Sunday, September 30, 2018

An Absolutely Remarkable Boswell Bestseller List, week ending September 29, 2018

An Absolutely Remarkable Boswell Bestseller List, week ending September 29, 2018

Hardcover Fiction:
1. An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, by Hank Green (event 10/1 with Dessa at UWM. Tickets here)
2. There There, by Tommy Orange
3. Undiscovered Country, by Kelly O'Connor McNees
4. Transcription, by Kate Atkinson
5. Desolation Mountain, by William Kent Krueger
6. Little Fires Everywhere, by Celeste Ng
7. Lethal White, by Robert Galbraith
8. Your Duck Is My Duck, by Deborah Eisenberg
9. Labyrinth of the Spirits, by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
10. The Overstory, by Richard Powers

One of the most anticipated novels of fall is Kate Atkinson's Transcription, which returns to World War II London. Publishers Weekly offers that "Atkinson's suspenseful novel is enlivened by its heroine's witty, sardonic voice as she is transformed from an innocent, unsophisticated young woman into a spy for Britain's MI5 during WWII." I should have read this with Dear Mrs. Bird! And Janet Maslin writes in The New York Times: "I am one of many readers who view the publication date of each Atkinson novel as an answer to the title question of one of her earlier books, When Will There Be Good News? This one is a major event."

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. The One Percent Solution, by Gordon Lafer
2. Born Bright, by C. Nicole Mason
3. Fear, by Bob Woodward
4. Atlas Obscura, by Dylan Thuras, Joshua Foer, and Ella Morton
5. These Truths, by Jill Lepore
6. Milwaukee: A City Built on Water, by John Gurda
7. Educated, by Tara Westover
8. People's History of Poverty in America, by Stephen Pimpare
9. Leadership, by Doris Kearns Goodwin
10. The Secret Lives of Color, by Kassia St. Clair

Bob Woodward, legendary Pulitzer Prize-Winning Investigative Journalist Author and Associate Editor of The Washington Post, is appearing at the Riverside Theater on October 25 for Fear. It's only book-with-ticket for VIPs. Tickets available here.

Paperback Fiction:
1. Here I Am, by Jonathan Safran Foer
2. Under a Dark Sky, by Lori Rader-Day
3. Less, by Andrew Sean Greer
4. Crazy Rich Asians, by Kevin Kwan
5. Tying the Scot, by Jennifer Trethewey
6. Sourdough, by Robin Sloan
7. The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, by Arundhati Roy
8. Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, by Gail Honeyman
9. Pachinko, by Min Jin Lee
10. Collected Stories, by Lydia Davis

It's conference and fundraiser season and that's keeping us busy running around town.This week's bestseller list is full of featured speakers, including Stephen Pimpare and C. Nicole Mason at the SDC Summit, Gordon Lafer at the AFL-CIO convention, and Jonathan Safran Foer, who was the guest at the Jewish Federation kickoff. His most recent book is Here I Am, now in paperback.This Atlantic essay from A.O.Scott contemplates the various questions raised by Foer's novel about Jewish identity. Note that we have signed copies.

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Penguin Book of Hell, edited by Scott G. Bruce
2. The Harvest of American Racism, edited by Robert Shellow
3. Ghettos, Tramps, and Welfare Queens, by Stephen Pimpare
4. The Color of Law, by Richard Rothstein
5. Evicted, by Matthew Desmond
6. Killers of the Flower Moon, by David Grann
7. Devotion, by Patti Smith
8. The Death and Life of the Great Lakes, by Dan Egan
9. White Rage, by Carol Anderson (event at Shorewood Library, Fri 10/12, 6:30 pm)
10. Janesville, by Amy Goldstein

When the breeziest book in the top 10 is Patti Smith's Devotion: Why I Write, you know you've got a serious crowd on your hands. Her book, now in paperback, is part of the Windham-Campbell Lecture Series at Yale University (more here). Hilton Als did the first one and Patti Smith the second, in 2016. Speeches turned into books go a long way back - every spring brings a graduation speech turned into graduation present. Reviews were mixed on the book itself (here's Michael Lindgren in The Washington Post), but hey, it's Patti Smith and it's $9.95.

Books for Kids:
1. Atlas Obscura's Guide for the World's Most Adventurous Kid, by Dylan Thuras and Rosemary Mosco
2. Property of the Rebel Librarian, by Allison Varnes
3. Merci Suarez Changes Gears, by Meg Medina
4. Illegal, by Eoin Colfer, Andrew Donkin, and Giovanni Rigano
5. The Red Flex Clan V2 The Royal Ranger, by John Flanagan
6. Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass, by Meg Medina
7. Penguin and Pinecone, by Salina Yoon
8. Be Kind, by Pat Zietlow Miller, with illustrations by Jill Hen
9. My Kite Is Stuck and Other Stories, by Salina Yoon
10. Be a Friend, by Salina Yoon

It's fall, and that means we were selling books at the Wisconsin SCBWI (Society of Childrens Book Writers and Illustrators) conference. The two big hits of the show were Salina Yoon and Meg Medina, whose new book is Merci Suarez Changes Gears. The Kirkus starred review notes: "Merci navigates the challenges of being a scholarship kid at a posh South Florida private school and the expectations of and responsibilities to her intergenerational family."

Over at the Journal Sentinel, Jim Higgins offers seven reasons to read 1,000 Books to Read Before You Die. Under It will spark many Debates reason: "Mustich joked that he could have called this 1,000 Arguments rather than 1,000 Books. Readers can and will dissent on both what he included and what he left out. For example, many Wallace Stegner fans have questioned his choice of the novel Angle of Repose (1971), telling him he should have picked Crossing to Safety (1987) instead." Read the whole story here and then register for our event on October 5. Bonus - we'll be doing a drawing of 10 $5 Boswell gift cards to folks who register and attend.

Also in the Journal Sentinel is a profile of Hank Green and An Absolutely Remarkable Thing from Brian Trewitt, originally from USA Today. He writes: "Making online videos with his superpopular young-adult-author brother John Green (The Fault in Our Stars) has helped Hank Green find his own following. But the 38-year-old vlogger, musician, educator and entrepreneur did more than just pull from his own life when he wrote his new book about the consequences of cyber-celebrity." Event is Monday, October 1, 7 pm, at UWM Union. Tickets here.

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