Sunday, April 16, 2017

Boswell annotated bestsellers, week ending April 15, 2017

Boswell is open 10 am to 5 pm on Easter Sunday.

Hardcover Fiction:
1. The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead
2. Earthly Remains V26, by Donna Leon
3. Lincoln in the Bardo, by George Saunders
4. A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles
5. The Hearts of Men, by Nickolas Butler
6. The Women in the Castle, by Jessica Shattuck
7. Norse Mythology, by Neil Gaiman
8. Difficult Women, by Roxane Gay
9. Commonwealth, by Ann Patchett
10. Exit West, by Mohsin Hamid

At book #26, you'd think Donna Leon's series would be showing its age. But Marilyn Stasio in The New York Times Book Review wrote: "When she’s writing about her beloved Venice, Donna Leon can do no wrong. And Earthy Remains, her new mystery featuring Commissario Guido Brunetti, is one of her best. It’s also one of her saddest, dealing as it does with the seemingly unstoppable polluting of the great lagoon. 'We’ve poisoned it all, killed it all,' mourns Davide Casati, the aged caretaker of the house on the island of Sant’Erasmo where Brunetti is taking a medical leave for job-induced stress."

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Wealth Can't Wait, by David Osborn
2. Hillbilly Elegy, by J.D. Vance
3. Halleluhjah Anyway, by Anne Lamott
4. Moth Presents All These Wonders, edited by Catherine Burns
5. Dear Ijeawele, by Chimananda Ngozi Adichie
6. King Solomon's Table, by Joan Nathan
7. Convergernce, by Peter Watson
8. Prince Charles, by Sally Bedell Smith
9. The Great Unknown, by Marcus Du Sautoy
10. Waiting to Listen, by Andrew Forsthoefel

From Michiko Kakutani in The New York Times: "A wonderful new book, The Moth Presents: All These Wonders — which takes its title from a thrilling account by the NASA scientist Cathy Olkin of last-minute emergency repairs made to the New Horizons spacecraft as it traveled three billion miles to get a close-up of Pluto — gathers 45 stories from the last two decades. Some are heartbreakingly sad; some laugh-out-loud funny; some momentous and tragic; almost all of them resonant or surprising. They are stories that attest to the startling varieties and travails of human experience, and the shared threads of love, loss, fear and kindness that connect us."

Paperback Fiction:
1. Arrow: The Dark Archer, by John and Carole E. Barrowman
2. The Nest, by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney (signed copies available)
3. The Excellent Lombards, by Jane Hamilton
4. The Woman in Cabin 10, by Ruth Ware
5. The Improbability of Love, by Hannah Rothschild
6. The Little Red Chairs, by Edna O'Brien (In Store Lit Group 5/1)
7. Lilac Girls, by Martha Hall Kelly
8. All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr
9. The Light of Paris, by Eleanor Brown
10. Britt-Marie Was Here, by Fredrik Backman

It's book club presentation season! Saturday's talk with Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney boosted sales of a number of titles on our new book club flier, including The Excellent Lombards, The Woman in Cabin 10, and The Light of Paris. As Jane noted, now I don't have to worry about this until August (or maybe September). Of The Woman in Cabin 10, Variety recently reported that Hillary Seitz has been signed to do the movie adaptation for CBS Films. Of the book, Ginny Greene in the Star Tribune wrote: "Cabin 10 just may do to cruise vacations what Jaws did to ocean swimming. You’ll be afraid to go out on the water."

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Evicted, by Matthew Desmond
2. Live and Let Live, by Evelyn M. Perry
3. The Pleasure of the Text, by Roland Barthes
4. Dark Money, by Jane Mayer
5. You Are a Badass, by Jen Sincero
6. Brick Through the Window, by Steven Nodine, Eric Beaumont, Clancy Carroll, David Luhrssen
7. Radical Hope, by Jonathan Lear
8. Secreenwise, by Devorah Heitner (event at USM 4/17)
9. White Trash, by Nancy Isenberg
10. How to Be Alive, by Colin Beavan

Jane Mayer's Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right continues to resonate with its paperback release. Here's Mayer talking to Jack Holmes at Esquire about Neil Gorsuch's nomination to the Supreme Court.

Tarik Moody, a Riverwest resident, takes to Evelyn M. Perry about Live and Let Live on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee.

Here's Devorah Heitner interviewed on Austin360's parenting blog. And don't forget about University School of Milwaukee's event with Devorah Heitner tomorrow. Register here.

Books for Kids:
1. Just Fly Away, by Andrew McCarthy
2. Green Pants, by Kenneth Kraegel
3. Bone Quill V2, by John and Carole E. Barrowman
4. The Book of Beasts V2, by John and Carole E. Barrowman
5. The Forgetting Spell V2, by Lauren Myracle
6. The Star Thief, by Lindsey Becker
7. The Conjuror V1, by John and Carole E. Barrowman
8. Night of the Twisters, by Ivy Ruck
9. Hollow Earth V1, by John and Carole E. Barrowman
10. Wishing Day V1, by Lauren Myracle
11. Wishing Day V1 (cloth), by Lauren Myracle
12. Song of Delphine, by Kenneth Kraegel
13. Oh, Ick, by Joy Masoff and Jessica Garrett
14. A Is for Activist, by Innosanto Nagara
15. Life on Mars, by Jon Agee

This week has a lot of event programming factored into our bestseller list. Lauren Myracle visited three schools but didn't have a public event so we didn't talk much about her series Wishing Day. In volume 1, Natasha gets three wishes after her 13th birthday. In the second book, The Forgetting Spell, sister Darya approaches her 13th birthday and her own three wishes. Publishers Weekly wrote: "Though there are more questions than answers by the novel's end (the book is first in a planned trilogy), Myracle leaves readers with the powerful idea that wishing is more about appreciating what one already has than about getting what one wants." And yes, we have signed copies.

Over at the Journal Sentinel, we've got a couple of bonus book reviews that expanded beyond the TapBooks page. Washington Post reporter Amy Goldstein's Janesville is covered by Jim Higgins. The story focuses on the GM plant closing and what happened to the people. Higgins observes that retraining is not always what one hopes: "She recounts determined middle-age parents doing their tech-school homework at night side by side with their school-age children — and landing jobs, after graduation, that pay $12 an hour. One of her book's saddest stories is of a factory worker, laid off after 13 years, who graduated at the top of her Blackhawk class in criminal justice studies and landed a job as a correctional officer at the Rock County Jail. But marital and other stresses and a bad decision lead her to take her own life. Like Matthew Desmond's Evicted, Goldstein's Janesville offers many reminders that many working Americans are only one or two bad breaks and decisions away from disaster." Amy Goldstein at Boswell on May 1, 7 pm, cosponsored by Community Advocates Public Policy Institute.

You've seen My Two Elaines show up on our bestseller list for several months. Now Jim Higgins reviews Martin J. Schreiber's memoir of caring for his wife after her Alzheimer's diagnosis. Says Higgins: "Schreiber, a former Wisconsin governor, opened many eyes when he shared his caregiving story with Journal Sentinel reporter Mark Johnson in December 2015. My Two Elaines expands on the primary theme of that article: the corrosive effect of loneliness on the caregiver, which can lead to poorer health and quality of life for both spouses. Figuratively speaking, his book reminds other caregivers to put their own oxygen masks on first, so they can truly be present for their spouses."

And finally, a profile of Nay Tait Fraser's Mending the Earth in Milwaukee, which is available at Woodland Pattern and several area nature centers. It is both a memoir and a how-to guide to natural landscaping.

Mike Fischer reviews A Grace Paley Reader, a new collection of stories, essays and poetry, edited by Kevin Bowen and Nora Paley. Fischer notes: "In his marvelous introduction, fellow short-story master George Saunders describes Paley as 'one of the great writers of voice of the last century' because of her uncanny ability to channel “the dynamic energy of human thought” as experienced by her characters."

Carole E. Barrowman's Paging Through Mysteries offers three new suggestions:

--On The Good Byline, Jill Orr's story of a library assistant in a small town who is asked to write an obituary about her best friend: "Fresh and funny, romantic and sunny, Orr’s book checked three genre boxes for me: a smart cozy series, a Southern small town setting, and, my favorite, a newspaper mystery."

--"Lori Rader-Day’s psychological mystery, The Day I Died, has a pitch-perfect prologue and the rest of the novel never hits a false note. In her prologue, Rader-Day’s narrator, Anna Winger, describes the day she died, teasing just enough detail to keep the event echoing across the pages as Anna investigates a troubling disappearance of a boy and his mother from a small Indiana town." Note that Lori Rader-Day will be at MobCraft Brewery on Thursday, June 8 with David Krugler and Nick Petrie. Register here for the taproom tour at 7. The event follows at 7:45.

--Judith Flanders has a British series about a book editor, the latest of which is A Cast of Vultures. Barrowman notes that heroine Samantha Clair "is the kind of witty well-read woman I love to hang with...a cheeky observer of the world." The new book has Clair trying to figure out the death of her upstairs neighbor.

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