Sunday, May 27, 2018

This Boswell bestseller list for the week ending May 26, 2018 brought to you by Andrew Sean Greer and Jennifer Egan visiting Boswell on June 15. Tickets now available.

Here's the Boswell's bestsellers for the week ending May 26, 2018

Hardcover Fiction:
1. Paris by the Book, by Liam Callanan
2. Robert's Rules, by J.F. Riordan
3. Gale Force, by Owen Laukkanen
4. The Outsider, by Stephen King
5. A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles
6. Warlight, by Michael Ondaatje
7. The Immortalists, by Chloe Benjamin
8. Little Fires Everywhere, by Celeste Ng
9. The Mars Room, by Rachel Kushner
10. Less, by Andrew Sean Greer (tickets for June 15 event here with Jennifer Egan here -- more below

Sorry! Stephen King is not coming back to Milwaukee for The Outsider. That was kind of a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Of the new book, Amanda St. Amand in the St. Louis Post Dispatch writes: "What would it feel like to be so perfectly, completely implicated in the worst crime to ever befall a small town, and have perfectly, completely exonerating evidence you weren’t there? That’s the biggest question King explores in The Outsider as small-town cops and prosecutors are asked to believe the impossible — and find the impossible as well."

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Rocket Men, by Robert Kurson
2. War in 140 Characters, by David Patrikarakos (at USM on Thu Sept 13, 7 pm)
3. Born a Crime, by Trevor Noah
4. Parisian Charm School, by Jamie Cat Callan
5. Restless Wave, by John McCain
6. Barracoon, by Zora Neale Hurston
7. Creative Confidence, by David Kelley
8. The Soul of America, by Jon Meacham
9. Facts and Fears, by James R. Clapper
10. See What Can Be Done, by Lorrie Moore

The political books keep coming. New to the list this week is James R. Clapper's Facts and Fears: Hard Truths from a Life in Intelligence. Philip Ewing, reviewing the book on the NPR site, writes: "No wonder James Clapper always seemed so grouchy. The longtime spy baron became well-known during his stint as director of national intelligence for his profound scowl and sometimes-Zen-like terseness. Now, in his new memoir, Clapper tells why: It is the tale of how the world — at least from his perspective - fell apart."

Paperback Fiction:
1. Run, by Ann Patchett
2. Dragon Teeth, by Michael Crichton
3. Less, by Andrew Sean Greer (did we mention Greer is visiting?)
4. The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, by Arundhati Roy
5. Sing, Unburied, Sing, by Jesmyn Ward
6. Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel
7. Lincoln in the Bardo, by George Saunders
8. Pachinko, by Min Jin Lee
9. All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr
10. The Thin Man, by Dashiell Hammett

Why anyone would buy a copy of Less when for just about the same price they can get the book and see Andrew Sean Greer is in conversation with Jennifer Egan is beyond me, but I know that this time of year there are people to see, trips to embark on, drinks to imbibe. Hey, you can drink afterwards. This is going to be an amazing event. Here's YA star Maggie Stiefvater (really!) reviewing the book on Goodreads: "I actually think I loved it because of what it believes. There's a line in the book — I had to fetch it to quote it exactly — that I think is what the book says on every page: 'Just for the record: happiness is not bullshit.'" We have plenty of people attending, but it strikes me that we should be sold out already! Ticket link here.

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Just Mercy, by Bryan Stevenson
2. Sapiens, by Yuval Noah Harari
3. Lost Milwaukee, by Carl Swanson
4. The Color of Law, by Richard Rothstein
5. Guns, Germs, and Steel, by Jared Diamond
6. The Death and Life of the Great Lakes, by Dan Egan
7. Somos Latinas, edited by Andrea-Teresa Arenas and Eloisa Gómez (event at MPL Mitchell Street Branch, 6/5, 6 pm)
8. Evicted, by Matthew Desmond
9. Killers of the Flower Moon, by David Grann
10. Janesville, by Amy Goldstein

No, not every bookin he store is on the what to read after Evicted table, but it's noticeable that while Evicted didn't make this list, just about every book in our top ten is at least scheduled for the table (there's a lot of books, so we rotate). Just to say that aside from the regional stuff, issue books really drive this category, even when we're talking about things that could be in history or memoir. Not so many traditional bios, soft memoirs, or even paperbacks on the impulse table. It strikes me that event Killers of the Flower Moon is driven by the issues in the book, as much as the storytelling. The In-Store Lit Group is reading David Grann's history book on August 6.

Books for Kids:
1. The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas
2. Here We Are, by Oliver Jeffers
3. The House that Once Was, by Julie Fogliano
4. If You Had a Jetpack, by Lisl Detlefsen, illustrations by Linzie Hunter
5. Endling: The Last, by Katherine Applegate
6. Anger Is a Gift, by Mark Oshiro
7. What a Wonderful World, by Bob Thiele
8. You Go First, by Erin Entrada Kelly
9. The Wild Robot, by Peter Brown
10. Baby Monkey Private Eye, by Brian Selznick

Here's my rec on If You Had a Jetpack: "What adventures two little animals have when they build jetpacks to fly around! Helping their principal, visiting Nana, playing Turbo Tag – the possibilities are endless. I like how both the conditional tense of the story and the emphasizing of adverbs play with the adorable illustrations (you’ve seen them on puzzles, stickers, and greeting cards) to give the story a sense of possibility. Both the text and the pictures have lots of funny asides to keep readers young and old occupied, and I can’t imagine a group of kids reading this story not having their own ideas about what they’d do with a jetpack."

And now it's time for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel TapBooks Page features.

Paula McLain's Love and Ruin, a novel based on Martha Gellhorn and her marriage to Hemingway, is reviewed by Jocelyn McClurg, originally from USA Today. She writes: "It can be weird, if titillating, to eavesdrop on imagined, intimate conversations between famous people, but McLain’s dialogue, is, as Hem might say, good and true. She captures the passion Gellhorn and Hemingway feel for each other, and the slow erosion of trust on both sides." We have some signed copies.

From Pamela Miller, originally from the Star Tribune, comes a profile of the Gopher State's Patricia Hampl, whose new memoir is The Art of the Wasted Day. She writes: "Patricia Hampl, a memoirist, poet and professor who is one of Minnesota’s most thoughtful writers, transports us far from such glum judgment in her latest memoir, a wise and beautiful ode to the imagination – from a child’s daydreams, to the unexpected revelations encountered in solitary travel, meditation and reading, to the flights of creativity taken by writers, artists and philosophers."

Randy Lewis in the Los Angeles Times talked to Robert Hilburn about his new biography, Paul Simon: The Life. On granting access: "There was this huge thing early on – in the second month, third month, fourth month. He said, 'If you’re going to London, here are some people you ought to talk to,' and he had a whole list of names. He had people he had his secretary send notes to saying I’m going to be calling them. But then he said, 'Now Kathy Chitty (his girlfriend during his early years living in England) is off limits.' And I thought, 'Here we go.'"

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