Sunday, March 25, 2018

Bestsellers from Boswell - week ending March 24, 2018

Here's what's selling (for the week ending March 24, 2018)

Hardcover Fiction:
1. The Punishment She Deserves, by Elizabeth George
2. The Immortalists, by Chloe Benjamin
3. Sing, Unburied, Sing, by Jesmyn Ward
4. The Temptation of Forgiveness, by Donna Leon
5. Dead Calm, by Annelise Ryan
6. Alternate Side, by Anna Quindlen
7. The House of Broken Angels, by Luis Alberto Urrea
8. Chicago, by David Mamet
9. A Veil of Spears, by Bradley P. Beaulieu
10. Murder in an Irish Churchyard, by Carlene O'Connor

Four of our top ten this week are traditional mysteries. Annelisa Ryan's Dead Calm and Carlene O'Connor's Murder in an Irish Churchyard (signed copies available) are from our cozy tea, while Donna Leon and Elizabeth George's The Punishment She Deserves are selling out of our new mystery case. George discusses 30 years of writing about Thomas Lynley in The Irish News: "George turns 70 next year but she has no intention of retiring. Writing, she says, has in many ways been her saviour, helping her through the deep bouts of depression she's suffered since she was a teenager. 'I've always been prone to depression but I discovered that the creative act is a really good way to fight off depression. As long as I stay creative, I don't get the kind of serious depression that I used to get.'" No author listed, so this might be a press release. Still interesting.

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Glow15, by Naomi Whittel
2. The Humane Gardener, by Nancy Lawson
3. Disappointment River, by Brian Castner
4. Saving Tarboo Creek, by Scott Freeman and Susan Leopold Freeman
5. Russian Roulette, by Michael Isikoff
6. Milwaukee: City of Neighborhoods, by John Gurda
7. Killers of the Flower Moon, by David Grann
8. Triumph of Christianity, by Bart D. Ehrman
9. I'll Be Gone in the Dark, by Michelle McNamara
10. The Hidden Life of Trees, by Peter Wohlleben

True crime is in a resurgence (we have two events coming up in the next month, with Dorothy Marcic for With One Shot on April 16 and Cutter Wood for Love and Death in the Sunshine State on April 26) but the biggest right now is Michelle McNamara's I'll Be Gone in the Dark, which has gotten a good amount of extra attention as the author was the late wife of Patton Oswalt, who did appearances for the book. Raves from Gillian Flynn and Stephen King ("a brilliant genre-buster") did not hurt. Here's the Scott Simon piece from NPR.

Paperback Fiction:
1. Lincoln in the Bardo, by George Saunders (In-Store Lit group Mon 4/2, 7 pm, at Boswell)
2. Norse Mythology, by Neil Gaiman
3. Earthy Remains, by Donna Leon
4. Station Eleven, by Emily St John Mandel (event Tue 4/10, 7 pm at Shorewood Public Library)
5. Exit West, by Mohsin Hamid
6. Homegoing, by Yaa Gyasi
7. Murder in an Irish Village, by Carlene O'Connor
8. Sorry to Disrupt the Peace, by Patty Yumi Cottrell
9. Lilac Girls, by Martha Hall Kelly
10. Commonwealth, by Ann Patchett

Congratulations to Patty Yumi Cottrell, the former Milwaukeean who has just won a Whiting Writers Award for Sorry to Disrupt the Peace, her first novel. She also received the Barnes and Noble Discover Great Writers Award for fiction. The Whiting Writers Award notes that the novel “opens up fresh lines of questioning in the old interrogations of identity, the politics of belonging, and the problem of other minds.” From Adam Rivett in The Australian: "Some novels thrive on plot and others on voice, and this one is all voice: a totalising, inescapable concoction of lurching, woozy, abrasive glory."

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Parentally Incorrect, by Shayna Ferm and Tracey Tee
2. Taking Flight, by Michael Edmonds
3. Evicted, by Matthew Desmond
4. Urban Ecology, by Ken Leinbach (event at Boswell Wed 4/25, 7 pm)
5. Janesville, by Amy Goldstein
6. Healing the Human Body with God's Remedies, by Lester Carter
7. Just Add Sauce, from America's Test Kitchen
8. Brick Through the Window, by Nodine, Beaumont, Carroll, and Luhrssen
9. A Brief History of Time, by Stephen Hawking
10. Nudge, by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein

Several of us spent the evening at the Pabst Theater selling books for Shayna Ferm and Tracey Tee, co-authors (or are they editors) of Parentally Incorrect: True Tales by Real Moms about the F**ked-Up Things Their Kids Have Done. These mommies have been touring for a number of years (first time in Milwaukee) and one of the highlights is that audience shares things their kids have done which are read out loud. The best are collected here. Mother's Day is just weeks away and we have some signed copies left. Here's more about Shayna and Tracey.

Books for Kids
1. The Tapper Twins Go to War with Each Other, by Geoff Rodkey
2. The Tapper Twins Tear Up New York, by Geoff Rodkey
3. Stuck in the Stone Age, by Geoff Rodkey and the Story Pirates
4. Dog Man and Cat Kid, by Dav Pilkey
5. A Wrinkle in Time (paper), by Madeleine L'Engle
6. Dog Man Unleashed, by Dav Pilkey
7. Deadweather and Sunrise, by Geoff Rodkey
8. Children of Blood and Bone, by Tomi Adeyemi
9. Islandborn, by Junot Diaz, with illustrations by Leo Espinosa
10. A Wrinkle in Time graphic novel, by Madeleine L'Engle

Here's an few interesting things about Stuck in the Stone Age (signed copies available, the new novel from Geoff Rodkey and the Story Pirates, one of the authors that we are touring this spring who only did school events. 1) The next Story Pirates novel will feature a different writer. 2) The series was published by Rodale Kids, which was sold by Hearst to Penguin Random House in during publication. 3) But that's okay, because Rodkey's next book is already contracted to Crown (another PRH imprint) for 2019. 4) Stuck in the Stone Age was #2 on the Milwaukee Bookscan charts for the week of his visit, just after A Wrinkle in Time and that's for all books, not just kids books, and that's other indies, Barnes and Noble, and Amazon, but not WalMart. While we do capture a percentage of the sales when an author visits a school, a lot of the sales go elsewhere (well, let's be blunt -- to one particular website). We're well aware that all our handselling and marketing leads to sales elsewhere, and if that helps the books and authors and publishers we love, so be it.

And now it's Journal Sentinel time!

First up, let's link to the front page story about Liam Callanan and the impending publication of Paris by the Book. Find out if you are a Madeleine person or a Red Balloon person. Please note that we will be discounting Liam's novel 20% for presale and the event launch on Tuesday, April 3, 7 pm.

Today the Journal Sentinel Tap section has a feature on Home of the Braves, the new baseball book from Patrick W. Steeele. Chris Foran writes: "Baseball attendance was shrinking everywhere, but in Milwaukee, Steele notes, the drop coincided with other alarming trends. Chief among them were a suddenly shrinking market — thanks to the Washington Senators moving to Minnesota, where the new Twins siphoned off some fans and the Braves' broadcast audience — and the rise of the Green Bay Packers, who under Vince Lombardi supplanted the Braves as Wisconsin's team." The book (which I read) makes the case that the very thing that helped bring baseball to Milwaukee (the involvement of local government, at the time unusual) was one of the things that brought it down. Event is Wed 3/28 at Zimmerman Architectural Studios. $5 admission tickets here.

On page 4 is another Chris Foran feature offers 11 more books worth adding to your lineup, including Lawrence Baldassaro's Baseball Italian Style. Larry will be at Boswell on Tue 3/27 to talk about his new book.

More book reviews:

--Dan Cryer reviews Tara Westover's Educated: A Memoir. Originally from Newsday

--Zlati Meyer covers The Woman's Hour: The Great Fight to win the Vote, written by Elaine Weiss. Originally from USA Today. Also recommended by Boswell's buyer Jason.

--Charisse Jones tackles Children of Blood and Bone, the bestselling YA fantasy from Tomi Adeyemi. Originally from USA Today. As Jones writes, "It's nearly impossible to Put Down." Our bookseller Jen agrees!

And finally, here's a piece from Jim Higgins profiling Jeanne Theoharis, author of A More Beautiful and Terrible History: The Uses and Misuses of Civil Rights History. Higgins notes that Theoharis "continues to push back against the simplification of King, Parks and other activists — and against a national tendency to see the civil rights movement as a completed chapter in American history."

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