Sunday, February 10, 2019

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending February 9, 2019 - new releases, paperback originals, Journal Sentinel Book Page (now in Life)

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending February 9, 2019

Hardcover Fiction:
1. Black Leopard, Red Wolf, by Marlon James
2. Good Riddance, by Elinor Lipman (Event at Boswell, Mon Mar 11, 7 pm)
3. Where the Crawdads Sing, by Delia Owens
4. There There, by Tommy Orange
5. The Current, by Tim Johnston
6. Kingdom of the Blind, by Louise Penny
7. Connections in Death, by JD Robb
8. The Winter Soldier, by Daniel Mason
9. Bowlaway, by Elizabeth McCracken
10. The Lost Man, by Jane Harper

Everything's coming up Black Leopard, Red Wolf, Marlon James's new epic fantasy, which landed on February 5. Many have compared this novel to the works of George RR Martin and JRR Tolkien but Amal El-Mohtar rebuts this in this NPR review: "I understand where those comparisons come from, the publicity strategies that underly them, but they are wildly inaccurate to the experience of reading this book, which is more like if Toni Morrison had written Ovid's Metamorphoses: Painful and strange, full of bodies shifting from personhood into meat, and somehow, always, still, upsettingly beautiful. This isn't Tolkien's grief-stricken melancholy, or Martin's calculating, character-forward plot mechanics; it's horror and tragedy by way of fantasy, nothing discrete, everything penetrating everything else."

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Educated, by Tara Westover
2. Becoming, by Michelle Obama
3. Dreyer's English, by Benjamin Dreyer
4. Enough to Go Around, by Chip Duncan
5. Women Rowing North, by Mary Pipher
6. Maid, by Stephanie Land
7. Age of Surveillance Capitalism, by Shoshan Zuboff
8. The Library Book, by Susan Orlean
9. Never home Alone, by Rob Dunn
10. Unwinding of the MIracle, by Julie Yip Williams

The #1 Indie Bound pick for February is Stephanie Land's Maid, which is a cross between Nickel and Dimed and The Long Haul (and I think it's fair to make this comparison, since I read all three books). From Ann-Derrick Gaillot in The Nation: "Much of Maid focuses on Land’s experiences of the labor itself. There’s the physical toll - back injuries, pinched nerves, illness - plus the mental toll of her devalued and invisible toil. As she adapts to the job, the homes become their own idiosyncratic realms - the Sad House, the Porn House, the Plant House - in which Land is able to see a more personal and often pathetic side of her wealthy clients - snotty tissues, hair wads, and all. In writing about the spaces outside of her work, though, Land gives shape to the depleting anxiety and isolation that accompany motherhood in poverty for millions of Americans."

Paperback Fiction:
1. The Lost Girls of Paris, by Pam Jenoff
2. The Curiosities, by Susan Gloss
3. An American Marriage, by Tayari Jones
4. The Friend, by Sigrid Nunez (April In-Store Lit Group selection)
5. Asymmetry, by Lisa Halliday (March In-Store Lit Group Selection)
6. Paris by the Book, by Liam Callanan (Callanan's at Mount Mary University Mon 2/11)
7. The Orphan's Tale, by Pam Jenoff
8. The Great Gatsby, by F Scott Fitzgerald
9. Half a Reason to Die, by Chip Duncan
10. Good Omens, by Terry Pratchett

A bookseller and I were having a discussion how our top two bestsellers, The Lost Girls of Paris (signed copies available) and The Curiosities, were paperback originals, accompanied by hardcover runs, primarily for library sales. If you look at this week's New York Times bestseller list, there are several other paperback originals, including The Tattooist of Auschwitz, Josie Silver's One Day in December, Jasmine Guillory's The Proposal, and Kristine McMorris's Sold on a Monday, though these three did not do hardcover library editions. James Patterson did, however - his new collection The House Next Door is a simultaneous hard-soft. Two new titles on our list are paperback reprints - An American Marriage and The Friend. As February 5 releases, they are eligible to hit the Times list that is released next week.

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. City of God, by Sara Miles
2. Permission to Thrive, by Susan Angel Miller (Event at Boswell Tue Feb 19, 7 pm)
3. Inspiring Change, by Chip Duncan (Event at Boswell Wed Mar 20, 7 pm)
4. Go Ahead in the Rain, by Hanif Abdurraqib
5. Wisconsin Cheese Cookbook, by Kristine Hansen (Event at Boswell Fri Mar 8, 7 pm)
6. The Cooking Gene, by Michael W Twitty (see below)
7. Just Kids, by Patti Smith
8. Drawdown, by Paul Hawken
9. Fascism, by Madeleine Albright
10. The Death and Life of the Great Lakes, by Dan Egan

This week's bestseller list is almost half upcoming events and would be half if we could get on Hanif Abudurraqib for Go Ahead in the Rain. We know it's a long shot. As you know, Michael W Twitty's event for The Cooking Gene at the Mitchell Street Branch of Milwaukee Public Library on Monday, February 18 is at capacity, but we're thinking there's still room at the panel discussion on February 19 at 4 pm. Also Register here for Taste of the South, also Tue Feb 19, 7 pm. I noted to Miller that Permission to Thrive has been showing up on the Milwaukee Bookscan Top 50 for several weeks in a row. Just in is Wisconsin Cheese Cookbook. Hasnen will be in conversation with Milwaukee Magazine's Carole Nicksin on March 8. You can be sure there will be more events with Hansen to follow.

Books for Kids:
1. How to Properly Dispose of Planet Earth V2, by Paul Noth
2. The Friendship War, by Andrew Clements
3. How to Sell Your Family to the Aliens V1, by Paul Noth
4. The Losers Club, by Andrew Clements
5. Echo, by Pam Munoz Ryan
6. The Losers Club (hardcover), by Andrew Clements
7. Pay Attention, Carter Jones, by Gary D. Schmidt
8. Unstinky, by Andy Rach
9. On the Come Up, by Angie Thomas
10. Eco (in Spanish), by Pam Munoz Ryan

Andrew Clements is coming to Milwaukee on March 15, as part of the Elmbrook Schools all-district read. His new book, just out in January, is The Friendship War, about Grace, who brings her Grandfather's buttons to show and tell. From Publishers Weekly: "But after she shares some of the cache with her classmates, the show-and-tell spirals out of control, and kids schoolwide become obsessed with collecting and trading buttons." There's no public event but we can get you a signed copy.

Over at the Journal Sentinel, the new Life section (which I think is the USA Today standard) folds together several sections, including Tap. There is still a book page!

--Brian Truitt (from USA Today) reviews Golden State, the newest from Ben H Winters: "At a time in the real world when everybody seems to own their version of the truth and phrases like alternative facts are used to cover falsehoods, Golden State is, no lie, a fascinating examination that takes fidelity and correctness down a freaky Orwellian path." And we're also still recommending Underground Airlines - I recommended the book to two folks recently and they both loved it.

--Pam Jenoff's The Lost Girls of Paris is weighed in on by Tod Goldberg, also from USA Today. Alas, Goldberg is not a fan, but plenty of other critics are. Terri Schlichenmeyer in the Quad City Times called the book, "Picture perfect."

--The Associated Press's Ann Levin offers her thgouths on Antiseminism: Here and Now, by Deborah E Lipstadt. She notes: "What made her (Lipstadt's) latest book so challenging - documenting the recent resurgence of anti-Semitism in Europe and America, on the right and the the left - was that it was happening now." The result is "an indispensable guide to contextualizing activities as diverse as the neo-Nazi march in Charlottesville, Virginia and the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions campaign, also known as BDS."

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