Monday, December 29, 2014

Boswell's 2014 Fiction Bestsellers!

Computer issues are slowing me down! I had a hard drive replaced and it's taken a long time to put my database back together, even though I had a full backup before bringing my laptop in. That said, our year-end bestsellers are itching to be posted, so here they are. Fiction's up first!

Hardcover Fiction
1. The Slow Regard of Silent Things, by Patrick Rothfuss
2. The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt
3. All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr
4. The Serpent of Venice, by Christopher Moore
5. The Invention of Wings, by Sue Monk Kidd
6. Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage, by Haruki Murakami
7. The Book of Life, by Deborah Harkness
8. The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, by Gabrielle Zevin (only book to make hardcover and paper top 50)
9. Shotgun Lovesongs, by Nickolas Butler
10. Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel
11. Bark, by Lorrie Moore (one of five story collections)
12. Lila, by Marilynne Robinson
13. The Bone Clocks, by David Mitchell
14. Words of Radiance, by Brandon Sanderson
15. The Long Way Home, by Louise Penny
16. The Paying Guests, by Sarah Waters
17. The Silkworm, by Robert Galbraith
18. Redeployment, by Phil Klay
19. The Adventure of Princess and Mr. Whiffle Thing Beneath the Bed, by Patrick Rothfuss
20. The Children Act, by Ian McEwan
21. In Liberty Name, by Eva Rumpf
22. The Narrow Road to the Deep North, by Richard Flanagan
23. Mrs. Lincoln's Rival, by Jennfier Chiaverini
24. The Secret Place, by Tana French
25. The Liar's Wife, by Mary Gordon
26. California, by Edan Lepucki
27. All My Puny Sorrows, by Miriam Toews
28. The Magician's Land, by Lev Grossman
29. Family Furnishings, by Alice Munro
30. The Crane Wife, by Patrick Ness
31. The Vacationers, by Emma Straub
32. Gray Mountain, by John Grisham
33. Dear Committee Members, by Julie Schumacher
34. Let Me Be Frank with You, by Richard Ford
35. To Rise Again at a Decent Hour, by Joshua Ferris
36. To Dwell in Darkness, by Deborah Crombie
37. Some Luck, by Jane Smiley
38. One More Thing, by B.J. Novak
39. Midnight in Europe, by Alan Furst
40. Blue Horses, by Mary Oliver
41. Goodnight Darth Vader, by Jeffrey Brown
42. The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher, by Hilary Mantel
43. The Hundred Year House, by Rebecca Makkai
44. An Unnecessary Woman, by Rabih Alameddine
45. The Luminaries, by Eleanor Catton (both this and Goldfinch were on top hardcovers of 2013)
46. Wolf in White Van, by John Darnielle
47. Still Life with Bread Crumbs, by Anna Quindlen
48. Nora Webster, by Colm Toíbín
49. The Martian, by Andy Weir
50. The String Diaries, Stephen Lloyd Jones

I was writing a bit about the list and realized it was all a bit mindless. In the end, it's not that striking--only a few indie publishers (you'll see more in the paperback list), generally literary, flirting with genre, not as diverse as I'd like or even as we've seen in past years. I'm not really sure what's up with that.

Oh, and we're all taking bets on when we get the news that the paperback publication of All the Light We Cannot See is postponed. It's currently scheduled for June but we see a full year and another Christmas of hardcover sales, particularly if it wins either the Pulitzer Prize or the National Book Critics Circle Award.

Paperback Fiction:
1. The Signature of All Things, by Elizabeth Gilbert
2. Saving Kandinsky, by Mary "Peetie" Basson
3. The Illusion of Separateness, by Simon Van Booy
4. Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn
5. The Orphan Train, Christina Baker Kline
6. The Supremes at Earl's All You Can Eat, by Edward Kelsey Moore
7. Life After Life, by Kate Atkinson
8. The Interestings, by Meg Wolitzer
9. A Tale for the Time Being, by Ruth Ozeki
10. The Ocean at the End of the Lane, by Neil Gaiman
11. Americanah, by Chimananda Ngozi Adichie
12. Kindred, by Octavia Butler
13. The Rosie Project, by Graeme Simsion
14. Burial Rites, by Hannah Kent
15. The Selector of Souls, by Shauna Singh Baldwin
16. Dear Life, by Alice Munro
17. The Circle, by Dave Eggers
18. Me Before You, by Jojo Moyes
19. The Tiger Claw, by Shauna Singh Baldwin
20. A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, by Anthony Marra
21. Tenth of December, by George Saunders
22. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
23. What the Lady Wants, by Renée Rosen
24. TransAtlantic, by Colum McCann
25. We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, by Karen Joy Fowler
26. Infautations, by Javier Marias
27. Where'd You Go, Bernadette?, by Maria Semple
28. The Orphan Master's Son, by Adam Johnson
29. The President's Hat, by Antoine Laurain
30. Instructions for a Heatwave, by Maggie O'Farrell
31. The Woman Upstairs, by Claire Messud
32. The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, by Gabrielle Zevin
33. Torchwood: The Exodus Code, by John and Carole E. Barrowman
34. Unmentionables, by Laurie Loewenstein
35. Longbourn, by Jo Baker
36. Best American Short Stories 2014, edited by Jennifer Egan
37. An Untamed State, by Roxane Gay
38. Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman
39. Benediction, by Kent Haruf
40. A Dance with Dragons, by George R.R. Martin
41. The Flamethrowers, by Rachel Kushner
42. The Secret History, by Donna Tartt
43. Beautiful Ruins, by Jess Walter
44. Lowland, by Jhumpa Lahiri
45. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, by Rachel Joyce
46. Annihilation, by Jeff Vandermeer
47. And the Mountains Echoed, by Khaled Hosseini
48. Someone, by Alice McDermott
49. A Game of Thrones, by George R.R. Martin
50. A Child's Christmas in Wales, by Dylan Thomas
The main story this year is that there was not a main story year, unlike last year when Beautiful Ruins exploded in paperback. Aside from our ticketed event with Elizabeth Gilbert, our top two books sold about half the level of Jess Walter and the two books that worked at that level nationally (Flynn and Kline) are more like 40% of our Walter sale. While I kept saying that The Illusion of Separateness is a book that, once you start hand-selling it, begins to sell itself as readers tell each other about it, there just didn't seem to be enough indie booksellers out there willing to give it the running start it needed. In that sense, it is 2014's President Hat. I did notice that Costco tried it but I think it didn't have enough momentum, which is why our last shipment of books arrived with a bunch of Costco stickers on them.

Similarly, I hoped that Burial Rites would break out in paperback, what with all the great indie reads in hardcover, but that didn't seem to happen. We're the #2 store in the country on Above the Treeline, and while that's great for us (and shows how touring an author can have lasting effects), it's not fabulous for the book in general, And notice the paperback list is a little more diverse, but still isn't that indie heavy. Here's hoping we find a few more Unmentionables in 2015.

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