Sunday, October 28, 2018

Boo!swell bestsellers for the week ending October 27, 2018

Boo!swell bestsellers for the week ending October 27, 2018. Honestly, it's not as funny after Halloween.

Hardcover Fiction:
1. A Spark of Light, by Jodi Picoult
2. Small Country, Gaël Faye
3. The Music Shop, by Rachel Joyce
4. The Winter Soldier, by Daniel Mason
5. Killing Commendatore, by Haruki Murakami
6. The Witch Elm, by Tana French
7. The Reckoning, by John Grisham
8. Paris by the Book, by Liam Callanan
9. Unsheltered, by Barbara Kingsolver
10. The Clockmaker's Daughter, by Kate Morton

Every so often I book an event and don't quite know how big its going to be. Sometimes I have had big names with a lot of buzz and when the book finally came out, it was quieter. In the case of The Winter Soldier, hype has been building and the book is now out of stock with both the publisher and our major wholesalers. While we have a good amount of books, I wanted lots for stock. It feels like that kind of book. Wouldn't be surprised if it hits the bestseller list in the next few weeks. I'm thinking it's picked up the Gentleman in Moscow crowd. I also know there are a lot of big fans of The Piano Tuner (the second novel, A Far Country), was much quieter. And there's no question that the doctor novel really has resonance - I actually hand sold the book to two people this week buying books for doctor friends who like to read.

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. With the Wind at His Back, by Kurt Chandler
2. In the Hurricane's Eye, by Nathaniel Philbrick
3. Black Panther, by Emory Douglas
4. Flame, by Leonard Cohen
5. The Fifth Risk, by Michael Lewis
6. 1,000 Books to Read Before You Die, by James Mustich
7. Leadership, by Doris Kearns Goodwin
8. The Library Book, by Susan Orlean
9. The Spy and the Traitor, by Ben MacIntyre
10. When Breath Becomes Air, by Paul Kalanithi

I'm pretty sure that a number of Milwaukee fans drove west to Madison to see Susan Orlean for her latest, The Library Book. As Jennifer Szalai wrote in The New York Times: "When writing about the books of Susan Orlean, it’s hard not to feel like the neurotic Charlie Kaufman character in the film Adaptation, sweating in front of his typewriter as he tries to work on a screen adaptation of Orlean’s The Orchid Thief. He worries that her book is too sprawling and bountiful to cram into a contrived Hollywood plot, and he ends up just thinking about the banana nut muffin he wants to eat. Orlean’s work in general has that elusive quality to it: exquisitely written, consistently entertaining and irreducible to anything so obvious and pedestrian as a theme." The Journal Sentinel also printed Chris Woodyard's review of The Library Book in the TapBooks page, originally from USA Today.

Paperback Fiction:
1. Difficult Women, by Roxane Gay
2. Less, by Andrew Sean Greer
3. Ayiti, by Roxane Gay
4. Best American Short Stories, edited by Roxane Gay
5. Lincoln in the Bardo, by George Saunders
6. Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, by Gail Honeyman
7. The Trust, by Ronald H Balson
8. The Haunting of Hill House, by Shirley Jackson
9. An Untamed State, by Roxane Gay
10. Pachinko, by Min Jin Lee

Hey, great to see Ronald H Balson's The Trust hit our bestseller this week. As Balson himself noted, the book is an outlier in the series, a straighforward mystery set in Northern Ireland that is more timely than ever, what with new Irish tensions over Brexit. Balson's latest, The Girl from Berlin, is back to his traditional novels that involve Jewish families unraveling their family histories. Wrote Vicki Gregory in Library Journal: "Balson's many fans will thoroughly enjoy this new addition to the series, which continues the earlier novels' dynamic plotting, compelling characters, and back-and-forth between-eras action. Newcomers will find the portrayal of the plight of the Jews of Central Europe leading up to and during World War II an unvarnished testament to the ugly truth."

Paperback Nonfiction
1. Bad Feminist, by Roxane Gay
2. Hunger, by Roxane Gay
3. Not that Bad, by Roxane Gay
4. The Gift of Years, by Joan Chittister
5. The Death and Life of the Great Lakes, by Dan Egan
6. A Mathematical Nature Walk, by John A Adam
7. Guesstimation, by John A Adam and Lawrence Weinstein
8. The Color of Law, by Richard Rothstein
9. Evicted, by Matthew Desmond
10. Interior States, by Meghan O'Gieblyn

By now you've figured out that we sold books for UWM Student Involvement when they brought Roxane Gay to the UWM Union on Thursday (assuming you did not already know this because you get our email newsletter or see the signs and print event calendar at Boswell). Even though Hunger is more recent and was closer to the spirit of the essay that students read in conjunction with Gay's visit, it was outsold by her breakout collection Bad Feminist. My favorite moment was when an attendee returned the Gay-edited Best American Short Stories, complaining that this was not Gay's work. It is a mark of her devoted base that a fan might think that Gay wrote all the best short stories in the past year. And I'll bet some of the attendees think she did. We have signed stock of Hunger, but we're out of Bad Feminist.

Books for Kids:
1. Carmela Full of Wishes, by Matt de la Peña, with illustrations by Christian Robinson
2. Last Stop on Market Street, by Matt de la Peña, with illustrations by Christian Robinson
3. Arnie the Doughnut, by Laurie Keller (event Mon Nov 5, 4 pm, at Boswell)
4. Love, by Matt de la Peña, with illustrations by Loren Long
5. The Thrifty Guide to Ancient Greece, by Jonathan W Stokes
6. The Thrifty Guide to Ancient Rome, by Jonathan W Stokes
7. Margaret's Night in St Peter V2, by Jon M Sweeney
8. The Thrifty Guide to the American Revolution, by Jonathan W Stokes
9. Deseos de Carmela, by Matt de la Peña, with illustrations by Christian Robinson
10. The Smallest Girl in the Smallest Grade, by Justin Roberts, with illustrations by Christian Robinson

Jonathan Stokes visited schools in the area for his Thrifty Guide to Ancient Greece, the latest book in a popular series that pleases both kids and educators alike. This travel guide to history is for time travelers in the future. While Kirkus dinged the book as too Euro-centric, Booklist is a fan, noting: "Sidebars highlight notable Greeks to lunch with, lost treasures to snag, epithets to avoid (the Great is so passé), and faux Yelp-like profiles of places such as the Oracle of Delphi and the Spartan barracks. Specifically, the book emphasizes the fact that while the ancient Greeks might be long gone, their legacy is enduring."

From Jim Higgins at the Journal Sentinel, a roundup of new releases with local connections:
--The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee: The First Sixty Years, 1956-2016. By John H. Schroeder
--The Harley-Davidson Story: Tales From the Archives, by Aaron Frank
--100 Things Bucks Fans Should Know and Do Before They Die, by Eric Nehm
--Today's Moments of Happiness Despite the News: A Year of Spontaneous Essays, by Kathie Giorgio*
--The Ego of Eggo, by Rod Eglash**

*Available from Boswell, but at special terms
**Not available from Boswell at this time

No comments: