Sunday, July 23, 2017

Boswell annotated bestsellers for the week ending July 22, 2017

Here's what sold at Boswell last week!

Hardcover Fiction:
1. The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, by Arundhati Roy
2. The Late Show, by Michael Connelly
3. A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles
4. The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead
5. Meddling Kids, by Edgar Cantero
6. Less, by Andrew Sean Greer
7. Camino Island, by John Grisham
8. A Horse Walks into a Bar, by David Grossman
9. Kiss Carlo, by Adriana Trigiani
10. The Force, by Don Winslow

This week Penguin Random House holds four of our top five hardcover fiction titles, but what might be even more interesting is that one division of PRH, Knopf Doubleday, has five of our top eight. Of the remaining three, Less from Hachette's Lee Boudreaux Books imprint (which I think is from the Little, Brown division, not the Hachette Books division), is a novel by Andrew Sean Greer that matches his buoyant personality, as anyone who participated in his kazoo concert knows. Arthur Less avoids his younger boyfriend's impending nupitals by heading off on he most exhausting round-the-world book tour ever. Booklist wrote: "While such luminaries as Michael Chabon, Dave Eggers, and John Irving have praised Greer's previous novels, including The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells, Less is perhaps his finest yet." Ron Charles in The Washington Post called Less "the funniest novel you'll read this year" and he's also won praise from Armistead Maupin, Karen Joy Fowler, and Chabon himself.

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Killers of the Flower Moon, by David Grann
2. Hunger, by Roxane Gay
3. Al Franken, Giant of the Senate, by Al Franken
4. Option B, by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant
5. Theft by Finding, by David Sedaris
6. Devil's Bargain, by Joshua Green
7. Help Thanks Wow, by Anne Lamott
8. Hue 1968, by Mark Bowden
9. The Hidden Life of Trees, by Peter Wohlleben
10. Dream Hoarders, by Richard V. Reeves

Our buyer Jason noted that that Devil's Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Storming of the Presidency was sold to bookstores with very little notice and if you're interested in that kind of thing, we have another anonymous political release coming out shortly. Joshua Green has been all over, to the point where I started forgetting just how many times I saw it referenced. Bret Stephens wrote in The New York Times Book Review: "If there’s a lesson to draw from Devil’s Bargain, Joshua Green’s deeply reported and compulsively readable account of Bannon’s fateful political partnership with Trump, it is not to underestimate the honey badger." Huh? You'll have to read the review.

Paperback Fiction:
1. Before the Fall, by Noah Hawley (In-store Lit Group discussion Mon Aug 7, 7 pm)
2. The Excellent Lombards, by Jane Hamilton
3. Today Will Be Different, by Maria Semple
4. Commonwealth, by Ann Patchett
5. The Fishermen, by Chigozie Obioma
6. Another Brooklyn, by Jacqueline Woodson
7. The Portrait, by Antoine Laurain
8. All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr
9. Lilac Girls, by Martha Hall Kelly
10. Rules of Civility, by Amor Towles

While my reading hold on the hardcover nonfiction list is slipping, I've got a solid six of the top ten paperback fiction books under my belt, with another, Before the Fall, on the docket for the In-Store Lit Group, after I finish another mystery/thriller, The Trust from Ronald H. Balson, who is coming to Boswell on October 3. One other stat to note is that Hachette Book Group holds the top three titles, and four of the top five. Today Will Be Different, one of those four, had a run on the national hardcover lists, after a long paperback run for its predecessor, Where'd You Go, Bernadette? but the current paperback fiction list is particularly hard to break into, being that The New York Times has deemed it worthy of only 10 slots. It's a little odd to me, being that I think this is a core list for their reader, but well, whatever. The Boston Globe notes that Julia Roberts will be starring in the HBO adaptation of Today Will Be Different.

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Live and Let Live, by Evelyn M. Perry
2. Evicted, by Mattthew Desmond
3. Ars Botanica, by Tim Taranto
4. You Never Told Me That, by Kathleen Davis (event at Boswell on Mon Jul 24, 7 pm)
5. On Tyranny, by Timothy Snyder
6. Cream City Chronicles, by John Gurda
7. No Is Not Enough, by Naomi Klein
8. Paris All Your Own, by Eleanor Brown
9. The Other Shore, by Thich Nhat Hanh
10. 2 Kinds of People, by Joao Rocha

Thich Nhat Hanh's talks are collected and published, and generally they sell. The Other Shore: A New Translation of the Heart Sutra with Commentaries is a new interpretation. The publisher says it's "radical," but I am not expert to concur or disagree. The publisher notes that "this new translation came about because Thich Nhat Hanh believes that the patriarch who originally compiled the Heart Sutra was not sufficiently skillful with his use of language to capture the intention of the Buddha's teachings--and has resulted in fundamental misunderstandings of the central tenets of Buddhism for almost 2,000 years."

Books for Kids:
1. Dog Man, by Dav Pilkey
2. Creepy Carrots, by Aaron Reynolds, with illustrations by Peter Brown (Aaron Reynolds is coming in September!)
3. The Principal's Underwear is Missing, by Holly Kowitt (and she will be doing something with Boswell as well, sometime this fall)
4. Baby Animals Eyelike Sickers
5. Once and For All, by Sarah Dessen
6. We Were Liars, by E. Lockhart
7. Giant Jumperee, by Julia Donaldson
8. When Dimple Met Rishi, by Sandhya Menon
9. The Last of August V2, by BZrittan Cavallaro
10. May I Have a Word?, by Caron Levis, with illustrations by Andy Rash (Rash at Whitefish Bay Library, Wed Jul 26, 3 pm)

Yes, it may be summer, but we're already thinking about fall. Creepy Carrots has a follow up, A Creepy Pair of Underwear*, and writer Aaron Reynolds will be doing some school visits for us. Contact Todd for details. In the original book, which has won or been a finalist for literally bunches of awards including a Caldecott Honor. Jasper Rabbit, who loves carrots, worries that they are following him. In the new book, you can only imagine what haunts Jasper. And here's Reynolds on Twitter, letting folks know about the new book's upcoming release on August 15. Soon!

In the Journal Sentinel book section, Jim Higgins profiles C.J. Hribal, whose story "Do I Look Sick to You? (Notes on How to Make Love to a Cancer Patient") won the Bellevue LIterary Review's annual fiction pricze for "outstanding writing, related to themes of health, healing, illness, the mind, and the body." A few days ago, we had several copies of the journal, but I don't know if we've sold out yet, because I can't remember how to look them up.

Also featured in the print edition is a review of Reading with Patrick: A Teacher, a Student, and a Life-changing Friendship, by Michelle Kuo. Sharon Peters in USA Today writes about the author's experience volunteering for Teach for America in Arkansas. When one of her charges is arrested for murder, she "returned to Artkansas to visit him in jail, to try to udnerstand. And ultimately, she put her new life and new carreer on hold so she could spend daily time in the jail with Patrick."

The print edition features an interview with Terry Tempest Williams, whose new book is The Hour of the Land. Laurie Hertzel first wrote the piece for the Star Tribune. When asked about the unusual structures the author is known for, Williams noted: "The structure was inspired by Jorie Graham's poem entitled "WE," first published in the London Review of Books. Each chapter, each national park, is in response to a line from that poem."

*Yes, it's the autumn of underwear. They are all Dav Pilkey wannabes, which is not a bad thing.

No comments: