Sunday, September 2, 2018

It's the midpoint of Labor Day weekend. Forecast is hot and humid. Maybe a trip to the bookstore is in order. Here are suggestions from the Boswell bestseller list, week ending September 1.

It's the midpoint of Labor Day weekend. Forecast is hot and humid. Maybe a trip to the bookstore is in order. Here are suggestions from the Boswell bestseller list, week ending September 1.

Hardcover Fiction:
1. The Great Believers, by Rebecca Makkai
2. The Fall of Gondolin, by J.R.R. Tolkien
3. Dear Mrs. Bird, by AJ Pearce
4. The Overstory, by Richard Powers
5. Little Fires Everywhere, by Celeste Ng
6. There There, by Tommy Orange (Register here for Tue Sep 25 event)
7. Paris by the Book, by Liam Callanan
8. Circe, by Madeline Miller
9. A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles
10. The Music Shop, by Rachel Joyce

Originally crafted in 1917, J.R.R. Tolkien's The Fall of Gondolin was edited by Christopher Tolkien, and appeared in a different form in The Silmarillion. It also appeared in Unfinished Tales. And yes, there's already a Wikipedia entry. Andrew Griffin in The Independent says that it's a work that needs a lot of excavating on the part of the reader, but it's totally worth it. "What a fitting finale to that mythology The Fall of Gondolin is," Gondolin exclaims, though without an exclamation point.

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Milwaukee: A City Built on Water, by John Gurda (Milwaukee Public Library Loos Room event Mon Oct 1, 6 pm)
2. Winners Take All, by Anand Giridharadas
3. The Restless Wave, by John McCain
4. Educated, by Tara Westover
5. High Risers, by Ben Austen (Rose Petranech Lecture at Boswell on Mon Sep 17, 7 pm)
6. The Hidden Lives of Trees, by Peter Wohlleben
7. Epic Hikes of the World, by Lonely Planet
8. Summer V4, by Karl Ove Knausgaard
9. The Soul of America, by Jon Meacham
10. The Tangled Tree, by David Quammen

A week of memorials for John McCain and Aretha Franklin had folks looking for books. While McCain had a book at the ready, The Restless Wave: Good Times, Just Causes, Great Fights, and Other Appreciations, written with Mark Salter, it looks like the best Franklin book is David Ritz's biography Respect. Politico reprints its farewell statement.

Paperback Fiction:
1. Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, by Gail Honeyman
2. Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy (Peaver translation)
3. Hotel Silence, by Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir
4. Crazy Rich Asians, by Kevin Kwan
5. Less, by Andrew Sean Greer
6. Pachinko, by Min Jin Lee
7. Edge of the Known Bus Line, by James Gapinski
8. Sing, Unburied, Sing, by Jesmyn Ward
9. The Essex Serpent, by Sarah Perry (In-Store Lit Group Tue Oct 2, 7 pm, at Boswell)
10. Lord of the Flies, by William Golding

Sometimes you have a book that is under-the-radar in hardcover and simply explodes in paperback. That's the case for Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine. I was presenting to a book club and I think 13 of the 15 attendees had already read it. On the other hand, there's a book like The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry that sold and sold in hardcover, but has been a little quiet in paperback. Is this word-of-mouth vs. reviews? Is Essex Serpent a bit long for book club discussion? Because we had an extra week for our book club (we read Sing, Unburied, Sing a week early), I picked The Essex Serpent for our October selection, and I like that there is a ghostly thread of connection between the two works. Regarding the book club in question, I did get them to read a long book over their winter break, only it was The Weight of Ink, by Rachel Kadish.

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. The Color of Law, by Richard Rothstein
2. The New Jim Crow, by Michelle Alexander
3. The Death and Life of the Great Lakes, by Dan Egan
4. Killers of the Flower Moon, by David Grann
5. Democracy in Chains, by Nancy Maclean
6. Evicted, by Matthew Desmond
7. The Optical Vacuum, by Jocelyn Szczepaniak-Gillece (event at Boswell Wed Sep 12, 7 pm)
8. Milwaukee Ghosts and Legends, by Anna Lardinois (event at Boswell Wed Sep 5, 7 pm)
9. Braiding Sweetgrass, by Robin Wall Kimmerer
10. Night Moves, by Jessica Hopper (even at Boswell Sat Sep 22, 7 pm)

Richard Rothstein will be at MATC for The Color of Law on October 16 for The Color of Law. Tickets here. This is part of the LISC Milwaukee and the Metropolitan Milwaukee Fair Housing Council (MMFHC) community book read.

Of Jessica Hopper's lates, Boswellian Chris Lee wrote: "Night Moves captures a time, people, and place in a city that feels like a ghost town Hopper (and gentrification) has left behind, but for a while, in these pages, it's so alive, full of shouting, laughing, screaming masses of strangers and friends that pound the cracked concrete and fill the saggy-ceiling'd rooms of falling apart buildings during sticky-hot days and blue-lips-frigid nights."

Books for Kids:
1. Conjuror V1, by John Barrowman and Carole E. Barrowman
2. Nephilim V2, by John Barrowman and Carole E. Barrowman
3. Lord of the Fleas V5, by Dav Pilkey
4. Right of Passage, by Richard Wright
5. The Day You Begin, by Jacqueline Woodson
6. Harbor Me, by Jacqueline Woodson
7. A Is for Activist, by Innosanto Nagara
8. Click, Clack Quack to School, by Doreen Cronin, with illustrations by Betsy Lewin
9. Pax, by Sara Pennypacker, with illustrations by Jon Klassen
10. Illegal, by Eoin Colfer and Andrew Donkin, with illustrations by Giovanni Rigano (Register for event at Boswell on Thu 9/13, 6:30 pm)

Rémy Dupree and his friends Matt and Em Calder are battling to save the world as we know it, first in Conjuror and then in Nephilim. #3 in the series, Inquisitor, is published in the United States on October 1.

Per the publisher, Jacqueline Woodson’s first middle-grade novel since National Book Award winner Brown Girl Dreaming celebrates the healing that can occur when a group of students share their stories. Of Harbor Me, the new novel by Jacqueline Woodson, Boswellian Tim McCarthy wrote: "This novel was a profound experience for me. Woodson tore my heart out and then gave me most of it back."

Featured in this Sunday's Journal Sentinel TapBooks page is Maxwell King's The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers (available Tuesday). From Jim Higgins: "Maxwell King traces the roots of the mature Rogers back to both the loneliness and the creativity of his childhood. More surprisingly, King also reveals the role affluence played in making Rogers who he was. Growing up in a family of means produced a man who cared more about children than making money."

Also included is Vox, by Christina Dalcher, reviewed by Steph Cha, originally from USA Today.

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