Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Localness shines brightest on the nonfiction paperback bestseller list. Here are our top 50.

Localness shines brightest on the nonfiction paperback bestseller list. Here are our top 50.

1. Evicted, by Matthew Desmond
2. Brick Through the Window, by Steven Nodine, Eric Beaumont, Clancy Carroll, and David Luhrssen
3. Live and Let Live, by Evelyn M. Perry
4. Healing the Human Body with God's Remedies, by Lester L. Carter
5. Wisconsin Literary Luminaries, by Jim Higgins
6. Borchert Field, by Bob Buege
7. On Tyranny, by Timothy Snyder
8. The Education of Kevin Powell, by Kevin Powell
9. Cream City Chronicles, by John Gurda
10. Lab Girl, by Hope Jahren
11. Preservation, by Christina Ward
12. Mexicans in Wisconsin, by Sergio M. González
13. Hidden Figures, by Margot Shetterley
14. Winning Plays, by Matt Mayberry
15. You Are a Badass, by Jen Sincero
16. 30 Days to the Co-Taught Classroom, by Paula Kluth
17. Alexander Hamilton, by Ron Chernow
18. $2.00 a Day, by Kathryn J. Edin and H. Luke Schaefer
19. The Magnificent Machines of Milwaukee, by Thomas H. Fehring
20. Dark Money, by Jane Mayer
21. How to Bake Pi, by Eugenia Cheng
22. No Is Not Enough, by Naomi Klein
23. Family Stories from the Attic, edited by Christi Craig and Lisa Rivero
24. I Am Not Your Negro, by James Baldwin
25. I at Birth You Don't Succeed, by Zach Anner
26. Milwaukee Frozen Custard, by Kathleen McCann and Robert Tanzilo
27. White Trash, by Nancy Isenberg
28. How to Fight, by Thich Nhat Hanh
29. Beer Lovers Wisconsin, by Kathy Flanigan
30. Furiously Happy, by Jenny Lawson
31. Learning in the Fast Lane, by Suzy Pepper Rollins
32. Blood in the Water, by Heather Ann Thompson
33. Hero of the Empire, by Candice Millard
34. Through It All, by Heddy Keith
35. Ten Reasons Communication Brings Transformation, by Janette M. Braverman
36. Horsemen of the Trumpocalypse, by John Nichols
37. Lucky Child, by Thomas Blumenthal
38. South Side, by Natalie Y. Moore
39. Stop Anxiety from Stopping You, by Helen Odessky
40. The New Jim Crow, by Michelle Alexander
41. Daring Greatly, by Brené Brown
42. Just Mercy, by Bryan Stephenson
43. We Should All Be Feminists, by Chimananda Ngozie Adichi
44. Being Mortal, by Atul Gawande
45. Population 485, by Michael Perry
46. Becoming Wise, by Krista Tippett
47. My Two Elaines, by Martin Schreiber
48. Little Book of Mindfulness, by Patricia Collard
49. A Crowded Hour, by Kevin Abing
50. The Invention of Nature, by Andrea Wulf

Event, local, event, local, event! All good and all part of our bread and butter, but I am particularly interested in those books that sell month in and month out below the radar. Some, like How to Bake Pi, did have an event splash, as Eugenia Cheng did appear at Boswell in 2017 for her new book, Beyond Infinity. But that book just sold and sold off our new and noteworthy paperback tables.

Now some of these books, like The New Jim Crow, Daring Greatly, and Just Mercy, regular pop up on The New York Times bestseller list. But what about Andrea Wulf's The Invention of Nature, a book that's sold several copies every month since its October 2016 paperback release. You expect a New York Times top ten book of the year to have a sales pop, but the long tail is not a given. But on the other hand, it won a whole bunch of stuff: "Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, The James Wright Award for Nature Writing, the Costa Biography Award, the Royal Geographic Society's Ness Award, the Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award."

One of the most fun books to sell this year has been Brick Through the Window. It's everything--a local book launched with an event at Boswell that continued to sell all year. And I've now learned that if I ever write a super-definitive history of anything in Milwaukee, I will use this book as a guide.

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