Sunday, March 2, 2014

Sunday Bestsellers for the Week Ending March 1, 2014--There's Lots of Michio Kaku Plus the Anti-Michio Kaku Too.

Hardcover Fiction:
1. Bark, by Lorrie Moore
2. The Invention of Wings, by Sue Monk Kidd
3. The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt
4. One More Thing, by B.J. Novak
5. The Museum of Extraordinary Things, by Alice Hoffman

I scoffed at B.J. Novak's One More Thing(Knopf), well, at least when we didn't get on the tour, but he's the real deal, a writer with good reviews and a collection with legs. Kera Belonik interviews Novak for the Los Angeles Times, where she notes Novak "is more of a littérateur than he lets on. In fact, he labored over rewrites and tested the stories before an audience; an avid reader, he's a huge fan of writers such as George Saunders and Gary Shteyngart, whom he was excited to meet two weeks ago at a PEN benefit."

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. The Future of the Mind, by Michio Kaku
2. Good Stock, by Sanford D'Amato
3. Capital in the Twenty First Century, by Thomas Piketty
4. Operation Paperclip, by Arnie Jacobsen
5. Fresh from the Farm, by Sue Middleton

It's not often that I can talk up a Taunton title on bestseller list day, but I'm happy to say that Susie Middleton's Fresh from the Farm: A Year of Recipes and Stories, has popped enough for an appearance. It's a year in the life with recipes, from the former editor of Taunton's Fine Cooking magazine. Here's more from a piece in The Oregonian.

And Belknap? How often do we get to talk about this imprint from Harvard University Press? Well Capital in the Twenty First Century has gotten a lot of buzz in the financial press, with this review in the Economist followed by a book club discussion on their blog. The book looks at capitalism and income inequality, which has been a hot-button issue, not just among economists, but politicians as well.

Paperback Fiction:
1. Addicts and Basements, by Robert Vaughan
2. Life After Life, by Kate Atkinson
3. The Flamethrowers, by Rachel Kushner (book club discussion 3/4)
4. A Tale for the Time Being, by Ruth Ozeki
5. A Life in Men, by Gina Frangello

Our event from last Monday bookends this week's top five, with local Robert Vaughan reading from his first full-length collection and Gina Frangello here for her first novel from Algonquin. Both Vaughan and Frangello were headed to AWP, the national conference for writing professionals. Enjoy Seattle!

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Civil Rights Activism in Milwaukee, by Paul Geenen (MPL event 3/9)
2. Physics of the Future, by Michio Kaku
3. Physics of the Impossible, by Michio Kaku
4. Parallel Worlds, by Michio Kaku
5. What Should We be Worried About, by John Brockman

Agent and chair of a science-based salon John Brockman puts together an anthology every year on a topic of interest. This year's almost seems to be the anti Michio Kaku. While Kaku tends to be enthusiastic and optimistic about scientific breakthrough, What Should We Be Worried About?: Real Scenarios That Keep Scientists Up at Night (Harper Perennial) offers theses from Seth Lloyd, Daniel Dennett, Douglas Rushkoff, Matt Ridley, Daniel Goleman, Brian Eno and more. Ah, so you've noticed they aren't scientists! I guess this is a forest/trees sort of thing.

Books for Kids:
1. Hollow Earth, by John Barrowman and Carole E. Barrowman
2. Timmy Failure: Now Look What You've Done, by Stephan Pastis
3. Timmy Failure: Mistakes were Made, by Stephan Pastis
4. Better Off Friends, by Elizabeth Eulberg
5. The Testing, by Joelle Charbonneau (event 3/5 at Hales Corners Library)
6. Independent Study, by Joelle Charbonneau
7. Angel de la Luna and the Fifth Glorious Mystery, by Evelina Galang
8. The Lonely Hearts Club, by Len Vlahos
9. Scar Boys, by Len Vlahos
10. Insurgent, by Veronica Roth

Finally at #10 is a book by an author who hasn't visited Boswell. This time Pastis did schools only, and Barrowman was some of the after-effects of Hollow Earth being named the "one city, one book" selection by Wauwatosa. I should note that we do have signed copies of Timmy Failure: Mistakes were Made and Timmy Failure: Now Look What You've Done, plus Elizabeth Eulberg's Better Off Friends.

In the Journal Sentinel, Mike Fischer reviews Kinder than Solitude (Random House), by Yiyun Li. He writes "Never directly named, Tiananmen nevertheless looms large in Kinder Than Solitude, Li's second novel; much of its action unfolds in the massacre's immediate aftermath. And in Solitude as with Li herself, the toxic fallout continues to poison those who survived."

In the print edition only, the featured reviews are for Elizabeth Kolbert's The Sixth Extinction and Tom Zoellner's Train: Riding the Rails That Created the Modern World--from the Trans-Siberian to the Southwest, from the Seattle Times and Los Angeles Times respectively.

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