Sunday, May 6, 2018

What readers are buying at Boswell - bestsellers for the week ending May 5, 2018

What readers are buying at Boswell - bestsellers for the week ending May 5, 2018

Hardcover Fiction:
1. Noir, by Christopher Moore (signed copies of Noir available)
2. The Sea Beast Takes a Lover, by Michael Andreasen (same)
3. Paris by the Book, by Liam Callanan
4. The Overstory, by Richard Powers
5. The Immortalists, by Chloe Benjamin
6. Lamb special edition, by Christopher Moore (hardcover-ish)
7. Adjustment Day, Chuck Palahniuk
8. The Mars Room, by Rachel Kushner
9. Motherhood, by Sheila Heti
10. Less, by Andrew Sean Greer (look for an announcement about this shortly)

Probably the most reviewed book this week is Rachel Kushner's The Mars Room, from the author of Telex from Cuba and The Flamethrowers. Entertainment Weekly gives it an A-, noting: "A five-year wait has produced The Mars Room - a novel that may be even better (editor's note: than the previous novels), though its subject matter is infinitely grimmer, miles away from the subversive glamour of the 1970s New York art world or Italy’s youth in revolt. Romy Hall is a native of San Francisco - not the postcard dream of steep hills and cable cars but a scrappier, almost feral nether land of teenage delinquency, seedy flophouses, and $20-a-song strip clubs. She’s a dancer at a club like that, a single mother, and, by 2003, a convicted murderer serving two life sentences."

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. The Gefilte Manifesto, by Jeffrey Yoskowitz and Liz Alpern
2. Wisconsin Riffs, by Kurt Dietrich
3. You Can't Spell Truth Without Ruth, by Mary Zaia
4. A Higher Loyalty, by James Comey
5. Educated, by Tara Westover
6. Fascism, by Madeleine Albright
7. The Sociable City, by Jamin Creed Rowan (event at Boswell 5/19, 2:30 walk, 4:30 talk. Register)
8. Young Washington, by Peter Stark
9. The Assault on Intelligence, by Michael V. Hayden
10. I'll Be Gone in the Dark, by Michelle McNamara

Selling off the impulse table this week is You Can't Spell Truth Without Ruth: An Unauthorized Collection of Witty and Wise Quotes from the Queen of Supreme, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, collected by Mary Zaia. I don't see the sales pop is due to any particularly publicity besides tee shirts wit this slogan on them. That said, here's a Washington Post story (reprinted by the Everett Herald, written by Robert Barnes) about how Ginsburg became a meme, pegged to the release of the new documentary, RGB.

Paperback Fiction:
1. Queen Sugar, by Natalie Baszile
2. Norse Mythology, by Neil Gaiman
3. Pygmalion, by George Bernard Shaw
4. The Nightingale, by Kristin Hannah
5. The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, by Lisa See
6. The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead
7. The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, by Arunhdati Roy (Event 5/8. Tickets here)
8. Everything I Never Told You, Celeste Ng
9. Homegoing, by Yaa Gyasi
10. Lincoln in the Bardo, by George Saunders

It's been another jam-packed week of events, but this coming week is just as exciting - Paula McLain, Arundhati Roy (her Ministry of Utmost Happiness placed this week as well, assuming those folks had another engagement on May 8), Luis Alberto Urrea, Samantha Irby, Mary E. Pearson and the other Fierce Reads authors, and the rescheduled Bob Barry event. If you're reading this in Pittsburgh, you can buy tickets to Arundhati Roy's event on May 7 here. If you are in Minneapolis, she'll be at the Fitzgerald Theater on May 9. Tickets here.

Wauwatosa's own Jeremy Scahill writes about Arundhati Roy and The Ministry of Utmost Happiness in The Intercept.

If you ever wanted to see Arundhati Roy in Milwaukee, this is your chance. Another link to tickets.

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. The Last Castle, by Denise Kiernan (signed copies available)
2. The Girls of Atomic City, by Denise Kiernan
3. The Color of Law, by Richard Rothstein (signed copies available)
4. Hillbilly Elegy, by J.D. Vance
5. Not That Bad, edited by Roxane Gay
6. Waking Up White, by Debby Irving
7. Radium Girls, by Kate Moore
8. The Body Is Not an Apology, by Sonya Renee Taylor
9. Churchill and Orwell, by Thomas Ricks
10. Killers of the Flower Moon, by David Grann

Out this week in paperback is Thomas Ricks's Churchill and Orwell: The Fight for Freedom, a dual biography of two historical figures who fought against fascism, from the left and right. From the Richard Aldous review of the hardcover in The New York Times: "Given their pervasive influence today, it is worth remembering that in the 1930s, before either reached the heights of reputation, both men were in disgrace. Churchill was a political pariah, alienated from his own Conservative Party by his opposition to the appeasement of Hitler. Frederic Maugham, Lord Chancellor in the national government, suggested that Churchill should be 'shot or hanged.' Similarly, when the socialist Orwell wrote Homage to Catalonia, a coruscating indictment of both left and right during the Spanish Civil War, he was denounced by many on the British left. His usual publisher, the Communist fellow-traveler Victor Gollancz, refused even to put out the book."

In addition to the imminent release of Hunger in paperback and the reissue of Ayiti, her first collection of poetry, Roxane Gay has edited Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture, a collection of previously published pieces. I know you want to know when she's coming back, but the truth is that she was just in Green Bay, headlining the Untitledtown Book Festival so it's not likely (though Christopher Moore did both Green Bay and Milwaukee).

So now maybe you'll listen to me when I tell you Roxane Gay's buddy Samantha Irby (my citation for this is the Chicago Tribune) is coming on Thursday, May 10, and by the next time she's touring, she'll be out of our league. Please don't ask me when she's coming after you watch the upcoming FX series, created by Jessi Klein (Inside Amy Schumer) and Abbi Jacobson (Broad City). Irby is here for the reissue of Meaty, which I'm sure you'll see high on next week's bestseller list.

Books for Kids:
1. Hello Universe, by Erin Entrada Kelly
2. You Go First, by Erin Entrada Kelly
3. The Land of Forgotten Girls, by Erin Entrada Kelly
4. Blackbird Fly, by Erin Entrada Kelly
5. Can I Touch Your Hair, by Charles Waters and Irene Latham
6. Look at Home Big You Are Now, by Amy Runte
7. Look Out Gentry!, by Elizabeth Moerschel
8. Positively Izzy, by Terry Libensen
9. If You Had a Jetpack, by Lisl Detlefsen
10. The Burning Maze V3, by Rick Riordan
11. My Daddy's Hat, by Reginald Walton
12. Turn This Book into a Beehive, by Lynne Brunelle

I'm going to give you a stat that's going to blow your mind. Six of the last seven Newbery medalists have done events with Boswell in the last year. As I've mentioned before, sometimes when an author does school visits, there's no opportunity for a public event, and that was the case with Erin Entrada Kelly, who received the award for Hello Universe. She spoke to more than a 1000 kids about her new book, You Go First this past Wednesday. We have some signed copies available.

Here's book stuff from the Journal Sentinel!

--The Journal Sentinel's Jim Higgins meditates on the success of Dan Egan's The Death and Life of the Great Lakes: "More than a year after its publication, Journal Sentinel reporter Dan Egan’s book “The Death and Life of the Great Lakes” continues to stimulate public discussion about the imperiled freshwater ecosystem. The University of Wisconsin in Madison has selected Egan’s book as the Go Big Read selection for 2018 ’19. Copies will be given to first-year students at the Chancellor’s Convocation for New Students, and the book will be incorporated into some classes. (Past Go Big Read selections include Matthew Desmond’s “Evicted.”) Shortly after its paperback release in April, “The Death and Life of the Great Lakes” climbed to No. 7 on The New York Times’ paperback nonfiction bestseller list. Also that month, his book won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for history."

--Also on the TapBooks page Higgins also looks at three new titles with local interest. In addition to Lost Milwaukee and Wisconsin Riffs, which you already know about from recent Boswell author events, there's Outside: My Journey Through Life and the Game I Love, written by Ray Allen. Here's Higgins: "In Allen’s mind, the Bucks started sliding downhill when the teamed signed Anthony Mason before the 2001’02 season, ruining its chemistry. The next season, the Bucks sent Allen to Seattle in exchange for Gary Payton, a horrible trade for the Bucks. Allen went on to be part of championship teams in Boston and Miami, and to make more three-point shots than anyone in NBA history."

--Katy Read in the Star Tribune reviews Sloane Crosley's new collection of essays, Look Alive Out There. She writes: "So what if you don’t read Crosley’s essays for universal human truths? Read them because, when life is like a long drive on I-80 west of Omaha, you want a clever, funny friend along for the ride." Crosley used to be a publicist at Vintage. I keep imagining what it would be like to host Kate or Angie or Julie (three publicity folk I've been working with of late) when they make it big! It happens.

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