Sunday, July 7, 2019

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending July 6, 2019

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending July 6, 2019

Hardcover Fiction:
1. City of Girls, by Elizabeth Gilbert
2. Where the Crawdads Sing, by Delia Owens
3. Big Sky V5, by Kate Atkinson
4. Normal People, by Sally Rooney
5. Black Leopard, Red Wolf, by Marlon James
6. On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous, by Ocean Vuong
7. The Satapur Moonstone V2, by Sujata Massey
8. Evvie Drake Starts Over, by Linda Holmes
9. Exhalation, by Ted Chiang
10. The Flight Portfolio, by Julie Orringer

Exhalation is the second collection of short stories, following Stories of Your Life and Others. The title story in this collection received both a Hugo and Nebula Award. Adam Morgan wrote in AV Club: "A handful of living science fiction writers have attained godlike status - N.K. Jemisin, Cixin Liu, and Ann Leckie, to name a few. But Ted Chiang is the only one who’s done it without writing a novel. In fact, he’s published far less than his neighbors on the genre’s current Mount Rushmore, usually just one short story every two years. But oh, his stories. They’re a religious experience."

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Educated, by Tara Westover
2. The Hidden Power of F*cking Up, by The Try Guys
3. A Good American Family, by David Maraniss
4. Say Nothing, by Patrick Radden Keefe
5. Becoming, by Michelle Obama
6. The Library Book, by Susan Orlean
7. The Great Successor, by Anna Fifield
8. Dutch Girl, by Robert Matzen
9. Underland, by Robert MacFarlane
10. Save Me the Plums, by Ruth Reichl

Keith, Zach, Eugene, and Ned signed copies of Boswell while in town for The Hidden Power of F*cking Up. No, you didn't miss them at the store - they were dropped off after their appearance at the Pabst Theater. The popular YouTube personalities met at Buzzfeed and went off on their own in 2018. Here's an article from Nina Zupkin in Entrepreneur Magazine, where Keith Habersberger discusses a little more about their philosophy: "By going in and simply trying and failing or doing OK, being open to a new experience and broadening your horizons just makes you a better person. We have seen it." I was a little surprised we were shelving the book in self help, well, okay, maybe.

Paperback Fiction:
1. Poison Pen, by Bill Zaferos
2. Washington Black, by Esi Edugyan (In-Store Lit Group Mon Aug 5, 7 pm)
3. Call Me Zebra, by Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi (In Store Lit Group Mon Aug 26, 7 pm - our September meeting)
4. A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles
5. The Seven and a Half Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, by Stuart Turton
6. The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek, by Kim Michele Richardson
7. Milwaukee Noir, edited by Tim Hennessy
8. Vintage 1954, by Antoine Laurain
9. The Overstory, by Ridhard Powers
10. Little Fires Everywhere, by Celeste Ng

Something you can't see here - paperback fiction bestseller numbers seem to have the best bump in sales of the five lists over the summer. The kids list, without either schools or actively touring authors, tends to drop off.

There are lots of reasons for picking our In-Store Lit Group titles - recommendations from others, prizes, books I've been thinking about reading, books out of our comfort zone, plus I do think about at least some author diversity. All these came into play* when I was selecting Call Me Zebra, after all, though aside from The Overstory, it was kind of a finalist of long shots. I also met her briefly at some bookseller conference, and it's funny how that sort of thing can resonate. I guess it's why they send the authors! Liesl Schillinger wrote in The New York Times Book Review: "With intricacy and humor, Van der Vliet Oloomi relays Zebra’s brainy, benighted struggles as a tragicomic picaresque whose fervid logic and cerebral whimsy recall the work of Bolaño and Borges."

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. 111 Places in Milwaukee That You Must Not Miss, by Michelle Madden
2. Vote for Us, by Joshua A Douglas
3. The Warmth of Other Suns, by Isabel Wilkerson
4. Lab Girl, by Hope Jahren
5. Jon Hassler, by Ed Block (event Wed Jul 10, 7 pm, at Boswell)
6. How to Change Your Mind, by Michael Pollan
7. Born a Crime, by Trevor Noah
8. The Body Keeps the Score, by Bessel Van Der Kolk
9. Spying on Whales, by Nick Pyenson
10. Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell

There are a lot of Milwaukee books this year, including two best-places-to-go compilations. You've seen the second edition of Jenna Kashou's 100 Things to Do in Milwaukee Before You Die and now there's 111 Places in Milwaukee You Must Not Miss, compiled by Michelle Madden. You can still attend this launch party, at Best Place at the Pabst Brewery on July 17. More info here. Madden will also be at Historic Milwaukee on July 16. More info on that here.

Books for Kids:
1. Hollow Earth, by John and Carole E Barrowman
2. Hi Fly Guy V1, by Tedd Arnold
3. Front Desk, by Kelly Yang
4. Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls V1, by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo
5. Kids Cooking, by Klutz Publishing
6. A Field Guide to the North American Teenager, by Ben Philippe
7. On the Day You Were Born, by Debra Fraser
8. Sport: Ship Dog of the Great Lakes, by Pamela Cameron, with illustrations by Renée Graef
9. Dragons Love Tacos, by Adam Rubin with illustrations by Daniel Salmieri
10. Pigeon Has to Go to School, by Mo Willems

It's rare to have a paperback pop on middle grade kids books, but several folks came in for Kelly Yang's Front Desk, perhaps because of all its laurels, the Asian/Pacific American Award for Children's Literature, a Parents' Choice Gold Medal Fiction Award Winner, and best book of the year from Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, PW, Washington Post, Bookpage, School Library Journal, and Booklist. It's about a Chinese immigrant girl whose parents take jobs at a run-down motel. Bulletin for the Center of Childrens Books notes: "Reminiscent of the television series Fresh Off the Boat, this title is an honest account of the ups and downs of immigrant life in America in the early 1990s, here told from a child's perspective."

Over at the Journal Sentinel, Jim Higgins writes about Bud Selig's memoir, For the Good of the Game, which goes on sale Tuesday. I love this line: "...Selig is fannish in ways that I can’t imagine other sports commissioners, like Roger Goodell, would be. His beef with Bonds is personal, because Bonds eclipsed the mark of Selig’s beloved Hammerin’ Hank. And every time Selig mentions Robin Yount in this book, I can feel the love." As the Journal Sentinel notes, the event at the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center on July 11 is free, or you can upgrade to a book for the signing line. Here's the link.

Bruce Desilva reviews the fifth Jackson Brodie mystery from Kate Atkinson, courtesy of Associated Press. Here's what he has to say about Big Sky: "The unfolding plot snags a dozen main characters in a web of duplicity, human misery, betrayal and murder that Atkinson skillfully relates from multiple points of view — investigators, criminals, family members and victims alike. The heroes of the yarn are its women. The two young police officers, one of the conspirators’ wives, and one of its victims as well, fashion a conclusion that, although not entirely lawful, is justice nonetheless."

One more review from USA Today's Mark Athitakis: "Taffy Brodesser-Akner’s assured and spiky novel about a busted marriage, Fleishman Is in Trouble is an assault on misleading surfaces. In most domestic novels, that means revelations of an affair, a hidden trauma or a long-buried family crisis. But Brodesser-Akner is after something more common yet more subtle: the inability of two members of a couple to simply hear each other, and how that miscommunication is often gendered." I'm intrigued!

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