Sunday, March 31, 2019

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending March 30, plus Journal Sentinel Reviews and features (including one about us)

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending March 30, 2019

Hardcover Fiction:
1. Where the Crawdads Sing, by Delia Owens
2. Fox 8, by George Saunders
3. There There, by Tommy Orange
4. The American Agent V15, by Jaqueline Winspear
5. Little Faith, by Nickolas Butler
6. The Old Drift, by Namwali Serpell
7. Black Leopard Red Wolf, by Marlon James
8. Tiamat's Wrath, by James S.A. Corey
9. The Winter Soldier, by Daniel Mason
10. Circe, by Madeline Miller

The big literary release this week seems to be The Old Drift, by Namwali Serpell, which got a daily and Sunday New York Times review and received nine raves, two positive, and only one mixed review on Book Marks. From Caroline Leavitt in The Boston Globe: "Be prepared because this is a big book in all senses. Clocking in at a whomping 566 pages it sprawls over a century and overflows with staggering brilliance. In this wonderfully chaotic epic, Namwali Serpell invites us into an indelible world that’s part history, part sci-fi, totally political, and often as heartbreaking as it is weirdly hilarious."

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Energy Codes, by Sue Morter
2. Funny Man, by Patrick McGilligan
3. Educated, by Tara Westover
4. Becoming, by Michelle Obama
5. Essentialism, by Greg Mckeown
6. First, by Evan Thomas
7. Chief, by Joan Biskupic
8. Five Ingredients, by Jamie Oliver
9. Say Nothing, by Patrick Radden Keefe
10. Women Rowing North, by Mary Pipher

Standing together just the way they did on the cover of The New York Times Book Review are two books about Supreme Court Justices. First up is First: Sandra Day O'Connor, from historian Evan Thomas. From Julie Cohen in The Washington Post: "Some anecdotes are so juicy I found myself checking the footnotes to see where Thomas got them. Yes, as in most Supreme Court literature, there’s plenty from the clerks. But some of his best material comes from interviews with former and sitting justices."

Up next is The Chief: The Life and Turbulent Times of Chief Justice John Roberts, written by Joan Biskupic. The Washington Post weighs in on this one took, with a review from Geoffrey R. Stone: "Like Biskupic’s previous books about Justices Sandra Day O’Connor, Antonin Scalia and Sonia Sotomayor, The Chief offers an extraordinarily insightful, thoughtful and accessible analysis of Roberts’s personal life, professional career, judicial experience and approach to constitutional interpretation. It is essential reading for anyone who truly wants to understand this pivotal moment in Supreme Court history."

Paperback Fiction:
1. Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk, by Kathleen Rooney
2. A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles (our April 3 event is sold out)
3. Van Gogh's Dreams, edited by Lisa Vihos
4. The Immortalists, by Chloe Benjamin
5. Paris by the Book, by Liam Callanan
6. The Lost Girls of Paris, by Pam Jenoff
7. Persuasion, by Jane Austen
8. Us Against You, by Fredrik Backman
9. The Tattooist of Auschwitz, by Heather Morris
10. The House of Broken Angels, by Luis Alberto Urrea

Recently out in paperback is Fredrik Backman's Us Against You. Bethanne Patrick in The Washington Post writes: "If Alexander McCall Smith’s and Maeve Binchy’s novels had a love child, the result would be the work of Swedish writer Fredrik Backman. His new book, Us Against You continues the saga of a small (hockey-obsessed) place that readers fell in love with in Beartown." As Jojo Moyes wrote, the story is about "what we unwittingly do when trying to show our boys how to be men."

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Places in Need, by Scott Allard
2. White Fragility, by Robin DiAngelo
3. Damn the Old Tinderbox, by Matthew J Prigge
4. The Big Book of Dog Tricks for the Best Dog Ever, by Chris Perondi and Larry Kay (event Tue 4/16, 7 pm, at Boswell)
5. Born a Crime, by Trevor Noah
6. The Color of Law, by Richard Rothstein
7. Sapiens, by Yuval Noah Harari
8. American Advertising Cookbooks, by Christina Ward
9. Milwaukee Anthology, edited by Justin Kern (event Sun 4/14, 3 pm, at Boswell)
10. From the Emerald Isle to the Cream City, by Carl Baehr

Chris Perondi's Big Book of Dog Tricks for the Best Dog Ever event just got a new cosponsor, Pets Helping People. This organization was founded on the premise that dogs, through their unconditional love and acceptance and acute senses, when paired with a compassionate human can be a remarkable source of companionship, inspiration, motivation and support to the healing and learning processes.

Books for Kids:
1. Samantha Spinner and the Super Secret Plans V1, by Russell Ginns
2. Samantha Spinner and the Spectacular Specs V2, by Russell Ginns
3. I Am a Bunny, by Ole Risom, with illustrations by Richard Scarry
4. Goodnight Moon board book, by Margaret Wise Brown with illustrations by Clement Hurd
5. Old Bear board book, by Kevin Henkes
6. Baby Can Do Peekaboo Baby, by Roger Priddy
7. Little Poems for Tiny Ears by Lin Oliver, with illustrations by Tomie DePaola
8. Baby Touch Your Nose, from DK
9. Little Blue Truck's Springtime, by Alice Schertle
10. Rosie's Walk, by Pat Hutchins

It's a second hit year for Little Blue Truck's Springtime, which was the #1 kids book on Bookscan last week for the Milwaukee market.

But our #1 and #2 are the first two books in Russell Ginns's latest middle grade series, starting with Samantha Spinner and the Super Secret Plans and continuing with Samantha Spinner and the Spectacular Specs. From Kirkus: "When Uncle Paul vanished from their Seattle home, he left outlandish presents: $2.4 billion for Samantha's shopaholic older sister; the New York Yankees and their stadium for her imprudent younger brother; a jeweled collar for the dog; and, for Samantha, an old umbrella. Far from being a second-rate present, the umbrella conceals a map to a network of secret passages to places all over the world. A treasure, for sure, but will it lead Samantha to her lost uncle? Complicating things, the aforementioned outlaws from the sewer want their map back." Ginns is well known for his puzzles and this series has them. And it's also got a catchy theme song. Watch the video here.

Over at the Journal Sentinel, Jim Higgins wrote about our 10th anniversary and Amor Towles's A Gentleman in Moscow, which as I mentioned earlier, sold out just as the print edition went to press. Sorry about that.

And here's Julia Thompson on Harlan Coben's latest, Run Away: "The plot twists in Harlan Coben’s new thriller Run Away abound, even to the last page. As Greene gets closer to finding his daughter, Paige, twists develop at a frenetic pace." Thompson's review is from USA Today.

And finally, here is Amy Schwabe's piece about Union Grove writer Karen Franco who has created picture books inspired by her son's special needs.

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