Sunday, November 25, 2018

Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Thinking About Shopping Later Thursday, and the rest of the Boswell bestsellers for the week ending November 24, 2018

Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Thinking About Shopping Later Thursday, and the rest of the Boswell bestsellers for the week ending November 24, 2018

Hardcover Fiction:
1. Fire and Blood, by George RR Martin
2. Unsheltered, by Barbara Kingsolver
3. Dear Mrs Bird, by AJ Pearce
4. There There, by Tommy Orange
5. Warlight, by Michael Ondaatje
6. The Immortalists, by Chloe Benjamin
7. My Year of Rest and Relaxation, by Ottessa Moshfegh
8. The Winter Soldier, by Daniel Mason
9. The Witch Elm, by Tana French
10. The Overstory, by Richard Powers

You're not going to mistake our bestseller list for the one posted at a mass merchant's book section. My guess is after the top two, there's not a lot of overlap. But my guess is that everyone had a good first week on George RR Martin's Fire and Blood: 300 Years Before a Game of Thrones, a Taryagan history from the days that dragons ruled Westeros. I'm not going to quote anyone, but fans should see it more as a Silmarillion-like fictional history book than part of the Game of Thrones saga. It is 75% new material. The Hollywood Reporter says the book reveals the truth behind a Westeros landmark.

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Becoming, by Michelle Obama
2. The Beastie Boys Book, by Michael Diamond and Adam Horovitz
3. The Fifth Risk, by Michael Lewis
4. Leadership, by Doris Keans Goodwin
5. Educated, by Tara Westover
6. These Truths, by Jill Lepore
7. Ruth Bader Ginsberg, by Jane Sherron de Hart
8. Milwaukee: A City Built on Water, by John Gurda (signing Saturday, December 15, 2 pm)
9. The Library Book, by Susan Orlean
10. Let's Go (So We Can Get Back), by Jeff Tweedy

We've had two Ruth Bader Ginsburg books of quotations on our bestseller list this year, My Own Words, and You Can't Spell Truth without Ruth, and several tributes and children's book in past years, but Jane Sherron de Hart has a full-length biography, Ruth Bader Ginsburg: A Life. Julia M. Klein writes in The Forward: "Among the virtues of Jane Sherron De Hart’s magisterial and timely biography of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is that it prompts reflection on what it takes - for a woman in particular - to reach the summit of professional accomplishment. Or, more precisely, what it took in that not-so-long-ago era of sex-segregated classified advertisements and other forms of gender-based discrimination."

Paperback Fiction:
1. The Tattooist of Auschwitz, by Heather Morris
2. Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, by Gail Honeyman
3. City of Broken Magic, by Mirah Bolender
4. The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead
5. Less, by Andrew Sean Greer
6. Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk, by Kathleen Rooney
7. Future Home of the Living God, by Louise Erdrich
8. Hotel Silence, by Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir
9. The Japanese Lover, by Isabel Allende
10. Best American Short Stories, edited by Roxane Gay

This is the second week on our bestseller lists for The Tattooist of Auschwitz. The book broke out nationally on its paperback release, following success in several other countries, but this is the first week we had very solid numbers. And while there are many big sellers where it doesn't matter how we display them, in this case, Jason and I gave it face-out piles in both new releases and the book club table plus a listing as one of the nine books of Hanukkah (we had too many ideas for eight), and that seemed to help. Here's Christine Kenneally's story in The New York Times about this historical novel.

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. The Death and Life of the Great Lakes, by Dan Egan
2. Killers of the Flower Moon, by David Grann
3. Call Them by Their True Names, by Rebecca Solnit
4. North Point Historic Districts, by Shirley Du Fresne McArthur
5. From Emerald Isle to the Cream City, by Carl Baehr (event at Boswell Friday, December 14, 2 pm)
6. The Great Influenza, by John M Barry
7. We Were Eight Years in Power, by Ta-Nehisi Coates
8. The Woman Who Smashed Codes, by Jason Fagone
9. Devotion, by Patti Smith
10. Leonardo Da Vinci, by Walter Isaacson

Every time I think there's no way we're going to be able to get more copies of North Point Historic Districts, the classic guide to historic homes in our neighborhood, we're able to get some more. Learn the story behind beautiful houses east of Boswell!

New to the list is The Woman Who Smashed Codes: A True Story of Love, Spies, and the Unlikely Heroine Who Outwitted America's Enemies, written by Jason Fagone.Named one of NPR's top books of 2017. Genevieve Valentine on the NPR website called the book: "a study of the sort of extraordinary events that consume the world, and the abilities - and limits - of a few extraordinary people. Bursting with details in everything from dinner parties to spy rings, Fagone's book offers the story of a fascinating woman in perilous times, and asks some uneasy questions about the present. The Woman Who Smashed Codes may be the quietest government operation ever told; Elizebeth would probably like it that way."

Books for Kids:
1. The Tomb, by S.A. Bodeen
2. The Book of Ingeniously Daring Chemistry, by Sean Connolly
3. The Raft, by S.A. Bodeen
4. The Compound, by S.A. Bodeen
5. Her Right Foot, by Dave Eggers, with illustrations by Shawn Harris
6. The Book of Wildly Spectacular Sports Science, by Sean Connolly
7. The Book of Perfectly Perilous Math, by Sean Connolly
8. The Book of Massively Epic Engineering Disasters, by Sean Connolly
9. Lulu and Rocky in Milwaukee, by Barbara Joosse with illustrations by Renée Graef
10. National Parks of the USA, by Kate Siber
11. Meltdown V13, by Jeff Kinney
12. The Snowy Nap, by Jan Brett

As you can see, we had several authors touring in the area for school visits - S.A. Bodeen for The Tomb and Sean Connolly for The Book of Ingeniously Daring Chemistry. I'm glad to see that folks are really gravitating to Kate Siber's National Parks of the USA. We were looking for an oversized book to get behind, and when our buyer Amie showed this to me, I hoped it was the one. It's full color, which means it's hard to reprint, which means that stock will disappear. We aren't sold out yet and Amie says we should be probably getting more from the next printing.

Over at the Journal Sentinel:

--From Zlati Meyer,  from USA Today: "A new book chronicles those lectures and classroom interactions. Witness: Lessons from Elie Wiesel’s Classroom is by Ariel Burger, who met the writer when he was 15, studied under him in his 20s and served as his teaching assistant in his 30s...Burger’s tone and execution are exactly what his title promises – and in keeping with the way Wiesel lived his life."

--Marion Winik reviews Elizabeth Berg's Night of Miracles, also originally from USA Today: "The characters in Elizabeth Berg’s new novel, Night of Miracles, frequently sit down to lovingly described treats fresh from the oven. Lucille Howard, 88, is a master baker and baking teacher who begins every class with samples served on a cut-crystal pedestal...As the endearing, odd-lot characters of Mason, Missouri, coalesce into new families, dessert is served: a plateful of chocolate-and-vanilla pinwheel cookies for the soul." Note that Berg will be at Books and Company on Sunday, December 9 at 3 pm. More here.

--The Associated Press offers this piece from Ann Levin on Lucia Berlin: "In 2015, the posthumous publication of the short story collection A Manual for Cleaning Women made its author Lucia Berlin a household name, at least in literary households. Now her publisher has brought out a new collection, Evening in Paradise, along with an evocative memoir, Welcome Home, that Berlin was working on when she died in 2004 at age 68. The stories, best described as autobiographical fiction, feature an interchangeable cast of characters who are stand-ins for Berlin and her entourage of friends, family and lovers."

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