Sunday, July 28, 2019

Boswell bestsellers, week ending July 27, 2019

Here's what's selling at Boswell.

Hardcover Fiction:
1. The Nickel Boys, by Colson Whitehead
2. The Philosophers War (V2), by Tom Miller
3. Where the Crawdads Sing, by Delia Owens
4. The Most Fun We Ever Had, by Claire Lombardo (event at Boswell Tuesday, August 6, 7 pm)
5. City of Girls, by Elizabeth Gilbert
6. On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous, by Ocean Vuong
7. The New Girl (V19), by Daniel Silva
8. Speaking of Summer, by Kalisha Buckhanon
9. Darkness on the Edge of Town, by Adam Christopher
10. The Chain, by Adrian McKinty

We had a very nice first week out for Speaking of Summer, the new novel from Kalisha Buckhanon. Counterpoint isn't necessarily known as a mystery imprint, but this one's getting a lot of buzz, including being one of Carole E Barrowman's picks for the season.

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Outspoken, by Veronica Rueckert
2. Independence Corrupted, by Charles Benjamin Schudson
3. For the Good of the Game, by Bud Selig
4. Samurai, by Michael Wert
5. American Carnage, by Tim Alberta
6. Milwaukee: A City Built on Water, by John Gurda
7. Educated, by Tara Westover
8. Three Women, by Lisa Taddeo
9. The Moment of Lift, by Melinda Gates
10. Nanaville, by Anna Quindlen

Lots of interesting events this week, many of a serious nature, which led to a "summer school" tag. Veronica Rueckert's talk on Outspoken: Why Women's Voices Get Silenced and How to Set Them Free was taped for C-Span, but alas, they did not include the opening performance from Amanda Schoofs and Olivia Valenza. Their loss!

Paperback Fiction:
1. The Overstory, by Richard Powers
2. A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles
3. Milwaukee Noir, edited by Tim Hennessy
4. The Philosophers Flight (V1), by Tom Miller
5. Washington Black, by Esi Edugyan (In-Store Lit Group discussion, Monday, August 5, 7 pm)
6. Vintage 1954, by Antoine Laurain
7. The Only Woman in the Room, by Marie Benedict
8. Paris by the Book, by Liam Callanan
9. Good Omens, by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
10. The President Is Missing, James Patterson and Bill Clinton

While research could prove me wrong, I perceive that collaborations are rare in our top 10 fiction slots, but this week we've got two. The President Is Missing is the paperback reprint of a jointly written thriller, one with many fiction bestsellers under his belt and the other with several nonfiction bestsellers. Good Omens was originally published in 1990 but is now a streaming series. Our buyer Jason recalls walking into a store and seeing piles of the book autographed by both cowriters - imagine how valuable that would be now!

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. The Less Is More Approach to Wine, by Charles Springfield
2. Milwaukee Jazz, by Joey Grihalva (event at Boswell Monday, July 29, 7 pm)
3. Zoo Nebraska, by Carson Vaughan
4. Locking Up Our Own, by James Forman
5. Calypso, by David Sedaris
6. No Ordinary Time, by Doris Kearns Goodwin
7. 111 Places in Milwaukee You Must Not Miss, by Michelle Madden
8. Born a Crime, by Trevor Noah
9. The Death and Life of the Great Lakes, by Dan Egan
10. White Fragility, by Robin DiAngelo

In the Milwaukee travel guide highlights competition, the second edition of 100 Things to Do in Milwaukee Before You Die from Jenna Kashou and 111 Places in Milwaukee You Must Not Miss by Michelle Madden are running neck and neck, but Kashou got a bit of a head start. We'll see how this friendly race ends up. I guess either way, Milwaukee wins.

Books for Kids:
1. The Misfits, by James Howe
2. Chrysanthemum, by Kevin Henkes
3. Lulu and Rocky in Milwaukee, by Barbara Joosse with illustrations by Renée Graef
4. Pigeon Has to Go to School, by Mo Willems
5. Just Kidding, by Trudy Ludwig
6. Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon, by Patty Lovell
7. Ada Twist Scientist, by Andrea Beaty, with illustrations by David Roberts
8. Bunnicula, by James Howe
9. Rite of Passage, by Richard Wright
10. A Small Zombie Problem, by K.G. Campbell

Lots of school orders driving our bestsellers this week, with our continuing pop for the local bestseller, Lulu and Rocky in Milwaukee.

Over at the Journal Sentinel, Mark Athitakis reviews The Nickel Boys, originally from USA Today: "Race has long been integral to (Colson) Whitehead’s fiction. But he’s typically approached it from slant angles: His 1999 debut, The Intuitionist, 2011’s Zone One, and 2016’s Pulitzer-winning The Underground Railroad all have sci-fi touches. The Nickel Boys is straight-ahead realism, distinguished by its clarity and its open conversation with other black writers: It quotes from or evokes the work of Langston Hughes, James Baldwin, Ralph Ellison and more."

From Oline Cogdill comes a review of Laura Lippman's Lady in the Lake: "Elegantly written, the novel moves with an eye to how people adapt to changes in culture, or maybe how an evolving culture causes shifts in people. Lady in the Lake works well on several levels — as a look at the mid-1960s and a view of racism, sexism and the intersection of ennui and ambition. It is also a paean to newspapers and the struggle of women reporters during that time."

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