Sunday, November 5, 2017

Annotated Boswell bestsellers for the week ending November 4: the paperback fiction offers a great reading list for mystery fans

Here's what's selling at Boswell.

Hardcover Fiction:
1. August Snow, by Stephen Mack Jones
2. The Last Place You Look, by Kristen Lepionka
3. Twin Peaks: The Final Dossier, by Mark Frost
4. The Rooster Bar, by John Grisham
5. Lincoln in the Bardo, by George Saunders
6. The Rules of Magic, by Alice Hoffman
7. Little Fires Everywhere, by Celeste Ng
8. The Devouring, by James R. Benn
9. Two Kinds of Truth, by Michael Connelly
10. Manhattan Beach, by Jennifer Egan

What a day we had at the Murder and Mayhem Conference! We had particularly good sales with the two authors who did the Friday evening preview event, Stephen Mack Jones and Danny Gardner, but other authors also racked up some nice numbers, such as Kristen Leopionka's The Last Place You Look. Her novel features Columbus-based private investigator Roxane Weary, who is trying to help a woman whose brother is on death row. Booklist's starred review writes: "Roxane is a wonderfully complex character, involved in complicated sexual relationships, still struggling with her relationship with her father, and absolutely dogged in her pursuit of the truth. This is a remarkably accomplished debut mystery, with sensitive character development and a heart-stopping denouement." I am intrigued by the Columbus setting and the LGBT protagonist!

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Getting Tough, by Juilly Kohler-Hausmann
2. Leonardo Da Vinci, by Walter Isaacson
3. We Were Eight Years in Power, by Ta-Nehisi Coates
4. Grant, by Ron Chernow
5. Bobby Kennedy, by Chris Matthews
6. The Hidden Life of Trees, by Peter Wohlleben
7. Stalin: Waiting for Hitler, 1929-1941, by Stephen Kotkin
8. The Last Castle, by Denise Kiernan
9. The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump, by Brandy X. Lee
10. The River of Consciousness, by Oliver Sacks

MSNBC host Chris Matthews's book Bobby Kennedy: A Raging Spirit, has a nice pop this week, though it can't catch up to star biographers Walter Isaacson and Ron Chernow. Not surprisingly, most of the television hits for the book are from Comcast programs (such as the Today Show). I did find this interview with Matthews on THe Leonard Lopate Show. Not too many traditional reviews that I can find yet (lots of links to Parade!), but here's a piece on Salon, but once again, it's more like a podcast interview.

Paperback Fiction:
1. A Negro and an Ofay, by Danny Gardner
2. Mockingbird: My Feminist Agenda, by Chelsea Cain
3. The Hemingway Thief, by Shaun Harris
4. Long and Faraway Gone, by Lou Berney
5. The Drifter, by Nick Petrie
6. Billy Boyle, by James R. Benn
7. Bad Boy Boogie, by Thomas Pluck
8. The Bear and the Nightingale, by Katherine Arden
9. Mockingbird: I Can Explain, by Chelsea Cain
10. Blackchurch Furnace, by Nathan Singer

Second time's the charm for Lou Berney, who had to back out of last year's conference, though even then, we had some nice sales, coming off an Edgar win for best paperback original (as well as Barry, Anthony, and Macavity awards) of Long and Faraway Gone. It's the story of an unsolved armed robbery killing in Oklahoma City that reverberate (I'm using a reviewer's word for this) many years later. Berney has a forthcoming novel called Double Barrel Bluff that at least one patron tried to find at the show, because at least one website said it came out this fall. Research on this new book featuring Shake Bouchon (Gutshot Straight) seems to now be scheduled for early 2019.

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Evicted, by Matthew Desmond
2. Healing the Human Body with God's Remedies, by Lester Carter (event today 11/5, 3 pm, at Boswell)
3. The Village, by John Strausbaugh
4. The Story of the Jews, by Simon Schama
5. Thank You For Being Late, by Thomas L. Friedman
6. Blood in the Water, by Heather Ann Thompson (three events, including Zeidler Lecture at Turner Hall, 11/6, 7 pm)
7. Being Mortal, by Atul Gawande
9. See Me for Who I Am, by David Chrisinger (event 11/7, 7 pm, at Boswell)
10. Eleanor and Hick, by Susan Quinn

Now in paperback is The Story of the Jews, Volume One: Finding the Words 1000 BC-1492 AD, Simon Schama's book that was a tie-in to a PBS/BBC series. At the same time, the hardcover release of the follow-up, The Story of the Jews, Volume Two: Belonging: 1492-1900, has also been release. Here's a piece about the book in The Jewish News.

Books for Kids:
1. La La La, by Kate DiCamillo, with illustrations by Jaime Tan
2. Tales from a Not-So-Secret Crush Catastrophe V12 Dork Diaries, by Rachel Renee Russell
3. Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls, by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo
4. Turtles All the Way Down, by John Green
5. Imagine, by John Lennon, with illustrations by Jean Jullien
6. The Mermaid, by Jan Brett
7. In the Middle of Fall, by Kevin Henkes
8. Raymie Nightingale, by Kate DiCamillo
9. Out of Wonder, edited by Kwame Alexander, Chris Colderley, and Marjory Wentworth
10. 13 Reasons Why, by Jay Asher

Imagine is a picture book that takes the lyrics of John Lennon's song and pairs them with illustrations from Jean Jullien. Published in partnership with Amnesty International, with a foreword by Yoko Ono, Imagine has received some nice reviews, including this from Kirkus Reviews: "Executed in boldly brushed ink lines and digitally colored in an arresting palette of blues, grays, and whites with strong pops of red, orange, chartreuse, and purple, the strikingly simple illustrations reinforce the simple, powerful text. An inviting, relevant, and timely message of tolerance, inclusiveness, unity, and peace."

Over at the Journal Sentinel, Jim Higgins profiles Michael Perry, whose new book of essays is Montaigne in Barn Boots. Higgins notes that Michael Perry and Michel de Montaigne is a great match. He writes: "Like Montaigne — the 16th-century writer and philosopher generally considered the Babe Ruth of personal essayists — Perry knows both the acute agony of passing a kidney stone and the chronic anxiety of living in a time of conflict. And if you're willing to stretch a definition, both might be considered gentlemen farmers (though Montaigne never had to sing for his supper on public radio). Perry's Montaigne in Barn Boots, which publishes Nov. 7, suggests another way two fellows separated by centuries and the Atlantic Ocean are alike. When it comes to writing, both are willing to follow their mind wherever it goes, and recount its path for us. The verb in the subtitle of Perry's book describes it well: 'An Amateur Ambles Through Philosophy.'"

Additional reviews:
--John Green's Turtles All the Way Down, reviewed by Brian Truitt in USA Today
--David Jaffe's Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell, reviewed by Maeve McDermott in USA Today
--Eileen Myles's Afterglow (a dog memoir), reviewed by Micole Brodeur in the Seattle Times

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