Sunday, November 11, 2018

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending November 10, 2018

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending November 10, 2018

Hardcover Fiction:
1. The Winter Soldier, by Daniel Mason
2. Unsheltered, by Barbara Kingsolver
3. Heads You Win, by Jeffrey Archer
4. Virgil Wander, by Leif Enger
5. Killing Commendatore, by Haruki Murakami
6. The Witch Elm, by Tana French
7. The Great Believers, by Rebecca Makkai
8. The Reckoning, by John Grisham
9. Transcription, by Kate Atkinson (back in stock!)
10. The Woman in the Window, by AJ Finn

Here's an interesting twist for Jeffrey Archer's latest, Heads You Win, per The Daily Mail: "His latest novel begins with a gruesome KGB assassination, and charts the actions of a ruthless Moscow regime. So Jeffrey Archer may not be surprised – if a little disappointed – that he has failed to find a publisher for his book Heads You Win in Russia. The former MP, 78, has been turned down by 21 companies, even though 16 of his previous releases were translated for Russian audiences."

And what of the story itself? Booklist calls this Sliding Doors-esque novel "splendid" : "In the late 1960s, long before the fall of communism, a boy and his mother escape from Leningrad. They can stow away on either of two ships: one headed to England, the other to the U.S. They make their decision by flipping a coin. In this brilliantly conceived novel, Archer follows the lives of Alexander and Elena down both paths; in (mostly) alternating chapters, we see Alex build a financial empire in the U.S., while Sasha - a common Russian diminutive for Alexander - climbs the political ladder in England...There are a couple of moments, late in the novel, that should make readers' jaws drop - moments so unexpected and surreal that they require a second reading, just to make sure we really just read what we think we did."

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Everyday Dorie, by Dorie Greenspan
2. Leadership, by Doris Kearns Goodwin
3. The Beastie Boys Book, by Michael Diamond and Adam Horovitz
4. 1,000 Books to Read Before You Die, by James Mustich
5. Educated, by Tara Westover
6. UWM: The First Sixty Years, 1956-2016, by John Schroeder (purchase here)
7. Ottolenghi Simple, by Yotam Ottolenghi
8. In the Hurricane's Eye, by Nathaniel Philbrick
9. Born to Be Posthumous, by Mark Dery
10. The Library Book, by Susan Orlean

Food, glorious, food! We had a great event with Dorie Greenspan last week. But being its fourth quarter, our cookbook sales are not just from events. Ottolenghi Simple is the latest from Yotam Ottolenghi, featuring "130 streamlined recipes packed with his signature Middle Eastern–inspired flavors, all simple in at least (and often more than) one way: made in 30 minutes or less, with 10 or fewer ingredients, in a single pot, using pantry staples, or prepared ahead of time." More from Amy Scattergood in Los Angeles Times. If you like Ottolenghi, why not sign up for our evening with Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook when they discuss Zahav and their latest, Israeli Soul with Kyle Cherek. Tickets are $40 including the book for one person or $60 for the book and admission for two. Email to sign up.

Paperback Fiction:
1. Hotel Silence, by Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir
2. Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk, by Kathleen Rooney
3. Less, by Andrew Sean Greer
4. Improvement, by Joan Silber (In-Store Lit Group January 2019)
5. The Tattooist of Auschwitz, by Heather Morris
6. Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, by Gail Honeyman
7. Collected Stories, by Lydia Davis
8. Ararat, by Christopher Golden
9. The Rings of Saturn, by WG Sebald
10. Pachinko, by Min Jin Lee

Many interesting books break out of our award case, the most recent being Ararat, for which Christopher Golden received the Bram Stoker horror award. Publishers Weekly writes in its starred review: "The whole is more than the sum of its parts in this exceptional supernatural thriller from bestseller Golden. An avalanche on Turkey’s legendary Mount Ararat uncovers a cave that may contain the remnants of Noah’s Ark....While the contours of the story line will be familiar to genre fans, Golden makes them feel fresh through solid prose, effective characterizations, and a willingness not to pull any plot punches."

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. The Death and Life of the Great Lakes, by Dan Egan
2. Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Eastern North America, by David Sibley
3. The Color of Law, by Richard Rothstein
4. We Were Eight Years in Power, by Ta-Nehisi Coates
5. Evicted, by Matthew Desmond
6. Life Without Pockets, by Carla Anne Ernst
7. Healing the Human Body with God's Remedies, by Lester Carter
8. I Swear I Saw This, by Michael Taussig
9. Killers of the Flower Moon, by David Grann
10. From Here to Eternity, by Caitlin Doughty

Just out in paperback is From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death, by Caitlin Doughty. The book had a strong sale in hardcover and might be one of those nonfiction books that continues on in paperback. As you can see from our lists, fiction generally has a better chance than nonfiction of keeping the momentum going, perhaps because it's less dependent on publicity (because it often can't get any) and more on word of mouth.

From Teri Schlichenmeier in a Journal Sentinel review that ran last year: "In a sort of grisly travelogue-cum-cultural-studies, From Here to Eternity takes readers on a journey from cave to grave in several cultures and countries, in search of answers to our aversion to mortality. Yes, there’s dark and ritualized wanderlust here but, though death-as-serious-subject is all over the book’s pages, there’s also surprising playfulness: seemingly not the squeamish sort, Doughty allows herself to sometimes become so, and she’s good-natured about it. Still, this book is not disrespectful; if nothing, it goes to an extreme in the opposite direction, with a hefty abundance of gentleness and kindness."

Books for Kids:
1. Archenemies V2 Renegades, by Marissa Meyer
2. Lulu and Rocky in Milwaukee, by Barbara Joosse and Renée Graef
3. Potato Pants!, by Laurie Keller
4. Voyage to the Bunny Planet, by Rosemary Wells
5. Cinder V1 Lunar Chronicles, by Marissa Meyer
6. Flashback V7 Keeper of Lost Cities, by Shannon Messenger
7. Meet the Latkes, by Alan Silberberg
8. Hand in Hand board book, by Rosemary Wells
9. Inside the Villains, by Clothilde Perrin
10. Renegades V1 hardcover, by Marissa Meyer
11. Unstinky, by Andy Rash
12. Tomorrow I'll Be Brave, by Jessica Hische (event 12/6 at Boswell. Register here)
13. The Thankful Book, by Todd Parr
14. The Snowy Day board book, by Ezra Jack Keats
15. Bunny Cakes paperback, by Rosemary Wells

With four kids events this week, we had to extend our printed bestseller list to at least 15 titles. Marissa Meyer battled for the top spot with Barbara Joosse and Renée Graef for top spot. Both had particularly strong sales without the help of a school visit, though Joosse will be visiting schools in early December. Both Archenemies and Lulu and Rocky in Milwaukee are available singed by the authors - pretty soon the latter will be signed by the illustrator. Speaking of signed books, your Potato Pants! signed copy features an illustration of Potato and Unstinky features a drawing of Bud, the stinkbug who smells more like fresh baked bread and flowers. Limited quantities available.

Over at the Journal Sentinel, Milwaukee Native and Marquette alum speaks at the Woodland Pattern poetry gala on November 17. Also appearing are poet Nathaniel Mackey and pianist Marilyn Crispell. More information here.

Mari Yamaguchui of Associated Press looks at Haruki Murakami's plan for an archive of his writings at Waseda University.

Patti Rhule of USA Today review Kerri Maher's The Kennedy Debutante.

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