Sunday, July 1, 2018

Alternative titles for today's blog post: A) The Boswell bestsellers "Are Not Missing" for the week ending June 30, 2018: B) "Here, Here" are are the bestsellers C) Not "Less" but "More" Boswell bestsellers

Alternative titles for today's blog post:
--The Boswell bestsellers "Are Not Missing" for the week ending June 30, 2018
--"Here, Here" are are the bestsellers
--Not "Less" but "More" Boswell bestsellers

Hardcover Fiction:
1. Murder on the Left Bank, by Cara Black (signed copies available)
2. There, There, by Tommy Orange (Event just added for 9/25, 7 pm. More below.)
3. The Immortalists, by Chloe Benjamin
4. Little Fires Everywhere, by Celeste Ng
5. The Overstory, by Richard Powers
6. Circe, by Madeline Miller
7. Florida, by Lauren Groff
8. Less, by Andrew Sean Greer
9. Paris by the Book, by Liam Callanan
10. The President Is Missing, by Bill Clinton and James Patterson

Yes, we just booked Tommy Orange, author of one of the most-lauded books of 2018, There, There. He'll be in conversation with UWM's Kimberly Blaeser on September 25. It's free, but registration is required. From Ron Charles in The Washington Post: "Everything about There There acknowledges a brutal legacy of subjugation - and shatters it. Even the book’s challenging structure is a performance of determined resistance. This is a work of fiction, but Orange opens with a white-hot essay. With the glide of a masterful stand-up comic and the depth of a seasoned historian, Orange rifles through our national storehouse of atrocities and slurs, alluding to figures from Col. John Chivington to John Wayne."

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Milwaukee: A City Built on Water, by John Gurda (signed copies available)
2. Young Washington, by Peter Stark
3. Vintage Baker, by Jessie Sheehan
4. Calypso, by David Sedaris
5. The World as It Is, by Ben Rhodes
6. Yes We (Still) Can, by Dan Pfeiffer
7. How to Change Your Mind, by Michael Pollan
8. Milwaukee: City of Neighborhoods, by John Gurda
9. The Soul of America, by Jon Meacham
10. The Making of Milwaukee, by John Gurda

Appearing on the list for the second week is Yes We (Still) Can: Politics in the Age of Obama, Twitter, and Trump from Dan Pfeiffer, bama's former communications director and current co-host of Pod Save America. Here he is talking to Michel Martin on NPR's All Things Considered: "I wanted to dig in and see if there were lessons that could be learned - that could be applied to the future battles for Democrats and progressives going forward."

Paperback Fiction:
1. Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk, by Kathleen Rooney (signed copies available)
2. Less, by Andrew Sean Greer
3. Pachinko, by Min Jin Lee
4. Lincoln in the Bardo, by George Saunders
5. Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, by Gail Honeyman
6. Sing, Unburied, Sing, by Jesmyn Ward
7. Manhattan Beach, by Jennifer Egan (signed copies available)
8. The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead
9. Her Body and Other Parties, by Carmen Maria Marchado
10. Girl Waits with Gun, by Amy Stewart (event with Amy Stewart 8/22 at Boswell. Ticket info here)

It took some doing, but I can say that I read all of our top 5 this week (the first time I can say that in a while) and 7 of our top 10. My goal is to have read at least two of the other three by August 1 and all ten eventually, including, of course, Girl Waits with Gun (which has had several other Boswell reads since its release). Between the mystery angle, the historical fiction angle, and the book club angle, let alone the New Jersey angle (?), we're doing our best to talk up the amazing Amy Stewart. Seriously, New Jersey. Must I note that I once thematically read New Jersey books for an entire month? I think this is a blog post in the making.

Stewart's newest in paperback is Miss Kopp's Midnight Confession. From Publishers Weekly: "When Fleurette runs off to join the vaudeville troupe May Ward and Her Eight Dresden Dolls, Norma fears Fleurette might be held against her will in bad conditions. Meanwhile, Constance must supervise the female prisoners in the county jail, protect young girls from overzealous prosecution for the moral crime of waywardness, and apologize for a colossal and hilarious show business misunderstanding. Though the least action-packed of the three novels, this latest volume is by far the funniest." As Rochelle and I were noting, it is the summer of funny, after all.

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. The Color of Law, by Richard Rothstein
2. The Death and Life of the Great Lakes, by Dan Egan
3. Killers of the Flower Moon, by David Grann
4. Evicted, by Matthew Desmond
5. Janesville, by Amy Goldstein
6. Cream City Chronicles, by John Gurda
7. Kitchen Confidential, by Anthony Bourdain
8. Lost Milwaukee, by Carl Swanson
9. Sapiens, by Yuval Noah Harari
10. The New Jim Crow, by Michelle Alexander

I should note that while the fiction list may be touting the summer of funny, the paperback nonfiction list has never been so serious. I have been noting the domination of sociology and issue driven books that have dominated our 2017 and 2018 bestseller lists. The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America sales are likely due to a citywide shared reading organized by Metropolitan Milwaukee Fair Housing Council and LISC Milwaukee.

Books for Kids:
1. The Fourteenth Goldfish, by Jennifer L Holm
2. The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas (watch the trailer here)
3. The Poet X, by Elizabeth Acevedo
4. Good Night Gorilla, by Peggy Rathmann
5. Here We Are, by Oliver Jeffers
6. Snowballs, by Lois Ehlert (???)
7. The Lost Continent, by Tui T. Sutherland
8. A Place for Pluto, by Steph Wade (event 8/1, 7 pm, at Boswell)
9. Wide Mouthed Frog, by Keith Faulkner with illustrations by Jonathan Lambert
10. How to Sell Your Family to the Aliens, by Paul Noth

Sales on The Fourteenth Goldfish (our sales were actually in hardcover) leaped after Jenny booked schools for Jennifer L. Holm this fall for the sequel, The Third Mushroom. Due to scheduling constraints, there is no public event for Holm, but we should have signed copies afterwards. And as always, we recommend that educators who are interested in bringing authors to their school get on our outreach list. Minimum turnout and sales expectations vary for each author and we do have geographical limitations as well, though we travel farther afield than you might imagine. Email for more information.

On The Fourteenth Goldfish: "Eleven-year-old Ellie has never liked change. She misses fifth grade. She misses her old best friend. She even misses her dearly departed goldfish. Then one day a strange boy shows up. He's bossy. He's cranky. And weirdly enough . . . he looks a lot like Ellie's grandfather, a scientist who's always been slightly obsessed with immortality. Could this gawky teenager really be Grandpa Melvin? Has he finally found the secret to eternal youth?"

From the Journal Sentinel book page:

--Reviewed by Ray Locker, originally in USA Today: First in Line: Presidents, Vice Presidents and the Pursuit of Power, by Kate Anderson Brower. Boswellian Jane has been a big fan of Brower's previous two works of history.

--Reviewed by Emily Gray Tedrowe, originally in USA Today: Number One Chinese Restaurant, by Lillian Li. Li lives in Ann Arbor, and received a University of Michigan Hopwood Prize.

--Reviewed by Mary Cadden, originally in USA Today: Once Upon a Farm: Lessons on Growing Love, Life, and Hope on a New Frontier, by Rory Feek

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