Sunday, September 24, 2017

Bestseller blog: what's selling at Boswell? (week ending 9/23/17)

Here's what Boswell has been selling this week.

Hardcover Fiction:
1. The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye, by David Lagercrantz
2. A Legacy of Spies, by John Le Carre
3. Little Fires Everywhere, by Celeste Ng
4. Forest Dark, by Nicole Krauss
5. Sing, Unburied Sing, by Jesmyn Ward
6. The Ninth Hour, by Alice McDermott
7. A Column of Fire, by Ken Follett
8. Y Is for Yesterday, by Sue Grafton
9. The Golden House, by Salman Rushdie
10. Lincoln in the Bardo, by George Saunders

Alice McDermott's new novel is The Ninth Hour. Here's what Sarah Begley said about the book in Time: "Not much happens to the Little Nursing Sisters of the Sick Poor, the stars of Alice McDermott's new novel The Ninth Hour - they live to serve others. But plenty has happened to those in their care." She's goes on to call it a "story with the simple grace of a votive candle in a dark church." Read the rest of the review.

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. It Takes Two, by Jonathan Scott and Drew Scott
2. The 3D Body Revolution, by Donald Driver
3. The Happpiness Prayer, by Evan Moffic
4. The World of Laura Ingalls Wilder, by Marta McDowell
5. What Happened, by Hillary Rodham Clinton
6. A Self-Made Woman, by Denise Chanterelle DuBois
7. Killers of the Flower Moon, by David Grann
8. The Death and Life of the Great Lakes, by Dan Egan
9. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, by Neil DeGrasse Tyson
10. Killing England, by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard

Here's what we learned from selling It Takes Two at the Riverside from Jonathan and Drew Scott. The show is Property Brothers, but Jonathan and Drew are the Scott Brothers. We had a fun time and enjoyed chatting with the fans. The VIPs were especially thrilled.

Here's an interesting column from Caitlin Flanagan in Vulture about how HGTV promulgates house flipping and another bubble in the making. Please note that the Scotts are not flippers; Flanagan just notes their popular diamond-in-the-rough transformations are what many people like about the flip shows and helped lead to them dominating the HGTV lineup. For me, I sort of miss the early Suzanne Whang House Hunters, to say nothing of Design on a Dime and Decorating Cents.

We didn't get to do the Scott autographing, but we had a similar giddy experience working one of the signings for Donald Driver's new book, The 3D Body Revolution. I'd ask a random person who'd just gone through the signing-and-photo line, "Are you a changed person?" and each person would chime "Yes!" very enthusiastically. We have signed copies available.

Paperback Fiction:
1. Moonbath, by Yanick Lahens
2. The Iliad, by Homer, translated by Robert Fagles
3. Karolina's Twins, by Ronald H. Balson (event 10/24 at Chai Point, 3 pm, at Boswell, 7 pm)
4. The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood
5. Under the Harrow, by Flynn Berry
6. The Atomic Weight of Love, by Elizabeth J. Church
7. Arrows of Light, by Andrea Potos
8. In Grace's Time, by Kathie Giorgio (event 9/25, 7 pm, at Boswell)
9. Chronicle of the Murdered House, by Lucio Cardoso
10. Lilac Girls, by Martha Hall Kelly

Last year's Best First Novel Edgar Award, Under the Harrow, by Flynn Berry, has had well over a year of strong sales and continued to make regular appearances in our top ten. Elizabeth Brundage wrote in The New York Times: "I was expecting a knockoff of Paula Hawkins’s The Girl on the Train or another rendition of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl. Ever since those books’ phenomenal success, any new novel that is at all similar greedily begs comparison. Indeed, Under the Harrow contains similarities that will undoubtedly attract readers — but underneath its hard-driving, page-turning, compulsively readable narrative is a striking, original."

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Stop Anxiety from Stopping You, by Helen Odessky
2. Evicted, by Matthew Desmond
3. Easy Italian Step-by-Step, from McGraw Hill
4. Cream City Chronicles, by John Gurda
5. Horsemen of the Trumpcalypse, by John Nichols (event 9/27, 7 pm, at Boswell)
6. A Little History of Religion, by Richard Holloway
7. Run, Hide, Repeat, by Pauline Dakin
8. Being Mortal, by Atul Gawande
9. The New Jim Crow, by Michelle Alexander
10. I Hear She's a Real Bitch, by Jen Agg

Just out is Pauline Dakin's Run, Hide, Repeat: A Memoir of a Fugitive Childhood, which is unusual in that it's a Viking paperback original. I'm not a buyer so I don't see every book that comes out, but I haven't noticed a Viking paperback in a long time. This CBC journalist and Halifax professor has written "a memoir of a childhood steeped in unexplained fear and menace. Gripping and suspenseful, it moves from Dakin’s uneasy acceptance of her family’s dire situation to bewildered anger at a cruel charade. As she revisits her past, Dakin uncovers the human capacity for betrayal, manipulation, and deception—-and the power of love to forgive. As compelling and twisted as a thriller, Run Hide Repeat is an unforgettable portrait of a family threatened by those closest to them."

Picture Books and Board Books for Kids:
1. Little i, by Michael Hall
2. Big Machines, by Sherri Duskey Rinker with illustrations by John Rocco
3. Wherever You Go, by Pat Zietlow Miller, with illustrations by Eliza Wheeler
4. The Quickest Kid in Clarksville, by Pat Zietlow Miller, with illustrations by Frank Morrison
5. Pomegranate Witch, by Denise Doyen, with illusrations by Eliza Wheeler
6. Frankencrayon, by Michael Hall
7. Wolfie the Bunny, by Ame Dyckman, with illusrations by Zachariah Ohora
8. Little Poems for Tiny Ears, by Lin Oliver with illustrations by Tomie DePaola
9. John Ronald's Dragons, by Caroline McAlister, with illustrations by Eliza Wheeler
10. The Great Pasta Escape, by Miranda Paul, with illustrations by Javier Joaquin

Last weekend we sold books at the SCBWI. You can tell that one of the featured speakers was illustrator Eliza Wheeler, including Pat Zietlow Miller's Wherever You Go and Denise Doyen's The Pomegranate Witch. Also featured was local writer Pat Zietlow Miller. Here's an interview with Miller by Colleen Riordan in the SCBWI-Wisconsin newsletter.

Of The Pomegranate Witch, which is also featured on our Halloween table, Publishers Weekly writes in its starred review: "Working in ink and watercolor, Wheeler contrasts the rich red of the pomegranates with washes of pale, sickly green, saturating the pages with a sense of otherworldly magic."

Chapter Books through Young Adult
1. Fantastic Frame: Danger! Tiger Crossing, by Lin Oliver
2. Guitar Notes, by Mary Amato
3. Fantastic Frame: Splat! Another Messy Sunday, by Lin Oliver
4. Here's Hank: Bookmarks Are People Too, by Henry Winkler
5. Waking in Time, by Angie Stanton
6. Native People of Wisconsin, by Patty Loew
7. Odin's Promise, by Sandy Brehl
8. Sol Ray Man and the Freaky Flood, by Jane Kelley
9. Mari's Hope, by Sandy Brehl
10. Octo Man and the Headless Monster, by Jane Kelley

Another speaker at SCBWI-Wisconsin, has both picture books and chapter books featured on our bestseller list. The first two entries in the Fantastic Frame series are featured. The Booklist review notes that Danger! Tiger Crossing notes that "Oliver bases this new series on an unusual, promising premise: an ornate magic picture frame that sucks bystanders into any painting it holds...Kallis' color scenes of bug-eyed children add bright notes of comedy and terror, and an afterword about Rousseau's life and art rounds off the breathlessly paced adventure with a dash of arts education. More adventures follow in a copublished sequel, Splat! Another Messy Sunday."

On the TapBooks page of the Journal Sentinel, Jim Higgins reviews Fred Hersch's Good Things Happen Slowly: A Life in and out of Jazz. Higgins notes: "Writing this memoir, too, has been a way for Hersch to weave the strands of his life together and to accept himself more fully. Hersch spent nearly two months in a coma in 2008, brought on by AIDS-related dementia. In the ICU, when his partner Scott asked Hersch's doctor about his condition, the doctor replied, in a case like this, 'good things happen slowly,' then added, 'but bad things happen fast.'"

Other reviews to check out in the print edition:

1. Laurie Hertzel, originally in the Star Tribune, reviews A Disappearance in Damascus: "It's a pity that Deborah Campbell's new book has such a Nancy Drew-like title, because it is actually a serious, riveting work about a part of the world that too many of us know too little about."

2. Marion Winik, originally in Newsday, reviews our top ten bestseller, Celeste Ng's latest: "While Everything I Never Told You focused intensely and single-mindedly on solving the mystery of a teenage death within a context of gender and racial stereotyping, Little Fires Everywhere has more pages, more characters, and more themes, among them affluence, conformism, and their discontents: cross racial adoption and the rights of biological parents, and what artists have to offer the rest of us."

No comments: