Sunday, March 27, 2016

The Boswell Annotated Weekly Bestsellers for the Period Ending March 26, 2016.

Hardcover Fiction:
1. Two If By Sea, by Jacquelyn Mitchard
2. Fool Me Once, by Harlan Coben
3. Patience, by Daniel Clowes
4. All The Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr
5. The Nest, by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney
6. Fates and Furies, by Lauren Groff
7. Spill Simmer Falter Wither, by Sara Baume
8. The Swimmer, by John Koethe
9. The Nightingale, by Kristin Hannah
10. At the Edge of the Orchard, by Tracy Cheavlier

With so many novels, you'd think that Harlan Coben, master of reversals, would run out of new ways to fool his readers. But in Fool Me Once (and yes, this title is just asking for it), Coben tries again, for the 29th time, more or less. Jackie K. Cooper in The Huffington Post says the newest is about a helicopter pilot who upon returning to the United States, finds out that her husband's murder might not be what it appeared.

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Listen, Liberal, by Thomas Frank
2. Evicted, by Matthew Desmond
3. Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates
4. Milwaukee: City of Neighborhoods, by John Gurda
5. Liar, by Rob Roberge
6. I Suck at Relationships, so You Don't Have to, by Bethenny Frankel
7. In Other Words, by Jhumpa Lahiri
8. Dead Presidents, by Brady Carlson
9. Sven Brief Lessons on Physics, by Carlo Rovelli
10. Streetfight, by Janette Sadik-Khan

New Hampshire Public Radio host Brady Carlson (wonder if Bonnie North knows him?) has penned Dead Presidents: An American Adventure Into the Strange Deaths and Surprising Afterlives of Our Nation's Leaders, which offers surprising stories about dead presidents, wrapped around field trips, a la Sarah Vowell. Kate Tuttle in The Boston Globe writes: " The book blends wry humor with thought-provoking analysis. What should we make, for instance, of Grover Norquist (himself named for a dead president) and his quest to put Ronald Reagan’s name on at least one thing in every county in the nation?"

Paperback Fiction:
1. The Turner House, by Angela Flournoy (in store lit group May 2, 7 pm)
2. My Brilliant Friend, by Elena Ferrante
3. A Man Called Ove, by Fredrik Backman (event May 14, 2 pm)
4. Me Before You, by Jojo Moyes
5. The Little Paris Bookshop, by Nina George
6. Nora Webster, by Colm Tóibín
7. Brooklyn, by Colm Tóibín
8. The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend, by Katarina Bivald (event May 19, 7 pm)
9. The Sellout, by Paul Beatty
10. Reader I Married Him, edited by Tracy Cheavlier

The National Book Critics Circle award pops Paul Beatty's The Sellout onto our bestseller list this week. The NBCC is generally the one award where you can say with certainty that the winner appeared on many best-of-the-year lists, being that the winner is picked by the same critics who compile those yearend lists. Michael Schaub wrote on the NPR website: "Post-racial America or not, it's hard to see how anything funny could come out of slavery, police violence, gangs and racial discrimination, all subjects Beatty tackles in his fourth novel. It's the equivalent to an improv comedy troupe dedicating an entire performance to abortion. But somehow, The Sellout isn't just one of the most hilarious American novels in years, it also might be the first truly great satirical novel of the century."

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Unmeasured Strength, by Lauren Manning
2. Bringing Nature Home, by Douglas Tallamy
3. A Place of Yes, by Bethenny Frankel
4. Skinnygirl Solutions, by Bethenny Frankel
5. I Suck at Relationships, so You Won't Have to, by Bethenny Frankel
6. Pocketful of Mojo, by Debi Silber
7. Skinnygirl Cocktails, by Bethenny Frankel
8. Just Mercy, by Bryan Stevenson
9. H is for Hawk, by Helen Macdonald
10. Cream City Chronicles, by John Gurda

You can probably tell from this list that this week was the Women's Leadership Conference at the Pfister. But Doug Tallamy's sales pop is for an upcoming event at the Urban Ecology Center. I was speaking with Kim, who said that Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants is one of her favorite books. In this profile by Anne Raver in The New York Times, she noted: "They are struggling to plant the native species that are needed for insects and animals to flourish. As exotic ornamentals leap the garden fence and out-compete the native plants, many creatures are starving to death because they did not evolve with the exotics and simply can’t eat them. 'I’m not trying to recreate the ancient ecosystem,' said Mr. Tallamy, who is chairman of the department of entomology and wildlife ecology at the University of Delaware. 'That is gone. I’m trying to create biodiversity.'"

Books for Kids:
1. Will Wilder #1: The Relic of Perilous Falls, by Raymond Arroyo
2. Seven Wonders #1: Colossus Rises, by Peter Lerangis
3. Seven Wonders #2: Lost in Babylon, by Peter Lerangis
4. Seven Wonders #5: Legend of the Rift, by Peter Lerangis
5. Seven Wonders #3: Tomb of Shadows, by Peter Lerangis
6. I Survived the Hindenburg Disaster, by Lauren Tarshis
7. Seven Wonders #4: Curse of the King, by Peter Lerangis
8. I Am a Bunny, by Ole Risom with illustrations by Richard Scarry
9. I Survived True Stories: Five Epic Disasters, by Lauren Tarshis
10. I Survived True Stories #2: Nature Attacks, by Lauren Tarshis
11. When Spring Comes, by Kevin Henkes, with illustrations by Laura Dronzek
12. Pax, by Sara Pennypacker, with illustrations by Jon Klassen
13. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs
14. A Is for Activist, by Innosanto Nagara
15. The Book Thief Anniversary Edition (cloth), by Markus Zusak

Raymond Arroyo and Peter Lerangis were both in town doing events with Boswell - two schools and a public event for the former and three schools for the latter, as we the store was already booked and we took on his project too late to host at a library. We were a good add on for Lerangis as the former city had a lot of schools on break, but in the Milwaukee area this year, just about every district except for a few private schools did breaks the week after Easter, not before. So anyway, Arroyo and Lerangis ran into each other at their hotel, and being that this is Arroyo's first book for kids and it has been compared to Lerangis's current series, they had a lot to chat about. Legend of the Rift is the fifth of the Seven Wonder Books,  In this one, they head to several Wonders, including the Temple of Artemis and The Lighthouse at Alexandria.

At Arroyo's events, he notes publicly what we discovered doing research on the books, that Will Wilder was originally named Kerman Derman. The publisher made him change and it's all for the good - Will is a good indicator of his hero's strength and Wilder is a person who tames wild creatures, and yes, there are some beasts in The Relic of Perilous Falls. 

Over at the Journal Sentinel, Elfrieda Abbe profiles Mary Pflum Peterson author of the new memoir White Dresses: A Memoir of Love and Secrets, Mothers and Daughters. Abbe notes the story's origin: "A 'crazy workload' as a producer for Good Morning America, the birth of her fourth child and the responsibility of taking care of her mother's affairs after her unexpected death didn't keep Mary Pflum Peterson from enrolling in a writing class to 'polish off a novel. I was pretty much on a hamster wheel, she said during a phone interview. But instead of finishing a novel, Peterson wrote her debut nonfiction book White Dresses. The change of plan came when as a class assignment she wrote an essay about her family's tangled history."

At the Women's Leadership Conference, I ran in Friend-of-Boswell Peter, the concierge, while carrying books into a session. "I see you're hosting Mary next week," he said. Confused, I asked "But how do you know her?" and of course the obvious reply: "She was married at the Pfister!" Of course. Our event is Tuesday, March 29, and there is also an author mix-and-mingle at the University Club on Monday, March 28. Details here.

According to Mike Fischer in the Journal Sentinel, Edna O'Brien's new novel, The Little Red Chairs, begins as one would expect: "A remote town in western Ireland, filled with lonely souls and limited opportunities. Until opportunity knocks, in the form of a handsome stranger hailing from Montenegro and calling himself Dr. Vladimir Dragan. When he shows up advertising his services as a practitioner of alternative medicine, the women fall hard." But then the story shifts to London, and focuses on the plight of Bosnian refugees. He's not a fan of the second half, but understands how the story ties into O'Brien's oeuvre.

And for the third Journal Sentinel book piece, Paul Kritzer writes about Apprehensions and Convictions: Confessions of a Fifty-Year-Old Rookie Cop. Kritzer writes: "Johnson delights the reader with confessions of his foibles and insights into the mind of law enforcement officers. He goes out on solo nighttime stakeouts. He often answers potentially dangerous calls without waiting for a backup partner." Johnson will appear at Martha Merrell's on Thursday, March 31, 6:30 pm, at 231 Main Street. For more info, call (262) 547-1060 or visit their website.

No comments: