1. Mrs. Lincoln's Rival, by Jennifer Chiaverini
2. The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt
3. The Spymistress, by Jennifer Chiaverini
4. The Invention of Wings, by Sue Monk Kidd (event MPL 2/10)
5. The Days of Anna Madrigal, by Armistead Maupin
Jannis had a great evening with Jennifer Chiaverini at the Brookfield Public Library. Backlist was even stronger than it normally is; this was her first trip to a Waukesha County venue in three books, and there were definitely folks attending who wanted to catch up, hence the strong number for The Spymistress, alongside the obvious contender of Mrs. Lincoln's Rival.
1. Demon Camp, by Jen Percy
2. The March on Washington, by William P. Jones
3. Duty, by Robert Gates
4. Wounded Minds, by John Liebert
5. This is the Story of a Happy Marriage, by Ann Patchett
It's a battle of the Jens this week, with Percy's Demon Camp taking top honors in nonfiction. It's the time of year when event sales can really squeeze out regular sellers, especially when there is no high-profile book with a first week out of the gate. We have signed copies of Percy's book, as well as The March on Washington and Wounded Minds, for those who could not attend.
1. Life After Life, by Kate Atkinson
2. Benediction, by Kent Haruf
3. Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker, by Jennifer Chiaverini
4. The President's Hat, by Antoine Laurain
5. Tenth of December, by George Saunders
Here's a great opportunity to reprint Hannah's rec on Kent Haruf's latest, now in paper: "In Benediction, Haruf's gracious and honest examination of the intricacies of human nature shines through his characters like a beacon guiding us towards unequaled prose. Dad is dying, there's a new preacher, and Alice has come to live with her grandmother. Haruf weaves these events effortlessly into the tapestry of small town life."
1. The Half-Known World, by Robert Boswell
2. Milwaukee at Water's Edge, by Tom Pilarzyk
3. Riding through Grief, by Barbara Manger
4. Wild, by Cheryl Strayed
5. Memoir of the Sunday Brunch, by Julia Pandl
Robert Boswell, who visited last fall, is getting a nice boost from Valerie Laken's recommendation as recommended reading to her writing students. She's noted that Boswell's The Half-Known World is one of the best craft books for writers out there, along with Charles Baxter's Burning Down the House.
Books for Kids:
1. The Scar Boys, by Len Vlahos (event 2/13 at Boswell)
2. The Testing, by Joelle Charbonneau
3. Steam Train, Dream Train, by Sherri Duskey Rinker with illustrations by Tom Lichtenheld
4. Divergent, by Veronica Roth
5. Hollow City, by Ransom Riggs
The film version of Divergent opens March 21. Here's the trailer.
This week in the Journal Sentinel, Jim Higgins interviews Malcolm Gladwell. Right now we are sold out of our allotment of Malcolm Gladwell tickets. UWM students, faculty, and staff are still able to buy a ticket at the UWM Bookstore. Watch our Brown Paper Tickets site, as it's possible that a small block of tickets may still open up.
Carole E. Barrowman reviews this newest and best in mysteries:
The subplots of Elisabeth's Elo's debut, North of Boston "ripple out from the opening collision, circling a story rich with wicked smart allusions to Russian literature and clever nods to Western culture's most famous fishing story--Moby-Dick. Pirio is a fascinating character and Elo a noteworthy new voice in the genre."
Lake of Tears is the ninth Wisconsin-based mystery penned by Mary Logue, featuring Sherriff Claire Watkins. Barrowman writes that "Logue has crafted a compelling mystery that reaches back to the war, exposing the wounds soldiers bring home."
And here's the plot of Kevin McCafferty's Dead Man's Fancy: "When the Fly-Fishing Venus, a smart sexy fishing guide, goes missing while riding in the Madison Valley and a wrangler from a nearby dude ranch is impaled on the sword point of an elk's antlers, series regulars part-time PI and fly-fisherman Sean Stranahan and Sheriff Martha Ettinger investigate."
And finally, Mike Fischer reviews Rebecca Mead's My Life in Middlemarch. Fischer calls the book "a splendid homage to Eliot's greatest novel — as well as a compelling testament to why we read, what it means to have a favorite book and how a life spent rereading that book allows it to read us."