Sunday, August 11, 2013

It's Sunday Bestseller Time! On Scheduling Susan Nussbaum, Being an Outsider with Mark Leibovich, Performing Ragtime, and More.

Hardcover Fiction:
1. Good Kings Bad Kings, by Susan Nussbaum
2. The Illusion of Separateness, by Simon Van Booy
3. Babayaga, by Toby Barlow
4. The Cuckoo's Calling, by Robert Galbraith
5. Inferno, by Dan Brown

The good news is that only 3 out of our 35 attendees for our Susan Nussbaum event thought it was at our normal starting time of 7 pm, and of the three, one of them was actually convinced it was later by her husband; she was originally going to come earlier. It's tough when we have time shifts, not just to keep them straight in your heads, but in ours as well. It's not unusual for us to do exactly when you do--write 7 pm out of habit. Meanwhile, The Illusion of Separateness is still a strong hand-sell (we're in third place in the Treeline bookstore comparison listings and I think we can catch up to the store in second place) and the Toby Barlow Babayaga window is also having an effect.

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Kill Anything That Moves, by Nick Turse
2. Zealot, by Reza Aslan
3. This Town, by Mark Leibovich
4. The Ghost in General Patton's Third Army, by Eugene Schulz
5. Lawrence in Arabia, by Scott Anderson

While not every nonfiction bestseller catches on at the same rate at Boswell, Zealot and This Town are clearly resonating with our customers.  In this interview with Nathan Guttman in the Jewish Daily Forward, Leibovich talks about how his outsider status affected the writing of the book. And here's Yvonne Zipp writing for the Michigan Live website on the phenomenon of the Zealot.

Paperback Fiction:
1. Family Affair, by ReShonda Tate Billingsley
2. Beautiful Ruins, by Jess Walter
3. Ragtime, by E.L. Doctorow
4. A Passage to India, by E.M. Forster
5. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, by Rachel Joyce

I don't know what led to a pop in A Passage to India, most likely a book club, but Ragtime's pop is a regular occurrence, the mostly likely time that attendees at the book club by their next selection.  Here's a press release on the Milwaukee Rep production, which opens September 17, stars Carmen Cusack and Gavin Gregory, and is directed by Mark Clements.

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. The Ghost in General Patton's Third Army, by Eugene Schulz
2. Orange is the New Black, by Piper Kerman
3. Quiet, by Susan Cain
4. Brain on Fire, by Susannah Cahalan
5. Milwaukee's Early Architecture, by Megan Daniels

Folks may have caught that Cahalan's Brain on Fire moved from a hardcover at Free Press to a paperback from Simon and Schuster. It looks like for now, they really are folding the Free Press name, not just illiminating the publishing unit. I still wonder if it might someday be resurrected as a business imprint, where it probably had the strongest branding. You can watch the author on the Katie Couric show here.

Books for Kids:
1. The Surprise Attack of Jabba the Puppet, by Tom Angleberger (Origami Yoda #4)
2. A Book of Sleep, by Il Sung Na
3. I am a Bunny, by Ole Risom with illustrations by Richard Scarry
4. A Sick Day for Amos McGee, by Philip E. Stead, with illustrations by Erin Stead
5. Wonder, by R.J. Palacio

I was at an awards reception last spring where Raquel Jaramillo, who writes as R.J. Palacio, said she would continue to be the director of children's publishing at Workman in the face of our incredible success with the novel Wonder. I thought to myself, "She may want to, but she can't do it. There's going to be too much pressure to write." Sure enough, not two months later, she stepped down to become editor at large. Though our website implies a paperback is also available, that was actually moved back to 2015.

In this week's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, book editor Jim Higgins writes about fiction and the afterlife. While Higgins meditates on a number of classics, he also touches on some recent releases, including The Ghost Bride, by Yangsze Choo, Godforsaken Idaho, by Shawn Vestal (already written up in a short story piece--he likes this one a lot!) and The World of the End, by Ofir Touché Gafla, an Israeli novelist.

Criminal justice investigative reporter Gina Barton looks at Robert Kolker's The Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery, and enjoyed the first part of the book, where Kolker chronicles the lives of the four prostitute-victims and their stories are distinct and memorble. She has some issues with the second half.

From the wire, Laura Bailey of the Tampa Bay Times (she's the food critic) touts Michael Paterniti's The Telling Room: A Tale of Love, Betrayal, Revenge, and the World's Greatest Piece of Cheese , and how being a copywriter for the famous Zingerman's Deli of Ann Arbor newsletter led to this story. She compares the book favorably to Bill Buford's Heat.

In the Atlanta Journal Constitution, book reviewer Gina Webb (and former bookseller!) reviews Susanna Daniel's Sea Creatures. Madisonian Daniel is appearing with fellow Wisconsin resident Andrea Thalasinos on Tuesday, August 20, 7 pm, at Boswell. "The real risks Daniel asks us to consider are the inevitable ones that accompany love, including the hard and sometimes dangerous bargains we make to hold onto it." While I can't link to the story directly (whereas they let me link to a business story, I'm not sure why they tink the book reviews are so juicy), here's one to the Atlanta Journal Constitution website and now I feel complete.

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