Sunday, June 3, 2018

The Boswell Bestsellers for the week ending June 2, 2018

The Boswell Bestsellers for the week ending June 2, 2018

Hardcover Fiction:
1. Warlight, by Michael Ondaatje
2. A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles
3. Paris by the Book, by Liam Callanan
4. Little Fires Everywhere, by Celeste Ng
5. My Ex-Life, by Stephen McCauley
6. The Female Persuasion, by Meg Wolitzer
7. Noir, by Christopher Moore
8. The Overstory, by Richard Powers
9. The Immortalists, by Chloe Benjamin
10. The Outsider, by Stephen King

I don't feel like I have the right to claim responsibility for our pop in sales for Stephen McCauley's for My Ex Life, but I will note that we both featured my rec in our customer newsletter and I finally wrote up my staff rec card, so one would hope. But honestly, I really think the sales are due to Maureen Corrigan reviewing the book on Fresh Air. Oh, my goodness, what a great review this is, with tidbits like: "I found myself 'chortling' out loud at so many scenes, I even took screenshots of certain pages and started texting them to friends. Some of those friends texted back, 'Love this!' or, 'Send more, quick!' To which I replied, 'Support the arts! Buy the book!'"

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Measure What Matters, by John Doerr
2. Calypso, by David Sedaris
3. Born a Crime, by Trevor Noah
4. The Soul of America, by John Meacham
5. You Can't Spell Truth Without Ruth, by Mary Zaia
6. How to Change Your Mind, by Michael Pollan
7. Creative Confidence, by Tom Kelley and David Kelley
8. Robin, by David Itzkoff
9. Tyrant, by Stephen Greenblatt
10. Recovering, by Leslie Jamison

We did a pre-order campaign for David Sedaris's Calypso when the author appeared at the Riverside Theater in April. We've also had two nice staff recommendations for the latest book. Tim is particularly chanted by his odd relationships with animals, which in his latest collection include a fox and a snapping turtle.

Dave Itzkoff's life of Robin Williams, titled Robin, is reviewed by Dave Holahan in USA Today. After his death, Williams was diagnosed with Lewy Body Disease, which clear had an affect on the actor/comedian. Itzkoff: "Williams’ friends and family grew increasingly concerned about his behavior in the last months of his life. He clearly was depressed, often didn’t recognize people he knew, or 'had a thousand-yard stare going.' He also was increasingly paranoid. The night before his suicide, he grew fearful that his collection of designer wristwatches was in danger of being stolen, so he stuffed some of them in a sock and took them to a friend’s house for safekeeping."

Paperback Fiction:
1. Run, by Ann Patchett
2. Life on the Sun, by Douglas Armstrong
3. Less, by Andrew Sean Greer (ticketed event at Boswell with Jennifer Egan)
4. Pachinko, by Min Jin Lee
5. Mrs. Fletcher, by Tom Perrotta
6. The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood
7. Lincoln in the Bardo, by George Saunders
8. The Plot Against America, by Philip Roth
9. Dragon's Teeth, by Michael Crichton
10. Sing, Unburied, Sing, by Jesmyn Ward

Either I'm keeping up with what's selling in fiction, or we're selling what I'm reading as I've read 5 of our top 10 fiction hardcovers and 6 of our top 10 fiction paperbacks. To be fair, most of these books are selling everywhere. I'm wondering why The Financial Times just reviewed Tom Perrotta's Mrs. Fletcher - guessing that it just came out in Great Britain (Yes, more recent than the US, but still it was last March). Nilanjana Roy writes: "Perrotta’s line in wry, deadpan comedy stops well short of savage satire, even though the territory he’s exploring is stark: sexual consent and its absence, the ravages of old age (and the reminder to the relatively young to seize the day), a mainly white community grappling awkwardly with diversity, and college campus politics."

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Just Mercy, by Bryan Stephenson
2. The Color of Law, by Richard Rothstein
3. Killers of the Flower Moon, by David Grann
4. Evicted, by Matthew Desmond
5. Somos Latinas, by Andrea-Teresa Arenas and Eloisa Gómez (event info below)
6. The Art of Pilgrimage, by Phil Cousineau
7. The Death and Life of the Great Lakes, by Dan Egan
8. Sapiens, by Yuval Noah Harari
9. The View from Flyover Country, by Sarah Kendzior (event 6/7, 7 pm at Boswell)
10. American System-Built Houses of Frank Lloyd Wright, by Shirley Dufresne McArthur

The two editors of Somos Latinas will be at the Historic Mitchell Street Brunch of Milwaukee Public Library on Tuesday at 6. Note the earlier start time. More info here.

Why spend $125 (or $3000!??) on Shirley Dufresne McArthur's American System-Built Houses of Frank Lloyd Wright when you can get it from us for $25 plus shipping. Sometimes we have to remember to add titles to our database that do not have trade distribution. Sometimes it takes nine years. But eventually it happens. Here's the link.

Books for Kids:
1. Writing Radar, by Jack Gantos
2. Ghost (paperback) by Jason Reynolds
3. The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas
4. Dog Man and Cat Kid, by Dav Pilkey
5. I Am a Bunny, by Ole Risom with illustrations by Richard Scarry
6. Oh, the Places You'll Go!, by Dr. Seuss
7. Children of Blood and Bone, by Tomi Adeyemi
8. George and Martha Complete Stories, by James Marshall
9. Rosie Revere Engineer, by Andrea Beaty, with illustrations by David Roberts
10. Grump, by Liesl Shurtliff

It's our last school visits of the season! This coming week Liesl Shurtliff will be visiting three schools for Grump: The (Fairly) True Tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, the newest novel set in the world of Jack, Red, and Rump. Here's a bit of the review from School Library Journal: "Many readers will recognize the feelings of isolation and dread Borlen endures when he's teased by groups of other dwarves. Fans of Disney's fairy tales will enjoy the slow reveal of how Borlen's crew syncs up with the movie dwarves as well as the subtle setup for a true tale of Rapunzel." What do you think it will be called? Rap?

What's going on this week at the Journal Sentinel? Here's info on the four reviews in the Tap section.

--Shayne Nyman, originally in the Appleton Post-Crescent, reviews Steven Hyden's Twilight of the Gods: A Journey to the End of Classic Rock. As Nyman notes: "We’re not only in the twilight of the gods because still-standing members of bands like the Beatles, the Stones, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd are well into their 70s. We’re also there because the sun is setting on the days of holding them up as deities."

--Laurie Hertzl, reprinted from the Star Tribune, takes a crack at The Electric Woman: A Memoir in Death-Defying Acts, from Tessa Fontaine. She calls the book "astounding, amazing, inspiring and a little bit terrifying," going on to say: "It’s a story about a mother and daughter’s complicated relationship, and it’s also a coming-ofage story, of sorts. It would be safe to say that Fontaine came of age in a most peculiar way — eating fire, charming snakes, escaping from handcuffs and performing as the Electric Woman, illuminating a light bulb with her tongue."

--Elisabeth Vincentelli of Newsday has a review of The Outsider, the new novel from Stephen King, which she says goes from "zero to sixty in three seconds." She notes: "The book starts with detective Ralph Anderson and his team putting handcuffs on Little League coach Terry Maitland in the middle of a big game in their hometown of Flint City, Oklahoma." But what starts as a breakneck police procedural starts getting "weird."

--And finally, The Star Tribune is also the source from a write-up about Our Towns: A 100,000 Journey into the Heart of America, from James and Deborah Fallows. Here's John Reinan's take: "As the authors dropped from the sky into communities from Sioux Falls, S.D., to Duluth, Minn., to Ajo, N.M., to Burlington, Vt., to St. Mary’s, Ga., they slowly pieced together a list of qualities that determine why some communities make it and others don’t. Among them: innovative schools, true public-private partnerships and real, thriving downtowns."

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