Monday, October 24, 2016

Here's what's been selling at Boswell, week ending October 22, 2016, plus links to a ton of book features in the Journal Sentinel

Hardcover Fiction:
1. Commonwealth, by Ann Patchett (event last week)
2. Another Brooklyn, by Jacqueline Woodson (event last week)
3. The Excellent Lombards, by Jane Hamilton
4. The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead (both Woodson and Whitehead are shortlisted for the National Book Award)
5. Hag Seed, by Margaret Atwood (in the Hogarth Shakespeare series)
6. Small Great Things, by Jodi Picoult
7. The Wonder, by Emma Donoghue
8. Today Will Be Different, by Maria Semple
9. A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles
10. Thrice the Brinded Cat Mewd, by Alan Bradley

Fans of Emma Donoghue's newest, The Wonder, include Stephen King, who recommended the book in The New York Times Book Review. He wrote that The Wonder "is a fine, fact-based historical novel, an old-school page turner (I use the phrase without shame). Donoghue’s grave consideration of the damage religion can do when it crosses the line into superstition lifts the narrative rather than weighing it down. In that way — as with her sturdy narrative prose, gilded about with the occasional grace-note — it also reminded me of The Razor’s Edge, only turned inside out. Maugham’s book is about the power of spirituality to heal. Donoghue has written, with crackling intensity, about its power to destroy."

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Hungry Heart, by Jennifer Weiner (event last week)
2. Dogs As I See Them, by Lucy Dawson (Ann Patchett rec)
3. Cook's Science, from America's Test Kitchen (Jack Bishop event this past week)
4. Evicted, by Matthew Desmond (Patchett rec)
5. Upstream, by Mary Oliver
6. When Breath Becomes Air, by Paul Kalanithi (Patchett rec)
7. Hero of the Empire, by Candice Millard
8. Black Earth, by Timothy Snyder (Event)
9. Much Ado, by Michael Lenehan (event at Boswell on December 5)
10. Women in Science, by Rachel Ignotofsky

I bet you want to know a little more about Dogs as I See Them, the collection of pet portraits and notes from Lucy Dawson. It was the work of a portraitist in the 1930s and went out of print in 1950. Patchett agreed to write the introduction, and talk about it at her event. We were warned that she had sold out every event, so we brought in more than anyone else had sold to date, 55 on top of the copy we had for stock. We're up to 58 now, which makes us the #2 store on Above the Treeline (we can guess who is #1) and if we have momentum like Jeanette Haien's The All of It, we might well sell another 50+ copies. Plus the sequel, Dogs Rough and Smooth, comes out November 1.

Paperback Fiction:
1. Arrow: The Dark Archer, by John Barrowman and Carole E. Barrowman
2. A Man Called Ove, by Fredrik Backman (still playing at the Downer)
3. The Sympathizer, by Viet Thanh Nguyen
4. My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry, by Fredrik Backman
5. A Little Life, by Hanya Yanagihara
6. The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins
7. Eileen, by Ottessa Moshfegh (in store lit group meets November 7)
8. The Improbability of Love, by Hannah Rothschild (in store lit group meets December 5)
9. French Rhapsody, by Antoine Laurain (event today at 3)
10. The Red Notebook, by Antoine Laurain (same here)

If you follow social media, you may already know that French Rhapsody's Antoine Laurain flew into O'Hare on Saturday, where we drove him to Milwaukee and did a little Milwaukee culture - and by that I mean the Harley Davidson Museum, Conejito's, cracker crust pizza at Pizza Man, and a bar. I didn't do the last one but I was pushing for Wolski's. For those wondering if the books are being adapted, there's a television movie of The President's Hat, a forthcoming feature film of The Red Notebook, and a British mini series adapting French Rhapsody, so that might be British Rhapsody. And yes, at least one of Laurain's older novels, The Portrait, should be in English by summer. And yes squared, signed copies of the three books in English are available now.

Paperback nonfiction:
1. Black Earth, by Timothy Snyder (daytime event last Wednesday)
2. Bloodlands, by Timothy Snyder
3. People of the Way, Dwight Zscheile
4. This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage, by Ann Patchett (event last Wednesday)
5. Conservative Counterrevolution, by Tula A. Connell (event last Monday)
6. America's Test Kitchen Complete Vegetarian Cookbook (event last Thursday)
7. You Are a Badass, by Jen Sincero
8. Why not Me?, by Mindy Kaling
9. WTF?! What the French, by Olivier Magny
10. We Should All Be Feminists, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

It's just coincidence that we're selling WTF?! so well with Antoine Laurain coming to town. Magny, author of Stuff Parisians Like, looks at the modern idiosyncrasies of France in his new collection. As one reviewer noted, it's a little crankier than the previous volume.

Board books and picture books for kids:
1. Room on a Broom board book, by Julia Donaldson, with illustrations by Axel Scheffler
2. Ada Twist, Scientist, by Andrea Beaty with illustrations by David Roberts
3. How to Dress a Dragon, by Thelma Lynne Godin, with illustrations by Eric Barclay
4. Bad Kitty Scaredy Cat, by Nick Bruel (event 10/28, 6:30 pm, at Boswell)
5. Good Night Little Sea Otter, by Janet Halfmann, with illustrations by Wish Williams
6. Because of Thursday, by Patricia Polacco
7. Each Kindness, by Jacqueline Woodson, with illustrations by E.B. Lewis
8. 10 Little Ninjas, by Miranda Paul and Natt Wragg
9. Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Little Gold Beook, by Geoff Smith
10. Baby Says Moo, by Joann Early Macken, with illustrations from David Walker

This is just a preview of last weekend's SCBWI-Wisconsin conference in Green Lake. We had some presales on the titles that were rung in before the event, including 10 Little Ninjas from Miranda Paul, Baby Says Moo, by Joann Early Macken, and Good Night, Little Sea Otter, from Janet Halfmann. Expect to see more from these authors next week.

Chapter and YA Books for Kids:
1. Behind You, by Jacqueline Woodson (event last Friday)
2. Brown Girl Dreaming in paperback, Jacqueline Woodson
3. Conjuror, by John Barrowman and Carole E. Barromwnan
4. Brown Girl Dreaming in cloth, Jacqueline Woodson
5. Thor's Hammer, by Rick Riordan
6. Dog Man, by Dav Pilkey (event Monday, 10/24, tonight, 6:30 pm, at Greenfield Performing Arts Center)
7. The Littlest Bigfoot, by Jennifer Weiner (event last Tuesday)
8. The Girl who Drank the Moon, by Kelly Barnhill
9. Bjorn's Gift, by Sandy Brehl
10. Ghosts, by Raina Telgemeier

Can we give you more reasons to come to the Dav Pilkey event at the Greenfield Performing Arts Center? I am going to try in the next blog post. Meanwhile, keep an eye on Conjuror, the first entry in the YA series, The Orion Chronicles. It features the twin heroes from the middle grade Hollow Earth series (a little older) plus Remy Dupree Rush, a new conjuror who can control music the way the Calder twins could manipulate art.

Over at the Journal Sentinel, two fall titles get the front cover treatment of TAP Weekly. Glen Jeansonne's Herbert Hoover: A Life, is a fresh look at the 31st president. Jim Higgins notes that "Jeansonne reminds readers who only remember Hoover as the president swept out of office by the Great Depression and FDR of his accomplishments, including leading the relief effort to feed starving Belgians during World War I, an dof his impact as secretary of commerce under Calvin Coolidge." Our event with Jeansonne is on Tuesday, November 1, 7 pm.

Per Higgins, Place Names of Wisconsin, by Edward Callary, "researches the origin of more than 2000 city, town, village, lake, and river names in our state, adding a pronunciation guide where necessary."

The authors of Milwaukee's Frozen Custard, Kathleen McCann and Bobby Tanzilo, "trace the history of the treat that took over Milwaukee, including a look at famous local joints Gilles, Leon's, and Kopps." We're hosting an event with the authors on November 22, 7 pm.

Another book that's sure to get a lot of attention is Jeff Pearlman's Gunslinger: The Remarkable, Improbable, Iconic Life of Brett Favre. Higgins notes: While Favre did not talk to the author for this book, Pearlman interviewed hundreds of other people, including Favre's mother Bonita. He handles the troublesome strains of Favre's story, including his Vicodin addiction and alcohol abuse and his womanizing, without flinching but also with prurience, treating them as part of this impulsive, often messy life." It's "perspective out outside the Packerland bubble." The Elm Grove Library is hosting Pearlman on Tuesday, November 1, 6:30 pm.

Here's a Journal Sentinel review from Gary D'Amato in the sports section of Gunslinger.

Michael Schumacher, "who previously chronicled the fates of the Edmund Fitzgerald and the Carl D., continues his Great Lakes shipwreck series " with Torn in Two: The Sinking of the Daniel J. Morrell and One Man's Survival on the Open Sea. His event at Boswell is November 15, 7 pm.

Also featured is Hidden Thunder: Rock Art of the Upper Midwest, from Geri Schrab and Robert Boszhardt, who "provide archaeological perspective and documentary photographs."

But no, that's not the TapBooks page! Featured there is Jim Higgins's poetry column on two local writers, Susan Firer, whose newest is The Transit of Venus, and Where Are We in This Story?, by Sarah Rosenblatt.

Of The Transit of Venus, "that title phrase also evokes her life with her husband, James Hazard, a well-known poet and writer who died in 2012." Our event with Firer is Thursday, November 3, 7 pm.

Of Rosenblatt, Higgins notes that the author "extends a family tradition of multidimensional creativity...her succinct poems read calmly, even when addressing unpleasantries. Rosenblatt is at Boswell on Friday, November 4, 7 pm.

Mike Fischer in the Journal Sentinel reviews Jonathan Lethem's A Gambler's Anatomy. It's the story of Alexander Bruno, a competitive backgammon player who develops a brain tumor and faces "an evil nemesis named Keith Stolarsky, who idolized Bruno in high school and now relishes the chance to prove that he himself has come out on top in life's game of chance."

And finally, from the print edition of the Journal Sentinel, a review from Newsday's Stephan Lee of The Wangs vs. the World, the first novel from Jade Chang. Lee calls the book "jam-packed with misadventures and unplanned excursions as the Wang family crisscrosses the United States in their increasingly crowded vintage station wagon...even when it's a little too much, it dazzles you with its uniquely American charm and confidence."

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