie and I read the Lyden (yes, the first time around), I read the Rabin, and I think Jane read the Schwalbe. I don't have the rec cards in front of me, so I could have made an error.

Simon has been doing a good sized push for Monkey Mind in paperback. We don't often get finished book mailings of nonfiction paperbacks, but based on our enthusiasm, it's worth pushing. Here's Mel: "Smith's father is desperately introverted, his mom is a psychoanalyst, and his brother is a hypochondriac--not a great network for a guy with severe anxiety. This stifling memoir reads like a panic attack, unsettling and all too familiar. Smith is hilarious and unabashedly honest about how destructive anxiety is for sufferers and those who love them. He shares his hard-won secrets about coping and keeping on the road to recovery. This is the kind of book you want to keep a copy of at home and at work, and one you'll want to buy a copy of for most of the people you know."

Books for Kids:
1. One Came Home, by Amy Timberlaker
2. L.A. Candy, by Lauren Conrad
3. Penny and Her Marble, by Kevin Henkes
4. The Rithmatist, by Brandon Sanderson (event this fall)
5. The Testing, by Joelle Charbonneau (event July 8 at Boswell)

Joelle Charbonneau's new trilogy opener, The Testing, has been getting great initial buzz and reviews. She's already done a successful event at Books and Company, and will be hitting us and Mystery One on July 8 (them at 5 pm, us at 7 pm). Yes, it's teen dystopiana but Richard is a fan of Charbonneau's for her mystery series and wanted to get in on the action. We've had reads from Hannah and Stacie. The next book is coming out in January.

As for Sanderson, he's coming for Steelheart, his fall YA novel, on Friday, October 4, at Boswell. We've already had a great read on that, but right now it's all about The Rithmatist. Jason says "Brandon Sanderson does an amazing job of creating vividly defined worlds of magic and characters. In this world, which is similar to ours, yet has some distinct differences (there is no U.S. as the continent in this world is more of a lot of islands as water has seeped throughout the continent), Joel goes to a school that trains Rithmatists to defend the realm in Nebrask. Unfortunately for him, he was not chosen to be one of them, despite being more knowledgeable than the other students. When somebody starts kidnapping fellow students from Armedius Academy, Joel teams together with some fellow students to find the culprit. A brilliant start to a new series for Sanderson!"

 It's pre-Summerfest weekend, and that means an abridged book section at the Journal Sentinel, but we've still got a Mike Fischer review for On the Floor (on sale Tuesday), an "intelligent" and "well-written" novel from Aifric Campbell. "In addition to the writing, what's much more promising is Campbell's equally serious but more deftly handled meditation on how we create value and what it means to be a person in a world always in flux — an issue that informs Geri's breakup, the meaning of friendship, how financial markets work, how stories get sold, why wars get fought and why we should read Kant. Really." Read the rest here.

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