Sunday, March 26, 2017

Bestsellers from Boswell. Are Swell. Inspired by the a Children's Bestseller List Filled with Poetry. Week Ending March 25, 2017

Here's what sold at Boswell this past week.

Hardcover Fiction:
1. Sorry to Disrupt the Peace, by Patty Yumi Cottrell
2. Lincoln in the Bardo, by George Saunders
3. In This Grave Hour V13, by Jacqeline Winspear
4. Celine, by Peter Heller
5. Norse Mythology, by Neil Gaiman
6. The Collapsing Empire V1, by John Scalzi
7. The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, by Lisa See
8. The Idiot, by Elif Batuman
9. The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead
10. News of the World, by Paulette Jiles

There's a lot of buzz on John Scalzi's The Collapsing Empire, and that's not just because of this story on Gizmodo, which discusses a competitor's book that has an almost identical title and author. Amazon pulled the knock off, but then put it back. Christian Holub in Entertainment Weekly wrote: "Modern readers, fresh from watching an 'America First' United States and Brexit-ing United Kingdom turn away from their roles as global hegemons, could probably not ask for a more relevant book title right now than The Collapsing Empire. Author John Scalzi insists that he came up with both the title and premise for his latest science-fiction novel years ago, but that’s basically the point. Scalzi has constructed a thrilling novel so in tune with the flow of politics that it would feel relevant at almost any time."

Fans should note that Scalzi will be at the Madison Public Library on Thursday, April 8, 7 pm with books provided by Room of One's Own. It's only a little more than an hour away.

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Good Grief, by Theresa Caputo
2. The Death and Life of the Great Lakes, by Dan Egan
3. Bright Line Eating, by Susan Peirce Thompson
4. There's More to Life than This, by Theresa Caputo
5. The Stranger in the Woods, by Michael Finkel
6. 100 Dollar Startup, by Chris Guillebeau
7. The Little Book of Hygge, by Meik Wiking
8. Hamilton, by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter
9. In the Company of Women, by Grace Bonney
10. Sapiens, by Yuval Noah Harari

You might have seen our staff rec for The Stranger in the Woods in a recent email newsletter. We had two great reads on this book, with Boswellian Kelli O'Malley writing: "Chris Knight was just barely out of his teens when he drove his car into the woods and disappeared for 27 years. All that time he lived on his own with no help or contact from the outside world. He had no protest agenda, no quest for the spiritual - he simply wanted to exist without human contact. It wasn't until he was caught for burglary that anyone really believed that he actually existed. This incredible story delves into the story of one man's determination to be alone. Knight’s story will resonate with those of us who crave our solitude and fascinate those who could never dream of not speaking to another person for years on end." Since we last mentioned the book in this blog, the book became a New York Times bestseller.

Paperback Fiction:
1. Windy City Blues, by Renée Rosen
2. Everyone Brave is Forgiven, by Chris Cleave
3. Big Lonesome, by Joseph Scapellato
4. The Lilac Girls, by Martha Hall Kelly
5. All the Missing Girls, by Megan Miranda
6. The Little Paris Bookshop, by Nina George
7. The Sellout, by Paul Beatty
8. Britt-Marie Was Here, by Fredrik Backman
9. In the Time of the Butterflies, by Julia Alvarez
10. Wait Till You See Me Dance, by Deb Olin Unferth

We had a nice pop in sales for Everyone Brave is Forgiven. It's a tough time for World War II historicals in paperback with imminent releases of All the Light We Cannot See and The Nightingale, and The Lilac Girls, which is already out. But on the upside, it makes a good themed display. Check out this review from Hannah Beckerman in The Guardian, which was published with the book's hardcover release: "Cleave has sometimes been accused of sentimentality (albeit with the caveat that he does sentimentality extremely well), and this latest novel too pulls on the reader’s heartstrings: “…all he wanted from his city was the thing that didn’t seem to be on offer: the possibility of coming home”. But even the most cynical reader will be hard pushed to be unmoved by the pitch-perfect final line, concluding the story on a note of quiet hope and narrative symmetry."

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. A Lucky Child, by Thomas Buergenthal
2. Brick Through the Window, by Steven Nodine, Eric Beaumont, Clancy Carroll, and David Luhrssens
3. Evicted, by Matthew Desmond
4. Hidden Figures, by Margot Lee Shetterly
5. Borchert Field, by Bob Buege (event at Boswell Wed Apr 5, 7 pm)
6. Live and Let Live, by Evelyn M. Perry (event at Woodland Pattern Fri Mar 31, 7 pm)
7. On Tyranny, by Timothy Snyder
8. Accidental Saints, by Nadia Bolz Weber
9. Trump Survival Guide, by Gene Stone
10. The Politics of Resentment, by Katherine J. Cramer

We've had nice sales in advance of Bob Buege's event for Borchert Field and I suspect the upward trend will continue what with the Journal Sentinel review below and opening day around the corner. Here's Dave Luhrssen writing about the book in Shepherd Express. And here's a piece from WTMJ4's Morning Blend.

Books for Kids:
1. Hip Hop Speaks to Children, edited by Nikki Giovanni
2. Poetry Speaks to Children, edited by Elise Paschen
3. Animal Poems, by Valerie Worth, with illustrations by Steven Jenkins
4. Bookspeak, by Laura Salas, with illustrations by Josée Bisaillon
5. Emma Dilemma, by Kristine O'Connell George, with illustrations by Nancy Carpenter
6. Toasting Marshmallows, by Kristine O'Connell George, with illustrations by Kate Kiesler
7. Insectopedia, by Douglas Florian
8. Pug, by Valerie Worth, with illustrations by Steve Jenkins
9. Lemonade Sun, by Rebecca Kai Dotlich, with illustrations by Jan Gilchrist
10. In the Spin of Things, by Rebecca Kai Dotlich, with illustrations by Karen Dugan

Just in time for National Poetry Month, our bestseller list is filled with great collections. Hip Hop Speaks to Children and Poetry Speaks to Children were both national bestsellers on their original publication. Also just out (and might have hit the list if our offsite hadn't ended so late last night) is Kwame Alexander's Out of Wonder: Poets Celebrating Poets. We brought it because one poet celebrated in the book was Naomi Shihab Nye, who was in Racine for Deb Marett's 15 Minutes of Fame.

At the Journal Sentinel TapBooks section...

Mike Fischer reviews Jessica Shattuck's The Women in the Castle, another World War II historical novel which is the #1 Indie Next Pick for April. He writes: "While much of Shattuck’s well-researched novel takes place in the immediate aftermath of World War II, the three surviving women at its center are haunted by the dozen years of the Thousand Year Reich — 'a great unknowable continent of experience,' as Shattuck calls it, that both binds them together and threatens to tear them apart."

Scott Simon talked to Shattuck on NPR's Weekend Edition.

Chris Foran reviews Borchert Field: Stories from Milwaukee's Legendary Ballpark. Foran writes: "When it comes to Milwaukee baseball history, Buege is a perennial all-star. His The Milwaukee Braves: A Baseball Eulogy is an entertaining and definitive history of the team (you can tell from the title where his heart lies). He's also president of the Milwaukee Braves Historical Association and secretary of the Old Time Ballplayers' Association of Wisconsin. But his new book is less a history and more an engaging collection of narratives about people, events and moments in Borchert Field's — and Milwaukee's — history from the late 19th century to the 1950s.

Chris Foran also has his annual roundup of spring 2017 baseball books, including My Cubs, by Scott Simon, and Leo Durocher: Baseball's Prodigal Son, from Paul Dickinson. They also give a shout out for Greg Pearson's Maybe Next Year: Long-Suffering Sports Fans and the Teams that Never Deliver, who will be at Boswell this Tuesday, March 28, 7 pm.

And Jim Higgins reviews Evelyn Perry's Live and Let Live: Diversity, Conflict, and Community in an Integrated Neighborhood. He explains the setup: "Perry, an assistant professor of sociology at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tenn., grew up in Whitefish Bay. To research this participant-observer study, she lived in Riverwest from 2007-'10, attending meetings, chatting with neighbors, hoisting beverages in neighborhood bars and conducting 60 in-depth, open-ended interviews with Riverwest residents, with help from research assistant Jenny Urbanek. Those interviewees, equally divided between men and women, included 30 white people, 15 African-Americans, 10 Latinas and Latinos, two Asian-Americans, two biracial people and one Arab-American — a mix that Perry reports roughly coincided with Riverwest's population." Perry is at Woodland Pattern on Friday, March 31, 7 pm.

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