Sunday, July 17, 2016

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending July 16, 2016, plus links to Journal Sentinel book page

I can only imagine how exciting our bestseller list will be this week! We simply can't keep you in suspense any longer.

Hardcover Fiction:
1. First Comes Love, by Emily Giffin
2. Black Widow, by Daniel Silva
3. The Girls, by Emma Cline
4. The Light of Paris, by Eleanor Brown (ticketed event at Lynden, Tuesday, July 19, 7 pm)
5. Sweetbitter, by Stephanie Danler
6. The Nightingale, by Kristin Hannah
7. Barkskins, by Annie Proulx
8. Eligible, by Curtis Sittenfeld
9. After You, by Jojo Moyes
10. Wintering, by Peter Geye

Stephanie Danler's tale, Sweetbitter, of a busser who gets a job at a restaurant which is said to be not unlike The Union Square Cafe has been a national bestseller for several weeks, and we finally got a nice sales pop too. Gabrielle Hamilton in The New York Times wrote: "It would be a tired story if it weren’t so, well, for one thing true and for another so brilliantly written. A coked-out girl who sees the sun come up as many times as Tess does might cause her writer to run out of metaphors for unwelcome daybreak - 'a dagger of morning prowled outside the open windows,' 'sunrise came like an undisclosed verdict' - but Danler never does, and her description of the panic of the unannounced health department inspection was so engrossing to read, I missed a flight even though I had already checked in and was waiting at the gate."

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Evicted, by Matthew Desmond
2. But What If We're Wrong, by Chuck Klosterman
3. Milwaukee: City of Neighborhoods, by John Gurda
4. The Gene, by Siddhartha Mukherjee
5. Lonely Planet National Parks of America
6. Ratf**cked, by David Daley
7. John Bascom and the Origins of the Wisconsin Idea, by J. David Hoeveler (event Wed Sep 7, 7 pm at Boswell)
8. Wisconsin Supper Clubs, by Ron Faiola (event Mon Aug 8, 7 pm, with Kyle Cherek, at Boswell)
9. Wisconsin Supper Clubs: Another Round, by Ron Faiola
10. Seinfeldia, by Jennifer Keishin Armstrong (event Mon Sep 12, 7 pm, at Boswell)

It's rare to have a travel guide on our bestseller list, but Lonely Planet's National Parks of America is different, as it really is an inexpensive coffee table book as well. It's had some nice success as it's jumped from display to display - we're currently featuring on our National Parks Centennial table. If you're wondering what the most-visited park is, it's the Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina and Tennessee, which according to National Geographic, is double the attendance of #2.

Paperback Fiction:
1. The Sympathizer, by Viet Thanh Nguyen
2. A Man Called Ove, by Fredrik Backman
3. Luck, Love and Lemon Pie, by Amy E. Reichert (event Mon Jul 18, 7 pm, at Boswell)
4. The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins
5. Me Before You, by Jojo Moyes
6. The Little Paris Bookshop, by Nina George
7. She Weeps Each Time You're Born, by Quan Barry
8. The Coincidence of Coconut Cake, by Amy E. Reichert
9. Counting Heads, by David Marusek
10. Seveneves, by Neal Stephenson

When you see a book like Girl on the Train come out in paperback, you can generally do the math - it means the film is coming out in about three months, and sure enough, it's scheduled for October 7 with Laura Prepon and Emily Blunt in the lead roles. Is there a trailer? Of course!

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Wisconsin Supper Club Cookbook, by Mary Bergin
2. Alexander Hamilton, by Ron Chernow
3. Staging the Great Circus Parade, by Jim and Donna Peterson
4. Fast and Easy Five Ingredient Recipes, by Philia Kelnhofer (event Mon Jul 18, 6 pm, at the Public Market)
5. Night, by Elie Wiesel
6. Heart of a Soldier, by James B. Stewart
7. World War II Milwaukee, by Meg Jones
8. The Oregon Trail, by Rinker Buck
9. I Am Malala, by Malala Yousafzai
10. Old Records Never Die, by Eric Spitznagel

It's always a bit bittersweet when the display that is driving sales is an obituary table. Instead of multiple displays, which can sometimes make the bookstore look like a mausoleum, we did three authors on one display - Michelle Cliff, Michael Herr, and Elie Wiesel. In addition to Night hitting our bestseller list, we've sold several copies of Michael Herr's Dispatches.

Books for Kids:
1. The Author's Odyssey: The Land of Stories V5, by Chris Colfer
2. I Am a Bunny, by Ole Risom and Richard Scarry
3. Where the Wild Things Are (hardcover), by Maurice Sendak
4. The Haters, by Jesse Anderson
5. Miss Rumphius, by Barbara Cooney
6. Wild Robot, by Peter Brown
7. Wake Up Island, by Mary Casanova with illustrations by Nick Wroblewski
8. Return of the Padawan: Star Wars Jedi Academy V2, by Jeffrey Brown
9. The Search for the Slimy Space Slugs; Doodle Adventures V1, by Mike Lowery
10. El Deafo, by Cece Bell (which is also currently displayed with graphic memoirs and bios in the general fiction area)

It's a reboot of 2015 to see Where the Wild Things Are on our bestseller list, having had a good run during our Milwaukee Public Library store for the traveling exhibit last year. But the book I want to give a shout out to is Wake Up Island by Mary Casanova and Nick Wroblewski. Published by the University of Minnesota Press of all places, its illustrator is well-known to Boswell card shoppers. Wroblewski's designs (which you can also see at Beans and Barley, and at some Colectivos) are woodcuts inspired by Japanese tradition and his Wisconsin home, though I should note that their collaboration is set in Minnesota. In School Library Journal Lindsey Jensen of the Nashville Public Library called this: " A lovely, versatile title to be used in storytime and to supplement many classroom lessons."

You want to hear more about Wroblewski's process? Of course you do!

Sway: Portrait of Nick Wroblewski, Woodcut Printmaker from davinHb on Vimeo.

Over at the Journal Sentinel, Mike Fischer reviews Romeo And/Or Juliet: A Choose-able Path Adventure, by Ryan North. Fischer writes: "Time to fess up: For the first time in the thirty-odd years I've been reviewing books, I am writing a review of one that I didn't finish. It's Ryan North's Romeo and/or Juliet, and the title gives a clue as to why I'm still not done, despite playing with it for weeks: It has 46,012,475,909,287,476 adventures and more than 100 endings." Fischer notes that he's reviewed Romeo and Juliet four times in the past year alone, but in none of them did Ophelia kill Romeo in Denmark.

Alejandra Zambra has been called one of Latin America's rising stars and his new novel Multiple Choice was named one of the best books of summer by The Wall Street Journal and others. From the review by Jim Higgins: "Alejandro Zambra's Multiple Choice made me laugh repeatedly, often ruefully. Zambra refashions the Chilean Academic Aptitude Test, a precollege exam like our SAT, into an instrument for fiction, simultaneously mocking standardized testing and demonstrating how choices are central to storytelling. While committing these metafictional and postmodern pranks, Zambra also crisply fictionalizes romantic and parental woes and mocks hypocritical Chilean society." The book is available July 19 - we'll hold a copy for you. Request in-store pickup when linking to the title.

I hope you noticed the thematic relationship between the two titles here.

Also in the print edition, Marion Winik tackles Elizabeth Swados's final novel, Walking the Dog, first published in Newsday. Best known for her play Runaways, Swados work gets accolades from Winik, gaining insight from a previous memoir: "In My Depression she mentions writing a novel whose main character morphed from an ex-con from a wealthy background to an ex-junkie dog walker, then onto several other identities. 'I wrote it in eight days. No one will ever see it,' she writes. Since Walking the Dog is about a former druggy enfant terrible who becomes a dog walker in New York City after serving 25 years of a life sentence, we can assume Swados spent at least a couple more days polishing up this novel of hers."

And lastly, another reprint -  Sharon Eberson of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's take on Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarther's Hamilton: The Revolution coffee table book offers: "It’s said that Hamilton, the show, contains 24,000 words. The book, at 287 pages, contains Mr. Miranda’s words and an inside look at how they came to be and the fireworks that followed. At one point in the musical, Angelica Schuyler, as Hamilton’s future sister-in-law, sings, 'You want a revolution, I want a revelation.' Hamilton, the book, has both. Please note, however, that a recent print raised the list price of the book from $40 to $45. To sate demand, the publisher had to air freight books from an overseas printer, which drove up the cost.

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