Sunday, April 12, 2015

What's Selling at Boswell for the Week Ending April 11, 2015?

What's been selling at Boswell this week?

Hardcover Fiction:
1. Watch Me Go, by Mark Wisniewski
2. The Harder They Come, by T.C. Boyle
3. All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr
4. The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins
5. Falling in Love, by Donna Leon
6. The Whites, by Richard Price, writing at Harry Brandt
7. The Buried Giant, by Kazuo Ishiguro
8. The World Before Us, by Aislinn Hunter
9. Shotgun Lovesongs, by Nickolas Butler
10. A Year With Rilke, by Rainer Maria Rilke, translated and edited by Joanna Macy and Anita Barrows (yes, I know this sort of lands between fiction and nonfiction)

Being that I have been remiss on writing up new releases of late, and I mostly pay attention to touring authors when it comes to paying attention to advance releases, so it's nice to see when a book like The World Before Us, by Ainslinn Hunter has a nice early pop on our bestseller list. It has a nice advance quote from Emily St. John Mandel: ""A complex, subtle, and utterly haunting meditation on memory, history, and mortality. This book is magnificent." An archivist in London whose museum is about to close researches the disappearance of a girl over a hundred years ago in the same woods where some years ago, a girl she was babysitting also disappears. I know it's not a mystery but the setup has a Tana Frenchishness, doesn't it?

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. They are All My Family, by John Riordan
2. Listen to Your Mother, edited by Ann Imig (Alverno event Sunday, April 26, 3 pm)
3. Between You and Me, by Mary Norris (event today at Boswell, April 12, 3 pm)
4. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo
5. Dead Wake, by Erik Larosn
6. Being Mortal, by Atul Gawande
7. H is for Hawk, by Helen MacDonald
8. The Shakespeare Book, from DK Publishing
9. In Defense of a Liberal Education, by Fareed Zakaria
10. The Age of Selfishness, by Darryl Cunningham

Spring publishing is often tied to a few of the gift giving moments of the season and while Listen to Your Mother, the collection that comes from a series of staged readings that are happening around the country, including Milwaukee's on April 26, would never be published any time but in April (for Mother's Day), a book like Fareed Zakaria's In Defense of a Liberal Education is best scheduled in that time between college acceptance announcements and graduation. Boswellian Jane has been a big fan of the book. Here's his column reprinted in the Dallas Morning News on our obsession with STEM education and why many economies that fair even poorer than we do perform even better.

Paperback Fiction:
1. The Book of Unknown Americans, by Cristina Henríquez
2. Shotgun Lovesongs, by Nickolas Butler (Shorewood Public Library event, Thursday, April 16, 7 pm)
3. The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt
4. Redeployment, by Phil Klay
5. Euphoria, by Lily King
6. Listen and Other Stories, by Liam Callanan
7. Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel
8. Year of Wonders, by Geraldine Brooks
9. The Red Notebook, by Antoine Laurain
10. Meet Me Halfway, by Jennifer Morales (event on Friday, April 17, 7 pm, at Boswell)

After many delays, Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch is now out in paperback. While I feel remorse for not having read it, I still don't think it's going to be on our In-store Lit Group reading schedule. Of course a ton of book clubs have already picked it, but for those that wait for paperback, it's a great selection for September, if the group doesn't meet over the summer. We are reading two of the other books on the list, Redeployment on May 4 and Euphoria on June 1, both at 7 pm. No need to register, just show up having read the books.

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Mad Men and Politics, co-edited by Lilly J. Goren
2. Milwaukee Braves, by William Povletich
3. That Should be a Word, by Lizzie Skurnick
4. Green Bay Packers, by William Povletich
5. Peterson Field Guide to Birds Eastern and Central
6. How to be a Heroine, by Samantha Ellis
7. Art Before Breakfast, by Danny Gregory
8. The Boys in the Boat, by Daniel James Brown
9. The Devil in the White City, Erik Larson
10. What the Dog Knows, by Cat Warren

Creativity continues to sell at Boswell. The newest hit is Art Before Breakfast: A Zillion Ways to be More Creative No Matter How Busy You Are, by Danny Gregory. The author of several books on art and creativity, he's a former creative director in advertising. More on this blog. I'm sad that what with so many wonderful options, a New Yorker can't come up with a local store to link to for sales, in addition to the A word.

Books for Kids:
1. The Trap, by Steve Arntson
2. Genuine Sweet, by Faith Harkey
3. Mystery in Mayan Mexico, by Marcia Wells
4. Willy Maykit in Space, by Greg Trine
5. Wild About Wisconsin Birds, by Adele Porter
6. Home, by Carson Ellis
7. In Mary's Garden, by Tina and Carson Kugler
8. One Witch at a Time, by Stacy DeKeyser
9. The Penderwicks in Spring, by Jeanne Birdsall
10. Rhoda's Rock Hunt, by Molly Beth Griffin with illustrations by Jennifer Bell

I of course would love to linger on any of the seven books from recent events (and I will on a post next week, when I have a photo roundup) but my eye is drawn to Rhoda's Rock Hunt, a picture book with a rec from Boswellian Mel Morrow and further recommendation from Friend of Boswell Kelly, who said that she and her daughter Ella are huge fans. From Mel: "This is the charming tale of Rhoda—amateur geologist and avid rock hound—on her first field camp! Rhoda finds SO many lovely rocks—and quickly learns that difficult lesson that rocks jocks pay a heavy price when they insist on brining EVERY rock home with them!"

From the Journal Sentinel, Jim Higgins profiles Nickolas Butler, in town this Thursday for Shorewood Reads, where the celebration of Shotgun Lovesongs includes the main book talk on Thursday, April 16, 7 pm at the Shorewood Library, and also discussions at Camp Bar and Colectivo, a concert, a craft talk, and a visit to Shorewood High School. In it, he talks about the book's Justin Vernon-like character, the circumstances that led he and his wife to public assistance, and his forthcoming collection of stories, Beneath the Bonfire.

Separately, Higgins profiles other upcoming authors with Wisconsin ties:
--Jennifer Morales for her story collection Meet Me Halfway, appearing Friday, April 17. 7 pm
--Andrea Lochen for her second novel, Imaginary Things, Monday, April 20, 7 pm
--Jennifer Jordan for Edible Memory, her history of heirloom foods, on Friday, April 24, 7 pm
--Benjamin Percy, for his newest novel, The Dead Lands, Wednesday, April 29, 7 pm

And finally, a review of The Turner House, from Angela Flournoy. Journal Sentinel critic Mike Fischer writes that "Detroit looms large in this novel, as a hulking version of the Turner homestead that poses the same question confronting the Turners themselves: For all our past failures and disappointments, can we be more than the ruins we all eventually resemble? Can we escape the haints that would pull us backward into a darker past? Do we, against the evidence, still dare to hope?" The book, about a large African American family in 2008, has received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist, plus advance praise from Daniel Alarcon, Elizabeth McCracken, and T.C. Boyle, who calls The Turner House "an expansive and ambitious novel that descends through the generations of one family's history to achieve real poignancy and power."

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