Sunday, August 28, 2016

Boswell's annotated bestseller list for the week ending August 27, plus the Journal Sentinel reviews

Here's what's selling at Boswell?

Hardcover Fiction:
1. Damage Control, by Michael Bowen (also paperback)
2. The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead
3. Surrender New York, by Caleb Carr
4. Heroes of the Frontier, by Dave Eggers
5. The Light of Paris, by Eleanor Brown
6. The Last Days of Night, by Graham Moore
7. Three Sisters, Three Queens, by Philippa Gregory
8. The Girls, by Emma Cline
9. Truly Madly Guilty, by Liane Moriarty
10. Another Brooklyn, by Jacqueline Woodson (event 10/21 at Centennial Hall)

Philippa Gregory's Three Sisters, Three Queens has been called "a gripping new Tudor story featuring King Henry VIII's sisters Mary and Margaret, along with Katherine of Aragon, vividly revealing the pivotal roles the three queens played in Henry VIII's kingdom." Told from the perspective of Margaret, Kirkus Reviews wrote that "Gregory’s take on the (largely male-determined) fortunes of three Tudor women is venal, petty, and jaundiced but never dull." There's a Starz series coming this fall, per Variety.

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Ten Ways Not to Ccommit Suicide, by Darryl DMC McDaniels
2. The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo, by Amy Schumer
3. I Contain Multitudes, by Ed Young
4. Seinfeldia, by Jennifer Keishin Armstrong (ticketed event 9/12 at The Soup House, $6.17 includes a bowl of soup!)
5. White Trash, by Nancy Isenberg
6. Paper, by Mark Kurlansky
7. Milwaukee City of Neighborhoods, by John Gurda
8. Dark Money, by Jane Mayer
9. Eviction, by Matthew Desmond
10. Grit, by Angela Duckworth

I've heard not one but two interesting interviews with Ed Young just by turning on NPR while driving. I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life. Stephen Curry writes in The Guardian: "From this treasure-trove of research Yong pulls story after story: how luminescent bacteria colonise and control the development of light-emitting organs in the Hawaiian bobtail squid; how the beewolf wasp (since long before Fleming chanced upon penicillin) squirts its larvae with bacterial paste to give them the protection of antibiotics as they transform into adults; how human babies are slathered in microbe-infested mucus as they are delivered through their mothers’ vagina, the gift of life being accompanied by the gift of bugs to seed their childhood microbiome; how a mother’s milk is formulated not just to feed her baby but to keep those bacteria happy too; and how the microbes in its gut may well affect how that growing child thinks and behaves."

Paperback Fiction:
1. Damage Control, by Michael Bowen
2. The Little Paris Bookshop, by Nina George
3. The Sympathizer, by Viet Thanh Nguyen
4. Jane Eyre Couture Classics, by Charlotte Bronte
5. The Heart Goes Last, by Margaret Atwood
6. The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend, by Katarina Bivald
7. The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins
8. The Orchardist, by Amanda Colpin
9. My Brilliant Friend, by Elena Ferrante
10. The Drifter, by Nicholas Petrie

Atwood continues her speculative track with The Heart Goes Last, now in paperback. I think Stacey May Fowles in The Toronto Globe and Mail captured the story's heart: "Though Atwood is obviously delivering a serious lesson about societal greed and human exploitation, it’s frankly an amazing achievement how jovial The Heart Goes Last is from start to Shakespearean-style comedic finish. The novel is certainly a dystopian effort that belongs on the same hallowed list as Brave New World, 1984 and Atwood’s own masterpiece, The Handmaid’s Tale, but it also manages to be a whole lot of quirky, poppy fun, without ever once undermining its core message."

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. LGBT Milwaukee, by Michail Takach
2. We Should All Be Feminists, by Chimananda Ngozi Adichie
3. Hold Still, by Sally Mann
4. Bettyville, by George Hodgman
5. Fast and Easy Five Ingredient Recipes, by Philia Kelnhofer
6. The Social Animal, by David Brooks
7. Known and Strange Things, by Teju Cole
8. Modern Romance, by Aziz Ansari
9. The Boys in the Boat, by Daniel James Brown
10. Florence Foster Jenkins, by Nicholas Martin and Jasper Rees

Florence Foster Jenkins is playing at the Downer Theater (at least through Thursday), and that has probably helped Nicholas Martin and Jasper Rees's biography, also called Florence Foster Jenkins: The Inspiring True Story of the World's Worst Singer. Nicholas Martin wrote the screenplay based on the biography by Rees, but Martin got first billing. From The Telegraph: "A delightful new comedy starring Meryl Streep as Florence Foster Jenkins and Hugh Grant as St Clair Bayfield brings her name (and his) to wider attention than ever before. The script by Nicholas Martin celebrates a woman who still inspires affection for her utter refusal to dwell on her limitations or to be cowed by mockery."

Books for Kids:
1. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, Jack Thorne
2. Framed, by James Ponti
3. Author's Odyssey, by Chris Colfer
4. The Day the Crayons Came Home, by Drew Daywalt with illustrations by Oliver Jeffers
5. Goodnight Goodnight Construction Site new edition, by Sherri Duskey Rinker with illustrations by Tom Lichtenheld
6. United as One, by Pittacus Lore
7. Summerlost, by Ally Condie
8. Alan's Big Scary Teeth, by Peter Jarvis
9. Stories from Bug Garden, by Lisa Moser with illustrations by Gwen Millward (event today at 2 pm)
10. The Wild Robot, by Peter Brown

Framed: A T.O.A.S.T Mystery is the newest book from James Ponti, who will be appearing at schools for Boswell with Kevin Sands. We have two schools booked, but if you're an educator, you might want to contact Todd as we still have one slot open for his last September event. Booklist writes: "In this entertaining, fast-paced mystery, seventh-grader Florian Bates is surprised to find himself helping the FBI solve the theft of millions of dollars' worth of stolen paintings from the National Gallery, in D.C." and notes that this is the first in a series.

Over at the Journal Sentinel, Jim Higgins reviews one of the new releases in the Object Lessons series: "People with a paranoid streak will feel vindicated by Evan Kindley's Questionnaire, a thoughtful exploration of the subject from the Proust questionnaire through Buzzfeed quizzes. As Kindley documents, nearly everyone who puts a quiz in front of you is trying to mine something from you, often (though not always) for profit or to influence your behavior." He notes that "The Object Lessons books I've looked into are smart and packed with ideas, but accessible. They're also elegantly designed small paperbacks, about 25,000 words each."

Check out our selection of Object Lessons books. We're thrilled to note that when we sort by demand in Ingram, Milwaukeean John Garrison's Glass comes out #1! Coming on September 7 are two new releases, Personal Stereo and Sock.

Also in the paper is an interview with Jacqueline Woodson for her new novel Another Brooklyn. From Tom Beer's piece, originally appearing in Newsday. On New York in the 70s and 80s: "You know, that is totally about the gaze — who is doing the looking, and where they are in the narrative. I never saw the place that I called home as a dangerous place. I never felt unsafe walking through the streets of black neighborhoods — I’m black. It was always more dangerous for me going someplace like Ridgewood [in Queens], which was white, where the message was, you will get beaten up or killed there. It’s very easy for people to say something is one way or the other without looking at the different layers to a place. New York has always been this very layered place."

And Connie Ogle interviews Krys Lee for How I Became a North Korean, originally printed in the Miami Herald. Ogle writes: "In the stories of her first book, “Drifting House,” Lee — an assistant professor of literature and creative writing in Seoul, South Korea — explored questions of country and identity, past and future, in North and South Korea, as well as in the United States. In “How I Became a North Korean,” she narrows her focus to a single place: China, along its border with North Korea, where three young people cross paths after escaping their homelands."

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