Sunday, July 5, 2015

It's Another Edition of Boswell's Annotated Bestsellers, For the Week ending July 4, 2015

Hardcover Fiction:
1. The English Spy, by Daniel Silva (ticketed event Monday, July 6, JCC*)
2. The Knockoff, by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza
3. The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins
4. All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr
5. The Little Paris Bookshop, by Nina George
6. Seveneves, by Neal Stephenson
7. In the Unlikely Event, by Judy Blume
8. Our Souls at Night, by Kent Haruf
9. Swans's Way graphic novel, by Marcel Proust, illustrated by Stephane Heuet
10. The Dream Lover, by Elizabeth Berg

The amusing thing about the new novel, The Little Paris Bookshop, is how many places its supposed to go in the store. Nina George's novel is slated for the Boswell Best (it's 20% off), Indie Bound, and Boswellian Jane's rec shelf. Plus we happen to have a table of books about bookstores that is selling quite well, plus we just put up a table called European Summer Vacation, which features event books about France (Christine Sneed's Paris, He Said, August 11, 7 pm), Spain (Bill Hillmann's Mozos, July 25, 5:30 pm, followed by a screening at 7 pm of Chasing Red) and Italy (Wendy Olsen's Loving Lardo, July 16, 7 pm). And yes, the novels about bookstores was also inspired by an event, for Cynthia Swansons's The Bookseller. She's coming to Boswell on July 20, 7 pm.

*Tickets online through Monday, July 6, 2 pm. Walkup tickets should be available. $30 admission gets you a copy of The English Spy.

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo
2. Modern Romance, by AzizAnsari
3. Clay Water Brick, by Jessica Jackley
4. The Oregon Trail, by Rinker Buck
5. Dead Wake, by Eric Larson
6. Sick in the Head, by Judd Apatow
7. Do No Harm, by Henry Marsh
8. Daemon Knows, by Harold Bloom
9. Ally, by Michael B. Oren
10. Pirate Hunters, by Robert Kurson

Rinker Buck's The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey is the #1 pick on the July Indie Next List, a rare feat for a nonfiction book. The official rec is from Dick Hermans at Oblong Books in Rhinebeck and Millerton, New York. He writes: "Inspired by a family trip in a covered wagon in the 1950s, Rinker Buck and his brother Nick set out by wagon to discover what remains of the Oregon Trail between Missouri and Oregon. Along the way, readers learn about wagon design, mule heritage, and what pioneers needed to endure traveling west in the 19th century. This is also a moving personal story of brotherhood, endurance, and the kindness of strangers. Buck weaves fact, action, and reflection together into a page-turning delight that history buffs and fans of contemporary nonfiction will not want to miss.”

Paperback Fiction:
1. Euphoria, by Lily King
2. Recipe for Disaster, by Stacey Ballis
3. Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel
4. Dear Committee Members, by Julie Schumacher
5. The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt
6. Everything I Never Told You, by Celeste Ng
7. The Vacationers, by Emma Straub
8. The Story of a New Name, by Elena Ferrante
9. Delicious, by Ruth Reichl
10. The Orphan Master's Son, by Adam Johnson

Here's Boswellian Jen Steele's recommendation for Dear Committee Members: "Jason Fitger, professor of creative writing at Payne University, is the go-to guy if you want honest, snarky, passive-aggressive letters of recommendation. He has no problem writing about his ex-wife, the university's "golden" child: the economics department, or the construction disrupting his office, all in a letter of recommendation for your prospective employer to read. Dear Committee Members had me laughing out loud, the perfect companion for an afternoon of reading."

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Find Momo Coast to Coast, by Andrew Knapp
2. Dead White Guys, by Matt Burriesci
3. Good and Cheap, by Leanne Brown
4. I am Malala, by Malala Yousafzi
5. The Boys in the Boat, by Daniel James Brown
6. All Around Milwaukee, edited by Sharp Literacy
7. Mary Nohl: Inside and Out, by Barbara Manger and Janine Smith
8. Best Hikes Near Milwaukee, by Kevin Revolinski
9. The New Jim Crow, by Michelle Alexander
10. Milwaukee Bucket List, by Barbara Ali

In summer, a Boswellian's thoughts turn to tourits. OK, we're no Powells or Boulder Book Store, being that all tourist organizations leave Downer Avenue and our neighborhood off maps - yes, really, the cutoff is generally Ogden, Brady, or North Avenue, but people show up anyway, and they want regional books and that's why they are at our front register table in July. One book that might be on my to-buy list is the new Falcon Guide, Best Hikes Near Milwaukee by Madison writer Kevin Revolinski. On my last day off, I walked to the airport, and that was fun, but I don't think it made the cut.

Books for Kids:
1. In Marys Garden, by Tina and Carson Kugler
2. Star Wars Jedi Academy V3: The Phantom Bully, by Jeffrey Brown
3. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, by Jesse Andrews
4. Where's Waldo, by Martin Handford
5. Minecraft Blockopedia, by Alex Wilshire
6. Enormous Smallness, by Matt Burgess
7. The Adventures of Beekle, by Dan Santat
8. Home, by Carson Ellis
9. Nuts to You, by Lynne Rae Perkins
10. El Deafo, by CeCe Bell

Boswellian Jannis's recommendation for El Deafo: "Cece, a vibrant and active 4 yr. old, suddenly falls sick with meningitis and soon after discovers she can no longer hear. At first she is fitted with an awkward hearing aid but eventually she is fitted with a phonic ear, a hearing aid that allows her to hear everything around her, including her teacher's periodic trips to the restroom. Author Cece Bell has written a hilarious and touching graphic memoir retelling her experiences as she learned to navigate her new world complete with awkward interactions of people yelling at her in order to get her to hear them and new friends that don't always know how to act around her. This is perfect for the fans of Raina Telgemaier."

At the Journal Sentinel, Jim Higgins looks at The Work Family Debate in Popular Culture. He writes "Ellyn A. Lem and Timothy J. Dunn, faculty colleagues at the University of Wisconsin-Waukesha, don't solve the work-life balance problem in their book The Work-Family Debate in Popular Culture — no mere mortals could be expected to resolve what is a different, constantly changing conundrum for every working adult. But in calm, clear prose, they outline the issues, address the obstacles and consider possible solutions through analyzing how popular culture — primarily, movies and TV shows — depicts the struggles of women and men to have satisfying work and family lives."

The print edition also includes reviews from David L. Ulin of Karolina Waclawiak's The Ivaders and Etgar Keret's The Seven Good Years: A Memoir, reviewed by Carolyn Kellogg.

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